by | Aug 26, 2020

Hello everybody, and thank you for your patience. I know it’s been a few days since I last had the opportunity to update this old place, but I hope that what I’ve been working on over the last couple of weeks should make up for that. I’m glad to confirm that I should be able to start releasing a new series of podcasts in the next two or three weeks or so. Following on from Winning At Dominoes, our series of standalone historical documentaries about football, and An Echo of Glory, our twenty part history of the game in England & Wales (you can still get those and listen to them at your leisure right here), I’m pleased to confirm that a new series will be starting here in about three or four weeks or so.

It’s called 3PM Eternal, and it’s a history of non-league football in England. It’ll be a ten-part series, most likely around 35-40 minutes per episode, charting the story of the game here outside the Football League from 1889 (and before) to the present day. Those of you who pay close attention to the non-league game likely already understand how byzantine it is. Unlike the Football League where, barring a few developments like the introduction of play-offs and the changing shape of the divisions, it’s quite straightforward to draw a straight line from the beginning to the present day, the non-league game never quite worked like that, so this series will be kind of chronological, but there will also be standalone episodes which feature the history of the FA Amateur Cup, non-league clubs in the FA Cup, and a brief history of re-election.

I can’t promise that I’ll be able to mention every single thing that has happened to every single club, so I’ll apologise several weeks in advance if that thing that your team once did doesn’t quite make the cut. But I’ve tried to cover everybody and, as ever, I’ve tried to make it accessible to all. When recording previous series, I’ve done them very much on the fly – from week to week, writing, collecting together audio clips, recording and then publishing as each episode has been completed. This time around, though, because the season is starting late I decided to use this period, which may or may not be the pre-season, to focus on it completely. Over the last two weeks I’ve written the first seven episodes – the scripts are a little over 4,500 words long each, the equivalent to about three pieces to be published on here – and once the last three are done it shouldn’t take too long to record all of them.

I’d like to also take the opportunity to remind you of our Kofi and Patreon accounts. If you appreciate when we do here – and the Covid-19 has hit a lot of us financially – then those are the places to go. We are also lining up other new podcast series for the new season, and there’ll be more information about these, and other goodies I’d like to line up for our Patrons, when they’re a little nearer ready. All of our podcasts will, as ever, be available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Acast, and wherever else you normally get your podcasts from. In the meantime, here’s the running order for 3PM Eternal.

  1. The formation of association football, the arrival of professionalism, and the Football League (1840-1889)
  2. Rival leagues & the amateur schism (1889-1914)
  3. Football League expansion and the inter-war years (1919-1939)
  4. The history of the FA Amateur Cup (1894-1974)
  5. Non-League football and the FA Cup (1889-2018)
  6. The post war non-league game (1946-1986)
  7. A brief history of re-election (1889-1986)
  8. The non-league game after the introduction of automatic promotion & relegation with the Football League (1987-2004)
  9. Tales of lost grounds and suspect owners (1990-2020)
  10. Non-league football in the age of the National League System (2004 to present)