NL TALKING POINTS
Tom Vosper – @TomVosper11
Tom looks at the latest talking points from around the National League
FRESH COVID FINANCING
Towards the end of November it was announced Premier League sides would be giving fresh Covid Impact Funding to assist all members of the National League. The three year renewal of the Premier League’s UK live and non-live broadcast rights are part of the Exclusion Order agreement with the Government. This will be a welcome boost to sides who have been heavily hit by the pandemic. The total additional amount will be £5m over the next four years, broken up into £2m this year and £1m the following three seasons.
Is this figure enough though? The help from the Premier League is appreciated of course and the money given will make a big difference to clubs. And yes, in the latest figures, The Premier League saw it’s first fall in combined revenues by dropping 13%. But even with this drop, revenue still sat at £4.5 billion meaning the £5 million pay out (across four years) will be 0.11% of the total revenue from ONE season. Time will tell if this financing will be enough to save further clubs from insolvency.
Last week it was reported that the owner of Yeovil Town, Scott Priestnall, would no longer be financing the club. Many Glovers fans believe that under Priestnall’s ownership the club is being run into the ground. However, in an open letter to fans on Monday, Priestnall condemned these rumours stating that ‘Most of what has been written across social media is nothing more than rumours and game playing’. Despite these boardroom fears, the side continue to perform on the pitch. A 7 match unbeaten run has lifted them to just outside the play off places with a game in hand. On top of this, Saturday’s 2nd round FA Cup win against Jamie Reid’s Stevenage set up a huge 3rd round fixture at home to Championship promotion chasers Bournemouth. Not before their festive double header with the Gulls though!
Every year there is one side that surprises you at both ends of the table. At the summit of the National League, Boreham Wood are putting in performances that more than warrant their place there. Torquay fans will be familiar with a dull trip away to Boreham! They have this week however, announced the signing of Nile Ranger. The highly controversial forward joins Wood after 2 spells with Southend which were broken up by “reoccurring disciplinary issues” off the field. He’ll likely partner former Gull, Scott Boden up front.
At the other end of the table, Kings Lynn shocked a lot of people when they sacked long term manager Ian Culverhouse. The Norfolk side have won only twice this year, but Culverhouse over-achieved by getting Lynn into the National league in the first place. Owner of Kings Lynn, Stephen Cleeve, has a mixed reputation from fans due to his decision making and this sacking won’t help his image.
CAN MONEY BUY HAPPINESS?
With every National League season, there is at least one team which has been given the title of winners before the season has started due to their financial power. The 21/22 season is slightly different however, with 3 to 4 sides tipped for greatness after splashing cash.
Chesterfield lead the way at the moment and there’s one man they can certainly thank for that. Tshimanga joined from Boreham Wood for a fee which Wood only thought could be paid by a Championship/League 1 side this summer and has hit the ground running straight away. 17 goals in 17 league games means he is the top goal-scorer this season with no sign of slowing down.
We all know the financial backing Wrexham and Stockport have. Stockport’s dismal performances under Rusk meant he was relieved of his duties and replaced by Hartlepool gaffer Challinor very quickly after. Things have clicked again and Challinor remains undefeated in the league since taking over. Wrexham are now picking up momentum, only 2 defeats in their last 10 games puts them 4th having played a game more.
I guess with patience, money does buy you happiness. Failing that, buy Kabongo Tshimanga.