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HERALD EXPRESS - FANS' ZONE 27/06/2020



MATCHES WITH NO FANS - BUT FANZONES ARE STILL SO IMPORTANT


With all the voting completed and decisions taken for Leagues 1 & 2 and the National League it seems pretty clear that it is Stevenage who will be joining United next season. But could there be a twist?  For last Friday Macclesfield, who have had a succession of points deducted for financial irregularities, had a further two point penalty just avoiding finishing bottom by 0.48 on the points per game formula. However, that may not be the end of the story because Macclesfield have until July 31 to deliver a business plan to the EFL to demonstrate sustainable financial resources for next season and beyond plus taking a suspended four point deduction into the new season. Should Macclesfield fail to meet the criteria and fall out of the EFL would there be a place in the National League? Go back to 2007 when Boston United were relegated from League 2 going immediately into administration, they went down two divisions into the, then, Blue Square North.  And by the way the other team relegated with Boston? Yes, sadly the Gulls ******************* Congratulations to Barrow as Champions of the National League; after a controversial relegation their 48 year wait to return has been rewarded. Let’s hope our own return is swifter! *******************  How are you enjoying the return of football on TV? Do you watch with the canned crowd noise or without? Last week Gary Lineker carried out a Twitter poll and found that 75% of fans preferred watching with the crowd noise; Gary Johnson prefers it without - and I’m with him. Takes me back to when I watched Hampton (without the ‘& Richmond’) in the Spartan League in the 1960s when you heard everything the managers and players said. Another interesting talking point is that since matches in Germany, Spain, Italy and now in the UK have begun, having home advantage seems not to count as much as it did, as there have been more away victories. But one aspect of the behind closed doors format which will please the Gulls’ boss, who has complained about this on several occasions, is that the ball is in play for longer - 70 minutes instead of the average 60 - because the players, without spectators, have a different mindset.  They no longer roll around when injured as there is no interaction with spectators, nor do they argue with the ref as much not even when the ball clearly was over the Aston Villa goal-line! A welcome change. *******************  Interesting news came last week from Aldershot Town who have teamed up with their supporters to purchase a permanent marquee, complete with wooden flooring, as a family fanzone. It’s designed as a venue for up to 50 fans to meet in before matches to “ take part in fun activities to create a more inclusive and interactive matchday experience, such as face painting and table football.” It was paid for through the Premier League Fans Fund, the very same route TUST and TUCST went through two years ago to put on its own FanZone - who can forget the excitement of the speed goal and other pre-match entertainment? Shame then that the club’s reluctance meant there were none of these occasions last season. ********************  Could there be good news for Non-League football coming soon? For Step 6 and upwards either September 5 or 12 are being discussed as possible start times as talks between the Government and the football authorities continue but the FA confirm Non-League football will not restart without spectators. In his latest chat on ‘Inside Plainmoor’ Gary Johnson says they’ll need 6 weeks for pre-season preparation, so that could be happening around the beginning of August. He also revealed his player recruitment is down to specific individual players, hinting at two experienced ones - a forward and a defender -  but no names until training starts! *******************  Player of the Year? Young Player? Volunteer/Supporter of the Year? Who are you voting for? You can tell me by emailing: fanszone.tu@gmail.com As always to the Yellow Army stay safe.


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Nick Brodrick, TUST board member and Supporter Liaison Officer, writes a weekly column for the Herald Express under the heading "Fans' Zone". Keep an eye out for next weeks edition in the paper on Wednesday.



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