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APRIL FOOL: New Sponsorship Deal

By: Miles Zoff
Date: 01/04/2005

The Fishy has learnt details of a lucrative shirt sponsorship deal to start from next season. The Mariners are understood to be close to negotiating a three year deal worth a six figure sum with the telephone support organisation The Samaritans.

The deal would see the organisation's name and logo appearing on Grimsby's shirts next season.

The Samaritans is a confidential telephone helpline for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those contemplating suicide.

Although nobody from the club was available for comment, a spokesman for The Samaritans told the Fishy: "We receive thousands of calls a day from distressed individuals, and in recent years a growing percentage of people seeking our help have been football supporters who are devastated because their teams have lost or have been relegated.

"We felt it appropriate to promote out brand name within the sport, and have selected Grimsby Town as we have received a large number of calls from their fans in recent years."

The spokesman also revealed a secondary reason for selecting the Mariners. "On the rare occasions when Grimsby have won over the last couple of seasons, we have also frequently been able to help supporters of the opposing team through a difficult time in their lives. The name 'Grimsby Town' is associated with misery, humiliation and defeat for many football supporters.

"For these reasons, we feel Grimsby are ideally suited to market our services across the game".

The Samaritans receive around five millions calls a year in the UK alone, a figure which is rising annually. The number of online enquiries via e-mail is also increasing year on year.

The Samaritans' slogan "Get it off your chest" is likely to be incorporated onto the club's badge of three fish and a trawler.

New Kit Although talks are not sufficiently advanced for kits to have been fully designed the Fishy has produced an unofficial photo of a prototype for next season's home strip.

Negotiations are also understood to be at an early stage to change the name of Blundell Park, probably to Samaritans Park. Other benefits for season ticket holders of Grimsby in the next few years are likely to be cut price professional counselling, and reduced rates for entry into drug and alcohol treatment centres.

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