Hand To Mouth: Harsh Realities For Football League Clubs In 2013

As the giants of the European game strutted on the pan-continental stage that is the Champions League this week, the lower divisions in England were inadvertently further highlighting the issue faced when smaller clubs have to go head to head with a now constant stream of live, televised football. While millions watched at home as Barcelona over came their two goal deficit against Milan with near predictable ease, there were also thousands of people out supporting teams in the altogether less glamorous atmosphere of the Football League and Blue Square Bet Premier. There is, as we have mentioned on this site before, plenty to talk about in these divisions, but on a bitterly cold Tuesday evening it was, perhaps, not that surprising that crowd figures were extremely disappointing. In League One, just 3,587 people (against a home average attendance this season of 5,550) turned out to watch Notts County get beaten at home by Preston North End, whilst in League Two there were four matches attended by less than 1,600 people, including a crowd of just 1,227 (down from a season average of 1,829) for the match between Dagenham & Redbridge and Torquay United. Of course, the easy thing to do at this point would be to start throwing accusations about the Champions League “killing lower division football” or some such, but to do so would be somewhat simplistic....

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