Living in a Non League world

by Mystical Mike

Monday, February 9th, 2009
 

Living in a Non League world and I am just a material girl.

How much would you pay to watch your team in action? A fiver, a tenner? Twelve pounds fifty? Why do I ask? Well one wag suggested this week that you should pay however much you think it’s worth to get into a game.

So, I could get into a ground, enjoy the view, enjoy a tasty nutritious snack, but because the game stinks I could opt to pay a pound.

Or, perhaps I get a winning combo of all three; great game, food, result, atmosphere and I still only decide to spend a pound, given that I’m tight.

It becomes a lot like Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant on the “F-word” or Radiohead’s venture to “pay what you like” for their album In Rainbow. Given the choice how many of us would actually pay for something if we didn’t have to?

Is Non League football value for money? Comparative charts at the start of the season showed a top price of £17 at Wrexham in the top flight but as little as £11 at Barrow. With kids for a quid and other “credit-busting savings” clubs appear to be going all out to compete with the Football League for fans.

To me this is, and always will be, the biggest selling point of grassroots football. That and changing ends. It’s been commonplace for clubs to even accept season tickets from professional teams and provide discount prices.

Non League football is about local people and not charging them out of the market. As our wag suggests though, it is all about what you get for your money. Some clubs include a programme, some even a half -time draw with the ticket, but the only thing you can’t guarantee is the quality of the football.

If grassroots football is to survive the current financial climate then giving value for money has to be at the top of the list. Cheap concessions often come with full-price adults, so why not allow kids in for a quid? Gates of 500 or more on £6 is better then 300 on £8. Lower the price, up the gates and create an atmosphere.

The Blue Square Premier is never going to support players the calibre of Ronaldo but the entertainment can be great value as long as we continue to charge Non League prices.

Non League Show

Caroline Barker presents The BBC Non League Football Show
Every Monday from 9pm via www.bbc.co.uk/nonleague
Real Football, real fans.
If you’ve got a story email the team nonleague@bbc.co.uk

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  • Dan Church

    Football needs to be accessable, i used to go and watch Welling United play when they were in the Conference proper and i remember paying £7/8 to get in. Last time i went it was £12 i think and a further quid (given to a 12 year old with a bucket) if you wanted to sit in the new stand. That was a few years ago now, but id wager that its up to £15 or so now. Ill have to investigate cos i quite fancy a cold night on the terraces down Welling one night soon….seeing as their pushing for a play off spot, and their burgers were lovely i remember…

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