MARINE FC are preparing for the biggest game in their 126 year history when Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur come to Crosby on Sunday.
The FA Cup Third Round clash will take place at the Marine Travel Arena at 5pm and will be screened live on BBC 1.
Sadly, due to Tier 3 Covid restrictions, no fans are allowed in the stadium to watch the Crosby minnows take on the Premiership giants and the game has to be played behind closed doors.
However, with the match being televised it will still be a bumper pay day for the Northern Premier League Division One North West outfit.
Eighth-tier Marine will be the biggest underdogs in the competition’s illustrious history when they take on the Spurs millianaires with a team made up of part-timers whose day jobs include a bin man, and a teacher. Marine manager, Neil Young, is a railway worker with Merseyrail!
For Young it’s the biggest game of his life and he is relishing pitting his football wits against Mourinho - one of the biggest names in football.
“His record is there for all to see, one of the best four or five managers in the world,” said Young.
“They'll be a tough nut for us to crack! We have to plan properly and give everything, otherwise we will be on the end of a good hiding. But if we play correctly, we can show we are a decent team.”
Marine chairman Paul Leary, told the Champion: “Our loyal fans have not been able to attend our Emirates FA Cup ties against Chester FC, Colchester Utd, Havant & Waterlooville and now Spurs.
“For Marine supporters, it means too, the loss of attending what is without doubt the most magical FA Cup tie ever with the likes of Harry Kane and Jose Mourinho visiting Marine. It also means we have now lost c. £100k in potential revenue which is a disastrous blow for our football club. This has been compounded by a sponsor pulling out of a £20k advertising package for the game.
“We appreciate it is a difficult time for everyone at the moment, but to help replace the lost revenue we launched a ‘virtual match ticket raffle’ for the game and the ‘Marine barometer’ will try and fill our 3,185 capacity stadium. A club like Marine lives for this type of FA Cup run that can make or break the club’s future.” Tickets cost £10 and can be purchased at https://marinefc.ktckts.com
All ticket purchases will be entered into a prize raffle.
“Our magical FA Cup run will hopefully allow us to secure our future for years to come,” said Paul. “We can’t express our gratitude enough for the support we have received so far from across the footballing spectrum.”
Paul, added: “Without doubt this Emirates FA Cup tie is the biggest game in our long and proud history. We did well in preparing for the Havant & Waterlooville game but this round 3 cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur in front of the BBC 1 cameras is at another level in terms of planning, logistics, safety and security.
“Sefton Council, Merseyside Police, The FA and Liverpool FC have all played a massive part in the planning and preparations for the game since the draw was made. I would like to thank everyone involved in the planning process for the part that they have played enabling this very special game to take place at The Marine Travel Arena this coming Sunday.”
l More on Marine’s magical cup tie on page 3
From page 1
Leary added: “This game is the best example of how magical The Emirates FA Cup can be.
“ It is the first time ever in the history of the FA Cup that a step 8 team has played a top flight Premier team in round 3 and the tie has caught the imagination of football fans from around the world.
“For our players, staff, supporters, sponsors, neighbours and residents of Crosby, Sefton and beyond it is a wonderful football moment that will probably never happen again.
“Every effort is being made to minimise the impact on the local community and businesses and we will continue to consult with all parties including our neighbours right up to the day of the game.”
Marine President Dave Thompson said: “On behalf of everyone at Marine I look forward to meeting the officials, staff and players of Tottenham Hotspur for this most amazing FA Cup match.
“I am so proud that we have been allowed to stage such a prestigious game at our football ground and I am sure that our visitors will enjoy the experience and the hospitality that will be provided. Our players have been tremendous in getting through seven rounds of the FA Cup and to play Tottenham Hotspur at home is a fitting reward for their magnificent efforts.”
Members of the public are advised to stay away from the College Road area immediately before, during and after the game.