Thursday, 23 May 2024

Richard Cross – Club Secretary, Marine FC

Richard Cross, the Club Secretary of Marine FC, has been an integral part of the team for over a decade. In this exclusive interview, Richard shares insights into his role and experiences at the club, including their incredible journey in the FA Cup. Let’s dive in and discover the behind-the-scenes happenings at Marine FC!

A Passionate Beginning

Richard’s journey with Marine FC began 25 years ago when a kind neighbor gave him a free ticket to a game. What started as a spectator experience soon turned into a volunteering opportunity. Richard dedicated his time to the club shop, producing content for the matchday program, and eventually joining the Supporters’ Club Committee. In 2010, he became the Club Secretary, a role that he continues to excel in.

Marine FC Ground
The Marine Travel Arena – Home of Marine FC

Non-League Football and Its Benefits

For those unfamiliar with non-league football, Richard emphasizes the valuable experience and opportunities it provides. He encourages everyone to seize the chance to work in non-league football, as it offers the chance to liaise with football bodies and work under the rules of the FA. Richard also highlights the misconception about the standard of non-league football, noting that it provides ample learning opportunities and equips individuals with essential skills applicable to everyday life.

FA Cup Journey and the Impact on Richard’s Role

Marine FC’s remarkable FA Cup run this year left a lasting impact on the club, its supporters, and Richard’s role as the Club Secretary. Starting as underdogs and being 1-0 down in the preliminary round against Barnoldswick Town, Marine FC’s eventual success was an incredible achievement. The team received overwhelming support and recognition from people all over the country, serving as a welcome source of inspiration during the challenging times of the pandemic.

As a non-elite club, Marine FC had to adhere to strict protocols imposed by the FA. Richard played a crucial role in ensuring compliance, from managing video conferences with medical teams to coordinating with Tottenham Hotspur. The increased workload and media attention added extra responsibilities to his already demanding role. Nonetheless, Marine FC’s FA Cup success undeniably put the club on the map.

Richard with Kelly Somers on Match of the Day Live

Navigating the Pandemic

The pandemic brought significant changes to Richard’s role as the Club Secretary. With strict protocols in place, he had to ensure the club adhered to all guidelines. Collecting attendance details for each game, managing site visits for COVID-19 secure measures, and organizing testing sessions were some of the challenges Richard faced. Despite the difficulties, Marine FC successfully adapted to the new operating methods, ensuring the safety of everyone involved.

Key Skills for a Club Secretary

Being a Club Secretary demands various skills and capabilities. Richard highlights the importance of excellent IT and administration skills, strong verbal and written communication abilities, and exceptional organization. The role requires liaising with different personnel and governing bodies, making effective interpersonal skills vital. Problem-solving skills, the ability to work under pressure, and discretion when handling confidential information are also essential qualities for success in this position.

A Day in the Life of a Club Secretary

Richard’s day-to-day responsibilities vary depending on the time of year. During the summer, the workload intensifies, involving license applications, FA and league memberships, and contract processing. Throughout the season, he handles emails and phone calls from various organizations, responding to supporters’ inquiries, and managing administrative tasks for matchdays. Richard’s dedication extends to overseeing the general operations of the club, ensuring its smooth functioning.

Presenting Player of the month award to Josh Solomon-Davies

The Joys and Challenges

For Richard, the most rewarding aspect of his role is witnessing success on the pitch. The dedication put into administrative tasks, contracts, and registrations contributes to the team’s achievements. However, the role is not without its difficulties. Verifying player eligibility, meeting strict registration deadlines, and ensuring compliance with regulations pose challenges that Richard tackles with determination and satisfaction.

Career Highlights and Advice for Aspiring Football Industry Professionals

Reaching the third round of the FA Cup this season stands out as Richard’s career highlight. The journey has been filled with uncertainty, but Marine FC’s success has brought the team closer together. Richard’s advice to aspiring football professionals is to start by volunteering at local non-league clubs. The sense of community and support within these clubs fosters personal growth and offers a chance to learn from others’ experiences. Richard emphasizes the importance of embracing challenges and taking advantage of the guidance available within the football industry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What skills are crucial for a Club Secretary position?

  • Excellent IT and administration skills
  • Strong verbal and written communication abilities
  • Exceptional organization and time management
  • Problem-solving and prioritization skills
  • Discretion in handling confidential information

Q: How has the pandemic affected Richard’s role as the Club Secretary?

  • Strict protocols and adherence to guidelines
  • Collecting attendance details for test and trace
  • Managing site visits for COVID-19 secure measures
  • Organizing testing sessions
  • Adaptation to changed matchday operations

Q: What advice does Richard have for those who hope to work in the football industry?

  • Volunteer at local non-league clubs
  • Embrace challenges and seek support within the industry
  • Take advantage of the learning opportunities available
  • Be part of the club community and contribute to its success


Richard Cross’s journey as the Club Secretary of Marine FC exemplifies the passion, dedication, and hard work required behind the scenes of a football club. From managing administrative tasks to navigating through the challenges of the pandemic, Richard’s expertise and commitment have been crucial to the success and growth of Marine FC. As the club continues to thrive, Richard’s role remains vital, ensuring all operations run smoothly both on and off the pitch.

Researcher/Editor: Sascha Gustard-Brown
Sascha Profile
Sascha, highly experienced in supporter engagement and freelance writing in football, has contributed greatly to this article.

For more information about Marine FC, visit Zerobertooficial.