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Apathy Rules!

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 07/02/2004

The discussions about the Grimsby Town Supporters Trust continue and it seems it will be a never-ending story. There are those, like me, who support it, those who for some reason suspect it and some who are downright against it.

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And that just about covers them all except perhaps, those who know nothing about it, or what its purpose is. I suspect that some of those that criticise it are also in this bracket, judging from their comments.

Personally I think one of the reasons for this is that the name does not fully explain what the trust is all about, but from the undertakings of the trust so far, the board appear to be committed to fulfilling the whole concept of a football trust.

GTST stand for the Grimsby Town Supporters Trust and that wording indicates to the uninformed that the whole purpose of the trust is directed to Grimsby Town Football Club.

That is not the case. The purpose of all the football trusts is to serve, assist and promote all football in their domain - not just the local football club.

As Thommo points out; that is why GTST have put money into the handicapped supporters club, local junior football, sponsored the Diggers kit and opened avenues for financial investment into the GTFC/ College Academy

In doing so GTST, small as it is at the moment, are one of the few trusts that are totally fulfilling the aims of the trust concept.

In relation to GTFC, the trust have put some of their limited funds into the club via their sponsorships and are allocating funds to secure equity in the club which is the avenue to fan representation at board level. It will happen, sooner or later, and no one can deny that the fans need representation.

Fans are not just customers and the realisation that fans and supporters are major stakeholders is very slowly being recognised and accepted by football clubs.

In some cases, trusts have been the saviours of their club. That is not the case at GTST, which is relatively new on the scene but, as with Oldham, York City and Darlington, they can be an influential conduit, rather than a major investor.

There is little that GTST can do about the situation we are presently in but if the Mariners fans and supporters can look ahead and understand the importance of a recognised representative body serving the whole of football in the community and join them, that situation could change very quickly.

If Grimsby Town has any recognition at all, it is in the apathy of a great number of their fans and supporters.

That has to change. Joining the trust would be a positive action by the fans and is the only credible means today, to help protect the future of the club.

Who wouldn't invest 10 quid to do that?

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