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Post Info TOPIC: Property developers and the death of non league football clubs


Grand Slam Champion

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Property developers and the death of non league football clubs


Back to Biggleswade bussiness, slightly confused by the fact that there is a Dulwich Hamlet fan who arguably knows more about Hamlet than the club (he is a left wing librarian). He is fanatical about non league football and a ground hopper. I was sorely tempted to go Biggleswade Uniteds Vase game which was on a Sunday and was suprised to see on Twitter that he actually went, the guy is in his late 50s possibly early 60s and it would have to be quite an obscure ground for him to want to go particularly so close to London.

To cut a long story short Biggleswade Town who play at step 3 in the Southern League Central Premier and Biggleswade United who play at step 5 have different grounds. The Biggleswade Town play at a 3000 capacity stadium, the Carlesberg stadium while Biggleswade United play at a 2000 capacity stadium (Second Meadow) on Fairfield road which was literally next door to Towns old ground on the same road.

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I see some smashing results in the FA Trophy with Harrogate enjoying their trip to Dover and Stockport giving Truro a pasting, that will be a long trip back to Cornwall.

Tough day today, Hamlets first of a number of 6 pointers, plenty of fans travelling taking Hampton and Richmonds gate over 900. Always good to see the programmes sold out and a good healthy queue at the bar.

Compares well with the gate against Torquay who also travel well (799). Hampton have a decent ground, nice little bar, very decent beer and friendly fans. Honestly as a day out when the home team get it right it puts professional football to shame. You get a feeling that the traditional welcome to the away fans and opposition in the first paragraph of the programme is more than rhetoric.

Unfortunately not quiet so hospitable on the pitch scoring on 5 minutes then again 10 minutes later, we had at least 5 gulit edged opportunities to get back into it, ie goal line scrambles one on ones with the keeper beaten all ends up but not to be. Hampton deserves 2-0 winners.

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Masters Series Champion

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Yes, good result for Harrogate. Into last 16 now , furthest I think town have ever managed in the trophy.

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JonH


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I would keep the vase regional (ie North and South) until the last 16, some massive journeys but I suppose thats the norm for National League sides not really reflected in gates that justify the trip.

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Masters Series Champion

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Interesting draw in fa trophy.

Harrogate home Stockport, good draw. Minnows ramsbottom or Weymouth home to fylde. And carshalton at home to Barnet.

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JonH


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Towns match at home to hartlepool at the weekend has sold out. Pool are bringing 825 fans and a sell means a crowd of maybe 3500 ( wiki says 4000 capacity but...).

Match also live on bt sport

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JonH


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A non league sellout is so exciting for all involved, the only downside is the need for segregation often meaning the away fans only get a burger van and a toilet. I hope plans are in place for a real ale gizibo in the away end! That is the only thing about step 1 that I am not a fan of. Hampton and Richmond had hosted Woking the week before us and after that and Oldham my general feeling was that as a club they had had their fill of segregation and were very pleased to have us in their bar. By far our worst away trip was Woking because of the segregation and lack of opportunity to have a pint, bag of dry roasted and a chat with the opposition fans. Great result but damp squib of an experience.

I know it sounds counter intuitive but relegation from the EFL to the National League is a really healthy concept, the fan base of the relegated team adjust and are generally large enough to fund an effective push for the playoffs at worst not only does that reinvigorate the club concerned it also spices up the NL. Even clubs that go into free fall generally have a significantly large core of supporters to initiate regeneration or reformation usually with a healthier community focus. Orient, Wrexham, Torquay, Hereford, and now Hartlepool bring a sense of big time football where as Tranmere, Accrington Stanley, Forest Green Rovers, Luton, Lincoln have all contributed to the EFL in a much healthier way or brought a different perspective.

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Masters Series Champion

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Yes, town have given pool wetherby road stand, usually reserved for home fans, but allows us to segregate and keep main bar for home fans. They will have a van for burgers and beers as you suggest oakie!

Pool are not far from gate location wise, maybe 60 miles at a guess, not sure why this one is so popular, as they're lower mid table as well

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JonH


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Only at National league N & S and below are you allowed to sell alcohol within the ground, so no gazebo at Harrogate.
Strange law - we sold alcohol in the ground for the FA Cup game against Curzon, but we're not allowed against Boreham Wood.

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Masters Series Champion

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Strange , we have a bar at one end of ground and I've used it each time I've been. You can't drink outside the bar but you can certainly inside and it's well within the ground?!

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JonH


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I have just become a Strictly step 2 non league football fan. Hamlet probably do not have a viable bussiness model to go up into Step model, most people go for a combination of footie and a beer! It such a privilidge to be treated like an adult at a sporting event.

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The only time I have seen a hint of trouble was the looking in the eyes of some of the Wealdstone fans but once they arrived I think they realised it would be like trying to start a brawl at a primary school Christmas fair and couldnt be bothered.

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