After the fantastic scenes at Wembley we are now back down to earth and planning events over the summer ready for our return to the FOOTBALL LEAGUE.

1) Season Tickets
As you would expect the prices for the coming season were vigorously debated at the recent GTFC board meeting and the Trust representatives were fully involved in the process. After lots of toing and froing the Trust fully support the final outcome. There are two significant issues driving this view. Firstly when we look at the pricing at other league two clubs it is clear that prices have increased significantly in the six years we have been away and even with the increases declared we will still be below the average for the division. Secondly it is a key objective for the Trust that the club is self sustainable and we are delighted that the current plan achieves this for the second successive season.

We are really pleased that some of the initiatives we have driven such as the young persons discount and the over 75’s/85’s tickets have been left in place. Also we are very pleased that the increase for season tickets have been limited to under £1 per game making them even more attractive compared to match day prices.

We are aware of other schemes in place elsewhere which look at discounts once certain levels are achieved and this is something that we will investigate further for the future. We are also aware that there are a number of loyal supporters who work shifts and therefore a season ticket is not appropriate. We are currently working up a proposal to put forward to the club around a simple loyalty scheme which would reward these supporters. Similarly following feedback on junior pricing we are looking at options for further concessions in the main stand.

We have been asked on a number of occasions as to whether or not we are going to run Operation Promotion 2 but we feel that wouldn’t be appropriate for this year. Instead we are going to put all of our energy into promoting season tickets and pushing for a sell out crowd for the first game back in the Football League. We really hope that as many people as possible can dig deep and get a season ticket for next season and make it the biggest take up this century.

Finally we are absolutely delighted to announce that for anyone buying a season ticket who are not yet members of Mariners Trust will have the chance to join for FREE. Further details will be in the season ticket brochure which will be issued in two weeks time. Also existing members will get the chance to win back the cost of their season ticket as well as win one of a number of spot prizes during the course of the season ticket sales period.

2) Operation PromotionED Party – Come and join us as we celebrate the fantastic promotion season and look foward to our return to the Football League. The event is on 30th July at McMenemy’s and costs just £5 per person. Tickets available from thr club office from tomorrow and further details and link to tickets here http://www.marinerstrust.co.uk/product/operation-promoted-party/

3) Open Day – This will be our 3rd annual day. The final date is TBC and will depend on friendly fixtures but is currently pencilled in for Sunday 31st July. We plan to make this the biggest and best ever with lots of stalls, merchandise, refreshements, entertainment and of course chance to see the players train and meet them afterward. Entry will be free and everyone is welcome. As soon as the date is confirmed we will let you know.

4) An evening with Bobby Cumming

The word legend is often overused in football but there can be no doubt that in the case of Bobby Cumming it is absolutely appropriate. Having played 389 games between 1973 and 1987 Bobby’s all action displays made him a firm favourite with the Town fans and we are delighted that we can now share some of those memories with him when he makes a rare visit to the UK in July.

The event takes place at the Carr Lane social club on Thursday 14th July starting at 7pm. Tickets are just £5 each. Accompanying Bobby on the night will be the likes of Dave Moore, Paul Wilkinson, Kevin Drinkell, Tony Ford, Dave Boylen, Clive Wiggington and Terry Donovan and we are hoping to announce more nearer the time. The link to tickets is here : http://www.marinerstrust.co.uk/product/an-evening-with-bobby-cumming-and-friends/.

5) It’s a knockout – We are proud of the work we do in the community and so far this year have supported St Andrew’s Hospice, GTFC Disabled Supporters and Sporting Memories. We are once again delighted to support the Humberston Lions with their fantastic It’s a knockout event which is being held on Sunday August 7th at Meridian Park Cleethorpes. Details here http://humberstonlions.co.uk/?cat=6. The main charity benefiting this year is the local NSPCC and other local charities will also benefit.
We are looking for 10 individuals who would like to represent us in the event. We have to commit that each person can raise a min of £60 in sponsorship ie £600 in total. The guys and girls who represented us last time all had a great time and so if you fancy having a go and are confident you can raise the money then please e-mail at enquiries@marinerstrust.co.uk.

6) 100 Club – With all the build up to Wembley we negelected to do the April 100 club draw. We have therefore done the April and May draws today in the GTFC office. The winners are :

April
1st Prize – £200 Barry Goodman
2nd Prize – £40 Nick Cook
3rd Prize – £20 Richard Cole

May
1st Prize – £200 Stan Shreeve
2nd Prize – £40 Michael Hill
3rd Prize – £20 Chris Parker.

Congratualtions to all the winners and to everyone taking part. The winners will receive their prize direct into their bank accounts within the next few days.

7) Junior Mascot pre season – It is yet to be confirmed but we are planning to have some junior members as mascots during pre season. Kit will not be provided but all other aspects of the mascot package wil be the same. If you would like to enter a junior into the draw please e-mail us at enquiries@marinerstrust.co.uk. Once we have it confirmed and we know the pre season friendly list we will issue more details.

8) You will have seen that Dave Smith is undertaking the enormous task of cycling from Lands End to John O’groats in aid of youth development. This fantastic effort deserves all of our support and you can find more details on how to sponsor him here : http://www.grimsby-townfc.co.uk/news/article/dave-to-face-gruelling-1000-bike-ride-for-youth-2675487.aspx.

It is probably worth clarifying the position regarding fundraising for the Youth department now that we are back in the Football League. Some have commented that given the addition funding the fundraising is no longer needed which could not be further from the truth. The club and the fans should be congratulated for keeping the youth team going during the six years in non league when it would have been easy to scrap it to save money. The reward for this is now apparent as the club are in a good position to build on the fantastic base and apply for category 3 level which does indeed unlock considerable funding BUT this has to be matched with actual spend. To meet the very strict criteria there will have to be considerable improvements to staffing levels and facilities. The ultimate outcome will be a much improved and expanded youth development set up which will reap great rewards in years to come.

9) Sky Sports – As you may be aware the vast majority of Sat early kick off games this season will now be shown on Sky Sports rather than BT Sports. This means that as things stand we will not be able to show the games pre match in any of the bars unless we subscribe. Ourselves and the club are in touch with the FL and Sky to understand the cost but six years ago this was over £5k pa. Hopefully we can get it for less but our question for the members is should we spend our money on this? There is no doubt it does improve the match day experience but it is hard to justify on a pay back basis. We will look at sponsorship support but obviously this cannot be guaranteed. We would welcome feedback from members on this issue.

As ever thanks for all of your support and we look forward to seeing you back in the FOOTBALL LEAGUE.

Up The Mariners

Mariners Trust Board