Monday, 13 July 2020
Wednesday, 8 July 2020
Moss Lane, home of Altrincham FC and a place I know well, would usually be bustling for a meeting between the Robins and Chester FC.
A fairly short distance between the two places, direct train links and supporters able to stand on terraces make for what you might call a ‘proper’ football occasion.
Things will be different next Sunday (19 July), ironically given that it will be a hugely important game with plenty at stake in the National League North play-offs.
The J.Davidson Stadium, as it is now known, will be closed to all but the players and key officials in a scene we have become familiar with over the past few weeks.
But the fact that the game is being played at all is a triumph in itself, firstly on the part of clubs in both the National League North and South who managed to get an original decision that play-offs wouldn’t be taking place overturned and on the part of supporters who have raised funds to help their respective clubs take part and help meet the costs of testing and increased safety measures.
Both Altrincham and Chester, already strongly rooted in their respective communities, have had very successful fundraising campaigns since the suspension of football in March, money that will go a long way to securing each club's future, but that has not stopped their fans from rallying around again in the past week or so to give them a shot at promotion.
It is hoped that the game will be available on a pay-per-view platform and I'll put details on Twitter as and when they are known.
Wednesday, 1 July 2020
Wednesday, 24 June 2020
The arrangements in place at present still have plenty of caveats attached but friendlies are being announced and season tickets are being put on sale.
The AcreTweed Stadium is looking in great condition!!— Northwood Football Club (@NorthwoodFC) June 24, 2020
Who’s missing seeing the Woods in action??#UpTheWoods pic.twitter.com/B3JeCSd5z9
A word on Northwood FC of the Isthmian League who have featured on these pages previously with their tireless efforts to get more people through the turnstiles at Chestnut Avenue.
For the coming season there are season tickets on sale at just £45 for all league matches and the Woods have also linked up with Donate a Ticket to raise funds.
Monday, 22 June 2020
In contrast the television commentary seemed lost in the midst of the piped atmosphere (I know that this option can be turned off if you have Sky itself) and I find it curious that the broadcasters have such little faith in the action on the pitch to hold the attention.
The importance of the crowd to the TV coverage has been laid bare over the past week or so, not just as a visual backdrop but also for the context it gives to the key moments that take place during the game.
Like so many aspects of life at the moment we can only wait and see.
Thursday, 18 June 2020
|Wembley Stadium ahead of the 2016 National League Promotion Final|
Your amazing support continues.— MarinersTrust (@MarinersTrust) June 18, 2020
Crowdfunder £ 11723
Ebay/Others. £ 2066
Total Fundraising £53989
ST replies so far are 810 of which 680 have donated back to club, worth £33k.
Sunday, 14 June 2020
It's not always as grand as a turnstile, of course, sometimes there's just a table and a friendly face ready to take a fiver or give change for ten.
But on the path back to watching football in the flesh then presumably more and more clubs will follow the trend that has been set over the past few months and embrace the world of contactless payments.
I recently completed a survey, devised by Ian Nockolds of the Toolstation Western League podcast which asks people connected to (or supporters of) football at Steps 5 and 6 of the pyramid in England to give their preferences for what they would be prepared to put up with in order to attend matches.
This is ahead of an FA meeting with leagues at those levels on 19 June in which the way forward will hopefully become a little clearer.
Contactless payments was on the list and although for me it is a small pleasure to hand over my money it will be a small price to pay to pass through the turnstiles once again.
Sunday, 7 June 2020
I've always liked the regular updates from club secretary (and treasurer) Roy Izzard, on the official website, as they give a clear account of events both on and off the field and lots of detail, for instance on how the 'Pay What You Want' matches tried previously have compared to normal attendances and gate income.
With no date as yet as to whether and when the 2020/21 season will begin, Hitchin are looking to keep things ticking over during the 'normal' close season period and are showing a series of classic matches over the coming weeks.
The first game is a clash with Enfield Town from 1993 which will be screened from 7pm on Tuesday 16 June with tickets available at £5 and £2.
Local newspaper The Comet also seems to enjoy a good relationship with the club and reported recently on a financial boost given to the Canaries by their Top Field landlords.
Wednesday, 3 June 2020
One of the most positive things to have come out of the suspension of football has been both the speed at which clubs have been able to come up with fundraising ideas and the strength of the response they have received from supporters.
Taking that a step further has been the Donate a Ticket platform, to enable clubs in Scotland to raise much-needed revenue, which has now made its way into the National Leagues in England.
I asked Ruaridh Kilgour, the founder of Donate a Ticket, how it came into being.
'The idea initially came about when thinking of a way to help my club, Raith Rovers.
'I wanted a fundraising page that allowed supporters to rationalise a donation and also give clubs a narrative to ask supporters to donate their hard-earned money.
'By using Donate a TIcket, it brings back a little bit of excitement and competition between clubs and supporters that we're all sorely missing.
'The Scottish Cup virtual fundraising tournament, in particular, has been a great success and some clubs have even raised more from their virtual ties than they would from an average home gate.'
With no word as yet as to when football will resume the platform has widened its scope from the original idea of replacing matchday revenue from those games which were lost to the suspension.
Well over £100,000 has been raised to date and it is no exaggeration to say that the money will have been the difference between some clubs going out of business and living to fight another day.
The idea has now crossed the border with Woking and Eastbourne Borough amongst the clubs to have signed up, Woking supporters raising £500 already at the time of writing.