Chance for fans' voice on Grimsby Town board
THE Mariners Trust is calling for fans to help shape the future of Grimsby Town football club.
The Trust has announced that it has agreed on "the criteria" for a representative of the Trust to sit on the club's board with chief executive Ian Fleming and director John Fenty.
In order to meet the criteria, the Trust must provide £30,000 per year and increase its membership from the current figure of around 500 to 750 members.
Once this is achieved, a place on the board for a representative of the Trust would be opened up.
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Trust Chairman, Chris Parker, says that both targets are achievable, but only if fans are serious about having their voices heard in the boardroom.
Ultimately, the move would be subject to the approval of the full board, but if ratified, it would mean that there is fan representation on the board for the first time in the club's history.
Speaking to the Telegraph, Mr Parker said: "It's taken a long time to agree this with the club, but we've got there and we think we have a real opportunity.
"Now we need supporters, who care about board representation, to join us as members.
"This move won't happen unless we have 750 members, and in very round figures we currently have around 500.
"So we need to attract another 250 members and then things can move on this.
"The figure of 750 members is very much our target and is not something that's been imposed on us by the club. We feel we've got to increase the membership in order to be more representative of the fanbase.
"We've also have to raise around £30,000 – which was set by negotiation.
"But we feel that if get to 750 members and if people support the events we put on, then that figure is very achievable.
"The £30,000 will be made up in different ways.
"For example the Trust recently sponsored the coach to take the Youth team to their FA Youth Cup game at Bradford and have also covered the costs of having Sky TV installed throughout the ground.
"The Trust intend to continue to work with the club to identify specific areas for investment."
Mr Parker continued: "I can't see a negative to having fan representation on the board.
"I'm not saying it will be all roses and it will be difficult at times, but we see this as a positive step forward for the football club and its fans.
"It will mean that fans will have someone on the board, representing the views of our membership – helping to unite the fanbase and the club.
"It will give the fans a voice.
"The cost of membership to the club is not prohibitive to anyone; it only costs £12 a year by standing order.
"Membership forms are available in the bars and from the website.
"The Trust board are representative of the membership, so once fans have joined, we want to hear from them and get their views.
He added: "This move would give us a seat at the table and I'm a great believer in that you can affect things far more effectively from within than you can by not even being in the room.
"If we can get fan representation on the board, then we can start to have an influence.
"Then over time, let's see what we can achieve with the club."
For more information on the Mariners Trusts, visit www.marinerstrust.co.uk.