FANS' ZONE 11/07/2021
FANS’ SURVEY SHOWS THERE’S AN APPETITE FOR CHANGES IN THE FOOTBALL PYRAMID
Last week’s lead story in this column - Time has come for National League to become League 3 - featured nationally in Sunday’s Non-League Paper as part of what is likely to be an on-going dialogue about clubs and supporters wanting to revitalise the National League and football in general.
It seems, as a result of national exposure, the ball is rolling on this topic judging by the responses on this column’s Twitter account.
A week ago the Football Supporters’ Association (FSA) organised a fans’ straw poll and by the weekend came up with the results: on the question whether the National League should become part of the EFL, 68.9 per cent either agreed somewhat or agreed strongly while 20.7 per cent either disagreed somewhat or disagreed strongly.
The second main question, asking were the NL to become part of the EFL would it be beneficial if they and League 2 formed two regionalised divisions, received 67 per cent either agreeing somewhat or agreeing strongly with 24 per cent disagreeing somewhat or strongly. This version has the attraction of reducing travelling and potentially overnight hotel costs.
At last week’s National League AGM, under new leadership, there was an attempt to show a better relationship between the board and clubs but there’s work to be done.
The headline news was clubs were informed, when discussing the continuing impact of Covid-19, the season will not begin without spectators or suitable grant funding.
Subject to further proposals clubs voted in favour of a salary cap from season 2022-23, probably £900k at Step 1.
Only three teams will be relegated at the end of the season so that the following year the league will revert to twenty four sides. And finally, were the new season not to be completed, contingency plans were being discussed.
Following England’s 4-0 romp in Rome, ‘Football’s Coming Home’ or is it ‘Sweet Caroline’? Both are now favourites, the former more so until a rival came along. Neil Diamond wrote ‘Sweet Caroline’ 52 years ago and for a long time it was believed he did so for President J F Kennedy’s daughter Caroline but Diamond explained recently that whilst writing the lyrics trying to fit a name he saw a magazine with a photo of Caroline and it scanned perfectly.
As we’re all too aware, United adopted using it to great effect recently and hopefully will continue to do so, surprisingly the first time music was routinely played in sporting stadiums was in the 1990s - and one of the first was the Caroline Panthers, an NFL team in North Carolina.
With all eyes on England’s final tonight against Italy, ‘Good times never seemed so good.’
Yellow Army exiles, mostly, cling on to the forlorn hope that live streaming will continue but as spectator restrictions will be lifted from July 19 and, in the light of BT Sport renewing their contract, it’s highly unlikely.
In contrast, the Southern League has signed a ‘multi-year’ deal for its 82 clubs to stream games online allowing clubs to broadcast pay-per-view games live.
With Armani Little and Jake Andrews the latest to sign on the dotted line, adding to those who have already done so, manager Gary Johnson has an established ‘Torquayfied’ group upon which he can build with, we expect, some further additions next week as pre-season training is only 9 days away - the Tea party Two?
TUWFC news: Under manager Grant Fisher, assistant Matt Green and coaches Steve Elswood ( goalkeeping) and Claire Williams (fitness), Torquay United Women have started pre-season training with a number of exciting friendlies against Swansea City, West Bromwich Albion, Yeovil, St Austell and Plymouth Argyle.
The Gulls’ season starts in mid-August in the Women’s FA Cup with their league campaign on September 5 as they target promotion to the FA National League.
If you had to choose, is it ‘Football’s coming Home’ or ‘Sweet Caroline’ to sing?
Send your reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org or to Twitter:@FanszoneT
Whichever it is let’s hope we’re singing one or both after tomorrow’s final - come on England.
Meanwhile to the Yellow Army stay safe.
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