Michael Jolley’s foul-mouthed tirade towards local journalists played a part in him losing his job as Grimsby manager, majority shareholder John Fenty has revealed.
The Mariners announced on Friday that Jolley, 42, had left the club by mutual consent following the Sky Bet League Two club’s seven-game winless run.
But Fenty has confirmed in an interview with Grimsby’s official website that the club had been forced to take action after a recording of an expletive-laden rant at BBC Humberside journalists last month had been leaked on social media.
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“Radio Humberside had complained to directors and given that we had now seen the footage and listened to what was said, it is a matter of fact that the club would need to take disciplinary proceedings,” Fenty said.
“The (club’s) investigation found there was a need for a disciplinary hearing, which was planned to be held last Friday.”
Fenty said he had been approached by Jolley the previous Wednesday, adding: “His view was he knew where this was going and he sought an opportunity for a compromise arrangement, which resulted leaving on mutual grounds.
“Clearly he wasn’t sacked. We’re really disappointed in the whole affair, Michael knows that.”
Fenty said he was also disappointed Jolley had asked BBC Radio Humberside to question the club’s playing budget.
“In the light of things, when things aren’t going well on the field, it is a pressure-cooker and we do tend to give allowance for some of these things that erupt over,” he said.
“But on the scale of eruption, it’s clear that the football club had to go through a disciplinary process and anybody who thinks otherwise needs to think again.
“I’m not suggesting it would have resulted in gross misconduct and dismissal, there can be a whole range of outcomes to that.
Statement 15.11.2019 pic.twitter.com/USSRSlYboe
— Michael Jolley (@michaeljolley07) November 15, 2019
“But at the end of the day Michael assumed it could only go in one direction and sought mutual settlement, which we arrived at.”
Jolley’s outburst followed the Mariners’ 4-0 home defeat to Leyton Orient on October 19 and is reported to have included 58 swear words in a four-minute rant.
“You are a f***ing disgrace of a journalist,” Jolley appeared to say in one of the leaked clips. “The f***ing radio station gives us f***ing no positive coverage whatsoever.”
Fenty said he had “had his problems with BBC Radio Humberside in the past”, but had been “shocked and stunned” at Jolley’s behaviour.
“It’s a serious tirade,” he added. “When you’ve just lost 4-0 it’s not the right time to pick a fight with a radio station.”
The BBC said it was a matter for the club, but it is understood no official complaint was made to Grimsby. Jolley was not willing to comment at this stage when contacted by the PA news agency.