No to B teams. Yes to the Internet Mariners

Cod Almighty | Article

by Cod Almighty

31 August 2019

Once again, the Football League is trying to ram B teams down our throats. But this Tuesday, Town fans can both boycott B teams and support the Mariners

What for the last two seasons has been the Check-a-Trade Trophy is back, under a new sponsor. is the new name, but it is still the same old shit: we provide the name only so you know who not to do any business with.

The Trophy still pitches clubs from the third and fourth divisions against B teams from the top two leagues. As regular/original Diary wrote three years ago:

"In English football culture there is an ingrained and enduring belief that football at all levels has value, and a kind of moral equality. We appreciate that, whether the match you're watching is at the Etihad, the Emirates, Gresty Road, or the A1 Gas Force Arena, there is always the chance of experiencing something that can engage the soul... Resist B teams in the Trophy, and you help to preserve one of the few things left to be proud of about English football."

Resisting B teams means boycotting any trophy in which B teams play a part. The whole "competition" is devalued by their presence.

You are still banging on about a B team boycott? Time to move on.

If the facts had changed, we'd change our opinion. But nothing has changed. B teams have been introduced not because that is what fans want but because this is what the Premier League wants. Whether or not there is any intention to introduce B teams into the Football League, these matches are the thin end of the wedge. They undermine the status of Grimsby Town and clubs like Grimsby Town.

Doesn't what has happened to Bury show how important it is we get behind our club, help maximise its revenues?

What has happened to Bury shows the peril many clubs are under when the Premier League is allowed to dictate how the game is run, skewing football finance to their own advantage. The Trophy will only accentuate that trend, making it easier for the top clubs to sustain their hoarding of young players while offering only crumbs to the rest.

OK, but I'm a Town fan. I want to support Town.

You can still support Town, have a great evening and boycott a Trophy wrecked by B teams. On Tuesday night, the Internet Mariners play an Iron Bru XI from Scunthorpe. It will help raise money for two good causes: the Rock Foundation and the children's ward at Scunthorpe Hospital.

You will remember that two years ago, the Internet Mariners arranged another B team boycott match against the Donny R'sonists. Lee Johnson was there:

"The thing I love about football is that, whatever the level, as long as there's passion and commitment on show I become absorbed. On this day that wasn't in question. A comical pitch invasion by a very small dog and its very slow owner added to rather than detracted from the spectacle... This game represented those very ideals which drew me to it more than 40 years ago: passion, commitment and, perhaps most importantly, a sense of fun."

Tuesday's game offers more of the same. It is itself a good cause, and it will raise money for good causes. But above all, it will be a proper game between two teams playing out of love in front of a crowd united by the same passion for football. It promises to be a great evening. 

Match details

Internet Mariners v Iron Bru XI
Venue: Lucarly's, Wilton Road, Grimsby, DN35 4AW
Kick-off: 6.30pm
Donate to the Rock Foundation and Scunthorpe Hospital children's ward

Support the Mariners. Boycott B teams. Enjoy the game