Grimsby Town manager Ian Holloway has quit the club following rumours of a potential takeover at the League Two side, as well as dealings the current owner had with a convicted fraudster.
Holloway, 57, took the job in December 2019 but has been unable to change the club’s fortunes, leaving them 20th in the league.
He announced his resignation on Twitter, stating that “new wannabe owners” are “hovering” over Grimsby Town.
It comes after majority shareholder of the club, John Fenty, told Holloway of his intention to sell the club.
To all the fans,
It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing my resignation as manager of Grimsby Town Football Club.
— Ian Holloway (@IanOllie7) December 23, 2020
This is after Fenty, deputy leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, stepped down from his role after reportedly having links with convicted fraudster Alex May.
The club had previously rejected a £1 million bid from Mr May for shares that would have been used to contribute towards a new training facility.
Holloway took to social media to “be fully honest” with supporters, and stated that he disagreed with the way in which the new incoming owners approached him.
“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.”
The 57-year-old used to manage in the Premier League, both with Crystal Palace and Blackpool, but his reign in charge of Grimsby lasted less than a year.
The news has come as a shock to fans, who were assured by Holloway himself on Twitter that he would not leave the club unless he was forced to.
A previous thread of tweets posted on December 17 saw Holloway openly address the issues surrounding the club, in an attempt to provide more clarity for fans who may be confused.
To the fans of Grimsby Town Football Club.
Let me say, first and foremost, that I’m not going anywhere unless I’m told to. The love that you, the fans, have shown myself and my family since my arrival has exceeded even my highest expectations, on and off the pitch.
— Ian Holloway (@IanOllie7) December 17, 2020
The Mariners currently hover just above the League Two relegation zone, with 19 points from their opening 19 league games.
In a club statement, a spokesperson for Grimsby Town Football Club said: “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.
“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.”