Current Form in the National League.

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Expand view Topic review: Current Form in the National League.

Current Form in the National League.

by Dazza » Yesterday, 21:22

I am not quite so sure we are not over simplifying . Where have Fylde and Fleetwood come from if that is the case ? The Northern National League looks stronger than the Southern League. Personally I suspect football is centring more and more on the major cities and a c thirty mile radius around them. Because football money is not spread evenly you need someone to underwrite lower league clubs when expectations are high and it's increasingly becoming the role of those wealthy people wanting to gain notoriety in their areas.

Current Form in the National League.

by merse btpir » 16 Feb 2018, 07:58

MellowYellow wrote:
16 Feb 2018, 00:39
Regional economic decline has sapped northern clubs’ revenues.

There is a trickle down effect of all or some of the above in non-league football which results in the likes of some small southern clubs like Boreham Wood, Bromley, Dover, Ebbsfleet and Eastleigh being rather successful whereas their northern/midland counterparts like Barrow, Guiseley, Solihull, Chester, Halifax and Hartlepool struggle.
I agree with all of that; this is the price of progress for some and the reward for others. Just like society where the National Health, Social Housing and Education are relegated to also rans by the ruling elite; football is southern biased and rapidly moving away from egalitarianism.

Whilst I or anyone else do not either like or approve of that or not is irrelevent; it is the major factor that has to be addressed or face a massive unravelling of the game as we knew it once or even know it now.

Current Form in the National League.

by MellowYellow » 16 Feb 2018, 00:39

The world of football has indeed changed. It was in 1881 that the world’s first football league was launched in England . Half the 12 teams competing in the inaugural season came from the North and half from the Midlands; none was from south of Birmingham. Long after that it was “a game of industrial England” But this is no longer the case. Outside of the two cities of Manchester and Liverpool northern clubs could be said to be in decline. Take the Premier League, 9 from the south, 7 from the North, 3 from the Midlands and 1 from Wales. There a number of factors for this:

a) Regional economic decline has sapped northern clubs’ revenues.
b) Clubs in the financial hub of London rake in money from tickets and corporate hospitality.
c) Foreign owners snapped up clubs as trophy assets and the richest tend to go for clubs in or near London.
d) Attracting elite players to the north is another problem (outside of Liverpool and Manchester).

There is a trickle down effect of all or some of the above in non-league football which results in the likes of some small southern clubs like Boreham Wood, Bromley, Dover, Ebbsfleet and Eastleigh being rather successful whereas their northern/midland counterparts like Barrow, Guiseley, Solihull, Chester, Halifax and Hartlepool struggle.

Current Form in the National League.

by westyorkshiregull » 15 Feb 2018, 17:57

I agree merse , what I will say that i used to think of it as the beautiful where money from the top would trickle down to keep clubs producing players and keep them also in business. Well the world of football has changed and indeed the football world must change with it. Never before has the lower divisions clubs must be managed with business acumen. Clubs that blow money on a dream must understand the consequences on there actions. It's a tougher world these days and not just in football , it's the same in my profession and many other people I know.

Current Form in the National League.

by merse btpir » 15 Feb 2018, 17:41

westyorkshiregull wrote:
15 Feb 2018, 16:48
What would regionalising the non league scene benefit us.
more money should be trickling down from above. Clubs should be obviously sensible also .
You're last point is the most pertinent; there is no God-given right to 'more money tricking down' and whatever league United are in they will be at one end of it so to speak..let's focus on what CAN be achieved; what can't and what more than likely won't be and that is being sensible ~ assuming there won't be any extra trickle down and realise we are where we are geographically!

Current Form in the National League.

by westyorkshiregull » 15 Feb 2018, 16:48

What would regionalising the non league scene benefit us. Gates possible be higher on average but you would have lower suppoertted teams in the division because the spread over north and south would be compromised. Fair to say the national north and south have lower attendances on average. Can't see fuel making much difference and possible would need hotels as much. Seems all a bit of give and take so better how it is. Torquay does have fans spread all over the country also

Cost cutting is counter productive in some areas. For me more money should be trickling down from above. Clubs should be obviously sensible also .

Current Form in the National League.

by tomogull » 15 Feb 2018, 13:31

nickbrod wrote:
14 Feb 2018, 17:39
Could Maidstone be a contender? Their last league win was on November 11th, a 1-0 win over .....Torquay.
On Madgull's survival thread, I posted that Maidenhead could be a contender for relegation. I meant to post Maidstone. Too many maids ...... :D

Current Form in the National League.

by MellowYellow » 15 Feb 2018, 12:48

CP Gull wrote:
15 Feb 2018, 11:13

Time for a rethink in my opinion .....
Particularly a rethink on the biggest cost to any club - wages! not just players, although their wages and contracts requires remodelling. Merse eludes to this with the Boreham Wood module.

And what of the wage costs associated with a clubs Director of Football/General Manager/Recruitment Manager etc. Are these roles an absolute necessity at this level. What also the cost of outsourcing e.g. Ground Security/Stewards etc. At the Maidenhead match the ground was unsegregated, so you could view the game at any part of the ground. Yes, there were some stewards as they have to follow the FA Safeguarding Policies, but crowd trouble is unheard of at the ground.

Its time non-league club starting acting like non-league clubs. The key component of any non-league club is knowing their income
and expenditure and cutting their cloth accordingly to ensure that the club is run sustainably.

Current Form in the National League.

by Plainmoor78 » 15 Feb 2018, 12:41

Yorkieandy wrote:
15 Feb 2018, 12:20
Regionalise the NL for a start. Cut down on travel substantially and virtually eliminate the requirement to stay over in hotels.
Alas that won't happen. The whole point of the alliance/conference/national league was to have a single division and thus single champion who could apply for election to the football league without facing competition from other non-league teams.
A return to regionalisation of non-league immediately below the football league would simply mean the national league having to vote themselves out of existence, and I can't see the blazers doing that.
But I agree with you that the whole shebang is unravelling.

Current Form in the National League.

by Yorkieandy » 15 Feb 2018, 12:20

Regionalise the NL for a start. Cut down on travel substantially and virtually eliminate the requirement to stay over in hotels.

Current Form in the National League.

by CP Gull » 15 Feb 2018, 11:13

Along similar lines, I was quite frankly staggered the other day to read a quote from Alan Devonshire (Maidenhead Manager) when he stated that it was only Halifax and themselves who were part time in the National League. Where have they all gone?

I believe both Chester and Guiseley may have started the season as part time, there may be others as well, but both these clubs turned full time during the season - with on the face of it at least, disastrous consequences.

The sheer number of clubs who are struggling financially at this level is getting out of control and something must surely be done. It’s all very well “modelling” your non league club like a Football League one, but when the income simply isn’t there it puts the very existence of the football club in jeopardy.

Time for a rethink in my opinion .....

Current Form in the National League.

by merse btpir » 15 Feb 2018, 10:16

The manner in which part-time' football has evolved is that it is now more akin to the continental model than the old English style where 'hobby footballers' could interject with former professionals on the way down to come together in the evenings and form a fit for purpose part-time club playing at the highest levels of the non-league game.

In the south, this still happens at Isthmian League level ~ where it is almost hundred per cent train in the evenings ~ although I know of a lot of youngsters playing here who still see this as their number one occupation and use it as a means to climb higher up the ladder.

Boreham Wood is an interesting module in that they only pay what would be considered by many to be a 'part-time' wage for playing, insist the players train in the day time but offer them extra remuneration and the chance to enhance their career after playing prospects by employing them as coaches in their development system which also operates during the daytime as a Cat 4 (PASE) Academy. They also offer extra hours working in their football in the community and after school soccer clubs.

It cannot be denied that this is a very successful format on which to run a club that attracts such a low level of support.

Current Form in the National League.

by Dazza » 15 Feb 2018, 09:58

Interesting information Merse. Excellent. I think the point you are presenting about there almost being the two types of part time that have emerged is also a very interesting. The situation has clearly changed since 1979.
. It is a situation that if you think about, is obviously constantly evolving. If you have or want any form of career it's impossible to be a National League 'part timer'.

Current Form in the National League.

by westyorkshiregull » 15 Feb 2018, 09:53

Great post merse I love this kind of stuff .....will read it better later when not working....love the history of the alliance and conference

Current Form in the National League.

by merse btpir » 15 Feb 2018, 09:13

When this structure was first set up it was called the Alliance Premier League from 1979 until 1986. Between 1986 and 2015, the league was known as the Football Conference. Most of the National League clubs are now fully professional as opposed to the wholly part-time ideals of the original concept, while most National League North and National League South clubs are semi-professional so that in effect it is they who have retained the original ethos and those above who have become wanabee Football League clubs......

The first fully professional clubs in non-league football were those which had been in the English Football League (EFL) in the past, as opposed to those who had always been non-League; but gradually this idea has been eroded to what we have today where just a minority of NL clubs ~ Bromley, Halifax Town, Maidenhead United, Maidstone (currently evolving into full-time) Solihull Moors, Sutton United, and Woking (also evolving into full-time) with all those still part-time, training in the day-time so that playing football is the main income and flexible, non skilled employment making up the shortfall in income for the players. There are no butchers, baker and candlestick makers in this league!

The National League was formed in 1979 from leading teams in the Northern Premier League and Southern League and was originally known as the Alliance Premier Football League. The founding members were:
AP Leamington
Altrincham
Bangor City
Barnet
Barrow
Bath City
Boston United
Gravesend & Northfleet (now Ebbsfleet United)
Kettering Town
Maidstone United
Northwich Victoria
Nuneaton Borough
Redditch United
Scarborough
Stafford Rangers
Telford United
Wealdstone
Weymouth
Worcester City
Yeovil Town


Interesting to see where all those clubs are now; with just three ~ Ebbsfleet, Maidstone & Barrow ~ still in situ and that after some dramatic to-ing and fro-ing. Only Barnet and Yeovil exist in the EFL today and of them they could both be back in non-league football next season.

Former National League clubs now in the EFL:
Accrington Stanley
2003–2006
League Two
AFC Wimbledon
2009–2011
League One
Barnet
1979–1991; 2001–2005; 2013–2015
League Two
Bristol Rovers
2014–2015
League One
Burton Albion
2002–2009
Championship
Cambridge United
2005–2014
League Two
Carlisle United
2004–2005
League Two
Cheltenham Town
1997–1999; 2015–2016
League Two
Colchester United
1990–1992
League Two
Crawley Town
2004–2011
League Two
Doncaster Rovers
1998–2003
League One
Exeter City
2003–2008
League Two
Fleetwood Town
2010–2012
League One
Forest Green Rovers
1998–2017
League Two
Grimsby Town
2010–2016
League Two
Lincoln City
1987–1988; 2011–2017
League Two
Luton Town
2009–2014
League Two
Mansfield Town
2008–2013
League Two
Morecambe
1995–2007
League Two
Newport County
2010–2013
League Two
Oxford United
2006–2010
League One
Shrewsbury Town
2003–2004
League One
Stevenage
1994–2010
League Two
Wycombe Wanderers
1985–1986; 1987–1993
League Two
Yeovil Town
1979–1985; 1988–1995; 1997–2003
League Two


Barnet are the only founding member who have remained in the top five levels continuously since 1979. Bangor City have since moved to the Welsh football league system, while AP Leamington, Maidstone, Nuneaton, Scarborough and Telford later collapsed and were reconstituted in lower English leagues.

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