Derek Quinn column: Town must support Shrimps

Morecambe fans at The Globe Arena.
Morecambe fans at The Globe Arena.
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I have spent much of the last week in conversation with national media people excited about the offer of the free game at Morecambe Football Club on Tuesday against Dagenham.

To a person they have praised the club and backed the idea with words such as “inspirational” and “fantastic” and the PR for the club has been superb.

Looking at it, it is an amazingly brave decision by the club as no matter what happens they will lose some money in what are particularly difficult times and I can only hope it pays dividends.

With that in mind, I found it really difficult to hide my frustration at the poll on The Visitor website that currently shows more than 50 per cent of those who have voted would still not come to the game even though it is free.

For me that it is a big problem the club faces - the apathy of the local population.

The fact people would actively seek out a poll to answer no to a free offer says a lot in itself about that problem.

It is an apathy that I hear time and time again and it is massively frustrating.

I do fully understand the financial aspects of life at the moment and I know that football is a luxury that some people just cannot afford and no-one could have any argument against that.

But there are also those that seem happy to just put the club down whenever they can.

For years people told me Morecambe did not have the ambition to get into the Conference. Then I was told they would not have the desire to be in the Football League.

I even heard one person criticise the club because they had wasted money because the dressing room benches at Christie Park were too big!

But despite all that Morecambe did make the league, thanks in the main to two good managers, a fantastic board of directors, and the dedication of a whole host of backroom staff and volunteers and supporters over many years.

For people who have supported the club for those years this remains a massive achievement for the club.

But unfortunately a lot of people do not appreciate the magnitude of that achievement and seem to struggle with the fact that a Morecambe team, with average gates of 2,000, is not hammering sides like Oxford and Bradford with all the resources and history they have behind them.

The truth is the people of Morecambe need to support their club far better than they have done.

Without bigger support, and I am almost choking as I say this, a relegation battle is almost inevitable at some stage over the next few years.

Teams with small fan bases such as Macclesfield will survive - but only for so long.

You can be a small fish in a big pond, but eventually the shark will come along and gobble you up.