Grimsby Independent




Grimsby Independent can exclusively reveal further details regarding the proposed sale of Grimsby Town Football Club.

We understand that a small consortium, led by a London based investment banker is extremely close to agreeing a deal to take over the club.

The deal is likely to be confirmed before the end of the season providing the Mariners football league status remains in tact.

We are led to believe that ex GTFC Director Bryan Huxford is also involved.

Huxford has several current business interests including being a Director of P & B Investment Holdings Ltd.

As part of the negotiations local firm Hodson Architects have designed a 12000 seater Community Stadium.

This is to be built on the site of the 6 former Multi-Storey blocks of flats, at a cost of £20m.

Stakeholders are understood to have looked at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium and more recently Rotherham’s New York Stadium prior to plans being drawn up.

We understand that the Great Grimsby Guild of Freeman are willing to lend their support.

Demolition of buildings around Freeman House due to commence imminently.

The Freemen own the majority of land in Freeman Street.

Blundell Park

Lincolnshire Housing Partnership Ltd (LHP) has offered to gift the land to the Council backed project.

LHP was formed earlier this year by the merger of Shoreline and Boston Mayflower Housing Associations.

This gift might, at first glance, seem a generous act but in order to gain Government approval to demolish much needed social housing Shoreline were obliged to put the land back into use.

Funding for the new stadium is understood to consist of a £5m injection by the consortium and £10m from NELC, with the remaining balance having to be found by the club itself.

The leader of the Council Ray Oxby recently said

“There’s a huge momentum, passion and commitment, for this site. Let’s use that energy to make it happen.”

It could be seen as ironic that GTFC, the Council and Lincolnshire Housing Partnership now appear to be working together.

Our sources inform us that the land was offered some years ago, well before it was in the public domain that the tower blocks were being removed.

The project cannot proceed without such a close working relationship.

Especially when considering the plans include the decanting of nearby LHP tenants and Compulsory Purchase Orders of privately owned properties.

It is further understood that the building of the new stadium, is seen as being a major regeneration project.

One of the most deprived areas of the country, will benefit from the construction of a hotel and state-of-the-art office accommodation close to the stadium.

Ibis Hotels and Swedish logistics firm DSV are rumoured to be two of the firms to have been in involved in discussions.

Meanwhile, the Swedish connection looks set to continue off the pitch.

We understand that Swedish defender Ludvig Ohman is a target for the Mariners.

Ohman was once rumoured to be on Chelsea’s radar during Jose Mourinho’s second spell in charge in 2013.

He is a 27 year old centre half who represented Sweden at Under 17 and Under 19 levels.

He currently plays in Sweden’s top tier for IF Brommapojkarna.

Ohman is represented by the same agent as Sebastian Ring, the Mariners’ recent Scandinavian signing.

Grimsby Independent also understands that negotiations are continuing with Shrewsbury Town with a view to securing the permanent signing of Luke Hendrie.

The 24 year old Yorkshireman has impressed whilst on loan from The Shrews and is believed to be keen to live nearer to his family in Leeds.

Hendrie is the son of former Premier League wing wizard John Hendrie.

Sunderland have agreed to Town’s request to loan England Under 20’s star Elliot Embleton back to the club for the remainder of the season.

Any further activity would provide a much welcome boost to Michael Jolley in time for this weekend’s fixture.

The squad has recently been decimated by injuries and a suspension.

Embleton is widely regarded amongst the Town faithful as being one of the most gifted players to grace the Blundell Park in recent times.

Town, backed by 5500 of the Black and White Army, take on Crystal Palace in the 3rd round of the FA Cup this Saturday.

Winning this game would provide a welcome £135000 in additional prize money.

The Mariners would then most likely earn an extremely lucrative televised last 16 tie against one of the Premier League’s big boys.

Good times ahead or daring to dream?


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