In the first issue of The Mariner of 2023, CEO Debbie Cook reflected on a very memorable year for Grimsby Town Football Club.
Where do I start when it comes to reviewing 2022!? What a year, what a rollercoaster of emotions! How do you capture such a footballing year in just a few words? When I reflect on 2022, I know that our promotion campaign will stay with me forever and I’ll never forget the emotions associated with our three play-off campaign games. What a privilege it was to be a part of that and our subsequent celebrations and to share that experience with our Board, our Team and our supporters. On a personal note, I was also grateful to experience our promotion campaign with my husband and two daughters and create family, as well as professional memories, as I’m sure many of you also did.
Behind the scenes we have started a journey of transformation at the Club, and those involved will appreciate the effort and depth of work this has required.
I want to place on record my heartfelt thanks to Paul, Chris, the whole playing squad, all of our First Team Staff, all of our Academy staff and all of the staff behind the scenes at Blundell Park for their incredible hard work and dedication over this past year; what we’ve achieved working together is something we can all be proud of. It’s been a privilege to work with our whole Board and I want to thank them for their support and dedication. I’d also like to place on record my thanks to Chris Grocock, Chair and my fellow GTSET Board members for their commitment to a new Strategy and direction for our community trust.
We achieved so much together during the year. On top of the joy of our promotion I will remember that during the year our very own Board Member Kristine Green was awarded the BEM for services to Association Football in North East Lincolnshire. Also in the year, our fans were outstanding in their generosity and support, contributing to a fund to ensure that those who might not otherwise be able to afford it were able to be given tickets to our Play-off Final; the pride we all have in our Club and the wonderful spirit shown by our supporters making national news given the sentiment and scale of this wonderful act.
Thank you to all of our amazing fans and our commercial partners for your support this year; in a year where many have experienced financial challenges, we appreciate your continued support more than ever. I wish you all a happy, healthy 2023 and look forward to sharing more Mariner Memories with you.
Here are a few of our 2022 achievements:-
We were promoted back to the EFL at the first time of asking, following a hard-fought, amazing play-off campaign, etched into the heart of every Mariner!
- We launched a new, improved website and produced the first ever brand guidelines for the Club
- We launched a new Club Shop website
- We built and launched Mariners TV, creating more new and improved content for our supporters
- We became a Real Living Wage Employer (one of only two clubs in the EFL to be recognized as achieving this at the time)
- Myenergi became our new shirt sponsors and also launched their community fund; the start of a great, iconic partnership
- We increased the number of homegrown stewards to over 70% and created a stewards’ portal to improve training and communication
- At Blundell Park we upgraded the match officials’ facilities, home and away changing rooms and our dugouts to secure our EFL license to operate. We refurbished the Mascot Room, undertook extensive painting works, refurbishments of turnstiles, resurfacing works, steel work restoration and a programme of energy efficiency measures
- We submitted our application to become a B Corp certified organisation
- We agreed a new partnership with NAViGO to improve mental health support in both the Club and Community
- Recycling stations were installed at Blundell Park
- You helped us achieve record Season Ticket sales – over 5500 sold. Thank you!
- Our Women’s Team moved to our Academy in order to improve our support for them and we improved our media coverage of their wonderful season so far.
- We launched a new Community Partnership Fund thanks to the generosity of 3Q Industrial Supplies, allowing people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford to attend games to come to Blundell Park to support the Mariners
- Steve Croudson returned as Goalkeeping Coach. Joe Hutchinson joined as Head of Recruitment Analysis. Giles Coke was appointed as Player Development Coach.
- Additional resources were added to the Grounds Maintenance Team and our playing surfaces improved
- In our fan Survey 9 out of 10 fans said they felt engaged with the Club (up from 55% in 2021)
- Behind the scenes a new financial accounting system was introduced. We improved our broadband capability and work on our IT systems commenced
- Four apprentices (Jamie Bramwell, Aaron Braithwaite, Edwin Essel and Harvey Tomlinson) agreed professional contracts with the Club
- We donated £8k to the Shalom Youth Centre from profits from the sale of our third kit
- Paul and Chris signed new contracts
- We opened the Bill Carr suite
- The Mariners Trust and Club partnered to create the Club’s first Sensory Bag to help those with additional sensory requirements.
What a year! These are just a few of the things we’ve done. I’m so proud to be a part of this football club. Thank you to everyone that has contributed to our wonderful Club in 2022. And we’ll continue to improve….. UTM!
Happy New Year, Debbie