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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Vanarama Conference Premiership

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One off sponsorship deal upsets Sutton fans

A one off sponsorship deal between FA Cup giant killers Sutton United and Sun Bet for their match against Arsenal has upset some Sutton United fans.  The name of their regular sponsor, Greengo Waste, could still be seen in small lettering on the back of the shirts, but the front had a prominent sticker for Sun Bet.

How the FA Cup boosts a non-league club

Sutton United are mid-table in the Vanarama National League, although not so long ago they were in the third tier of the non-league pyramid in the Ryman League.  On Sunday they face Leeds United in a televised FA Cup tie that will bring them £144,000 in addition to the £300,000 they have already earned from their cup run.  They have already been able to repair a leak in the home dressing room roof.

The story behind Lincoln's success

Lincoln City defeated a lacklustre Ipswich Town last night to get through to the 4th round of the FA Cup. They are also top of the Vanarama National League with real hopes of a return to the Football League after an absence that will run to six years by the summer.

The prime minister congratulated the Imps on their success in prime minister's questions, responding to a question from the MP for Lincoln.

Football in resorts: the case of Torquay

Ar first sight Torbay might seem to fit into Type 2 of our resorts categorisation.  Type 1 covered small, select up market resorts.   Type 3 were towns highly dependent on tourism that had fallen on hard times like Skegness.    Type 2 were towns which had diverisified economies in which the resort function sat alongside many others such as Bournemouth.

Gulls takeover reaches crisis point

The prospective takeover of Torquay United has reached crisis point with bidders Gaming International issuing what the Torquay United Supporters Trust has described as an ultimatum to Torbay Council.

It has now emerged that Swindon-based Gaming International, operating through their subsidiary Riviera International Limited, want to take ownership of Plainmoor and then build a new ground elsewhere. Torbay Council currently own the freehold of Plainmoor.   It is quite an extensive site in a built up area of Torquay with development potential.

Gulls fans still in the dark

Torquay United fans are still in the dark about the club's future after its annual general meeting.  The takeover deal with Swindon-based Gaming International seems to be stuck in the sand.  Moreover, the cash strapped club may have to pay back a £50,000 loan if the deal falls through.

Derbies bring in the crowds

The ability of local derbies to attract big crowds is shown in the attendance figures for the National League and its north and south divisions for the 2015-16 seasons.

The biggest crowd in the National League was for the Lincolnshire derby between Grimsby and Lincoln (7.650).  This was followed by Tranmere Rovers versus Chester (7.433) and Wrexham versus Tranmere Rovers (6,707).

Three way tussle for Dagenham and Redbridge

Relegated Dagenham & Redbridge are hardly the most glamorous club in London, but there is a three way tussle to acquire the club.   

Shirt sponsors deny cannabis link

Torquay United's new shirt sponsors have emphatically denied that their company name has any link with cannabis.   420 Skatestore is a skatestore clothing company.   In the United States 420 is a slang term associated with cannabis.  Gulls supporters have jokingly speculated on social media whether the team will appear with a cannabis leaf on their shirts.

National League sets ambitious targets

The National Leage has set itself some ambitous targets in a new four year strategy entitled 'Growing our Game' covering the period 2016 to 2020.

It wants to increase annual attendances from 1.5m to 1.7m.  It wants live broadcast matches to go up from 25 to 40 per seaon and to increase commercial revenues by 50 per cent.   The target for social media following is an increase from 750,000 to 1 million.