FIVE things I hate about non-league

Following the relegation of Notts County and Yeovil Town from the Football League, we welcome such historic clubs to England’s mystical fifth tier.


5) Qualifying for the FA Cup.

Nothing adds to the embarrassment of being relegated from the Football League than realising that your team now can’t even enter the FA Cup proper rounds without having to qualify…

The inconvenience (as you might call it) of putting a good league run together and having to face a side who see you as their cup final – just to participate in the FA Cup, kind of takes the sting out of it.

Yeovil themselves have been non-league before, but for Notts – this will be a huge reality check.

4) Playing teams you’ve never heard of

Without in any way sounding patronising, nothing becomes more depressing than a team bringing 20 fans for a Tuesday night game in the Summer.

Although non-league fans are some of the most welcoming and friendly in the pyramid, it almost adds to the pain of coming against teams that don’t even play full-time football.

3)  Late fixture release

While the Premier League traditionally get their fixtures at the beginning of the Summer, and the EFL get theirs normally a week later – you have to sit and wait another two weeks for the adrenaline kick everyone else has.

Why? Well only the National League can answer that one. Considering NL normally starts a week before everyone else, surely giving part-timers more preparation than anyone else can only benefit their representing teams?


2) The FA Trophy thingy…

First of all, let’s make it clear that many non-league teams can only dream of winning the FA Trophy.

With a chance to grab a seat at Wembley, it would be silly for lower non-league teams not to take this seriously.

The FA trophy however, for a lot of National League teams is nothing more than an insignificance.

Instead of playing a league fixture on a usual Saturday afternoon, a lot of teams with clear aims of promotion are haltered with a game that doesn’t grab the excitement.

1) Officiating

The officiating in non-league is a complete work of art.

Some of the decisions that get awarded are complete guess work, and referees lack real authority in games.

It goes without saying that funding gets slack from the fourth tier downwards, but there should be no excuse for the embarrassing level of decision making that I myself have witness over the years.

What do you make of these thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!