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football forum

Future of Lower League Football

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My typical initial reaction to these “long read” type articles, someone has paid him for that? 

I highly doubt Miguel Delaney’s lower league escapades go beyond the Championship play-off Final or reporting on Frank Lampard’s Derby County, as they’ve become known. 

Looking at the clubs he’s mentioned, Bolton are owned by a clown, Morecambe were bought by a mystery Brazilian consortium that vanished within a year, Oldham are owned by someone with questionable behaviour, Coventry are owned by the shambles that is Sisu, Southend United are well known for not paying tax bills on time but having the winding up orders thrown out before they get serious and Blackburn Rovers are owned by the Venky’s, who while much less erratic and wild than their early days, are party responsible for their downfall. 

It should be another dig at the EFL’s Fit and Proper Ownership Test but that drum has been beaten many a time and it’s a little tiresome these days as it’s clear the EFL aren’t willing to change anything. 

He also mentions digitalisation of the game while completely failing to point out that at various times last year you could pick what midweek Championship match you wanted to view live, with a Sky subscription, and how some Championship teams were selling the live coverage of their midweek matches (Away only IIRC) for about £15 a go, which is untouched territory for Football in the UK and still quite cheap really when you consider the costs of actually attending a game in person. 

He claims to have an unnamed source who says attendances are not sustainable while not providing any facts to back this argument up with. Attendances, probably the easiest barometer of measure, as far as I’m aware have held up well across all three EFL leagues. 

I think we’re all aware of the gap between the top clubs and the bottom professional clubs in England and Wales but there’s always been a gap and always will be. It’s not stopped Bournemouth, Brighton, Huddersfield Town, Fulham and Cardiff City from rising from the bottom rung of professional football up to the Premier League though. 

The Dulwich Hamlet reference, one sentence, is weird and meaningless. It almost looks like a “look at me, I know a hipster non-league club” sort of sentence and nothing more. 

Slow news week for Miguel, I reckon. 

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