Onsdag formiddag klokken 10:20 annonserte Ian Holloway at han trekker seg som manager for Grimsby Town.
To all the fans,
It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing my resignation as manager of Grimsby Town Football Club.
New wannabe owners are hovering over GTFC and John has told me he is selling his stake in the club. So it’s time for a fresh start across the board for this great club.
As I said recently, I intend to be fully honest with you, the supporters.
Contact was made by the new owners to me on several occasions before the takeover, which I felt was inappropriate, and told them as such. This is the key factor in my decision.
Why? The relationship between the incoming new owners, board and manager is so so important. It needs to be strong for a club to succeed, and we got off on the wrong footing.
Therefore, that relationship will be strained from the off, which is bad for the club.
This is a club that, if everybody has its best interests at heart, can progress onwards and upwards. That is their challenge. That is their honour.
I sincerely wish them all the best going forward and I implore them to communicate regularly and openly with the fans.
For a myriad of reasons, on and off the pitch, it feels like we didn’t get a fair crack together, and I take me share of the blame too. I hoped for this to be a long, serious relationship but it hasn’t worked out that way, and that saddens me.
I wish you every bit of success. The fans deserve it. God bless.
En drøy time senere la klubben ut følgende statement:
It is with great sadness and disappointment that Ian Holloway has made his intentions absolutely clear that with John Fenty agreeing to sell his shares, he does not want to remain at the club without progressing with the people that he came here to work with.
The board and Ollie had a joint vision, first to improve the league position, secondly to deliver top class training facilities and finally by relocation to a new community stadium.
It has been a difficult year for obvious reasons which invariably affected all clubs, some worse than others.
The club, albeit prematurely, will prepare to move on to a new chapter and would like to put on record its thanks to Ian and Kim for committing themselves to our vision and wish them both all the very best for the future.
Konsortiumet Shutes, Stockwood og Pettit forteller om tråd på knuten med John Fenty selv om det har forsøkt å kjøpe han ut.
Like many fans, we reacted with surprise and disappointment when we heard of Ian Holloway’s resignation earlier this morning through social media. We would like to clarify to all concerned that none of us have ever had any contact with Mr Holloway. Several weeks ago, we did make it clear through a mutual friend that we were very supportive of Ian and that if we were to take over as custodians of the club we wanted to build a legacy with him in place (which we also communicated to Philip Day in our discussions over the last week).
In the meantime, we have had to process the disclosure of a potential investment in the club by Alex May which surprised us, made us extremely uncomfortable and created an environment of deep uncertainty surrounding the governance of the Club. Despite this background, in the last few days we entered into good faith discussions with Mr Fenty regarding a potential sale of his shares and he has declined our offer. This offer involved (i) the consortium paying full value for his shares (and consequently also acquiring shares from any other shareholder who wishes to sell) and (ii) the consortium standing behind a Club commitment to make a gradual repayment of his historic directors loans, conditional on the Club achieving certain milestones. We are bound by an NDA with the Club, which we respect, and will therefore not make any further comment in relation to the background to those discussions.
While we have acted at all times in the best interests of the club, we have to step away from further negotiations and give Philip Day the space and time he clearly needs to navigate the Mariners through this turbulent period in the club’s history. We would like to place on record our sincere thanks to the Mariners Trust for their willingness to have an open dialogue with us and we want to wish all fans a very happy time during the holiday season & look forward to a black and white 2021.
Happy Christmas – Tom Shutes, Jason Stockwood & Andrew Pettit. UTM!
Formannen Philip Day har senere fulgt opp.
My attention has been drawn to a statement on Facebook by Tom Shutes, Jason Stockwood and Andrew Pettit in which they state, “none of us have had any contact with Mr Holloway.”
Ian Holloway received two telephone calls from Mr Mark Palmer who stated that he was speaking on behalf of Mr Shutes.
We are aware that Mr Palmer acted for Tom Shutes in previous negotiations and due diligence. Ian recorded one of those conversations and it has been heard by the Board. Further Ian Holloway recently received another call this time from Mr Dean Holdsworth who had been asked to speak to him on behalf of Messrs Shutes, Stockwood and Pettit.
As well as a director Ian Holloway was an employee of the Cub and did not consider it appropriate behaviour to go behind the Board and approach an employee direct.
I will be issuing a further statement on the Club sale shortly but thought it important that the record should be set straight immediately as the Facebook statement impugned on the honesty and integrity of Ian Holloway.
En siste statement for kvelden? Ikke signert denne gangen.
Dear fellow supporters
Running a football club is difficult at the best of times. During the last two years it has been made doubly difficult when individuals professing to want to acquire the club have done so in the public domain but have not progressed their intentions with actions.
Acquiring a football club like ours which is financially sound is not difficult. First a prospective purchaser has to acquire a controlling shareholding. Secondly a purchaser must satisfy the EFL Future Financial Information requirements. Thirdly an owner and director will have to satisfy the EFL fit and proper person test.
Grimsby Town Football Club is a Public Limited Company. Acquisition of control can be achieved in one of the following ways which are alternatives and not cumulative:
Apply to the Club to purchase a controlling block of shares. The Board with it’s fiduciary duty would not turn down such an investment and the purchaser would then control the Club without involving any other shareholder
Seek to acquire a controlling share from a single shareholder
Seek to acquire shares from a group of shareholders to obtain control
If Messrs Shutes, Stockwood and Pettit wish to obtain control of the Club they can choose any one of these alternatives. To date they have certainly not chosen to utilise alternative 1. Each of the alternatives would then oblige them under Rule 9 of the Take Over code to offer to buy all other shareholders shares at the same price.
The satisfaction of the EFL fit and proper person rule and the Future Financial Information requirement would not be difficult for persons of good standing with the necessary means.
The Future Financial Information must include details of how any existing liabilities are to be dealt with and satisfied. The only liability which the Club has is the Directors loans and proper provision has to be made for the repayment.
The most important question now is who is to be appointed as manger. To that end I have reached out to the prospective purchasers to involve them in this decision if they can reach agreement with John Fenty notwithstanding the fact that they will not have completed the EFL requirements. It merely means agreeing a share price and the repayment of loans (which as I say is in any event part of the EFL Future Financial Information).
The share price is straightforward as shares have been issued this year at par and that is therefore the market price. I understand that the sticking point is the repayment of loans and the conditionality attached to it. Historically the Club has always been underpinned by Directors loans and these have been repaid when a Director leaves the Board. This situation with the repayment of the loans is no different.
We are aware that the appointment of a manager must be made without delay. The transfer window opens in little over a week and we all agree that there needs to be changes in the playing squad and a reduction in it’s size. In the interim Ben Davies and Dave Moore are in charge for the forthcoming games and we all wish them well.
This uncertainty which has been hanging over the Club for more than two years must cease. I have set out the three alternative ways of gaining control. It is for prospective purchasers to choose which one they will adopt. All I can say is please get on with it or confirm no further interest.
As I stated earlier the Club is in a sound financial condition and I pay tribute yet again to you the fans for your help in this. I would go so far as to say that there are few clubs in our league in such a sound financial condition and that makes the acquisition so easy.
01:00 natt til Julafta kom John Fenty på banen.
It is public record and a genuine fact that I am willing to sell my stake and shareholding in the club.
Accordingly, there has been very limited and disjointed discussions with a representative on behalf of the Tom Shutes consortium, which broke down this afternoon after principal terms were already agreed.
The basis of the agreement reached, was that my shareholding would be acquired at par value i.e., £1 per share (agreed) and the loans would be repaid (agreed).
However, the terms related to the repayment of my loans were not acceptable as they were performance-related.
Essentially, my loans were proposed to be paid back 1/3 at the end of this season, 1/3 at the end of the second season, and 1/3 at the end of the third season. The deal-breaker was that if the club did not achieve League 2 status or above, in any of those seasons, further loan repayments would fall away.
With only 19 games played this season, and a transfer window left, I am being asked not only to continue funding the club for someone else, but also to take a risk that if the new regime takes the club down, then my loans would be written off.
Honestly speaking, I would have expected the Tom Shutes consortium to have more confidence in their potential running of the football club.
Aside of that, I explained the rationale of why my loans should be repaid at the end of this season. The Club is financially very sound (with no liabilities – other than the loan to directors) and in addition, I have always been assured by the consortium that they are gentleman with sufficient funds to acquire the club and they have always been aware that this would include the repayment of loans
Even further to that, I asked, if the club had debts of a bank overdraft of £650,000 and a £720,000 debt to HMRC would you expect to take that on? The answer was – well that would be part of the business, so yes!!!. What’s the difference I asked, as in-effect, I have been the bank for the club without charging any interest for over 15 years.
In all that knowledge, the Tom Shutes consortium rejected the deal that had been agreed in principle because their proposal demanded me to continue to fund their football club, beyond this season, of which I am not prepared to do.
15 years ago, I inherited the following debts, a bank overdraft of £650,000, a £720,000 debt to HMRC and further have paid off £700,000 of previous directors’ loans. The debt I took on was approximately £5 million in today’s money. Every other Director has, on leaving the Board, seen their loans repaid – so why not me? The Club is in a far healthier financial state than when I acquired it – and yet I am being asked to continue to finance it with a potential of no repayment in the event of matters beyond my control.
So, I do not think I am being unreasonable at all. I know that at least two of the consortium members are very wealthy indeed, so I do struggle to understand why there is all the faffing around.
This negotiation was supposed to be on an open book confidential basis at the request of the consortium, so it is very disappointing that it’s been played out in public.
The last two years, with all the distraction of potential takeover, makes running the club a doubly difficult job, to assist moving things forward here’s the deal.
To the Mr Shutes consortium, my offer to sell the club is on the basis that you acquire my shares at per value as already agreed, and that you agree to repay my loans in full at the end of this season, and no interest will be payable. A sum of exactly £1.5 million.
This offer is there for all to see and is on the table until 4pm on 24th December 2020. Please respond to the chairman of the football club with your decision.
If this is agreed, we can draft a short form sale and purchase agreement for all parties to agree and sign which will be subject to EFL requirements, which should be a formality.
The club cannot endure further procrastination of this matter, so I hope you understand the basis for applying the deadline publicly, beyond which if it passes without resolution, then the current board must get on with appointing the new manager without the extended offer for the Mr Shutes consortium to be involved in the process.
I am truly very sorry that this is being conducted in public, this was not my intention.