Doug Everitt is a typical grey-haired accountant – and the chairman of Grimsby Town. Ian Rodwell takes a deeper look at the man who looks odds-on to oversee another relegation
Distinguishing features A typical, grey-haired, middle-aged accountant. Vice-chairman Bryan Huxford, who seems to think of himself as a local celebrity, has most of the contact with the media.
Habitat He’s most likely to be found on a local golf course these days. Son of a Grimsby shopkeeper, he has worked and lived in the Grimsby area for most of his life, where he has been an active amateur sportsman. He has been a Grimsby Town season ticket holder since the 1950s. So, in his defence, he has suffered.
What use is he? It depends who you believe. He became chairman of the club in December 1999 after a bitter battle with the previous board of directors at the AGM. It is still unclear if Everitt and his side-kick Huxford (an airline owner, though no Richard Branson) will be the saviours of the Mariners. They are backed by the club’s largest shareholder, local supermarket tycoon Dudley Ramsden. Ramsden seems to keep a low profile these days after his doomed chairmanship in 1986, when, incidentally, Doug Everitt just happened to be vice-chairman. The current board claim their predecessors, led by local builder Bill Carr, had run the club into the ground, leading to debts of over £2 million. It is also said that the old board tied the club into a financial deal regarding a new stadium which they can’t now get out of. North-East Lincolnshire Council have since refused planning permission, even though the stadium was supported by their own planning officials and over 80 per cent of the local population.
Who remembers his birthday? The fans who believe him, which is about half the support, including those who were glad to see the back of Alan Buckley. It has been rumoured that they wanted rid of Buckley since taking over in December but decided instead to sack him two games into the season rather than giving Lennie Lawrence the summer to prepare.
Quote unquote After becoming chairman he said: “The ambition now is to get the club into the Premiership and to relocate successfully to a new stadium.” A month later star forward Jack Lester was sold to Forest. “The sale gives us much-needed time to look at the finances further... Irrespective of whether we are able to proceed with the new stadium or not, the club has to be put on a sound financial basis and the current board of directors will continue to explore every avenue to achieve this.” Do you really take over a business without knowing its financial position – especially when you are an accountant?
Other offences to be taken into consideration Apart from sacking the manager after two games, he was the club’s vice-chairman when the board appointed our worst ever manager, Mick Lyons, who got us relegated as quickly as he could. Everitt departed at the same time as his main backer Ramsden left the board, leading to an immediate second relegation. Ironically, Alan Buckley, in his first spell as manager, saved the club from the Conference. He has made very little money available to Lennie Lawrence to spend on players. The way we are playing Town look odds-on to be relegated.
From WSC 165 November 2000. What was happening this month