Speaking exclusively to The Sport Review, James Doe, the man behind the ‘Non-League Day’ campaign tells us about how his idea came about and why he thinks all football fans should help to support local clubs through difficult financial times, save themselves some moneyÃ¢â‚¬â€all whilst still enjoying the sport we all love.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“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.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“In the last year or so IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve heard repeatedly how money is becoming really tight for Non-League clubs Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the last time I went to watch Harrow they were about to hold a fundraising night to buy some new bulbs for the floodlights.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“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.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Countless Football League teams have experienced the worst of financial mismanagement and have suffered as a resultÃ¢â‚¬â€just as big clubs like Manchester City and Leeds United did in the 1990s.
But the one thing Non-League teams do not have much of is money, and at a time when everyone is watching their own pockets, it is these clubs that are feeling the pinch the most.
Non-League clubs rely on supporters and volunteers to ensure matches can go ahead, and fans can take the whole family for a fraction of the price of a day out to a Championship game, never mind watching a Premier League club.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Non-league teams often play a vital part in local communities and survive only as a result of hard-working volunteers.
“They often provide a place for young people to realise their footballing talents and are the very thing that underpins football in this country. People who get involved will help this to continue,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Doe.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The whole experience of non-league football can be very refreshing.
“You can watch the game from pretty much any point in the stadium, move freely around during the game and you get some top banter between supporters and sometimes even with the players.
“To top it all, you can probably take the entire family and buy them refreshments for the price of one Premier League ticket in some cases.Ã¢â‚¬Â
And where will James Doe be on 4 September?
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Well as a part-time Harrow Borough fan, I guess itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s got to be the away game at Cray Wanderers,” he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s particularly poignant as theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re celebrating their 150th anniversary this year and as such are one of the oldest clubs in the world.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The Sport Review is proud to be supporting the Non-League Day campaign on 4 September and we encourage our readers to get involved and help make the day a success.
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