Grimsby staff ‘sickened and appalled' after ‘malicious comments' on Twitter

An anonymous Twitter account is targeting Grimsby's staff and Trust (Richard Sellers/PA)
Rachel Steinberg, PA

Police are investigating “malicious comments” directed at members of Grimsby’s staff and trust that have left those in the organisation feeling “sickened and appalled”.

A statement from Grimsby’s board, posted on the League Two side’s official website, revealed the attacks have come from an anonymous Twitter account that has barraged its primary target, CEO Debbie Cook, with “perverse” and “degrading” messages.

Cook has been advised to disable her account as the investigation is carried out, with Grimsby vowing the “strongest possible action” against anyone responsible.

The statement read: “We recognise our supporters and the wider community wish to be able to have a say with regards to the running of their club and we welcome the opportunity to engage through all channels.

“However, over the last few weeks, several of our staff and members of the Mariners Trust have been subjected to malicious comments through an anonymous Twitter account.

“In particular, Debbie Cook, our chief executive officer, has been personally targeted in a misogynistic and demeaning manner.

“We are sickened and appalled by the comments, some of which have been of a sexual, derogatory and discriminatory nature.  Many of the tweets are perverse, degrading and targeted in a way to undermine and humiliate Debbie.

“In legal terms, this behaviour amounts to harassment and is something that the club condemns in the strongest terms. Harassment and discrimination of any sort, whether it’s face to face or through social media platforms will not be tolerated.

Grimsby CEO Debbie Cook (right) has been the primary target of the attacks
Grimsby CEO Debbie Cook, right, has been the primary target of the attacks (Callum Parke/PA)

“There is no place for it in football and it goes against all of our club values.

“We have reported the matter to the police who are investigating who is behind the Twitter account.  We will continue to work with the authorities to support the investigation and once an individual has been identified, apart from any criminal proceedings, the club will also take the strongest possible action.

“As a club, the wellbeing of our team is paramount to us.  We have advised Debbie to disable her Twitter account until this matter has been dealt with.

“Debbie continues to have our full support in taking our club forward and we wish to express our thanks to her for the steps she is taking to make GTFC a more progressive football club.”