Go to non-league football with Clarets Mad

30 August 2010 03:43
A strange title I admit, but this is an appeal to Burnley supporters, or anyone else reading this, to try and take in a non-league game this weekend as we sit out the international break. It has come about over my concern for non-league football in England, as I see more and more of the small clubs, that make our game what it is, struggling to make ends meet, and so many falling by the wayside.There were two specifics recently that brought it even more to my attention. One was the demise of Nelson Football Club, a long established club that eventually withdrew from the Vodkat League. The other surrounded another Vodkat League club, Barnoldswick Town.Back in July I received an email from a representative of the Barnoldswick club asking if I'd publicise a fundraising game they were staging against a Vintage Clarets team. I was more than happy to do so and in the week following they contacted me to let me know they'd raised £1,104 which was described as meaning a lot to their club.More recently I acted quickly to advertise Burnley's pre-season game at Padiham, a game which Burnley FC, for some reason, decided to neither advertise nor report on. It helped swell the attendance given the game was arranged at short notice.I was happy to help those clubs, and when you read into the problems of non-league football you immediately realise that when they get into trouble financially there is no big machine called the 'Premier League' ready to ride in, cover it all up, and allow them to continue. There are no Portsmouths in the non-league and no Leeds Uniteds either.Non-league football is important, and I wanted to do my bit so I came up with the idea of trying to encourage people to go to non-league games this weekend with Burnley having no game.I've selected my game - I'll be at the Vodkat League Premier Division fixture between Padiham and Flixton at the Arbories. I'll also, ahead of the day, be making my way to Barnoldswick Town tomorrow night for their game against Rossendale United in the same league.On Saturday, some friends of mine will be at the Blue Square Bet South game between Bishop's Stortford and Farnborough.I was all set to publicise all this today, but last Friday, by chance, I found someone else who is doing much the same thing, a Harrow Borough fan called James Doe who has called this Saturday 'Non-League Football Day." Well done James, and I'm more than happy to join you.If you are considering a non-league game, James has helped by publishing all the fixtures, from levels 1 to 6 in the non-league pyramid, on his web site. Click HERE for those fixtures.If you are going to go to a game, please EMAIL us and we'll keep a list of the games that people from Clarets Mad are attending.Let's take the opportunity to do our bit for non-league football.