Tuesday, 23 Jul 2024

Richard Cross – Club Secretary, Marine FC


Richard Cross is the Club Secretary of Marine FC, a role that involves managing player administration and implementing new Covid-safe protocols. In this article, Richard shares insights into his interesting and varied role, as well as discussing the magic of the FA Cup.

When did you start working for Marine FC and how did that opportunity arise?

Richard’s journey with Marine FC began 25 years ago when a neighbor gave him a free ticket to a game. He started volunteering in various roles, eventually joining the club’s committee. In 2008, he became the Football Secretary and in 2010, he took on the role of Club Secretary.

The experience of non-league football

Non-league football provides valuable experience and opportunities to liaise with football bodies and work within the rules of the FA. Richard encourages those interested in the football industry to get involved at the non-league level, highlighting that it offers a better standard than many people realize and provides a chance to learn key skills.

Marine’s FA Cup run

Marine had a remarkable journey in the FA Cup this year, surprising everyone by reaching the third round. Richard describes the elation they felt after winning a game they were losing in the preliminary round. The team’s success has not only had an impact on the club but has also lifted the spirits of people during a challenging time.

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Adapting during the pandemic

The pandemic brought about new challenges for Marine FC and Richard’s role as Club Secretary. Strict protocols had to be implemented, including capturing full details of everyone in attendance, managing site visits to ensure COVID-19 safety, and coordinating COVID-19 testing sessions for matches. Despite the difficulties, the club has successfully adapted and become COVID-compliant.

Skills required for a Club Secretary

Being a Club Secretary requires excellent IT and administration skills, as well as effective verbal and written communication. The role involves liaising with various personnel and stakeholders, managing deadlines, and prioritizing workloads. Discretion in handling confidential information is also crucial.

A typical day as Club Secretary at Marine FC

Richard’s workday varies depending on the time of year. While summer is often considered quieter, it is actually the busiest time for him, with tasks such as completing license applications, managing player registrations, and ordering kit. During the season, he responds to communications from the FA, league, supporters, and suppliers. Matchdays bring additional responsibilities, including completing and submitting team sheets and post-match administration.

The enjoyable and difficult aspects of the role

The most rewarding part of being a Club Secretary is witnessing success on the pitch. Richard appreciates the sense of accomplishment that comes from contributing to the team’s achievements. On the other hand, ensuring new players are eligible to join the club and meeting strict registration deadlines can be challenging.

Career highlights and advice for aspiring professionals

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Reaching the third round of the FA Cup this season stands as a career highlight for Richard. His advice to those hoping to work in the football industry is to volunteer at their local non-league club, as it provides an opportunity to gain experience and become part of a supportive community. He emphasizes that there will always be someone available to help when faced with new challenges.

Future career aspirations

Richard looks forward to continuing his role and assisting with the off-field success of the club. He hopes to work towards on-field success and progress up the non-league pyramid. Despite never imagining his journey would lead him to where he is today, Richard takes pride in his achievements and the contribution he has made to Marine FC’s success.


Q: How can I get involved in non-league football?
A: Contact your local non-league club and offer your support. They are always looking for volunteers, and you will become part of a supportive community.

Q: What skills are essential for a Club Secretary position?
A: Excellent IT and administration skills, effective communication (both verbal and written), organization, teamwork, and problem-solving abilities are crucial for a Club Secretary.


Richard Cross, the Club Secretary of Marine FC, shares insights into his role and the challenges and successes he has experienced. From managing player administration to implementing COVID-19 protocols, Richard’s dedication and passion for the club shine through. Aspiring professionals in the football industry can learn from his advice to get involved at the non-league level and embrace the opportunities it offers. Marine FC’s remarkable FA Cup run has not only brought joy to the club but has also uplifted people during these challenging times. Richard looks forward to continuing his contribution to the success of the club and progressing up the non-league pyramid.

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Researcher/Editor: Sascha Gustard-Brown