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Q&A with CEO Ben Sadler

7 June 2022

CEO Ben Sadler recently sat down with Beyond Radio’s Dave Salmon to discuss his promotion amongst various other topics related to the Shrimps.

"I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in," Sadler said.

"I genuinely believe we’ve made progress in the last year, we’re nowhere near where we want to be, but we can absolutely take everything up another level, the main emotion is the excitement to get stuck into that challenge.

"It’s been a really interesting challenge so far, but the club is surrounded by good people, we have a good team and we’ve managed to add extra resource and experience and we’re starting to see the benefits of that.

"In football, you have to allocate resources appropriately in order to support our on field efforts and budgets we need to invest in all areas of the business, we’ve had a really good year on that front and the signs are positive.

"It felt like a natural progression for the club and for me [to become CEO] and I’m up for the challenge ahead, I have brilliant people around me and I know I’m capable.

"It’s quite simple, it’s getting the right people in the right place, with the right support, and you get on with it.

"It’s [thinking] how can we get better day in, day out, are we better in every department than we were a month ago, if you do that, 12 months down the line, suddenly you’ve made a great deal of progress.

"There is a three-year plan, ultimately we want to be sustainable as a League One club.

"Things have happened sooner than we imagined, but it means we start ahead of where we thought we’d be, which is convenient, and we still have another two years to go, we won’t rest until we’ve achieved our goals to invest in all aspects of the club and stadium.

"We haven’t got a magic pot of money, but we look at incremental gains and how we can work towards the future.”

What can you tell us about the training ground situation?

"We’ve not got a perfect solution.

"We started last season at Lancaster University where they looked after us well, but the grass pitches became an issue, we didn’t have exclusivity on them to maintain them to our standard.

"In January, we moved to Lancaster and Morecambe College, where our academy is based.

"It means we can be based at the Mazuma through the week and this integrates the whole Club and helps with our positive culture, we’ll be based at LMC this season and we have the facility long term should we need it.’’

What are your plans to enhance the matchday experience for supporters?

"We appreciate there’s much more to supporting the club than just turning up between 3 and 5 o’clock.

"We’ve made progress we’re very proud of in terms of achieving the EFL Family Excellence Award for the first time since 2018, but there’s more to do.

"We had a great community day against Burton Albion last season, I wonder if we can make most home games resemble what went on there.

"The roof behind the Bartercard terrace will be done and dusted in time for pre-season and we’re looking at other things we can do, maybe some entertainment and keeping prices competitive.’’

Regarding health and safety, what will the Club do to maximise this going forwards?

"The Bolton game was a learning experience for everyone, we showed against Ipswich and Sunderland that we nailed it, with bigger crowds.

"We go into next season confident we know what we’re dealing with.

"The wall behind the away end is only knee high. We’re looking at making the barrier higher, which won’t be perfect, but it should mean you can’t just hop over and enter the pitch.’’

What is the latest on the community pitches behind the Mazuma Stadium?

"We’re looking at different avenues, we’d love nothing more than for them to be bought back into daily use.

"Ultimately, we don’t own them.

"While we’ve had contact, it’s out of our hands at present, but we’d love to change that.’’

Is there a plan for club organised away travel next season?

"Last season, the idea was to try and get at least one bus going to every game, be that private or through the club initiatives.

"We have the same wish this season – to get as many people to away games as we can.

"There are no plans at present for official travel, but in the coming weeks we’ll be speaking to the Shrimps Trust and we’ll find a solution.’’

When will the 2022/23 kit be revealed and on sale?

"The new shirts have been slightly delayed.

"They were due to land next week but I understand there’s been a delay that’s out of our hands.

"The designs have been in for a long time, but delivery is a couple of weeks away, we’re looking at mid-June.

"The new shirt is an absolute belter and will be really popular, an appropriate evolution on last season.’’

And finally, what is your message to the fans ahead of the 2022/23 Sky Bet League One season?

"Get behind us. You’ve done it for years through good times and bad.

"The people at the club get what we’re about, and we need your support, it’s top notch.

"Please buy your season tickets, get down to the games, give us feedback, we want to make everything better, day on day and the only way we can do that is if you tell us, our door is always open.

"We’re really excited for the season ahead and I hope supporters are too.’’

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