Shrimps chairman: Newcastle tie will be a great occasion for town

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Morecambe’s Capital One Cup clash with Newcastle will be a “great day for the town”, according to chairman Peter McGuigan.

The Shrimps landed the televised tie on Wednesday, August 28, after dumping Wolves out in the first round in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

And as a well as netting the Shrimps £175,000 in TV money, McGuigan believes it will be a great occasion for Morecambe as a whole.

He said: “We wanted either Liverpool, Everton or Newcastle so it was great to draw Newcastle and to get the news on Friday lunchtime we were on Sky again was brilliant.

“We’re delighted but it won’t just be great for the club it’ll be great for the town.

“I just don’t think people see what it does for the town.

“To have 1,500 or 1,800 Newcastle fans spending a bit of money is fantastic for the town.”

McGuigan urged Shrimps fans to sell out the Globe Arena for the game instead of electing to take in the game on TV, labelling it the club’s biggest game since the Conference play-off final at Wembley in 2007.

He said: “It will get people down to the Globe but I’m not sure how many and won’t know until kick-off time on the Wednesday night.

“If Newcastle have 1,800 fans then the question is can we sell 3,700 to 4,000 tickets to Morecambe fans?

“I’d like to think that we can but at the end of the day people will come if they want to but if they don’t they’ll stay at home and watch it on TV.

“We hope people come out and experience the atmosphere of 5,500 people at the Globe but some may buy a few cans of beer from Tesco and stay on the sofa.

“But it’s a Premier League club and it is our biggest game since Wembley. They have 55,000 supporters watch them at home every week and for us to be playing them shows how far we’ve come.”

The Shrimps chief also hopes the cup run will have a lasting impact on attendances at the club’s Westgate home as well as the short-term financial boost TV stardom offers.

He said: “We sold out the Wright and Lord hospitality and sponsorship within 24 hours and it will be interesting to see how fans respond when it comes to tickets.

“We got £75,000 from Sky for the first round and will get £100,000 for the second too.

“It gives us short-term stability and hopefully supporters will come back for league games and take us above 2,000 crowds.

“2,300 or 2,400 gives us a great atmosphere and hopefully the Wolves and Newcastle games can inspire that.”

On the field the chairman is confident boss Jim Bentley can mastermind another upset having seen the Shrimps deservedly upset League 1 title favourites Wolves thanks to Ryan Williams’ stunning free-kick five minutes from time.

McGuigan said: “People talk about playing budgets and cuts here and cuts there, but Jim has assembled a squad with a great mix of youth and experience which we showed against Wolves.

“We deserved to win, it wasn’t a fluke, and we’re looking forward to playing Newcastle.”