Grimsby 'fined for breaching Covid social distancing safety rules'

League Two Grimsby Town ‘become the first club to be fined for breaching Covid social distancing safety rules’ after EFL investigation following postponement of three fixtures

  • Grimsby Town had three matches postponed amid the ongoing Covid pandemic
  • Their games were called off in September after Jock Curran tested positive 
  • EFL since launched an investigation into matters surrounding postponements
  • The investigation found Grimsby weren’t complying with Covid safety rules 

Grimsby Town have reportedly become the first football club fined for breaking the EFL’s Covid safety rules amid the ongoing pandemic.

Grimsby, who have accepted the suspended fine, had three fixtures postponed against Cheltenham, Bradford and Hull back in September after midfielder Jock Curran tested positive for Covid – which led to the whole squad being placed in self-isolation.

Since then the EFL have launched an investigation surrounding the postponement of the three League Two matches – with Bradford having been especially critical of how Grimsby informed them.

Grimsby have accepted a suspended fine of £4,880 for breaching Covid safety rules

And according to the BBC, the EFL investigation found that the Mariners had not been following social distancing guidelines and have since been fined £4,880, which is suspended until June.

Their lack of social distancing meant that more players had to self-isolate than what should have been necessary.

It has been reported that players were not stopped from mixing in communal areas at their Cheapside training base. 

Furthermore, it has been reported that their former boss Ian Holloway – who resigned in December – admitted to EFL investigators to playing darts with his first-team players, arguing the sport to be a training ground tool.

Players were reportedly allowed to mix in communal areas at their Cheapside training base

Grimsby players were also understood to have car shared while the club failed to carry out an adequate risk assessment before re-opening the kitchen at their training base.

And their chairman, Philip Day, has since criticised the squad for breaching Covid safety rules.

‘Quite honestly this should not have happened,’ Day told BBC Radio Humberside following the EFL sanction.

‘We’re disappointed because, prior to the players returning to training, we had put in place protocols which were approved by the EFL and we gave a full morning’s training to the staff and players to ensure they were fully conversant with the protocol.

Ian Holloway reportedly admitted to playing darts with some of his players at the training base

‘The protocols are there for a purpose and they must be complied with. They’re all adults, but sometimes you’ve just got to reinforce the message time and again.’

Day also stated that Grimsby’s board and senior management were unaware of the playing of darts.

News of Grimsby’s sanction comes after EFL chief executive Trevor Birch wrote to all clubs reminding them to ‘vigilantly follow the processes’ to avoid a financially damaging suspension of the season. 

After receiving the suspended £4,880 fine, Grimsby also face being charged a bill of £13,000 from the EFL for the investigation.

The League Two outfit also face reasonable costs incurred by Cheltenham, Bradford and Hull – the three teams that saw their matches against Grimsby postponed. 

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