Marine FC to step up plans for new stadium

Just days after securing promotion to the National League North Merseyside football club Marine FC is looking to raise £5m to develop a new stadium. Tony McDonough reports

Marine FC
Marine Travel Arena, home of Marine Football Club


Marine FC is looking to raise £5m as it pushes forward with plans to build a new stadium close to its long-time Crosby home.

Just a week ago the club secured promotion to the National League North after victory over Macclesfield in the Northern Premier League (NPL) play-off final. The Mariners have played in the NPL for 45 years.

In May last year chairman Paul Leary told LBN the club was at a “high point in its history”. Its fortunes had been boosted by a third round FA Cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur in 2021. This put Marine in the national spotlight and led to an immediate financial windfall.

But the effect was to last much longer. Prior to the Spurs tie, average attendances at its Marine Travel Arena stadium averaged 350 to 400. Since then that average has shot up to more than 1,200, boosting revenues further.

On Tuesday Marine chief executive James Leary said the club was now ready to push on to the next level both on and off the pitch.

In a statement on the club’s website, he said: “In 2019 we launched a five-year plan to move Marine Football Club forward in all areas on and off the field.

“A crucial element of the plan was to future proof the potential upward movement of the club through the pyramid by removing the challenges posed at the current site. Accordingly, two years ago we embarked on a project to progress with the build of a new stadium.

“Our ideal aim is to retain the current Marine Travel Arena as a community hub, but build a new purpose-built stadium to enhance community sports and recreation facilities in the local area.

“Having our current stadium facility with one of the few 3G pitches in the Crosby area is something we do not want to lose. This is however funding dependent. Marine Football Club is targeting the raising of £5m to complete the development of the new stadium.

“We identified 16 sites within the local area and explored each one to assess the feasibility from a planning and construction perspective. We have now reduced the 16 sites down to three potential locations.”

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James described the progress on the field as “staggering”, confirming that attendances have increased to an all-time high.

He added: “Our promotion means that not only are we expecting another step-change increase in attendances, but our need to remove the constraints that limit us as a football club has accelerated dramatically.

“To get to this stage has taken a lot of blood sweat and tears, meetings, phone calls. There has been a lot of excitement, frustration and learning.

“We have had fantastic support from the Officers of Sefton Council. We are now at a critical stage where we are hoping to secure one of our land options over the coming months.”


Marine, FA Cup
Marine lined up at home against Tottenham Hotspur in January 2021


He said Marine was now looking for any people who can assist with the funding element through donations, investment, professional expertise, construction related companies.

“Anybody who knows of any resources or funds,” said James. “Anybody who wants to get involved with the football club and help support the football club financially during what will be a huge period of excitement, growth and transformation.”

People can get in touch with James by emailing for a confidential initial conversation.

Marine was founded in 1894 by a group of local businessmen and former college students. It was named after a nearby seafront hotel.

It moved to its present home in 1903. The stadium was formerly known as Rossett Park before being renamed as the Marine Travel Arena.

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