There will be no Premier League, Championship, League One or League Two football played on Saturday, September 4th. England’s top two divisions are taking the weekend off because of the international break. But that doesn’t there will be no football.
As well as League One and League Two, England’s Non-League teams will be in action, and the Non-League Football Day campaign is encouraging all football fans to go and support their local non-league team. Support being the operative word, because most Non-League teams rely on people turning up and buying tickets in order to stay afloat, according to organizer James Doe:
“The idea for Non-League Day came to me after going to QPR’s pre-season game at Tavistock a couple of weeks ago”Doe told The Sport Review.
“The club and fans were made really welcome by the hosts and it was obvious how financially important the visit was to them.
“In the last year or so I’ve heard repeatedly how money is becoming really tight for Non-League clubs – the last time I went to watch Harrow they were about to hold a fundraising night to buy some new bulbs for the floodlights.
“Their plight cannot be unique so I wanted to start Non-League Day to try and give our local clubs a bit of publicity and a shot in the arm.”
For those unfamiliar, Non-League refers to teams outside of the top four English divisions. So basically from the Blue Square Premier (aka the Football Conference) and down. Read Pitch Invasion’s Ten Things You Should Know About Non-League Football for more.
I’ve seen a little bit of Non-League in my time thanks to the mighty(ish) Halesowen Town F.C. of the Southern League Premier Division and would say that the standard is good. Not Premier League good, obviously, but good enough that you know you’re watching guys who get paid to play football. While the Premier League gets all the attention, I’d agree with Ian at 200%, that the unique depth of Non-League is what really defines English football.
So I’d encourage everyone to join in with Non-League Football Day and go and support your local team (whoever they may be) on September 4th. The tickets, pies and beverages will cost considerably less than when you see your league team play, and I’ll guarantee you’ll find a hardcore group of fanatical supporters inside who’ll be more than happy for you to join them.