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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

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.

17 of the 24 clubs in the Football Conference are fully professional.   This often means a much smaller squad than in the Football League.  Newport County have been operating this year on a 'three-quarter time' basis.  I'm not quite sure what means: whether three-quarters of the squad are full time or they get 75 per cent of a wage meaning that they only have to take a minor part-time job.   Probably the latter.  Anyway, they are going fully professional next season.

Promoted AFC Telford have decided they are going to stay part-time.  They are still trying to lay the ghost of the old Telford club going bust seven years ago and don't want to risk a repeat.  But they also have an interesting rationale: there are some players who want to play part-time because they have professional careers which they want to develop, e.g., as teachers.  Telford are hoping to recruit some of the best of these part-time players and their relatively central location on the motorway network should help.