Moneyfields and Gosport Borough chairmen hoping Super League backlash will boost non-league game
Moneyfields chairman Pete Seiden is hoping non-league football reaps the benefit from the European Super League backlash.
The Dover Road chief is calling on those who have fallen out of love with the pro game to instead watch games where ‘you can shout at the players and then have a beer with them afterwards.’
There has, unsurprisingly, been fierce and widespread condemnation of the proposals which have the full support of England’s so-called ‘big six’ clubs.
Social media has been full of posts calling on anyone completely disillusioned with the top level of the professional game to support their local non-league teams instead.
'Hopefully, from everything I’m reading, people are saying ‘I’m not supporting these anymore, I’m not going back,’ we might pick up a few,’ Seiden said.
‘People might get back to what football is, really.
‘People will just get more and more disillusioned by it and if there’s a live game on a Saturday where people might have watched their team, they might come to watch us - that’s the sort of thing.
‘Anyone who thinks they won’t stop it (Super League) or do what they want is an idiot really because money talks.
‘I hope you get people who get disillusioned with that sort of the professional game in general.
‘Hopefully, they’ll come back to where you can pay your money, shout at the players, there’s no-one telling you what to do and you can have a beer with the players afterwards.'
Gosport Borough chairman Iain McInnes is also hopeful that community-spirited non-league clubs benefit from bigger attendances.
Borough have spent the last 13 months running a successful ‘Feed a Family in Need’ scheme out of their Privett Park ground.
McInnes, the former Fratton Park chairman, said: ‘The problem is we're a microcosm of a much larger business.
'I received an email of a tweet from someone from Gosport who said, 'whilst these people (the ‘big six’) were sitting down and plotting - because that's what they were - at a time when a number of their clubs were relying on Government subsidies to keep going, Gosport Borough FC - and many others, I guess - were delivering food parcels to their communities’.
'I think, to be honest, it could be a benefit to local clubs who have a mentality, as we do, being a football club here to support the community, to play in front of the community and have as many players coming from the community as we can.
'There's a good story to tell there, whether this Super League takes place or not.
'As far as the club is concerned, we're going from strength to strength.
'Gosport was a mess when I got there, it was a mess for a period after that, now we're in a situation where people have woken up to Gosport Borough Football Club and decided themselves there's something really good going on that they want to be a part of.'
Baffins Milton Rovers chairman Steve Cripps is not expecting his club to benefit too much.
'To be fair to the Premier League, they’ve put huge resources into non-league clubs over the past couple of years,’ he said.
‘No-one could knock what they do for the lower levels of football. Certainly we’ve been well-funded by them all the way through, so I can’t moan.
‘But will it drive our local attendances (the European Super League)? I don’t know, probably not.
‘There was always going to be a European Super League.
‘Longer term, I think you have to give way, the divide in money is so vast that inevitably that sort of thing was going to happen.'