Marine fans ignore lockdown rules to welcome side ahead of FA Cup third round tie with Tottenham


Marine fans ignored UK lockdown rules to welcome their side ahead of their historic FA Cup third round clash with Tottenham. 

The eighth-tier outfit were gearing up for the biggest game in the Merseyside club’s history, with the unfancied outfit gearing up for a fairytale story.

But with the UK’s latest lockdown due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, fans are unable to watch the game from inside the stadium.

Fans of non-league side Marine appear to ignore UK lockdown rules to welcome the team

The eighth-tier team are facing Tottenham in the biggest game in the club's history

The eighth-tier team are facing Tottenham in the biggest game in the club’s history

Fans applauded and cheered on the Marine players as they arrived at Rosset Park Stadium

Fans applauded and cheered on the Marine players as they arrived at Rosset Park Stadium

That hasn’t stopped their fans from turning up to the club’s Rosset Park Stadium though, as their team’s bus was welcomed by scores of fans who came to applaud and cheer them on ahead of their clash against the Premier League giants. 

The local police responded to the crowds emerging outside, insisting the vast majority of fans adhered to social distancing despite the new lockdown rules stating people can only go out for essential reasons.

A statement read: ‘Officers are in Crosby this afternoon ahead of Marine’s FA Cup tie with Tottenham Hotspur.

‘A small gathering took place ahead of the arrival of the team coaches, and road closures were put in place to facilitate this arrival safely. The vast majority of people present were adhering to social distancing measures and those who were not were advised by officers.

‘As we have done throughout this pandemic, we will always try to strive to encourage people to disperse and go home peacefully. But where we face blatant breaches of legislation, people ignoring the restrictions and even obstructing police from carrying out their duty, our officers will not hesitate to take enforcement action. Those attending have now left the area and we hope everyone enjoys the occasion safely at home.’ 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the country’s third national lockdown on Monday, meaning people must stay at home and only go out for essential reasons.

Elite sport is allowed to continue under the lockdown, but only behind closed doors.

The Northern Premier League Division One side had hoped to be able to welcome 500 supporters for the third round fixture before their hopes were dashed due to the national lockdown.

It meant that they were staring at £100,000 in lost revenue, while a sponsor pulled out of a £20,000 advertising package when the game went behind closed doors. 

However, former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher stepped in to sponsor Marine’s dugouts and pre-match warm-up tops through his JC23 Foundation charity.

The national lockdown means people can only leave home for essential reasons

The national lockdown means people can only leave home for essential reasons

To make up for the loss in revenue,  Marine also raised funds by selling virtual tickets at £10 each which will go into a raffle.

The club announced on Twitter on Sunday afternoon that they had reached their goal of 20,000 virtual ticket sales.

Coronavirus cases have been rising in the Premier League in recent weeks with Aston Villa most recently having their whole first-team go into isolation after ten of their players tested positive on the eve of their FA Cup clash with Liverpool.

Derby like Aston Villa, were forced to play their youth players in their respective FA Cup games with Wayne Rooney’s side also in self-isolation after a number of positive tests.

Southampton’s clash with Shrewsbury was also postponed after an outbreak at the League One club, with the FA to decide whether the match is rearranged or the Premier League side given a bye to the fourth round. 

The EFL’s recent round of testing saw 112 positive cases out of 3,507 players and staff across the three divisions.

The Premier League’s recent testing saw their number of Covid cases double in a week with 40 positive tests out of 2,295. 

Marine sold 20,000 virtual tickets to make up for lost revenue with game behind closed doors

Marine sold 20,000 virtual tickets to make up for lost revenue with game behind closed doors

A number of top-flight stars were caught attending or hosting events over the Christmas and New Year period which broke national guidelines on households mixing.

Among them was Manchester City’s Benjamin Mendy, who hosted a New Year’s Eve party and three Tottenham players – Erik Lamela, Giovani Lo Celso and Sergio Reguilon – who celebrated Christmas together with West Ham’s Manuel Lanzini.

The PFA has called on players to set ‘the right example to millions of fans and young people’.

‘Your support has been a major factor in getting football up and running again, and we commend your collective efforts so far,’ the union added in its statement to players.

‘We are now entering another critical stage of the pandemic. Although prospects are brighter due to the vaccine’s imminent rollout, players must continue to take the lead and act responsibly and professionally.’

‘Between now and the end of the season, we ask that you continue to take personal responsibility and follow the lockdown rules, without exception.’  

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