Grimsby Town notes: Our ambition is to become more representative of our fan base

Thank you to everyone who came to the AGM on Thursday night, wrote Fan Elected Director Murry Toms on behalf of the Robins Trust in our programme notes for the Grimsby Town match on Tuesday

We were pleased with the way it went, outlining our ambitious plans to grow the organisation into something a little more representative of crowds we get here at Whaddon Road.

We spent our summer reorganising the team and talking to as many people as we possibly could about who we are, what we do well and what we don’t. Now the nights are drawing in we need to get on with it and start turning all of that positivity into action, and our annual meeting was a timely opportunity to share our ideas.

Let’s be honest, there aren’t many people that want to give up their Thursday night to attend an evening of formalities but it doesn’t have to be turgid, and we tried to approach it differently this time around. Our monthly get-togethers have been enjoyable so there’s no reason why our AGM shouldn’t be too – we’re football fans after all.

We have a team of skilled and enthusiastic people, each determined to make a difference to the Trust and ultimately the club. Unfortunately Louise Plumb was absent but the remaining 12 new board members were introduced on the night so that everyone is clear on who’s who, and what skills they bring. A few old faces, and plenty of new. And a good range of ages and backgrounds.

We aimed to spread the load between as many of the new faces as possible to break the monotony with a visual presentation of what we’ve been up to over the last 12 months. We heard from Tarran on how we’ve converted a further £10,000 into shares, taking our total investment in the club to £270,630 to remain the fourth largest shareholder.

Membership has risen by 42% since the end of the financial year at the end of May, but we feel that our current tally of 330 supporters is still way short considering the size of the regular crowds we get.

It’s ambitious, but we want 1,000 people to join us. At the moment we don’t even have a thousand followers on Twitter but we’re clear on what we want to do over the next 12 months so we believe we can hit that mark.

In short it’s all about greater representation and the community around the club.

For starters we’re going to give everything a lick of paint, and I stumbled through that bit. The look and feel of what we do has remained the same since 2005 and I don’t think anyone could argue that it isn’t now a bit tired.

We shared five options for the new logo in our programme notes for the Swindon Town game and since then over 42% of the responses in the public vote decided that ‘option A’ would best represent us in the future. Soon we’ll be redesigning all of our bits and pieces.

James Young shared our new ‘RISE’ manta, distilling well over 100 pages of utterly dull rules and regulations into one handy crib sheet so that supporters can be crystal clear on what the Trust does for them. It’s here to Represent, Influence, Serve and Encourage you, but if you head over to our website you’ll need less than two minutes to fully understand our role.

Dave Jennings has been busy on the commercial front with the clear brief of creating real value to the Robins Trust membership card. He acknowledged that there have been issues in the past, but we’re tackling those to make it so simple to join and renew. His conversations with local businesses have been fruitful and in time, we are looking to add a raft of exclusive offers and discounts for all.

Myself and Dave are also meeting with the Community Trust in a few weeks time to explore a way in which we can work with them. And of course, one of our founding principles is a guaranteed cup ticket and that hasn’t changed. Now the FA Cup has come back around, you never know who that might lead in January and beyond.

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