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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Non-league

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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 stadium to be demolished

Nene Park, formerly the home of Rushden & Diamonds is to be demolished.  The stadium is derelict and judged to be dangerous and a fire risk. The club was formed from a merger of Irthlingborough Diamonds and Rushden Town. in 1992.  They were promoted to the Football League in 2001.  At their height they played in the equivalent of League One.

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.

Best article yet on world's smallest league

The two team soccer league on the Isles of Scilly has attracted a lot of electronic and print media attention over the years.   David Beckham even paid a visit as part of a commercial promotion.

Fan run club may need overdraft

FC United of Manchester may have to apply for an overdraft as they are 'in a worrying financial position'. They are struggling to meet their targets and heading towards a loss this year.  That will leave the club unable to meet further obligations for the development of Broadhurst Park which they moved into in 2016.

The Red Rebels had appointed a new board in the summer and hoped their financial situation would improve.   However, they now admit that they had a staffing structure that was 'unfit for purpose' and an 'unrealistic' financial plan for the 2015-16 season.

AFC Telford seek funds

AFC Telford United are seeking a cash injection of £50,000 to deal with a cash flow problem.  Gate receipts have fallen and some costs have risen.   They also want to change the structure of the club away from control by a supporters' trust to permit external investment.

They have been something of  a yo-yo club and there is always a trade off between financial prudence and spending on players that might bring promotion and higher revenues.

Challenges for world's smallest football league

The unofficial 'Worlds Smallest Football League' takes place during the Winter months on St. Mary's on the Isles of Scilly (28 miles to the south-west of Cornwall) and is comprised of 18 league matches and 2 Cup tournaments (one of which is a two legged affair).

The match fixing problem

The immense growth in football betting in recent decades has increased the incentives for criminals to attempt to engage in match fixing and sometimes they find players who are willing to take part.  It's a long way from the days of people filling in the football 'coupon' and hoping to find instant riches.

According to Swiss outfit Sportsradar something like €375 billion of bets are placed each year on football matches.   Their fraud detection unit thinks that about one per cent of matches have been rigged.

It's a dog's life

It used to be said that some matches attracted just one man and a dog, but the non league dog phenomenon is attracting growing interest.   You can see a selection of non league dogs here.   One of them is appropriately supporting Barking FC.

At Leamington a collie comes with his owner to every match and watches the play intently.   Indeed, so badly does he need his fix that he comes to some junior matches as well.  In winter he wears the club's colours.