For a club of Morecambe’s size and budget, simply staying in Football League year on year is a significant achievement, and one that has proven to be more and more challenging in recent seasons.
This time around, however, things seem to be looking up for the Shrimps.
A run of four wins in the last six games, including back to back home wins over promotion-chasing Forest Green Rovers and MK Dons to move them nine points clear of the relegation zone. A trip to 23rd place Notts County on Saturday gives Jim Bentley’s side another chance to take a big step towards securing survival. If they do take that chance, it will likely have a lot to do with two players recruited just a matter of weeks ago.
Since joining on loan from Carlisle in mid January, striker Richie Bennett has notched five goals and two assists in just nine appearances, while Aaron Collins, signed as a free agent in early February until the end of the season after his release from Wolves has four goals and an assist in six appearances for the Shrimps. The combination of Bennett’s physicality and Collins pace has made the two a lethal attacking duo for the Shrimps that looks to be crucial to the club’s Football League status. The worry for Morecambe, is whether or they, or many other key members of the squad, will be there to do the same for the club next season.
In what is an indication of how difficult it is for a manager like Jim Bentley at The Globe Arena to build a team against a backdrop of uncertainty both on and off the pitch, Morecambe have just six players under contract for next season, and none tied down for the season after.
Given Morecambe’s well documented financial problems it is difficult to know just what can and cannot be spent on funding contracts, particularly when there is uncertainty about which division the club will be competing in the season after.
It is a vicious cycle that proves difficult to get out of, and with heads set to be turned by the impressive form of some of those leading the Morecambe charge towards survival, the club may need to move quickly if they are to secure their longer-term prospects. If they can do that, there may yet be hope that Morecambe can get out of that cycle.