Marine FC launches £5m funding drive to build new stadium

Marine Travel Arena

National League North club, Marine FC, has announced a bid to raise £5m to build a new stadium.

The Crosby club, which gained promotion to the sixth tier of English football for the first time in its history with a 2-1 Northern Premier League play-off final win at Macclesfield on May 6, said it has identified three possible locations, after narrowing down its search for possible sites from 16.

It appealed for help to fund the proposed stadium, as well as to build it, from the construction industry.

The club, founded in 1894, has played at its current Marine Travel Arena (MTA) ground, formerly Rossett Park, since 1903.

It hit the national headlines in 2021 when it was drawn to play the then Premier League leaders, Tottenham Hotspur, in a third round FA Cup tie, albeit behind closed doors due to the Covid pandemic.

The tie boosted the club’s finances and its average gate, which had been around 350 per match and is now about 1,200 for home games. The club took more than 1,200 fans to Macclesfield for its recent play-off final game.

The financial boost from the Spurs game enabled Marine to install a 3G pitch, which is now a key community asset.

Now, moves are under way to retain the MTA and establish a modern new venue which would enable the club to move further up the football pyramid if promoted. The MTA is a three-sided stadium, with housing backing onto one touchline, restricting promotion to the National League.

Marine FC CEO, James Leary, announced the ambitious plans to fans, saying: “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.”

He revealed the club 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.”

He added: “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.

“Everything we have done has been planned with clear timelines in mind. It is no coincidence that we extended (manager) Neil Young’s contract 12 months ago on a three-and-a-half-year contract. This allows us to progress with our stadium plans whilst ensuring maximum stability on-the-field during this important time for the football club.

“For everything we have achieved though in the last five years, it is nothing compared to the size of the task we have ahead of us with the stadium aims. The funding is key to making it happen along with getting agreement from the key people involved with us securing the land in the first place.

“Marine Football Club are 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. 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.”

He urged anyone able to assist to email him at for a confidential initial conversation.

Once a site has been secured the club will conduct fan and community consultations.