Morecambe chief looks forward to seeing fans back for play-off semi-final

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Morecambe co-chairman Rod Taylor is doubly excited at what this week brings for everyone at the club.

The Shrimps meet Tranmere Rovers in the League Two play-off semi-final with the first leg at Prenton Park on Thursday (6pm).

The return match then takes place at the Mazuma Stadium next Sunday (12.30pm) with the winners booking a place in the final against either Newport County AFC or Forest Green Rovers.

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Sunday’s game will also be the first home match with fans since February 2020 as 1,558 Shrimps supporters will be allowed into the ground.

Morecambe's draw with Crewe Alexandra in February 2020 was their last home game in front of supportersMorecambe's draw with Crewe Alexandra in February 2020 was their last home game in front of supporters
Morecambe's draw with Crewe Alexandra in February 2020 was their last home game in front of supporters
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Taylor said: “As much as it’s great to be in the play-offs and in the mix for who knows where, it’s great to have some fans back – even if it’s in limited numbers.

“It’s a great problem to have, but watching football without fans isn’t right.”

Morecambe’s ticket allocation process for the home leg has, however, attracted some criticism.

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Season ticket holders for 2020/21 were given priority when they went on sale at the end of last week before all other remaining tickets were put on open sale on Saturday.

It led to questions as to why another priority window wasn’t available for people who paid to watch games on iFollow or purchased 2019/20 season tickets and didn’t renew this time around because of the uncertainty surrounding matches in 2020/21.

A statement regarding the sale of tickets for the Tranmere game is due to be issued on Monday but a number of approaches had been considered.

Taylor said: “We looked at a few options, we looked at various things we could implement.

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“Unfortunately, we couldn’t download the data from iFollow in time for the ticket launch.

“That was one of the big issues. I do understand why the question’s been asked but we’ve got to deal with what’s in front of us.”

In terms of matchday operations, it’s understood that fans will have to wear a mask inside the ground on Sunday.

Food and drink kiosks won’t be open, though – subject to confirmation – it’s believed a free bottle of water will be given to all spectators.

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Those at the game will hope to see Morecambe book their place in the final at Wembley.

The national stadium has been confirmed as the venue after speculation the play-off finals could be moved if the Champions League final was to be played there instead.

Taylor said: “Obviously we didn’t know where it was going to be last week, whether it would be Old Trafford, Villa Park or somewhere like that instead.

“I’m glad it will be Wembley and it’s a big prize on offer for all of the teams playing – not just the chance to win promotion but to do it at Wembley as well.”

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