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Ryman Premier League

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Giving it large in Billericay

From the age of nine until I went to university I lived in Billericay.  Billericay Town played on the Archer Hall field and had an annual dinner-dance in the Archer Hall. One player from the 1950s remembered playing a German team, Emmerich Rhine, there. 'Billericay' almost sounds like an Irish place name, but I think it is a corruption of the Norman-French 'Ville de Cray'.  Other explanations are available.

Kingstonian look for new ground

Kingstonian are looking for a new ground in anticipation of AFC Wimbledon's move back to Merton.  At present they get rent free use of the Kingsmeadow ground which they sold to the phoenix club in 2003.

However, the 4,700 capacity is too great for their average crowds of around 300.  Chelsea are interested in acquiring the ground for their under 21, youth and ladies teams.

Finding a league sponsor

It's not so easy to find someone to sponsor a league, especially in the non-league system.   The returns are more diffuse than sponsoring a club.   Local businesses are often willing to support a non-league club.  One of their directors may also serve on the club board or their employees may play for the club.

Conference need new sponsors

The Football Conference is seeking a new sponsor after confirming its three-year deal with money transfer company Skrill will end after just 12 months. Skrill agreed a deal with the league in July 2013, ending a two-month search for a sponsor of its three divisions which clearly was far from easy.

The two parties have now mutually agreed to end their arrangement. "Skrill has undergone a number of changes and will be aligning any future sponsorship activity to its global strategy," a Conference statement read. Presumably a global strategy and English non-league football don't line up.

Guernsey pay the price

Guernsey are going to have to pay a high price for playing in the FA Cup and the FA Trophy. The Football Association has ruled that the club must cover the cost of flights, accommodation transport for all three match officials and 25 members of the opponent's team.

What is more, any postponed home tie must be rescheduled on the UK mainland with Guernsey covering the cost of hiring a neutral ground no more than 30 miles from Gatwick. The same provision will apply if an away tie is drawn, depriving the Green Lions of a home replay.

Stones set to move to new stadium

After ground sharing with three other Kent clubs, one time Football League side Maidstone United are set to open their new £2.6m stadium with a match against Brighton and Hove Albion on July 14th.

The club has been helped by a £150,000 five year naming rights deal with the Gallagher Group plus a £150,000 grant from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund which is the maximum amount that can be awarded.

Mixed Fortunes For Non-league Clubs

Salisbury City, up for sale for £1, will meet two more prospective buyers in the next few days after already holding talks with prospective owners. A consortium of local businessmen and a stand-alone buyer have already held talks with the Conference club. Another potential buyer from Denmark is interested in the club, while there is also a second consortium in the wings. However, a quick sale is not expected.

Recession Hits Non-League Clubs

Non-league football clubs are taking a big hit as the economy slips into recession. Conference outfit Grays Athletic have cut their players' wages by a 50 per cent payment deferral to avoid going into administration which is technically a breach of contract and allows players to leave. Workington managed to negotiate a voluntary 10 per cent cut. Despite riding high in the Ryman South, Folkestone Invicta are on the verge of financial meltdown.