Grimsby Town could be relegated from the Football League this weekend

It feels like Groundhog Day for Grimsby Town fans.

11 years ago they waved goodbye to their Football League status following a miserable season in which they went 25 games without a win.

Ian Holloway Credit: PA

This campaign hasn't been much better. Ian Holloway was sacked in December, but even the return of Paul Hurst - the man who ended the club's six year exodus from the Football League - hasn't steadied the ship. The Mariners are heading towards the iceberg and could once again sink into the non-league ether this weekend.

Grimsby have lost half their games this season and lie bottom of the table.

This wretched campaign reached its nadir two weeks ago when striker Stefan Payne was sent off for head-butting his own teammate in a defeat at Bradford.

Stefan Payne Credit: Thomas Gadd Photography

Regardless of what happens on the pitch, off it there'll soon be big changes down at Blundell Park. Andrew Pettit and Jason Stockwoodare expected to complete their takeover in the next couple of weeks. Ending the reign of John Fenty, who's been the majority shareholder down here at Grimsby Town for the past 17 years.

Football finance expert Dan Plumley from Sheffield Hallam University has warned that if Grimsby are relegated the pressure will be on the new owners to ensure a swift return to the football league.

Dan Plumley Credit: ITV Calendar

Plumley says clubs relegated from the Football League are guaranteed £450,000 in solidarity payments in their first year in the non-league. That is then reduced by 50% in the second.

Whether it happens this weekend or not, Grimsby Town's relegation out of the Football League appears an inevitability. 

But with despair comes hope - the hope that with the Mariners flailing new owners will put fresh wind in their sails.