Happy Friday to you all!
It seems like a blink of the eye since I last spoke to everyone, but it is time again to update you on what has been happening off the pitch, and some of the exciting plans we have lined up in the near future!
We have experienced some wonderful games over the last month, not least the memorable victory over Sheffield Wednesday, which saw a Mazuma Stadium record attendance – thank you to all who came along and created the atmosphere that no doubt drove the team over the line – your support so far, home and away, cannot be underestimated.
Bartercard Terrace – roof and new cabins
In all honesty, we have not been able to push on with the works due to the hectic home schedule over the last month, along with certain issues that are beyond the club’s control. That however is all in the past, and I am hoping that you will be able to see progress behind the terrace between now and the Cambridge United fixture.
We will have the work done ahead of the winter months as previously stated – even if I have to get on the tools myself!
The new bar and food cabins behind the Bartercard Terrace are now up and running, to help satisfy the increased demand with our unprecedented home support. Due to having no crowds present for the previous year or so, and with the majority of our staff being new to the club, they had not experienced a ‘proper’ matchday, and so understandably it has taken a little time for them to be trained up and find their feet.
Again, following the first batch of home games, we are hopefully now able to offer a better service and experience for supporters across all of our serveries and concourses – including cashless payments at each outlet. We did experience technical issues with the new card readers on the MGS Terrace, for which we apologise, but I understand this is now resolved and working correctly.
We do have a further food cabin on the forecourt between the Bartercard Terrace and the Wright & Lord stand – we aim to have this open in the near future with a wider selection of food and drink to offer even more choice again – and chips for those who do not watch games from the Bartercard Terrace!
I must admit – you drank us out of San Miguel at the first game in which we opened the new bar behind the Bartercard Terrace, so fair play to all – we are now much better prepared to ensure adequate stock of all food and beverages.
Retail and Ticketing
Following Graham Fagan’s move to pastures new, we have spent appropriate time ensuring a full and thorough recruitment process for his successors. On that, I am pleased to welcome Anya Wood from Barrow AFC as our new Ticket Office Manager.
Anya joins on 27 September and will be tasked with ensuring the best possible standards from our ticketing function, particularly focusing on the supporter experience in buying tickets (and season tickets come next year).
We certainly acknowledge that there is plenty of work to do in this area, particularly online, but progress has and will continue to be made, as we work with our ticketing partner to fine tune all aspects of the service. Anya has strong experience in the department and we look forward to her becoming a key member of the Morecambe FC team.
In further good news, we have also appointed Owen Lambert as Retail Manager. Owen may be familiar with supporters as he has been assisting in the shop over the summer, and he has come through the recruitment process for the role as the outstanding candidate.
With a strong eye for detail, and an appreciation for the importance of great supporter service, Owen has been tasked with improving our retail operation both in store and online. We are pleased to let you know that club has recently received a shipment of retail items, including training wear, leisure wear and a variety of merchandise, which can now be found on the online club shop and in store when you visit.
We are expecting the next batch of replica shirts, home and away, to arrive in the next few weeks – all pre-orders will be fulfilled first, with all remaining stock then going on sale. We are hopeful that we have managed to meet anticipated demand on the replica kit, but I would urge anyone who is looking to buy shirts as presents ahead of the festive period to buy as soon as possible to avoid any potential disappointment!
The online club shop is currently undergoing significant work, development and investment, and we expect to launch an all new and improved online shop in the New Year.
Similarly, ahead of the festive period, the club shop will be undergoing a small makeover and reshuffle, which should lead to an improved experience and offer for supporters who visit us both through the week and on matchdays.
The uptake since my last update has been nothing short of outstanding – we have now surpassed the 2,500 mark for season ticket sales, which was almost unthinkable before the initiative was launched in June.
Thank you to each and every supporter who has so far bought a ticket, spread the word, convinced a friend, family member or colleague to also get involved! We are already looking ahead at next season’s plan, and how we can improve the whole experience yet again. We will look to post out season tickets next summer, to avoid the need to visit the club shop where possible, which I know got very busy at the first couple of games.
Please continue to spread the word on season tickets, as they will make a great Christmas present – remember, they will hold their value well into the New Year, with U14s at £20!
New Seats – Wright & Lord Stand
A huge thank you is in order to the volunteers from the Shrimps Trust who came down ahead of the PNE fixture and swapped out all the red seats in the Wright & Lord stand. I hope you agree that it has given the place a huge visual lift and there is a freshness around the stadium once again!
A reminder - we are still hoping to replace the rest of the seats over the coming few seasons, and this seems the right time to nudge supporters who may not yet have done so, to get signed up to the Shrimps Lottery, where there are chances to win cash prizes each week, and even better – we have committed all profit raised will be reinvested in ground improvements. More details on this can be found at https://www.morecambefc.com/club/lottery/.
Ticket sales have been very promising ahead of this Saturday’s game away at Doncaster Rovers, with around 300 now pre-sold. We would urge supporters to buy their tickets in advance, which can be bought in the club shop, over the phone or ideally, online.
Tickets will need to be collected either from the Mazuma Stadium before 4.30pm on Friday evening, or on the day at Doncaster Rovers.
Please note, if you bought online you may have received a QR code or e-ticket. This is your receipt and IS NOT your match ticket. You will need to collect your physical match ticket as detailed above. We will look at how we can make this process clearer moving forwards. Further information can be found at https://www.morecambefc.com/news/2021/september/doncaster-rovers-a-ticket-details/
Crewe Alexandra (a) and Accrington Stanley (h) tickets are also currently on sale – these can be bought via the same methods as detailed above. Seats for our home fixtures are limited, and what remain are proving very popular every game, and as such, we would urge anyone who wishes to purchase one to do so as early as possible. Tickets for home fixtures will go on sale around 12 days prior to the game moving forwards.
Media & Communications
Ryan Daly and Matt Smith are quickly proving to be Morecambe’s answer to Ant and Dec! We hope that supporters are enjoying the fresh, new output on the club website and social media, and most importantly, feel well informed and engaged with the variety of content that they are delivering.
We have introduced increased and refined pre-match build up and post-match reaction, a more varied match day offer on social media and I know that the media team have plenty more ideas and plans in the pipeline.
They have been working once again with our friends at Represent Media, who produced the wonderful pre season video at the Blackpool fixture, to improve our graphics and match day GIFS.
These are set to debut over the coming fixtures, so keep an eye out and let us know your favourites! We continue to look at how we can improve the coverage of the Academy, Community, Retail & Ticketing, Commercial & Events departments, and we will be adding to the team utilising the local colleges and universities to offer local young people opportunity to get involved with our media coverage across the club.
We are moving forwards across all departments at a pace not seen before at the club. For me, it is so exciting, and ultimately our goal is to improve the experience that every person has when they interact with Morecambe FC, whether that be on a matchday, online, at an event at the Mazuma Stadium or any other time.
We hope that you are seeing the progress we are making day to day and game to game – but I can assure you that we have big plans, and a long way to go to reach the standards and levels that we strive to achieve.
We won’t always get things right, and when we don’t, we will identify this, learn and make sure we improve. I have been paying close attention to all of our operations, including matchdays, and we will continue to look at how we can improve, extend and develop what we offer.
I am hoping to bump into more and more supporters as time goes on, as it has been great to meet a number of you so far – and as I said at the start – your support is invaluable and integral to what we can and will achieve.