FINAL score: Grimsby Town 0 Boston United £21,410.
As David Newton and Neil Kempster left Sheffield County Court on Thursday, there was no fist-pumping towards the heavens. There was no triumphalism.
There was, however, a small feeling of satisfaction for the chairman and his number two, a victory for the little man, and healthy cheque in the post.
The Pilgrims had won their legal battle with the Mariners, after the Blue Square Premier club had lured away managers Rob Scott and Paul Hurst 12 months earlier.
The judge, recorder Barnett, ordered that United be paid the total in damages (£10,400), costs (£10,500) and interest (£510).
The irony was, Boston chairman Newton had offered his opponents an out-of-court settlement – for a lesser amount – which had been turned down by Grimsby.
A colleague of mine, a Town fan, told me he couldn’t believe the outcome, stating that Hurst and Scott were ‘only’ tied to the club by ‘part-time contracts’.
Part-time employees of the club they may have been, but Scott and Hurst (accepting around £400 per week each) were taking what many in this town would love to be their full-time pay packet. Plus, in the modern day and age, it’s nice to know a contract is still seen as legally binding.
Since his arrival at the Jakemans Stadium, David Newton has proved himself to be a shrewd operator.
He’s an affable, jovial man with a sharp, dry sense of humour and plenty of time for all the club’s fans. But when it comes down to business, he’s as hard-nosed as they come.
He worked his way up from humble beginnings in Lincoln, first by running a mobile disco, later managing a hotel. These days he’s a property developer and football club chairman.
But ask Newton about his approach to any aspect of his life and he will always look you in the eye and state: “We like to do things properly”.
Whether he’s personally changing the balloons and napkins at a sportsman’s dinner just hours before the paying public arrive, or battling another club in court, that remains his mantra.
If something’s not worth doing properly the first time, when shall you make time to correct it?
Doing things properly has seen Boston United already claim around £15,000 from Grimsby earlier this year, after a tribunal hearing, following Anthony Church and Shaun Pearson both following their former managers to Blundell Park.
But now all these issues between the two clubs have been resolved, Grimsby director John Fenty sensibly spoke for everyone when he said it was time to move on.
It may have cost a few quid more than hoped, but Grimsby can look to the future with two of the brightest up-and-coming young managers in the game.
Boston, meanwhile, are charging towards the play-off spots a division lower after their summer rebuild.
Everybody should be happy, but none more so than the Pilgrims fans, whose club remains in safe hands while run by two very shrewd operators in Newton and Kempster.