Morecambe FC’s new owners want to work with the community to increase attendances at the Globe Arena and create a feelgood factor around the town.
Having preserved Football League status in somewhat nervy fashion at the end of last season, a new campaign and a different regime could offer hope of a brighter future.
Though Morecambe fans could be forgiven for feeling cynical given the ownership difficulties in recent seasons, the new majority shareholders, Jason Whittingham and Colin Goldring, have spoken of their desire to improve things for supporters.
“We aren’t going to sit here and over-promise on things,” Mr Whittingham told Wednesday’s fans forum.
“On the field is down to Jim but off the pitch is something we can support with our network.”
“Football clubs, in my mind, are a big part of the community, for the community, and the club is there - to an extent - to serve the community while the fans support the club,” Mr Goldring added.
“The message I’ve given to the club is that I know we have a football team on the pitch working together and it’s important we do the same off the pitch.
“All of us should be doing the same, making the same effort, and we’re going to do our best to maximise the matchday experience; we want to support the community and for the community to support us back.
“To invest into the club, we need revenue and we want to make football such an enjoyable experience that they want to come back.”
Attracting new and lapsed supporters is on the to-do list, given the club’s low average home attendance.
The aim is that a combination of on-field results, word of mouth and social media can help to generate positive publicity.
“A lot of it is reaching out to the community and getting that support,” Mr Whittingham said.
“Last season, the average (attendance) was around 1,600 or 1,700 but we want 2,000 or 2,100.
“Maybe we need something on the front of the ground to make it more attractive rather than just walking up to the ground.
“There were certain things we had to get into place like financial stability but it’s one step at a time; now we’ve stabilised the club, it’s looking at the matchday experience.”
Mr Goldring added: “We’re looking at what can be done for families and, if we can do more for the community, I’d like to think the community will get behind the club.
“I think there’s going to be a natural increase (in attendance) this season because of the promotions and relegations because there are more northern teams which will do more for the gate naturally.”