Ten things I love about non-league football

Non-league football is increasingly the preserve of men even older than me. It really shouldn’t be and here’s ten reasons why I should go far more often than I do…

  • You don’t need to take out a mortgage to buy a ticket or book it three months in advance.
  • It doesn’t take a week and a half to get out of the ground after game. And away supporters – should there be any – don’t have to wait around.
  • You can actually get served in the bar at half-time and even more amazingly, the beer is occasionally drinkable
  • You can walk round the pitch and stand or sit pretty much wherever you want so you always see your team’s goals – should there be any – in close-up
  • You’re in the heart of the action – you can hear the crunch of every tackle, get lost in the speed of the game (yes, even non-league players are pretty fit these days) and pick up every choice epithet of abuse exchanged between players and officials.
  • You don’t feel like you’re supporting a business model that is destroying the game you love – ever since the abolition of the maximum wage, professional football has been getting less and less competitive and the clog at the top of both money and supporters is slowly draining the competition out of the game. Without competition there’s no football, there’s just marketing.
  • At the start of the season you have no idea who will win the league or be in the play-offs.
  • The footballers still look like footballers – there are nippy wingers, lanky centre-forwards, centre-halves who look like Nightclub bouncers and managers from whom you wouldn’t buy a second-hand car.
  • You might get a good FA Cup run and have a glamorous tie against Swindon.
  • There’s no VAR. I rest my case.



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