Grimsby Town owner blocks sale of club
Register for free to receive latest news stories direct to your inboxRegister
The majority shaerholder of North-East Lincolnshire League Two Grimsby Town, John Fenty, appears to have blocked a proposed sale of the club on the day the club’s manager resigned citing the fact that the club was about to be sold.
A consortium led by Tom Shutes has long held an interest in buying the club, but on Wednesday evening, the group issued a statement saying they were stepping away from the deal after Fenty turned down their offer.
The statement said: “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).
On Wednesday morning, manager Ian Holloway took to Twitter to announce he was leaving the club, saying that he was resigning after hearing that Fenty was set to sell his stake.
He said: “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.
“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.”
Grimsby Town said in a 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.”
Fenty has been under huge pressure from fans over the last two weeks since convicted fraudster Alex May appeared at Blundell Park for a League Two game. It then arose that Fenty and May had set up a property development company together, but that May had stepped back from the firm in November.
The Mariners are 20th in League Two.