The Importance of 2021 Non-League Day
By Joshua Hardy
Every year during the October international break, where the Premier League and Championship comes to a standstill for various global superstars to leave their club to go and represent their nation in competition qualifiers or friendlies, many fans of Premier League teams may become bored and are on the edge of their seats, waiting for the Premier League to return.
James Doe saw this as an opportunity to help non-league clubs gain revenue from the fans of Premier League and Championship teams who are just waiting for their club football to return, so in 2010, Doe birthed “Non-League Day”.
Non-League Day is a fantastic, non-profit initiative which encourages fans of the bigger teams to go down to their local club, buy a ticket, and watch some non-league football for one weekend of the season.
With huge conglomerates like Sky Sports and BT Sport spending millions for TV rights for the Premier League, non-league football has seen a downturn in attendances. If these fans of big clubs can’t get a ticket to the actual game, they will just sit at home and watch it from the comfort of their front room, instead of using this time to support their local team. This is why Non-League Day has become so important for non-league clubs every year, but in 2021, it seems more important than ever.
Obviously, 2020 was a disastrous year for many in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this led to many losing jobs and many small businesses not being able to cope with the pressures and restrictions that the pandemic bought to the United Kingdom, and this is the same with non-league Football.
Unlike the Premier League and the Championship, when the pandemic first hit, non-league football was stopped for the rest of the season and no more games were played, as some clubs could not afford the running costs without fans travelling to home and away games, which is a stark contrast to the two big leagues in England, who only had to stop for a few months, and that wasn’t monetary issues, that was due to reducing the spread between footballers.
It has been over a year since fans could attend their teams games which has seen non-league clubs suffer, and although restrictions are being lifted on May 17, 2021, there will only be a few more games to attend before the season finishes, meaning some clubs will not see as much revenue as they may need, this is where Non-League Day 2021 comes in.
In 2021, Non-League Day will be massive for clubs affected, if all goes to plan, there should not be a reduced capacity by October 2021, meaning that when the international break comes around, many non-league clubs will be welcoming fans from all walks of life into their ground in the hope of rebuilding from the pandemic.
Another factor as to why Non-League Day is so important is due to the European Super League controversy which sparked in April 2021.
In April this year, the “big 6” teams in England announced that they will be introducing a breakaway European competition from the Champions League, where the big teams from Europe will all compete but could not get relegated from, destroying years of history of which the Champions League holds, making it a secondary competition that practically anyone could get into if they were in the Premier League. This led to threats from the league to demote the teams involved if they didn’t back out.
The introduction of the European Super League showed how much the Premier League’s big 6 owners did not care about the English football pyramid, and attending non-league games at any point in the year, especially on Non-League Day will teach them a lesson about how beautiful the English football pyramid is.
Support your local. Support Non-League Day 2021.