They may not have the big names or monumental amounts of money, but non-league clubs have a strong fanbase. Besides the pride that comes with supporting the little guy, these players are incredibly talented. With that in mind, it is time to analyse what it truly means to support a non-league club. How does such a fan survive with all the news about Chelsea and Man City flying around? Well, here it goes, this is everything worth knowing about supporting non-league clubs.
What is a Non-League Club?
Let us start with a rough framework of the leagues. In England, there is the Premier League which has a total of 20 clubs. Then there is the English Football League (EFL) that has 72 clubs under its umbrella. With that in the bag, let’s move on to what non-league clubs are.
For the most part, this term pertains to football played in England. Although other countries may adopt the same pattern, it isn’t quite official. In a nutshell, this describes any leagues that are not ranked among the top leagues in the nation. These leagues are not quite what you would call professional, though they comprise quite skilled players. So, any league that is outside the Premier League and the English Football League is basically a non-league club.
Note that any club that features in the National League is also considered a non-League team.
What Does Supporting A Non-league Club Entail?
There is quite a bit that is satisfying about supporting a non-league club. For instance, there is more of a genuine connection between the crowd and the players. It also helps that the season tickets are quite affordable. There is no need to break the bank to see some of your favorite players rough it up on the pitch.
Then, there is the other side of supporting a non-league club. Every fan has to roll with the punches because on some days there will be amazing passes and goals. On down days, the quality of the plays will be questionable. You may end up waiting a while for both teams to score.
Then there is the annoying notion of having to deal with the snide remarks from league club supporters. Riffing off that, having no one know the names of newly signed players or even the players on the pitch makes it hard to converse. To analyse a game, you would have to hunt down another non-league fan. Nevertheless, there is a certain charm to it that makes fans come back for more.
How Do Non-league Clubs Make Money?
Running a club, whether it is classified as a League or non-league club costs quite a bit of money. At the base of it all, these clubs make money from gate receipts. There is a split between the home and away sides, with each side taking 45% of the revenues made on game day.
Additionally, they get cash donations from wealthy individuals, just like the clubs in the leagues. For instance, back in 2009, Notts County received a sizable investment from a Qatari fan. Several other clubs have benefitted from such investments. Nevertheless, this is not a sustainable source of funds.