Date: 9th June 2010 at 9:21am
Written by:

Pontoon Pat paints a black and white picture of Mike Parker in 3D and technicolour.

His and our hopes and hearts are now entwined again 24/7 and this time a life long fan has the cash to back his and our dreams of a return to the Championship and perhaps better. If Hull can go all the way and Scunthorpe do the same why can`t the Mariners? Indeed though Grimsby sits in the BSP, the change at the top at Lincoln and Grimsby could not be more different you feel. They have gone for continuation whilst Grimsby have gone for something akin to the Cod Father.

So Who is Moneyman Mike Parker?

(Warning, I suggest you crack into the World Cup cans)

Founded in 1805 by William Timothy Young the business we all know has seen several takeovers since becoming part of the Ross Group (now the Findus Group) one of Europe’s largest privately owned food businesses.

Today`s entity, formed through the merger of Young’s and Bluecrest in 1999, enjoys a 40% market share of all fish eaten in the UK. Our new Vice Chairman took over and co ran that business becoming Deputy Chief Executive of Young`s Bluecrest Seafood for 10 years from 1999, funded by Legal and General.

The takeover put Mike, Mr Griffiths and Mr Cane in pole position for a subsequent management buyout in 2002 after L & G failed to back the venture at a time of acquisition, merger and consolidation within the industry. CapVest funded this and put the capital platform in place for the purchase of Albert Fisher, Marr Food and the Macrae Food Group.

Huge modernisation and expansion of the Grimsby, Humber and Edinburgh facilities followed during 2005 and 2006 when Mike became East of Yorkshire entrepreneur of the year. He is on the board of Seafish, the public body established by the UK government and has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), a leading body in the field of developing sustainable fisheries across the world, since 2001.

The cool calculating entrepreneur certainly has the commercial gravitas and cash to put Grimsby back on the footballing map now that he has the time on his hands following Lion Capital`s £1-billion purchase of Young`s Bluecrest Seafood in July of last year. The trio at the top, Mr Griffiths, Mr Cane and our Mr Parker ended up with almost as much money as father Neptune himself. Mike still in his mid fifties felt he had too much energy to retire and some unfinished business at his local team the now not so mighty Mariners.

Strange how two things so close have gone off at such opposing tangents then come full circle. When Mike co-led that first ill-fated buyout in 1999 he had been amongst the Mariners celebrating a unique Wembley double. His and our hopes and hearts are now entwined again and this time a life long fan has the cash to back his and our dreams of a return to the Championship and perhaps better.

Mike joined the board on 10th November 2009 keen to bring success to the club he has supported for almost 50 years after taking a backseat role at Jefferson Communications who facilitate for local and national businesses. However the May 13th announcement that he would become the new Vice chairman and take up a joint £1-million share-holding commitment with John Fenty is just the start for a man getting his dream job.

‘I’m enormously excited to be involved with the football club – I’m a lifelong fan and love the club. Hopefully I can do something to help get the club moving upwards. I think John has been carrying it on his own. I now, having left my previous employment around 12 months ago, have time and money I can commit to the club”

This is good news as the need to remain full time in the face of uncertainty with regard to gates and commercial revenue sees Mike arrive to help John Fenty at the perfect time. Depending on whether your glass is half empty or half full would decide whether desperation or opportunity would be the more apt concepts.

Mike refreshingly has a ‘can do` attitude when it comes to commercial skills and dealing with companies. With his track record and passion for the club you feel his full time role running the clubs commercial and marketing, and community side will suit him like a duck to water. Mike will also have an eye on the future overseeing Youth Development, the School of Excellence and the Young Scholars

Actions however speak louder than words; I`ll leave you with these not so hollow ones from the Mariner himself.

‘I think I can raise the vision. I was born and bred in Grimsby. I live here, it’s been very good for me and I want to put something back.”

And long term benefactor Fenty found him.