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The Trust and the Fans
By: Bill Osborne
OVER 150 football trusts are now in operation around the UK. Some of them now own the club they support and others are heading down the same path.
Reading Trust have just reached their 3,000 member level and are steaming along on the road to their next level of 3,500.
Supporters Direct, which assists supporters clubs in establishing a trust and paying some of the establishment and legal costs have been awarded 1.8 million pounds to fund them over the next three years.
In making this announcement, Sports Minister, Richard Caborn said;
"It is the loyal supporters on the terraces who will always be the beating heart of sports clubs. I am delighted that this new funding deal will help extend the influence of football Trusts in local communities while increasing and developing their role across their sport."
Since the inception of the football Trusts, supporters have gained ground in having their views and wishes not only accepted but implemented and a recent report recommends that supporters should be part of the consultation and planning stages of new initiatives in football.
The aim of most Trusts is to own their club or have representation on the board of directors and many Trusts have achieved both.
But not at Grimsby Town.
Town fans are noted for their apathy and insularity. Although the Grimsby Town Supporters Trust exists, it receives very little support in relation to its membership level in comparison to the number of supporters of the club.
Town fans seem to enjoy criticising what the Trust does instead of helping it achieve its aims. One cannot blame the Town directors for not having a rep on the board, which was always their intention.
But the board need to see that the Trust really represents the supporters and that the supporters are in fact supporting.
The Trust that is, not the club.
Over 150 Trusts around the UK and Grimsby's stands out. It probably has the least number of members per capita of them all except those just starting up.
The Trust movement is the future of football and when the crunch comes, many of them are able to step in and help the club through some very trying times, with one club helping to pay players wages in order to keep their club afloat.
That could never happen in Grimsby. One only has to look at the Keep The Mariners Afloat campaign and how few supported it. There are a core of Grimsby supporters who support everything when it is needed. But they are few.
The majority of Town fans are strong on words and very weak on action.
If the club ever reaches a position where it needs the fans to save it, you may as well wave it farewell now.
That is the sad truth.
But we are not in that position yet and Town fans have the chance to get themselves involved in the Trust and give it the support it deserves.
Forget today. We need to look to the future and The Grimsby Town Trust is the only group who are looking to preserve the future of our club.
It is amazing how many times people have been worried about the future of our club especially over the last few years. Yet it is these people who have done nothing to help. Instead they look to find someone to blame or demand that the chairman puts all his money into it to keep it afloat.
If the fans and supporters are to be true partners in the club then they will have to get on their feet and make it happen and to do that, they could start by joining the Grimsby Town Supporters Trust as a first step.
Just click HERE to join your fellow supporters who are already members and helping to secure the long term future of our club.
It will not cost you the earth and you will be doing what is best for your club.
C'mon guys and gals. It is your club and your Trust. Sign up today!
This site is by the fans, for the fans, and we will consider articles on any subject relating to the Mariners whether it be related to current news, a nostalgic look back in the past, a story about a player, a game or games in the past, something about Blundell Park or football in general. Click here to submit your article!
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