Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughFootballing traditions and the lower leagues - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Footballing traditions and the lower leagues - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Footballing traditions and the lower leagues


Overlooked and often forgotten. Lower league football continues to impress. But what can be done to improve coverage of lower divisions?

Media coverage of the English premier league is extensive; with midweek fixtures, European games and international friendlies it isn’t uncommon to find top-level football on TV every night of the week.

With the increased power held by media giants such as Sky and ITV, the traditional conventions of football are becoming increasingly challenged. In previous eras the three o’clock kick off on a Saturday afternoon was as ritualistic as going to Church on a Sunday or sinking a few brown ales at your local on a Friday night.

Nowadays there can be five, sometimes even six separate kick off times for top-flight football over the course of the weekend. With early, 3’oclock and evening kick offs providing opportunities for three televised premiership games on your average Saturday.

Is this good news for the die-hard footie fan, or are the media giants of today destroying the game as we know it?

Despite the inconsistently of fixtures at a higher level, lower league football seems to escape the stranglehold of ‘the modern era’. Most teams in league one and league and two and not to mention the huge contingent of non-league teams are still able to maintain a form of footballing tradition. Three o’clock kick offs are still the norm in the lower leagues and are embraced by fans and players alike.

There is something quite unique about pulling into a service station on the M5, on a dark damp December Saturday and stumbling into an array of brightly clad football enthusiasts.

The fan base of football in the UK is completely unparalleled across the world. When Leeds United were relegated to League One in 2007 their average attendance for the 2009-10 season was 24,483. This was higher than the average of most championship clubs and even higher than some of the smaller premier league teams.

AFC Manchester are another lower league club formed out of spite of power hungry business executives, who are more concerned about making a successful business model than running a successfulfootball club.

We should truly embrace lower league football and not simply conform to the notions of money grabbing media giants such as Sky, ESPN and ITV.

We risk loosing these age-old football traditions that have been passed down through generations.

This would be a defeat for football in itself.

Jacob Landers