Marine manager Neil Young has admitted that he is hoping to have around 1,600 supporters in their stadium when Tottenham visit for the FA Cup third round tie next month.
Tottenham, who are sitting at the top of the Premier League, are 168 places ahead of Marine, who are currently in ninth place in the Northern Premier League – North West Division.
The tie perfectly illustrates what the magic of the FA Cup is all about and Young is hopeful that fans will be allowed to enjoy the tie at Rossett Park.
Marine’s home ground which is located in Sefton, Merseyside, is in Tier 2 of the Government’s coronavirus restrictions and Young admitted that the club is in conversation with the authorities about the number of spectators that can be allowed in.
He told The Evening Standard: “We can get about 1,600 in under the current restrictions, that may change obviously with the Government guidelines as we go forward.
“We’ll play at home hopefully. I presume they’ll be safety standards people there involved and the police will have things to say. We’ll see what happens.
“If you were to move it, you’d have to move it to another ground probably, a local ground, rather than go away from home. The plan is to play at Marine if we can. It’s a proper cup tie, it’s what the FA Cup is about. It took seven games to get here, this is our reward and they don’t come much bigger.
“Our ground actually only has three sides, there’s houses on one side. People can [watch from bedroom windows], they’ll be people in trees and everything. It’s a tight little ground, a lovely little ground and it’ll be very welcome to Tottenham Hotspur.”
While the COVID-19 pandemic has had a major financial impact on football at all levels, it is the clubs in the lower end of the pyramid that are especially badly hit by the loss of matchday revenue.
Speaking about the importance of the FA Cup to Marine, Young told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme (as relayed by Evening Standard): “We’re surviving on our FA Cup exploits. Football without fans at our level is not sustainable, the fans are the lifeblood and who pay the bills, pay players’ wages.
“If there’s’ no fans, unfortunately, there won’t be much football.”
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