It launched on Monday and raised more in one day than it hoped to raise in eight weeks. So just how did the Mariners Trust get Grimsby Town fans to donate more than £20,000 towards ‘Operation Promotion’ in literally a matter of hours?
After losing the play-off final in such heart-breaking circumstances you’d think we’d be down in the dumps, licking our wounds, feeling sorry for ourselves. But no. Operation Promotion has brought out the best in the Mariners.
And the total keeps rising. The last time I checked it had just ticked past £33,000 – which includes a £250 donation from celebrity fan Adam Richman. Local Euromillions winners The Mullenseseses have pledged to match the initial £20,000 target while the Trust has also promised a further £5,000.
At this level of football £58,000 can make a huge difference. Hey – it could be, like, the difference between being promoted and not being promoted!
It’s an operation that has the Football Supporters Federation taking their hats off to us. So why has this campaign – more than any other before it – been so successful?
Well I can think of 4 key reasons…
Timing is everything. A group of key players from last season had just put pen to paper on new deals. We’d also been given a couple of weeks to let the play-off final defeat sink in, and the disappointment from that day had just begun to turn into hope for the season ahead. It’s been a little friendly nudge in the right direction, at exactly the right time.
2. The Manager
The fans trust manager Paul Hurst. They know he’ll spend whatever money we raise wisely. We’ve seen his track record in this department and it’s been good. He doesn’t just sign players who are good on the field; he brings in players who are good off it too.
3. The players
For the first time in years the fans realise that this squad of players – now the core group have re-signed – are worth paying to watch. The second half of the season showed they’re playing for the club, not themselves. And the fact that players like Shaun Pearson and Josh Gowling have turned down better contracts elsewhere only solidifies their relationship with the fans.
4. The Trust
The campaign has come from the Trust. The Trust is the fans. It’s difficult to know exactly how the campaign would’ve been received had it come from the club, but I doubt it would’ve been as effective as this. The idea came from the fans, it was organised by the fans, and it was executed by the fans. We are all part of it.
And it’s this sense of inclusion that has strengthened the camaraderie among the fans. We’re all coming together for one common goal: to get Grimsby Town back in the Football League.
Strictly speaking, of course, we can only class Operation Promotion a success if we actually get promoted. But that would miss the point somewhat. It’s the taking part that counts, and at this moment in time the campaign is helping every single Grimsby fan feel as though they are playing their part.
A quick word for the Trust here, which must have worked exceptionally hard in double-quick time to get the ball rolling on this. They deserve a lot of credit for taking an idea and making it a reality.
Don’t forget – you can still donate to Operation Promotion – for the next seven and a half weeks, in fact. Who knows what kind of total we’ll eventually post?