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Will Paul Hurst stay at Grimsby?



Keep The Mariners Afloat Update

Date: 10/05/2005

The total raised by GTST now stands at: £13012.59. Many thanks to all those who have contributed so far.

Since the last update four weeks ago, the campaign fund is now over £250 better off thanks to Fishy poster gtfc, who approached the Trust and suggested that it might be a good idea to post details of the GTST appeal on every Premier and Football League Rivals messageboard.

"GTFC" asked fans of other clubs to either ring the Trust's premium rate number (0906 3450459) or text GTST1 to 88199. Even better, he offered to do the job himself, and as a result spent the next few days first posting the appeal message on all the boards and then responding to the many replies it received.

Whilst it was to be expected that some of the responses wouldn't be that kind, around 40 texts and 40-50 phone calls were received that week. In addition there were several online donations, including £25 from a Sheffield Utd fan, supporters from Crewe and Darlington took out adult memberships and most amazing of all a QPR fan in America signed up as a life member, basically because he'd once worked with a massive Town supporter, was a fan of Terrell Forbes, and he'd been there with his own club and didn't want to see Grimsby Town die.

Meanwhile the bucket collection at the Scunthorpe game raised another £367.68, so thanks to everyone who contributed to that. The fact that the amount collected was about a fifth of what was made at the Lincoln game would tend to support the theory that it's not viable to collect at every game. However, we are looking at the possibility of having some sort of fixed collecting boxes around the ground next season, so that if people want to make a contribution every week, they can.

The Trust has also received a cheque this week for £275 from It's A Grim Exile, whose membership was made up of Mariners fans living away from Grimsby. IAGE is now no more, and so the exiled fans have donated their remaining funds to the campaign, "in support of GTST and its aims", and have also encouraged their former members to join the Trust. We thank them for their support.

On a less encouraging note, whilst our "An Evening with Frank Worthington" event was thoroughly enjoyed by all those who attended, unfortunately, despite a great deal of publicity beforehand, the night raised sod all for the campaign due to disappointing ticket sales. Such is the narrow margin between success and failure, that had another 15-20 people attended it would have been a whole different story. And then on top of the poor attendance, our efforts to raise additional funds on the night weren't helped by Frank's late arrival due to his car breaking down, meaning that by the time he'd done his turn and we could get back to making some more cash for the campaign, last orders were being called and everyone was ready to go home.

Thankfully the financial shortfall was largely offset by some very generous sponsorship from Kev Waddingham of John Waddingham & Son Fish Merchants, and the Trust greatly appreciates both his support and that of the people who did turn out on the night.

Whilst it was disheartening to raise nothing for the campaign despite a lot of time and effort being put into the event, lessons have been learned by the Trust. GTST will now be chiefly concentrating on events, which require little or no outlay and don't specifically target Mariners fans or indeed football fans at all, whilst bringing in a tidy profit for a few hours work. To this end we are planning to take our "Race Night Roadshow" out into the community, and so we are looking for pubs and clubs in the area to offer us a venue and enough punters to raise significant funds for the Keep the Mariners Afloat campaign. (From past experience a crowd of around 30 people will raise about £250, so ideally we're looking for numbers in excess of that.) We already have several nights lined up, but if you think your local could play host to one of our race nights, then have a word with the gaffer and see if he/she is up for it. And if the answer is yes, then please let us know, either by emailing or by calling us on 0870 4322820.

Similarly, please contact us if you have any fundraising ideas of your own, but bear in mind that, despite several new additions to the Trust Board, there still aren't that many of us and there's only so much we can do. So please, don't just give us your ideas. Give us your time as well, like gtfc did with his messageboard appeal.

Membership of the Trust now stands at around 330. Our numbers have more than doubled since the campaign began, and we are still receiving applications from new members every week but, to be honest, things have slowed down recently. Possibly this is because the immediate threat of administration has gone following an agreement being reached with the Inland Revenue. But the fact remains that the Club still needs to raise £750,000 over the next three years, and the Trust is committed to raising £120,000 of that amount. And the easiest way to raise that money would be through membership fees. At present only around 10% of the average home crowd are GTST members, probably even less if you take into account the number of exiled fans who have joined the Trust despite the fact that they are only infrequent visitors to Blundell Park due to their geographical location.

So what if the other 90% of that average home crowd joined the Trust? Well, quite simply it would mean £40,000-£50,000 raised through membership fees every year, more than enough to exceed the amount the Trust has pledged to raise over the next three years. But not only that, as the Trust is investing everything it raises from the Keep the Mariners Afloat campaign into the Club via shares purchase, it would mean that at the end of those three years, Grimsby Town supporters could own as many as 150,000 shares in Grimsby Town FC, allowing the fans a real say in how their club is run.

Does that sound good to you? If so, then please join the Trust. You can join via the Trust's online shop, or by downloading a form from our website and sending it together with your payment to our PO Box address, or you can pick up a membership form from the offices at Blundell Park. And if you're thinking about renewing, but haven't quite got around to it yet, please do. Your membership fee could make a real difference.

The next big fundraising event lined up by the Trust is the rescheduled Rumble Band gig at McMenemy's on Friday 8th July. Tickets are available now, priced only £10, from both the Club Shop at Blundell Park and the Trust's online shop.

Also still available from the GTFC and Trust shops are the Keep the Mariners Afloat campaign t-shirts, which come in Medium, Large and Extra Large sizes, priced at only £5.99 each. The Trust would like to thank Willson's Printers of Grimsby for kindly supplying the t-shirts at cost price.

You can also raise money for the Trust and save on your phone calls at the same time. GTST has joined up with the Phone Co-op, the UK's only telecoms co-operative, to offer great deals to supporters. This partnership will save you money and help the Trust because we will receive 6% of the ongoing value of your phone calls and internet/broadband use. For further details and to apply, please call 0845 4589040 and make sure you quote "Affinity 426/AF0342 Grimsby Town Supporters Trust." (Please note this offer applies to BT customers only.)

Another easy way of raising funds for the Trust at no expense to yourself, is by shopping online through GTST's portal. Simply by entering sites such as Amazon, CD Wow and via our webshop, a minimum of 4% of what you spend will be paid to the Trust in commission. For more details, click on the sign on the Trust website.

The season may have ended, but the campaign continues, and the Trust will be working hard to raise more funds over the coming months. So if you think you can help us out, with your ideas, your time and particularly your enthusiasm, then please let us know.

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