The Northern Premier League is a division full of clubs that have once graced the heights of the Conference Premier and even the Football League, with the odd minnow of course.
Basford United are relishing the opportunity to take on such large clubs after a year away from the division due to being allocated to the Southern League Central by the Football Association.
The Ambers have maintained their step three status for five years and are looking forward to facing the likes of Macclesfield and FC United of Manchester next season at Greenwich Avenue.
Marc Williams, head of media at Basford, has stated that he’s looking forward to facing the big clubs and seeing a potential increase in crowd numbers: “Naturally, the bigger the team in the division, the more likely you’ll get a decent following come to our ground for their away days. With certain teams, we’ve no doubt they will bring four, five, maybe even six hundred away supporters down.”
Gate receipts at this level of football are crucial to a club’s success both on and off the pitch.
Williams estimates that the club lost thousands as a result of their switch to the Southern League, the media man said: “For a club the size of ours, with a relatively small fan base and budget by comparison.
“That helps massively with income, revenue, and several other off-the-field budgets. You’re looking at tens of thousands of pounds, that’s what we estimated to have lost on gate receipts when we moved South.”
The Southern League contained three big teams who were gunning for promotion with the likes of Tamworth, Nuneaton Borough and Coalville Town.
Whereas in the Northern Premier League, each week you can expect to see away teams traveling in good numbers, providing more of an atmosphere and increasing clubs’ match-day revenue on the whole.
(Subject to FA Ratification and Appeal) pic.twitter.com/iT0m0PyIZQ
— The Pitching In Northern Premier League (@NorthernPremLge) May 15, 2023
Last season, Basford finished in 15th and 13 points clear from the drop zone back to step four.
However, the Northern Premier League is hailed as a tougher division. The Ambers will look to be competitive at this level and retain their step three status for another year. Williams acknowledged the task of playing in this division: “Of course, we know it will be tough to compete – and we know what we have to do in terms of recruitment. But it’s going to be a good adventure and one we’re all looking forward to.”
Williams claims that both the board and supporters at Greenwich Avenue have well-received the return to the Northern Premier League: “The move back to the Northern Premier League has been well-received, not just amongst the fans and followers, but from a boardroom and club perspective also,” says Williams.
The last time Basford was in the division, they battled relegation and beat the drop by only two points before being allocated in the Southern League.
However, the Ambers have Steve Kittrick at the helm who will look to do a better job in Nottinghamshire compared to his most recent stint at Belper Town.
Welcome to Greenwich Avenue, Steve! 🤝🏻
— Basford United FC (@Basfordutdfc) March 15, 2023
The manager has made several signings to ensure that the club will be competitive at its current level and retain its step three status in what looks like a tough but exciting season that lays ahead for the Ambers.