1. Leading the Way
The proposed restructuring of the Non League System Pyramid will lead to continued evolution, which is a result of the pressure applied on the FA by those in Non-League seeking equity and recognition over many years.
Already Non-League has led the way in the Coronavirus pandemic era. It was at the heart of bringing fans back safely and what the FA and scientists learned will go a long way to creating a new normal, that will allow everyone to enjoy football again, hopefully, in the not too distant future.
2. Disenchanted Elite Level Fans
The decision to show all Premier League matches ‘live’ as part of Project Restart’ and the streaming of Step1 and 2 games has long evoked a fear of increasing the number of armchair fans. The trials & tribulations of VAR pus the lack of atmosphere generated by the missing fans at games which are broadcast has created a sterile environment that will lead to an increased desire to to watch live football ‘in the flesh’.
There were increased attendances when Step 3 and below became the only place to watch live football last August (except here in Wales!) and many were supporters of main-stream Clubs, refreshed by the community product they experienced at Non-League.
Many of our fans will return as soon as circumstances allow and with near capacity crowds likely to be limited for longer at the elite level, more and more will filter down and meander towards Penydarren Park, embracing the game at the non-elite level.
3. Community at the Heart of Social and Economic Recovery
Big work commutes will be over and with employees continuing to work from home this will allow more time to explore the local gems right under their nose. We will be perfectly placed to benefit if we really market the product in a positive and eye catching fashion.
Our clubhouse is a social hub and will always be at the heart of our product. More and more will be able to discover the wonders of Roman’s or Webley’s that will in turn help the Club with our own fight back and survival.
4. Non League is a Movement Not Just a Product
We all share a love for a place where football is more authentic, the fans are more involved, feel included and have a sense of belonging.
Arise the Martyrs supporters to lead the Club onto the next chapter. Not Cardiff or Swansea but International Merthyism.
5. We Are Still Here
The multitude of Board Updates, Zoom meetings and hopefully podcasts in the future show that things can continue and will flourish even in and after a pandemic.
The Club will now hopefully survive until pre-season when everythng will burst into life once again, when it will be a return to 'Progress Through Stability'.
The magic of the FA Cup was strong with non-League Club’s well represented in this years competition, with Chorley, Marine, Stockport County and Boreham Wood all reaching the Third Round. Oh for a lucrative FA Cup run for the Martyrs this season.
In the words of Ian Drury and the Blockheads there will be ‘Reason to be Cheerful, Part 3’.