Morecambe FC’s new owners have one simple message for local businesses and potential hospitality clients: we’re open for business.
The Shrimps’ hospitality department has won awards in recent years for the service provided at the Globe Arena on matchdays.
Now, one of the aims for majority shareholders Jason Whittingham and Colin Goldring, is to build on that success with increased commercial activity after they agreed to fund the club for the next two years.
Asked at Wednesday’s fans forum as to how they could build value to the club off the field, Mr Goldring said: “In relation to revenue, there will be a natural increase from the positivity of the takeover, from the guarantee of our support.
“The natural stability of the next two years means people booking weddings or birthdays know they are guaranteed, that they can book hospitality.”
Mr Whittingham added: “We have to make more of the commercial opportunities we have here; the stadium has some of the best conference facilities in the area.
“We have a colleague who is actively pushing social media to increase penetration and engage with fans and businesses.
“There are other things we’re working on but we would rather announce them as they happen rather than do it now and let you say: ‘You promised this.’”
One way of generating further revenue would be to sell the naming rights to the ground.
The stadium has been without a title sponsor since the demise of Globe Management Construction.
Talks are ongoing with possible naming partners but any funds as a result of the deal will be an added bonus in terms of the club’s budget.
“I quite like the name ‘Globe Arena’ but there is an opportunity for a sponsor to take ground naming rights,” Mr Goldring said.
“The board and I are happy to keep it as the Globe Arena but I think we should get the right deal for the club.”
Mr Whittingham said: “There is zero in the budget for stadium naming; we are in talks for the stadium name but whatever we get is over and above what we’re expecting.”
The forum also heard from director and company secretary, Graham Howse, who addressed the way in which the new majority shareholders had injected funds into the club.
“There’s going to be an issue of another 750,000 shares funded by the two guys,” he said.
“That’s a definite commitment to the club and makes a massive difference to the balance sheet.
“As Colin and Jason have said, considerable funds have come in as seen by the way we have paid wages over the last three to four months.
“It takes the pressure off and allows the directors to look at new opportunities rather than firefighting all the time.
“That’s a massive positive from our perspective.”