Mariners CEO jumps ship with new EFL role

Debbie Cook

The chief executive of Grimsby Town is to leave the club after two-and-a-half-years in charge to take a new role at the EFL.

Debbie Cook leaves the Mariners to become the EFL’s new director of community and will be responsible for overseeing the management of the EFL’s charitable arm, the EFL Trust.

Having worked in local government for 22 years, Cook brings a wealth of leadership experience, previously holding CEO positions at a national health charity and YMCA Humber respectively, before joining Grimsby Town as CEO in June 2021.

She will also join the League’s Executive Leadership team after leaving Blundell Park in February next year.

Trevor Birch, CEO of the EFL, said: “I’m thrilled to welcome Debbie to the EFL, bringing with her a wealth of expertise and leadership skills across the sports and charity sectors. I have no doubt that Debbie will make a significant contribution to the League’s Executive team while overseeing operations of the EFL Trust.”

Cook, said: “EFL Clubs make a huge impact on communities on a scale which is unprecedented in this country and I’m excited to be joining the EFL as we seek to build on the amazing work that goes on day in, day out. It’s been a privilege to witness at Grimsby Town Football Club just how much a club can represent a community and impact the lives of so many people. The lessons I have learned during my wonderful period at the club will inform much of my work and I am excited to take on this new challenge.”

Grimsby Town chair Jason Stockwood said: “On a personal level, I’m delighted for Debbie. People won’t know that when we first met, we said that our job is to make you successful and if you get a job that’s bigger and better, you’d have my complete blessing and support – and that’s what this is. But she’s been brilliant for this football club, a massive part of the culture changes and a great colleague and ally for me over the last couple of years. I’ll miss her, but I’m thrilled for her and it’s no less than she deserves. Debbie and her family will always be welcome at GTFC.”

Grimsby town currently lie 20th in League two, after a 1-1 draw with MK Dons on Tuesday evening (28 November).