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Football League or Dog Rubbish United?

It's no contest as far as poultry wholesaler Dai Davis, the driving force behind AFC Fylde is concerned. The club is now three steps away from the Football League and plans to be there by 2022.

Known at one time as Kirkham and Wesham, the club rebranded and moved to their own stadium.  They see their appeal as now encompassing the Lytham St. Annes area from their location south-east of Blackpool.

Kettering quit Conference

Kettering Town's debts have led them to resign from the Blue Square Bet North where they had been relegated.  They will play in the Southern League Premier next season.

The club's debts total £1.2m.   Former chairman Imraan Ladak and other directors owed money have agreed to write off their loans and to leave £402,000 outstanding.   Creditors will get about 10p in the pound as part of a three year company voluntary arrangement.    

Minstermen on the up

York City languished in the Conference for eight years, showing what a difficult league it is to get out of. But now they have escaped in some style, winning the FA Trophy and promotion through the play offs from the Blue Square Bet Premiership.

Is there a Histon model?

Have Histon managed to develop a model for non-league survival at a minimal cost?   They have managed to survive in the second tier despite having a £130,000 budget which permits a 15 man squad which works out an average of £7,000 per player.

Histon is just to the north of Cambridge and with the intertwined village of Impington is a fast growing area.   However, the combined population is short of 10,000 which is quite small to sustain a tier two club, even though some fans come from further afield.

New shirt deal for Kiddy

Kidderminster Harriers have signed a new shirt deal with tool hire firm Hire-It! based on the Worcester Road.   The firm will replace OGL Computer on the front of the shirt until the end of the 2013-14 season after a five figure deal was secured.

Darlo to play at Shildon

Darlington are to ground share with Northern League Shildon next season.   This will involve a ten mile journey from Darlington for fans.   The other venue considered at Bishop Auckland would have involved a similar journey.

The worst drop of all

In some ways the drop that clubs fear most is that from League 2 to the Blue Square Premiership.  Half of the clubs in the Conference this season had been Football League clubs at some point in their history. Luton were once in the top flight and Grimsby Town and Stockport County were in the second tier.   There are only two promotion places out of the division, as distinct from four from League 2, and one of those is decided by play offs.

The cost of not getting promoted

Wrexham, who are in the play off places in the Conference, calculate that failure to get promoted will cost them heavily.   This year's losses are forecast at £157,000 which is a great improvement on the £700,000 talked of earlier in the year and shows that the Supporters' Trust have made substantial progress towards balancing the books.

What's in a name?

The winner of a raffle competition to re-name Bath City's Twerton Park ground will be announced at half time in their Easter Bank Holiday match.   167 entries for the competition at £50 a go raised £8,350 for the club who have already been relegated to the Blue Square South.

No fewer of the 22 entries came from Norway with the most unusual one being 'Hot Dog in a Waffle Park'. However, 16 entrants were happy to stay with the current name.

The cost of relegation to League 2

Any relegation is difficult for a club.   It's a blow to morale and a big financial setback as well.  But the costs of relegation from League 2 to the Conference are particularly heavy.   Just look at the clubs who have found it difficult to return to the Football League: among them Grimsby, Lincoln, Luton, Mansfield and York (who have had the longest stay at the lower level).