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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme



New owners and star manager at Stockport County

Stockport County were relegated to the Conference at the end of last season after 105 years in the Football League, but now they have new owners and a new manager in the shape of former Premiership and Germany midfielder Dietmar Hamann in his first managerial post.

Guernsey gets ready for mainland challenge

Organising competitive football on an island can be a big challenge.   The ultimate example of this is the Isles of Scilly where just two teams play each other week after week whether it is the league or the cup.   Even on Guernsey in the Channel Islands where there is a population of 60,000 there are only seven teams in the league.

Evo-Stik moves south

After two years as the Zamaretto League, the Southern League has recruited Evo-Stik as its new sponsors.  They already sponsor the Northern Premier League where their deal is reportedly worth £150,000 a year.  The Southern League will receive an estimated £100,000, a great improvement on the £35,000 a year provided by Zamaretto.

Will Kettering emerge in a new form?

Rushden and Diamonds have appealed against their expulsion from the Blue Square Bet Premiership.   Their potential Japanese investors are only interested if they retain their Conference status.   However, it is difficult to see their appeal succeeding in which case Kettering will move into the Nene Park stadium at Irthlingborough, some eight miles from their current base at Rockingham Road.

Nimby threat to FC United plans

FC United are working to overcome any opposition from 'Nimbys' opposed to their proposed new stadium in Moston.   Residents in a neighbourhood are always uncertain about a new football stadium because of concern about the possible effect on house prices and parking problems.  Certainly the local impact of the proposed 5,000 seater stadium would not be trivial.

Tight margins at Bath City FC

Bath is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Britain.   I organised a conference there a few years ago and the foreign visitors were enchanted.   The town exudes an air of prosperity, although no doubt there are pockets of poverty as there are everywhere.

Kettering Town FC may move to Nene Park

It looks increasingly unlikely that Rushden and Diamonds can be saved.   Even if a phoenix club can be formed, it will not be in time for next season.

Diamonds get a reprieve

The winding-up order brought against Rushden & Diamonds has been adjourned for 21 days.  This will give potential Japanese investors a chance to show their hand.   Having spent a long time now observing events of this kind, I am always cautious about mystery investors, but let's hope for Diamonds fans that it works out.

Rushden & Diamonds expelled from Conference

Financially troubled Rushden & Diamonds have been expelled from the Conference.  A full statement issued by the club can be found here.

This looks like the end of the dream realised by former owner Max Griggs that saw the Northamptonshire club win the League 2 championship, have one season in League 1 and play the likes of QPR, now in the Premier League.

Part-time or not?

There was a time when all non-league football clubs were 'semi-professional' i.e., players had other jobs.  Sometimes these were cushy jobs at firms owned by directors.  This particularly applied to 'works' teams affiliated to a particular factory, much less common these days.  However, no one earned their living just through football.