The Mariners Trust Board remains unanimously against the inclusion of Category 1 under 21 teams in the Checkatrade Trophy. The Trust has listened to members – both on social media and through direct correspondence – and feels the inclusion of teams such as Manchester City and other top sides is against the ethos of the competition. We feel the issue has been handled poorly by the Football League and that fans’ views have not been listened to despite protests and boycotts last season, resulting in one of the lowest home attendances in the club’s history.
The Trust’s representative on the board of Grimsby Town FC voted against the measure when it was discussed ahead of the annual Football League meeting.
However, the Trust board respects the rights of fans to choose to attend matches as they see fit. We feel it is important supporters are allowed to make their own decisions as to whether they choose to watch a football match. Individual Board Members will make their own decisions as to whether or not they attend matches in the Trophy this season, just as they did last year. Opinion is divided, and whilst the majority are clearly against the inclusion of U21 teams, this is by no means unanimous.
As a result, we entirely support the decision of each individual supporter to make up their own mind as to whether they attend matches in this competition next season. The Trust hopes common sense will eventually prevail, and that Category 1 clubs will, in future, no longer be allowed to participate in the Trophy.