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, BBC.co.uk 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: http://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/100-000-figure-raised-Grimsby-Town-fans-Operation/story-27478654-detail/story.html