Football is undoubtedly Britain's most popular spectator sport but many fans regard the stratospheric rise of Britain's top level of football with mixed feelings. As the game moves further and further from its roots, fans are increasingly turning to non-League football to recapture the local spirit of the game and enjoy the close-up quirks and oddities. In recent years, disenfranchised fans of Manchester United and Wimbledon have turned away from the existing League clubs and set up their own clubs. At Ebbsfleet 18,000 fans have taken over the local club and select their team by internet voting and even play a role in facilitating transfer deals. The standard of non-League football today is arguably higher than it has ever been, especially since it was reorganized in a pyramid style in 2004/6 to enable the best teams to compete against each other and gain automatic promotion into the Football League. The best non-League teams often boast higher attendances than some clubs in the top leagues, with many die-hard fans who will never step onto the terraces of the Premier League. Others are supporters of both a big-name club and local non-League clubs, and turn to the smaller clubs mainly to recapture the grass-roots spirit of the game. Fans enjoy the social aspect of these matches, with supporters often socializing with the team and club managers after the match. In this book Michael Heatley examines the history of the numerous non-League clubs in England, many of which have been in existence as long as their League counterparts. Topics covered include: - Histories of the FA Trophy - FA Vase and Amateur Cup (and why it no longer exists) - Celebrity supporters - Fans' tales - Famous players/managers who started in non-League - Famous clubs that started as non-League - The Non-League Pyramid - Name changes - Local rivalries - Attendance records - Most successful non-League teams/managers of all time - Notable games - Ground grading regulations Other areas examined include histories of the most important leagues, a full explanation of the Pyramid system, an overview of geographical anomalies and how they split clubs into leagues, and much more. Essential reading for serious historians of our national game, it is certain to appeal to all lovers of football, past and present.
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Book Description Ian Allan, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0711035083