Parkway or no stadium
I CAN understand the suspicions of residents in the Weelsby Avenue area who are campaigning against the possibility of a new Grimsby Town stadium off the Parkway.
They are primarily worried about traffic, hooliganism and noise. They reinforce their arguments with concerns over allotments and mourners.
'Not In My Backyard' is an understandable reaction to any development near a neighbourhood, though I fear in this case they should be a little wary of their misgivings being hijacked by a campaigner who has a particular green agenda.
'Build it at Great Coates', they say. And yet 'Don't build it at Great Coates,' was the response from many villagers there. It will be the same whenever a greenfield site is chosen.
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I was not happy when Tesco concreted over the Findus Sports Ground as huge swathes of soccer and hockey pitches were destroyed, but would anybody now want to see Tesco knocked down? And have property prices in this upmarket residential area plummeted? I think not.
I wonder how many of those objecting to a possible supermarket off the Parkway actually shop at Tesco, Asda, Morrisons or Sainsbury's? Answer, 99 per cent of them. We all want supermarkets, but not near us, thank you.
The residents have quite clearly got their retaliation in first and they have every right to do so. Yet assumptions have been made when nobody yet knows precisely what the proposals are or if they will ever come to fruition. A study is under way, no planning application has been made.
Now I have said previously that if the club, the council and the vast majority of Grimsby people want a new community stadium then a site like the Parkway is the most feasible, simply because it is attractive to whatever retailer will partly finance it.
Those are the hard economic facts, you get a stadium with a retailer on an accessible greenfield site or no stadium at all.
What I would not countenance is access to any development being via Weelsby Avenue. Traffic would have to come off the Parkway, as it did when the Oasis Academy extension was constructed. And there should also be ample parking.
"Grimsby Town should spend their money on the team rather than on a new stadium," is one of the recurring themes.
What money? The financing of the stadium will come from a £1 million ground-naming grant from Conoco, the sale of Blundell Park, FA and possibly EU grants and a large contribution from the developer. The council may well have a stake in the community facilities. But none of that money is available for team building.
And I would like to take to task those making disparaging remarks about the football club.
They have short memories. It is not so long ago that 30,000 people flocked to Wembley to bask in the reflected glory of the Mariners.
It gave the area the sort of feelgood factor that it sorely needs today.
LIKE the Mounties, it seems a certainty that the FA will finally get their man as they pursue John Terry.
The former England captain has been cleared of any criminal offence over his encounter with Anton Ferdinand, during which both men used x-rated, misogynistic language.
Now Terry faces an FA charge of using abusive language with a further allegation that that included a racial reference.
An FA tribunal can come to whatever decision it wishes based not on conclusive evidence but on mere 'probabilities'.
Many will be happy to see Terry punished, others will feel he's a victim of a witch hunt. But one thing puzzles me. Why has Anton Ferdinand not been charged?
Take away the single use of the word 'black' and it is clear that both men used similar abusive and insulting language to each other. They set a terrible example to young people and brought the game into disrepute. Wayne Rooney was banned for using a swearword in front of the TV cameras.
It has been suggested that Ferdinand has escaped a charge because it might deter other black players from reporting abuse.
So is the FA decision a political one? Are they saying that the fight against racism is more important than their own disciplinary code?
If the decision to charge Terry and not Ferdinand was based on the colour of the latter's skin, then surely that in itself is racist and discriminatory?