League Two side Morecambe open their turnstiles for free to local fans
13:36 GMT, 7 January 2013
19:24 GMT, 7 January 2013
The economic climate has left some small football clubs in such dire need of support that they are having to offer free tickets to the locals.
League two side Morecambe have suffered low attendance rates all season, and are now allowing any supporters free entry to their tie with Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday.
‘It’s a chance to get the community behind the team and see if we can generate some atmosphere,’ club boss Jim Bentley told BBC Radio Lancashire.
Struggling: Morecambe has had an average attendance of less than 2,000 this season
‘If we can get three points and play well, hopefully they’ll come back as paying customers.’
‘The situation that the club’s in is not ideal,’ said Bentley of the lack of funding that’s left him unable to search out additions to the squad.
‘Everyone’s feeling the pinch and attendances haven’t been what we predicted.
‘We’re not in a position to go out and get players. We’ve got to work with what we’ve got and we’ve got a squad that will give their all.
‘It will be great if we can get a good number (of fans) in and, as I say, they can come back as paying customers. It’s the town’s football club and we need more and more people to back it.’
The Globe Arena has had an average attendance of fewer than 2,000 this season. It comes close to being the least supported team in the League. The highest it’s reached this year has been 3, 635 for their draw with Bradford on New Year’s Day.
Those in attendance have had little to cheer for so far, with Morecambe currently sitting at 19th in the table.