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The recent financial woes of Morecambe FC have been extremely well documented, with SCAN providing an in depth analysis of the situation a few issues ago. The problem surrounds ownership issues and outstanding payments yet to be made. The situation hit rock bottom when it became well reported that the fans had to collate together to start a collection raising the funds to pay manager Jim Bentley’s FA fine following his dismissal from the side-lines in the game against Cheltenham.
This moment reinforced the togetherness and feel-good spirit of the club, and expresses the idea that the fans were willing to do all they can to help the club through these difficult times. This idea has recently received a boost, as the supporters have formed a trust which has been officially licenced as a supporters’ trust. The Shrimps Trust, named after the club’s nickname, is now officially recognised as a supporters’ trust, meaning it is in a position to help the club in a number of ways. Similar examples of how supporters’ trusts can help the running of football clubs is Northampton Town, whose trust raised over £100,000 to pay the club outstanding tax bill following land ownership issues, helping the club to avoid administration, and Exeter City, whose supporters’ trust actually purchased the club in 2003 to help it recover from financial issues.
The financial worries off the pitch did appear to be affecting the players on the pitch, as the club went winless in nine games, however a vital victory over promotion chasing Stevenage on Good Friday has raised the spirit within the camp.
It looks as though Morecambe should be okay in their bid to survive from League 2, and with the development of the supporters’ trust, and the spirit, hard work and togetherness of all the fans from around the North West, Morecambe should be okay in their bid to survive as a football club. The hard work is only just beginning, however this development signals the first step along the way towards recovery.
SCAN urges any football fan to go and watch as many of the remaining Morecambe fixtures as possible this year, and any donations to the Shrimps Trust would be more than welcome; it will be such a shame to see this great football club continue to struggle!