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Vanarama Conference Premiership

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Tranmere's financial challenges

Tranmere Rovers hope to win promotion to the Football League in today's play off final at Wembley, but the club has required some investment since Mark Palios bought the club in August 2014.

Average attendances of 5,000 bring in £1 million a year in gate receipts but the playing budget is £2 million, running Prenton Park costs £1 million and their academy £400,000.   Victory today would be worth £1.5m.

The club has developed a link up with China that will mean Tranmere recruiting coaches to work with the Little London School in Hohhot, the capital of Inner Mongolia.

One off sponsorship deal upsets Sutton fans

A one off sponsorship deal between FA Cup giant killers Sutton United and Sun Bet for their match against Arsenal has upset some Sutton United fans.  The name of their regular sponsor, Greengo Waste, could still be seen in small lettering on the back of the shirts, but the front had a prominent sticker for Sun Bet.

How the FA Cup boosts a non-league club

Sutton United are mid-table in the Vanarama National League, although not so long ago they were in the third tier of the non-league pyramid in the Ryman League.  On Sunday they face Leeds United in a televised FA Cup tie that will bring them £144,000 in addition to the £300,000 they have already earned from their cup run.  They have already been able to repair a leak in the home dressing room roof.

The story behind Lincoln's success

Lincoln City defeated a lacklustre Ipswich Town last night to get through to the 4th round of the FA Cup. They are also top of the Vanarama National League with real hopes of a return to the Football League after an absence that will run to six years by the summer.

The prime minister congratulated the Imps on their success in prime minister's questions, responding to a question from the MP for Lincoln.

Football in resorts: the case of Torquay

Ar first sight Torbay might seem to fit into Type 2 of our resorts categorisation.  Type 1 covered small, select up market resorts.   Type 3 were towns highly dependent on tourism that had fallen on hard times like Skegness.    Type 2 were towns which had diverisified economies in which the resort function sat alongside many others such as Bournemouth.

Gulls takeover reaches crisis point

The prospective takeover of Torquay United has reached crisis point with bidders Gaming International issuing what the Torquay United Supporters Trust has described as an ultimatum to Torbay Council.

It has now emerged that Swindon-based Gaming International, operating through their subsidiary Riviera International Limited, want to take ownership of Plainmoor and then build a new ground elsewhere. Torbay Council currently own the freehold of Plainmoor.   It is quite an extensive site in a built up area of Torquay with development potential.

Gulls fans still in the dark

Torquay United fans are still in the dark about the club's future after its annual general meeting.  The takeover deal with Swindon-based Gaming International seems to be stuck in the sand.  Moreover, the cash strapped club may have to pay back a £50,000 loan if the deal falls through.

Derbies bring in the crowds

The ability of local derbies to attract big crowds is shown in the attendance figures for the National League and its north and south divisions for the 2015-16 seasons.

The biggest crowd in the National League was for the Lincolnshire derby between Grimsby and Lincoln (7.650).  This was followed by Tranmere Rovers versus Chester (7.433) and Wrexham versus Tranmere Rovers (6,707).

Three way tussle for Dagenham and Redbridge

Relegated Dagenham & Redbridge are hardly the most glamorous club in London, but there is a three way tussle to acquire the club.   

Shirt sponsors deny cannabis link

Torquay United's new shirt sponsors have emphatically denied that their company name has any link with cannabis.   420 Skatestore is a skatestore clothing company.   In the United States 420 is a slang term associated with cannabis.  Gulls supporters have jokingly speculated on social media whether the team will appear with a cannabis leaf on their shirts.