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The Trust Is Here!
ON March 9th 2003, the Grimsby Town Supporters Trust was officially launched at the Winter Gardens in Cleethorpes. Officially launching GTST was the culmination of 6 months of hard work by a dedicated group of GTFC supporters.
This hopefully will be the first small step towards a more open and honest relationship between GTFC and it's loyal fans. Although the turnout wasn't quite Wembley proportions (well, there were FA Cup games on the telly after all), about 300 people popped along during the course of the day and night to enjoy the events that the Trust had provided, along with the PONTOON PRIDE that was available on sale of course!!
2 raffles were available; one to win a GTFC shirt signed by the team at the time (including the now departed John Oster), with many great GTFC related prizes available for winners of the second raffle. A giant name card, containing all 92 League clubs (plus England, Scotland, Ireland & Wales) gave people the opportunity to win fifteen quid. Table footballs were available to keep the kids (both big and little!) amused, along with a scalectrix and a games console.
Rob Briggs offered GTFC related items of interest for sale, with a table full of old GTFC programmes up for grabs also. Face painting and a caricaturist completed the line up of attractions on offer.
Whilst a focus on fun was maintained throughout the day, the more serious element of the event was of course formally launching the Grimsby Town Supporters Trust, and signing up the first batch of members. A significant number of people signed up on the day, with more taking forms away to complete at home (a large quantity of these have since been completed and returned). The most formal part of the day occurred at 5.30pm, when a short presentation was given to those who were present at the time about the aims and objectives of the trust. Those attendees were then asked to vote upon the formal creation of the Grimsby Town Supporters Trust. The result was a unanimous YES vote!
The event continued into the evening, where entertainment was provided by local duo BREATHLESS and local band YABBA DABBA (who will also be performing at the GTFC Player of the Year awards ceremony). Both were excellent, and gave their services free of charge - GTST would like to thank them again for their time. The raffles were also drawn in the evening. Congratulations go to all the winners, especially MR JOHNSON, who is the proud owner of the GTFC signed shirt! Half of the proceeds of the first raffle will shortly be donated to the Handicapped Supporters Club - our thanks go to everyone who bought tickets.
What Happens Next?
As expected, the motion to officially form GTST was passed by the attendees of the public launch. This included the sub-motion that the current working party members would fill the available positions on the GTST board until the first AGM is held, and the members have the opportunity to vote for the board members that will fill the positions for the 2 years following that AGM. The AGM is currently planned for June 2003 (legally if must be held within 6 months of the launch).
Solicitors have been hard at work drawing up the GTST constitution, which is currently under review by the GTST legal secretary. As soon as this is signed and sent back to the solicitors, the constitution will be submitted to the Financial Services Authority. At this point, GTST will become a legal entity, regulated by the Registrar of Friendly Societies.
With a GTFC share issue a distinct possibility in the near future, the new GTST board are working hard at fundraising through a variety of means. If the vote goes the right way, and shares are released for sale, the opportunity to make a purchase on behalf of the GTST membership base would be too good to turn down, and so amassing a pot of cash in readiness is a priority.
The commercial team are looking into a number of opportunities - PONTOON PRIDE is hopefully the first of many lucrative commercial deals - which will be announced as and when they come to fruition.
The events team are planning a number of fundraising events. The first of which, a RACE NIGHT, is planned for 12th April and will be held in the LOWER SMITHS BAR at Blundell Park. A portion of the proceeds of this event will be donated to GTFCs 'Future Youth' campaign - a fund that is being put towards the encouragement and support of younger footballers at Grimsby.
The membership team are working on putting together the first batch of membership packs (if you have signed up please be patient - these will be with you before too long). These will include the membership card that will give GTST members discounts on goods and services provided by affiliated local companies. Finally, the editorial team are looking towards the production of the first GTST newsletter.
The Grimsby Town Supporters Trust is here for the long haul. It is important to underline that this is not another fly-by-night initiative that will last a couple of years and then fade into obscurity. The group of fans that have set this up are committed to making this Supporters Trust work for the benefit of the fans, the local community and most of all for the future of GTFC. At a practical level however, GTST can only be as successful as the support it receives from supporters and businesses alike. This is YOUR trust, set up to help YOU have a better relationship with GTFC. Use it wisely!
For further information on the aims and objectives of GTFC, or for details of how to become a member, please visit www.gtst.net
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