Grimsby Town FC

Midfielder Jay Matete has signed for Grimsby Town on loan from League One club Fleetwood Town until the end of the season.

Matete joined Fleetwood Town’s academy at the age of 17 in 2018 as a full-time scholar after a spell at Reading.

The 19-year-old, who will wear the number 20 shirt for Grimsby, was awarded with his first professional contract at Fleetwood in February 2020.

He has continued to earn more first-team opportunities for Fleetwood this season and he has made a total of 13 appearances in all competitions.

Matete will be eligible for selection for a possible debut in Saturday’s derby clash away against local rivals Scunthorpe.

Grimsby Town signed defender Rollin Menayese on loan until the end of the season.

The 23-year-old central defender is coming from fellow League Two side Mansfield Town, who he joined in the summer of 2020 after three years at Bristol Rovers.

It is new manager Paul Hurst’s second signing of the window, as he looks to turn the club’s fortunes around after Ian Holloway’s departure.

Menayese has made 14 appearances for Mansfield this season, scoring two goals, and he hopes to now help Grimsby in their fight against relegation.

The new signing said: “I found out a couple of weeks or a week ago, when I spoke to the manager, spoke to my agent and I was very interested and keen to join.

“I think it’s the right time for me because I really want to push myself, I want to keep on improving and hopefully we can get some wins.”

Grimsby Town manager Paul Hurst was pleased to be able to bolster his defensive options for the coming games.

He said: “He’s a player that I have been aware of for some time.

“At the start of this season, I had said that I had been watching games and he is someone that caught the eye while he has been at Mansfield.”

Rollin will be available to play in the Lincolnshire derby with Scunthorpe United on Saturday, which could be huge in how the relegation fight pans out.

Scunthorpe are currently hovering just two points above the relegation zone, with Grimsby currently in the bottom two, staring demotion to the National League in the face unless form turns around.

It’s very tight at the bottom of League Two, but Scunthorpe and Grimsby are in danger of relegation. | Photo: BBC Sport (accurate as of January 18, 2021)

Grimsby Town have accepted a suspended fine of around £4,800 for breaches of coronavirus rules after an investigation by the EFL.

It is believed that Grimsby are the first club in the country to be sanctioned for breaking the English Football League (EFL) COVID-19 rules.

The investigation looked into Grimsby’s postponed the matches against Cheltenham, Bradford and Hull in September last year after midfielder Curran tested positive for COVID-19 and the entire squad was placed into self-isolation at the time, according to the BBC.

Bradford City director of communications Ryan Sparks hit out at Grimsby and was “utterly staggered” to find out about the potential postponement a week early, via the Mariners’ chairman Philip Day speaking on Radio Humberside.

The investigation found that only two players needed to go into self-isolation after coming into close contact with Jock Curran who had tested positive for COVID-19.

The investigator found that if protocol had been properly observed, only two players should have been affected, so the fixtures could have been fulfilled.

Players are also understood to have been allowed to congregate in communal areas, as well as being involved in car sharing.

The club failed to undertake an adequate risk assessment by a suitable specialist before reopening the kitchen at their training ground, while former manager Ian Holloway is understood have told investigators that he played darts with players, claiming it to be a training ground tool.

In addition to the fine, Grimsby are also facing other costs, including an EFL bill of £13,000. This is believed to be the cost of the investigation, and reasonable costs incurred by the three teams they were meant to play before postponing the games.

Christine Wilson, Chief Superintendent at Humberside Police, said: “We were recently made aware of suspected COVID-related breaches by Grimsby Town FC.

“The English Football League (EFL) began an investigation into the reported breaches and announced this week that Grimsby Town were found to have breached Covid regulations and were fined just under £5,000 and are liable for the investigation costs of £13,000.

“As the matter has now been appropriately dealt with there is no further requirement for any police action.

“We take all reports COVID regulations breaches seriously and we are working closely with the Sports Ground Advisory Group to support Grimsby Town FC in ensuring COVID regulations can be safely adhered to.”

An EFL spokesman said: “The investigation process regarding the circumstances that caused a series of EFL match postponements earlier in the 2020/21 season is now reaching a conclusion and the proposed decisions have been shared with those clubs who were unable to fulfil their fixtures.

“In accordance with EFL Regulations, it has been agreed that these decisions will not be published more widely than to all member clubs as we seek to highlight throughout the competition the consequences of breaches in COVID-19 protocols so it can assist in driving compliance moving forwards.

“As we continue to reiterate, adherence to the matchday and non-matchday protocols by clubs is the single biggest way we can collectively mitigate against the spread of the virus and ensure the health and well-being of managers, players and others associated with the staging of professional football matches.”

“Quite honestly this should not have happened,” chairman Philip Day told BBC Radio Humberside.

A statement from the football club said: “Grimsby Town have accepted the Agreed Decision of the EFL relating to the postponement of three matches earlier in the season.

“The penalty is a fine of £4,800 suspended until June 30, 2021 and not to be implemented if no further breach of COVID Protocols. The club are also to pay the EFL costs. Reference is made to paying reasonable expenses incurred by opposition but there were none.

“Prior to the return to training the club prepared protocols which were approved by the EFL. Players and training ground staff (the only personnel allowed to be at the training ground under EFL Protocols) were given a half day training on the protocols and the necessity to comply with them at all times.

“Regrettably there were breaches of these protocols which meant that when one player who had had contact with others had a positive test this required all the players to self-isolate.

“The board accepts that ultimately it is responsible for the actions and conduct of players and staff and so accepted the EFL Agreed Decision.”

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