Toddle off to your local Premiership club, pay up to £80 for a seat, ( average cost is >£40 ) to watch a single game. No choice in your seat location. Told to sit down even when exciting moments. Pay £3 – £5 for a match day programme. £50+ for a replica shirt. £5 for a burger etc.
Then find the kick off time has been changed at the last minute to early morning or late night instead of 3pm. Oh yes, and after you have booked the train to get there the DAY of the game has been changed. Shame those train tickets can’t and now there are no cheap train tickets left.
Customer friendly football- not at your Premiership football club. They need every penny they can wring out of you the fan so they can pay their players a pitiful sum of up to £250,000 per WEEK.
This may be bad enough, but then said players complain they have to play 2 games in a week. When I say 2 games, I mean part of 2 games as the poor tired poverty stricken players are substituted after 2/3rds of the game to rest the poor dears.
Passion, effort and commitment are seen every game though. Shame it is from the loyal fans rather than players.
All this sound all too familiar to you as a football fan? Well stop being a mug and paying through the nose to be treated like sh*t. There is an alternative.
Get yourself down to your local non-league football club. For me growing up, my local non-league club was SPENNYMOOR UNITED. I used to go every game to watch them until I moved away to University. After that, I started watching more and more of Newcastle United and other league clubs. Indeed, until this season I was a season ticket holder at Newcastle and also at Leyton Orient. I still have my season ticket at Orient who are nearer to the alternative picture I will paint than Newcastle United are. Despite Newcastle having their best start to a season in around 18 years, I do not regret giving up my season ticket and have not been to a single game this season.
Spennymoor United are no more, they were replaced in 2005 by Spennymoor Town following a series of financial problems which are detailed elsewhere and are not relevant here. They play in the Skill Training Northern League (SNL) which is 5 levels below the Football League or 9 levels below Newcastle United.
Spennymoor get crowds of 200-300. They have a stand with around 300 seats. The rest of the ground is standing, with currently only 1 covered standing area. Sounds less appealing than a Premiership ground?
I have over the last 9 months started trying to get down to the Brewery Field when I am visiting Michelle my partner up in the North East, from my home in East London/ Essex.
Well here, you can get into the ground for £6. A programme for £1. Replica shirts for £20+. Tasty food including freshly cooked chips, curry etc. You can have a pint in the bar and still see the pitch.
Where to go in the ground, the choice is yours. You can walk round the ground, pick a spot to watch, move on at will. You can do as the faithful at Spennymoor do, stand behind the goal they are attacking in each half.
Segregation? What’s that? There is no need for segregation, alcohol bans or police officers. Indeed there are not even stewards in those horrid fluorescent jackets throwing their weight around and displaying their SIA accreditation. Fans happily mix and share banter.
There are still outbursts of songs, some supporting their team, some banter chants at opposition. Of course the referee is always a target for banter from fans. It is a universal topic.
So far, I have written over 600 words and not actually mentioned the football. The skill levels at this level of football may not match that exhibited by Premiership Players like in the clip below
At this level, players are unable to display such skill as that shown by the £50million rated Torres. At Spennymoor, the players would end up putting the ball in the net instead. Such tragic lack of ability.
On Saturday, I managed to get up to Spennymoor, via Northants and Sheffield. I took my son from his home in Northants to University in Sheffield for Freshers’ week, and after leaving him there, safely ensconced in his hall of residence and with beer tokens, I belted up the M1/ A1 to Spennymoor for the game in the FA cup 1st Qualifying Round against Dunston UTS. Although it is called the 1st Qualifying Round, it is actually the 3rd round of this seasons competion, after the Extra Preliminary Round and the Preliminary Round. I watched Spennymoor in the last round and wrote about the game here.
Today’s game was played on a warm sunny afternoon between 2 sides unbeaten in all competitions this season. Spennymoor had not beaten Dunston in a cup game for around 15 years.
The game was a great cup tie to watch. Dunston are a big strong side and play a lot of route one balls. They are good at this and it works well for them. Spennymoor by contrast play a passing game, and today for the 1st time this season, it seemed to work very well. The game ended in a 3-0 win for Spennymoor, but this doesn’t reflect the game.
Until Spennymoor scored 1st in the 64th minute, it was a very even game and the Spennymoor keeper had to produce several good saves. However, the first goal opened the floodgates and the second and third goals rapidly followed.
The scorer of the 2nd goal was booked for excessive celebrations. Compared to some of the celebrations you see on Match of the Day, it was nothing more than polite handshakes as can be seen in the video below.
The game was played between two sides who gave their all for their teams. You can’t ask for more than that from a player. Its a shame that some Premiership players don’t realise this.
Passion, commitment and effort from the players. Admission, programme and a pint and change from £10. Oh and home in time for tea! Come on down and watch football as it should be. Good honest football without the cost or the hassle. Football where you are made to feel welcome and valued. Where the players drink in the bar with the fans after the game.
At a Premiership club, would you be stood next to the directors of the club or exchanging views with directors of the opposition? You can be at this level.
THE FUTURE OF FOOTBALL IS NON-LEAGUE – get watching your local club.
The future of football is HERE