THE Shrimps are facing tough times as crowd numbers have continued to fall since the much trumpeted opening of the Globe Arena on Westgate.
In May, the war cry from Morecambe chairman Peter McGuigan was for the town to support new manager Jim Bentley: “All I would ask is that is easy to support a winning team and I would ask fans to show their support when times are tough,” said McGuigan.
However, even after the Shrimps picked up their first back-to-back wins in nearly two seasons at the Globe Arena, just 1,246 fans turned out to see the home defeat to bottom side Dagenham and Redbridge last Tuesday night.
McGuigan had wanted to build the crowd to an average of 2,700, a figure which has been surpassed just once in the league this season when 3,012 came to see the visit of Rotherham at the end of October, when the Shrimps were challenging near the top of the league.
Chief executive Rod Taylor admitted to The Visitor that recent attendances, including the 1,316 for the game against Macclesfield last month, were “way below budget” but said the club would not need to sell players to balance the books.
He said: “I think we are disappointed (about the attendance against Dagenham). The crowd was disappointing because of the last four results. We were unbeaten in four and we expected it to be bigger.
“It’s way below budget and we need people to come out and support Jim and the team. I don’t think it’s a case of cutting costs. It’s about looking to grow the crowd.
“We have people like the financial director to keep an eye on this and that is what they are employed to do.
“At this moment we are not in the position where we need to sell players.
“We made a loss last year and a loss the year before that too. We’re not blind to that but it’s a massive balancing act.”
See The Visitor (06-03-12) for full story.