With away fans set to pay a maximum of £30 to watch their Premier League teams next season, Non-League clubs have also been looking at ways to get supporters through their turnstiles.
As I was perusing my Twitter timeline this afternoon, one particular tweet stood out at me. It was written by Haringey Borough FC, a club who compete in the Ryman Division One North and promised a FREE season ticket to all home games, as of next season.
What an ingenious way to get fans to Coles Park. We all know that many non league clubs struggle financially and in some cases, getting a loyal fanbase to come to watch the team play can be as big a problem. The Borough probably suffer more than most semi-professional teams when it comes to attendance. Does their average home gate of 59 have anything to do with Tottenham Hotspur sat on top of them?
The need to maintain a positive cashflow is always such an important part of any business, let along Football. Because of this, it will be interesting to see what terms the season ticket will be offered – but I can only see it being a good thing. More people coming to the game equals more money spent in the ground on refreshments or merchandise. It may even give the players a lift. But I also think that it will breed loyalty – something which certain Football clubs are bereft of. It’s always nice to get something for free, but I can really see supporters coming to the club as it is giving something back to the fans.
On the flip side, I can see it will be quite difficult to implement. How many free season tickets do you give out? Is everyone eligible? Do you risk alienating supporters who can’t take advantage? All questions that will have to be asked of the club and answered.
Only time will tell whether this scheme will work. Non League crowds are still made up of hardcore supporters but new blood is vital for the lifeline of a club. Only recently a non-league chairman bemoaned the lack of support for his team, blaming the advent of Twitter and other social media platforms as the reason for dwindling attendances. Maybe he should think about what he can do to bring more fans into the ground on match day,as have The Borough.
THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO READ. WHY NOT TAKE A MOMENT TO FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER FOR NEWS AND VIEWS ON ALL THINGS NON-LEAGUE @ryanhall587