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The FSF & Ticket Allocation for the FA Cup Final

The Football Supporters Federation (FSF) are campaigning about the allocation of FA Cup final tickets.

They are concerned that of the 90000 capacity of Wembley, the two finalists receive 25000 each; less than a third! So they are asking for at least 5000 tickets more per finalist.  At the last count this campaign had the backing of 70 other FSF affiliate members. and we at the Mariners Trust added our support to their recent letter to the FA..

Here’s some of our discussion which led to our support; the combined thoughts of a few of us on Board merged into a mini-blog.

This campaign concerns prioritising the fans of teams who reach the FA Cup final.
Instead of thousands of tickets going to the corporate hospitality or highest bidder online (which means richer folk irrespective of team they support get to attend) many more should go to proven supporters . 
Cup Final attendances are always 89000ish, since the new Wembley was built, whether it is Chelsea v Arsenal, or Portsmouth v Cardiff. So there is obviously demand; its not a question of fear of a half-empty venue.  To use an example, and I realise NUFC got knocked out yesterday; what if Newcastle played Everton? Both teams desperate for silverware and with big support and a decent distance to travel; it would be crazy if a big chunk of season ticket holders at those two clubs were held to ransom/reliant upon the lottery of the ‘other’ tickets.  (Let’s face if you as a football fan lived near Wembley you’d be tempted to go whenever a chance came up.)
A ticket allocation of 30000 per team still leaves 29000 for neutrals/corporate, and at 1/3 each, that seems the very least that should happen.
Traditionally every single club that enters the F.A. Cup gets a ticket or two for the final which if still the case would account for a lot of the remaining 40,000 so it isn’t just about “corporate”.  Despite this, surely another 5000 for each finalist would be manageable? Obviously demand would be greater for a Cup final than a League game from any teams’ fans, and realistically not that many teams can boast regular home support of more than 25000, let alone away games, but a Cup final is different.
So the Trust have backed this campaign, and would be interested to hear your views via facebook, twitter or email.
If you want to find out more;  is the link you need.  #UTM
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Football Governance Bill (Update)

Football fans throughout England and Wales will be keeping an eye out for the progress of the Football Governance (Supporters’ Participation) Bill, which was due to be debated in the House of Commons this Friday just passed.  It was however put back until Friday 4th March 2016.
The Trust are keen to track its progress and get involved if possible and will take the opportunity of this delay to liaise with partner organisations such as Supporters Direct and the FSF regarding the next steps and its prospects of success.
The text of the draft legislation can be found at:
And here are links to recent press releases from SD and FSF:
Please let us know your thoughts, and watch this space for more developments.
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Rally Cry – Andy Carr

A guest blog and fans rally-cry from the Mighty Andy Carr

Many Mariners fans who made the trip to Burton on that fateful day when our league status became no more, would not have believed that 5 years on  we would still not have returned to the promised land.

It goes without saying, and it gets repeated many, many times, that a club the size of Grimsby, and with it’s stadium and fan base, should most certainly not be where we are today. However, we are where we are and the formula for our return to league status once again I believe maybe not far away. So what extra could be done on our, the fans, part to help even more than we already do?

Accusations have been thrown my way regarding wearing flowered coloured spectacles over the past few seasons and have I no problem with that and at times they have probably been correct, but other times very wide of the mark! However, I think it is so important for all fans to realise just how vital their support really is, and staying positive even when some weeks results may not be what we all want. I understand 100% why some fans still have a bitter taste in their mouth about the GTFC decline and until we get that overdue promotion back to the league, the taste will remain and with some get worse. but this bitterness will most certainly not help towards the one thing we all want more than anything!!!

It is important that fans remember that this squad and management team are not the reason why we find ourselves here in the first place and they are doing their up most to rectify this situation. Yes, it’s taking longer than we all expected. However, each year we have improved on the previous season and at present time we sit 5 points off  top spot in 4th, and its only October!!!! Could/should we be top already had certain points not been dropped??? Of course – if 3 of our many draws turned in to wins and there you go!!!! However, it doesn’t always work like that and irrelevant of how many we have drawn. won or lost, the fact is WE ARE in the mix at the right end of the table and closer to that top spot at this point in the season than any other season so far.

Now just imagine yourself as a player coming off after a defeat, or even a draw, and hearing booing and shouts of abuse being aimed towards you, your fellow players or management. How would that make you feel? Then imagine coming off and every fan in the ground giving shouts of encouragement regarding putting it behind you and moving on to the next game? The same goes for social media. What do you honestly think will help more? Some will say that they pay their money and have the right to voice their disapproval and  I wouldn’t disagree, but would it not be better served irrelevant of what you felt to simply bite your lip so to speak till the end of the season? It’s been noted before how hostile it can feel at Blundell Park over the last few seasons towards our own team, imagine if that was not there? Could that be the extra 5/10/20% needed for success? I don’t know, but what I do know is it certainly has not helped so far. So how great would it be to try this for the rest of the season?

I’m not asking you to agree with every decision Paul Hurst makes, or run around singing “hi ho silver lining” after a defeat!  I’m simply asking if remaining positive ALL the time be that little extra we need to boost the team? I know if I was a player, which I would appreciate more!


Andy “Mighty” Carr


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Operation Promotion Review – Paul Savage

Trust board member and author of the Too Good To Go Down blogs Paul Savage takes a look back at Operation Promotion.

When Bristol Rovers converted their final penalty in the Conference Play Off Final at Wembley, Grimsby Town fans trudged out of the ground despondent with a long, fruitless journey home ahead of them. While many fans and clubs would have wallowed in self-pity and the disappointment of missing out on promotion to the Football League, Grimsby Town supporters showed they are a class above.


Within just a couple of days of the Wembley disappointment, the Mariners Trust had come up with an idea to raise money to help manager Paul Hurst’s pre-season transfer budget.


The Mariners Trust launched Operation Promotion on 1 June with the aim of boosting Paul Hurst’s transfer kitty for next season. The plan was to raise £20,000 in eight weeks with all proceeds raised added into Hurst’s existing budget for the Mariners’ 2015/16 Conference assault. The intention was for this money to be used to fund a new, key player for next season.

After discussing the idea with the club – who fully supported it – the Trust promised to add £5,000 to the grand total. Local supporter Lee Mullen also agreed to match the total up to £20,000.

Within just a few hours of the launch, we’d managed to meet our £20,000 target. By the end of day 1, we’d raised £25,000 – and that didn’t include the extra cash promised by the Trust or the Mullen family.

By the end of day 3 we’d hit £34,000. And by the end of the first week we homed in on £40,000. After two and a half weeks we’d nailed £50,000.

Our efforts attracted some fantastic media coverage. We’ve made the Grimsby Telegraph, Cleethorpes Chronicle, BBC Radio Humberside, BBC Radio Essex, BBC Look North, and the Non League Paper. We were even featured on Talksport Radio and Colin Murray was so impressed he featured our plight in The Metro. By the end of the campaign even Moira Stuart was discussing the scheme on Radio 4 and it featured on news broadcasts on Radio 1. Football magazine Four Four Two even covered the scheme in their latest issue.

On Saturday, 25 July – the final day of the campaign – we finally passed the £100,000 mark. This was made up of approximately £74,000 worth of contributions from this page and a further £26,000 worth of contributions (net – with costs and expenses taken off) from other sources, including the Mullen family, the Mariners Trust and local business Eurolec Services Ltd.


You can read more about reaching this target here:

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Grimsby Town FC vs. Barrow AFC – Match Report

Grimsby Town 4-1 Barrow: Mariners record first victory in front of a packed Blundell Park, by Joseph Carson

Last night, the Mighty Mariners took their first three points of the new campaign at the expense of Conference North champions Barrow.
Blundell Park was packed with over five-thousand fans cheering the team to victory. After Saturday’s draw at Kidderminster, Town were relatively unchanged, except for the inclusion of Richard Tait replacing Shaun Pearson. Former Mariners striker Andy Cook made a return to the club at which he spent two years, fresh from scoring twice over the weekend against Dover.
For the first ten minutes, the visitors held much of the possession but it was Town with the first real attacking opportunities. Several attacking manoeuvres resulted in corners, the best a Bogle shot deflected over, narrowly missing the target. Within a few minutes, the deadlock was broken; Andy Monkhouse with a sublime header from the back post. Tait’s cross, at first glance, seemed too high but the former Hartlepool and Bristol Rovers midfielder headed in.
And the Mariners weren’t done there, as Nathan Arnold could’ve added a second within no time. Bogle was again deep in the action; this time, a penalty shout after being wrestled to the ground. Only minutes later, the big number nine slotted home his first goal after joining in the summer. He was one on one with Joel Dixon, the opposition goalkeeper, and Bogle slotted low and out of reach to make it two-nil.
Omar Bogle again saw an opportunity go narrowly over the bar, after a well-worked bit of play. After that, the game was much more open with Barrow pushing up, however there was no end product, McKeown smothering every attack. Then the whistle blew for half-time, with the home team leading.
The second half started with Town on the attack, in similar fashion to the first half. Neat play from Nathan Arnold down the wing, resulted in a great cross, only for it be claimed by Dixon. Bogle could’ve had a second, after his sublime chip was ruled for offside. But it was Monkhouse, who capitalised on a open goal, resulting in his third goal in two games. Arnold saw his excellent effort turned onto the post before Monkhouse slotted home.
With a three goal lead, Town were still looking for more and Toto Nsiala scored his first in black and white after sliding the ball over the line from an uncleared corner. David Symington looked clear to score for the visitors, but unfortunately for him, a McKeown save and Danny East clearance stopped that chance. Jason Walker also saw his chance hit the post in a similar chance for Barrow. Amongst a comfortable and entertaining second half were two substitutes, Jack Mackreth appearing from the bench for the second successive game, and a debut for young midfielder Josh Venney.   Despite a solid game from the defence, a clean sheet wasn’t to be, as in injury time, Elliot Newby hit a neat consolation goal but it was too late for a comeback.
Next up for Grimsby is Saturday’s home game against Bromley. If a similar crowd to Tuesday’s game turns up, then expect a great atmosphere. Town are now up to fifth in the table after two games.
Man of the Match- Andy Monkhouse
GTFC: McKeown Tait East Gowling Nsiala Disley Clay (Venney)  Monkhouse Arnold Amond (Mackreth) Bogle, unused subs: Robertson Pearson Clifton
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The New Season – 2015/16

Ok, so a New Season starts in the morning (as I compile this on Friday afternoon).

Have you done everything in preparation?

Season Ticket renewed CHECK

New signings followed on Twitter CHECK

#OperationPromotion & Crowdfunder project; purchases made and picked-up/delivered? CHECK

Purchased the local paper (Thursday) for a 12-page preview pullout  CHECK

Read the Fishy messageboard, CodAlmighty and assorted fans blogs CHECK

Various GTFC blogs uploaded on this site (some even with pix!):

Quick reminder: Have you got your new Mariners Trust fixture calendar on display?

Kidderminster: EITHER ticket purchased (CHECK) and travel arranged (CHECK) or for those of you who can’t make it; listening arrangements (phone/radio/other) sorted?

Checked variety of sources for travel info and opposition previews? CHECK:

and CHECK:

That’s it for the checklist….

Rob Hurst?:   I like to explore cyberspace as part of the build-up to the season start, looking at GTFC-related blogs, and the national and Conference/National/non-league media to nosey at the predictions. (For a GTFC-obsessive, I know very little about our rivals.)  My favourite prediction this time was in the Lincolnshire Echo which firstly predicts GTFC to win the Division, but secondly gets our manager’s name confused; presumably it was Paul Scott who left?

BBC Football has contributed this, but unfortunately doesn’t extend to GTFC;

Summer Summary: Simply put, I’ve run out of time to write one, so how’s about this if you ain’t seen it yet;

Here’s to a fantastic season, see ya at Kidderminster!      Here we go:   #operationpromotion



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Pre-Season Predictions – Chris Parker

Now the Trust does not endorse betting – we’d far prefer you gave your money to #OperationPromotion of course.  One way of looking at this is that Chris may show us all how much or how little he knows about English league football.

Worth a Fortune? by Chris Parker

Many years ago I worked with someone whose father had a yankee bet on the winners of the four English divisions. You will be able to tell how long ago it was because they had Liverpool to win division one, Sunderland division 3, Wolves the 4th tier and the one that really boosted the winnings was Millwall to finish top of division two. For a few pounds invested they won over £22,000.

Since that distant day I have tried to repeat their performance but fell well short. Maybe, just like Town, this is the year.
Here are a few suggestions;
Premiership; Chelsea are favourites but you have to go back 7 years since any team have won back to back Premiership titles. Will Costa be fit throughout? If not the back-up of the injury prone Falcao and Remy don’t strike me as Title winning forwards. Arsenal probably have their best chance for years and I think Man United aren’t quite ready yet and although City will trounce some of the lesser lights, I think they will be found wanting defensively against their title rivals. TIP Arsenal 4/1with SkyBet

At the other end I just can’t see the League of Nations (Watford) surviving. They did amazingly well to withstand the revolving door at their manager’s office to gain promotion but I just feel they will be found well short come next May. I think the spirit that Nigel Pearson installed in the closing months of last season at Leicester was nothing short of fantastic but with the loss of their on pitch talisman in Cambiasso, I’ll go for :Leicester to be relegated 3/1 with SkyBet and Watford to be relegated (Nap) 4/5 with Corals

Championship; Over recent years the Championship has been the most difficult division for punters as shown by Bournemouth winning the title and Brentford making the play-offs. Derby fell away alarmingly last season and I really hope Paul Clement proves a great choice, mainly because he is English and has learnt his trade as a coach with differing footballing philosophies. Middlesbrough look capable of going one better than last season but sometimes a play-off hangover kicks in. As both are best priced at 6/1 I am seeking better value elsewhere. For me one of the best managers around is Kenny Jackett and at 18/1 with Corals they are well worth backing. If you are looking for a rank outsider I expect Milton Keynes at 20/1 (I refuse to call them Dons!!) to go well despite losing some of their goal threat; Tip Wolves to win the title 18/1
At the other end the hot favourites for relegation are Rotherham but Steve Evans always has a trick up his sleeve and at 4/1 Huddersfield could well face the drop. As a big outsider I think Sheffield Wednesday may not go too well and at 10/1 for the drop may well be worth a few quid.

League One; Sheffield United are favourites and with ex Scunny boss Nigel Adkins in charge I can see why. Money seems to be pouring in and their odds have been slashed to 9/2. I can see relegated Wigan and Millwall pushing them but for a crazy outside bet I, cough cough, suggest Scunthorpe at a best priced 28/1 (Betway). Tip; Sheffield United to win the title 9/2
Leading scorer bets are always a bit of a gamble because you don’t know if injury will strike &I hope I didn’t anger too many Town fans by suggesting Scunthorpe will do well, and I am not rubbing it in, but suggest Paddy Madden for top scorer at outstanding value of 20/1.
League Two; As in most divisions money talks and the shortest price teams include Pompey & Luton. I thought Luton would have done better last season but for some reason don’t fancy them this time. Again looking for value, I go for Michael Appleton’s Oxford remembering the way they dismantled us at Blundell Park last term. A best priced 9/1 with most bookmakers Tip; Oxford(8/1) to win the league.   The bookies take the easy line in tipping the Football League Paupers for the drop but I reckon Wayne Burnett’s Dagenham & Redbridge will have enough to survive along with Accrington. The two who to me look likely to be in trouble are Newport (5/1 with Bwin) and Mansfield at 7/1 with SkyBet.


I’m going for a Yankee of Arsenal (4/1), Wolves (18/1), Sheffield Utd (9/2) & Oxford (8/1). A £2e/w yankee would win you up to £7,928.
Sheffield Utd to win League One and Paddy Madden to be top scorer. £10 win double returns £1,155
Continental; Bayern Munich (2/17), Juventus (8/13), PSG (1/6) Celtic (1/25)& Grimsby (5/1). £2 Super Yankee returns £318.84
Relegation; Watford (4/5) Huddersfield (4/1) Blackpool (2/1) Mansfield (7/1) £2 yankee pays £1172
Outsiders; Milton Keynes (20/1) Scunthorpe (28/1) Notts County (18/1) £2 e/w patent returns £14,472

Just a bit of fun but it would be good to review these tips come May.

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GTFC Trust Depth Chart – August 2015/16


(BOLD CAPITALS denotes starter, lower case denotes reserves. In order of likely preference.)

Previous drafts have contained guesswork, but injuries have kind of assisted here – this version has a special treatment table section below, so is limited to fit players.  The Mariners have 5 players absent for the first game of the season, about a quarter of the squad!


MCKEOWN   Warrington   Bastock

Defence (RB-RCB-LCB- LB):


Nsiala     Nsiala       Nsiala       Tait

East      Tait                Tait           (Robertson*)

Mackreth    East        East           —


Midfield (RM – CM – CM – LM):


Monkhouse      Venney Venney       Monkhouse

Clifton                Clifton   East                 East

(can Amond or Bogle play right mid?)




Arnold        Arnold

Monkhouse Monkhouse


SUBS BENCH:  from Warrington, Nsiala, Monkhouse, Venney, Clifton.

Treatment Table: Robertson  Brown Marshall Sunter Pittman (5)

(*even though Robertson is injured, experience tells us that the boss prefers a not quite fit Gregor to an out of position left-back 😉 )


I count 22 senior players, including 2 reserve ‘keepers at different ends of their playing careers, and a handful of young pros. So 19 outfield players, less 5 injuries (mainly to versatile players) means Paul Hurst has just enough bodies for day #1! Hopefully some of the five return as the month goes on…… By the sound of the interview with Dave Moore on the official site, Robertson in particular isn’t that far off.


So, all comments, suggestions, revisions, additions welcome!   Have your say on twitter?  @MarinersTrust



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Justified Optimism or Blind Faith?

Justified Optimism or Blind Faith? A 2015-16 preview by Chris Parker (the one in the suit below!)

Pre-season is the time when all football fans are allowed to dream, in fact it is a pre-requisite.

Whatever went on last season, good or bad, followers up and down the country will all be thinking, perhaps this season? Whether it is a new manager, new signings, just a hunch or the thought that things will get better sooner or later, even the most dour of fans will find a little time to dream.   Whether those dreams are justified or not remains to be seen but now isn’t the time for those dreams to be shattered, there will be plenty of time for that once the season starts!

I think it is fair to say Grimsby Town fans are often pessimistic; certainly many of those who have been round the block a few (dozen) times tend to be so, but this season it seems a little different.
When I walked out of Wembley Stadium on May 17th I had never felt as bad over a football game in my life. I was dumbstruck. It was made worse by the fact that I had convinced myself it was our time to return to the Football League, we had served our sentence after all.     During the ensuing days I avoided social media, web sites etc mainly because I expected a vitriolic level of abuse directed at the manager, players and the club in general.   Eventually I ventured on to social media, fans forums etc and was taken aback by the positivity. We had eventually lost at Wembley (or more accurately, didn’t win) but I was totally shocked at the positivity. I just didn’t expect it. Was I on my own with this?


So, within a few days #OperationPromotion was launched with the initial attempt at ‘Boost the Budget’.   I don’t think anyone in their wildest dreams could have expected the sum raise to exceed £110,000.

The overwhelming success of the project was down to superb planning, organisation and sheer hard work by many of the Mariners Trust board. Congratulations and a huge well done!  I am sure Paul Hurst will be extremely grateful for the boost to his spending but of equal, if not greater, importance in my view is the positivity it has created.  The dramatically increased bonding between the fans and the team/club. I see this of such huge importance, so big it cannot realistically be measured!

During the pre-season games the players have looked physically fit but the movement off the ball seems to be at a different level than we have seen for years. Yes, I accept pre-season form/results cannot always be seen as a certain indicator of form once the season starts but I would much rather see 9 wins than a string of defeats. Confidence appears high amongst the fans and the players, but everyone knows that confidence has to be turned into results.


Hopefully McKeown will be back full time in readiness for the opener at Kidderminster and I am sure he will benefit from having a full time goalkeeping coach in Andy Warrington. Is this something that has become affordable as a result of the funds raised by the fans?
Tait looks a steady experienced full back to replace last season’s cult hero and I have to say I like the look of Danny East (you mean as a player Chris? 😉 ). He has experienced some injury problems in recent seasons but if he keeps fit he could be a very useful addition to the squad.  Our three senior centre backs look very good at this level and it will be hard to leave any out if Paul Hurst decides to go with a flat back four. Personally I am a big admirer of Nsiala, his pace and strength gets us out of occasional difficulties. He is still a youngster really and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him play much higher up the footballing pyramid in the future. Hopefully with Town!

The wide positions seem well covered with Mackreth, Marshall, Arnold and Monkhouse competing for two berths. One of my favourites is our hairdressing wide man. I love his pace & control. If he can add a few more goals then he could become a fixture in the starting eleven.

In central midfield we have the experienced figure of Disley but he offers much more than that. I am sure he would be a first choice in every other side in our division and if everyone is fit who partners him? Scott Brown looked great at the start of last season but missing large parts of pre-season may see him playing catch up. Once back and fit he will be a valuable member of the squad. Craig Clay has come on leaps and bounds and has the presence to dominate this season. This is a big season for him.  I would like to see the young pro’s challenging for a place at some stage during the season. Both Clifton & Venney have done well in pre-season and as a bare minimum I hope they play in our FA Trophy side from the start.
Strikers? Amond has looked great so far, movement, nous and goal scoring. If he stays fit he really could be the missing link. A fit and firing Pittman is an excellent player at this level. Let us hope his hamstring problems do not plague him again. I suggest we may have to be patient with Omar Bogle. He is stepping up from part-time football, he is still inexperienced but he has a 3 year deal which gives both parties time for him to adjust and settle in to his new surroundings. Over time I am sure he will be a great signing but the fans need to be patient with him.
Marshall and Arnold have also looked extremely comfortable, and indeed threatening, playing up front, so options are there.  However, I hope there is another addition in the coming weeks in the shape of a bigger target man type. This is not to say I want us to play direct football, nothing could be further from the truth, but having a different option is always useful. At times keepers and defenders have to play the ball out aerially and having someone who can get on the end of this is an option we need to cover. Equally I am a great believer in a big centre forward doing a job defensively in our own box from corners, free kicks etc. Livvo and Lump from days gone by spring to mind.

Reading the above I conclude it isn’t blind faith and that the optimism is justified. What we need is a good start because it is clear the fans are willing and able to get behind the team in huge numbers. If we have momentum from the start then the juggernaut that is Grimsby Town will not be stopped. Gates will boom, travelling support will grow and grow, and the passion will lift and carry the players.    There can be no guarantees, football isn’t like that but maybe, just maybe!!



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Pre-Season Preview – 2015/16

As we join in the pre-day #1 excitement, our forthcoming pre-season build-up blogs will bring to you;


  • Chris Parker’s squad analysis (though he pines for a Livvo or a Lump) and also Chris’s betting tips (with compulsory disclaimer!)


  • A summer summary; Crowdfunder, Open Day, 9 of 9, links to keep us entertained and informed etc etc…


  • Looking forward; forthcoming events and fixtures


  • Welcome to a selection of new bloggers!


  • A light-hearted ‘Connect the squad’ game.


  • Also, we’ll be trying to belatedly tie up some loose ends of previous blogs over the summer; Emojis, the return of TGTGD, deliveries and more deliveries, whatever takes our/your fancy.


Enjoy!  And watch this space!  #utm