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Non League Football Under The Microscope

Please email me with any comments or amendments

BuiltWithNOF

Eastbourne Borough fans celebrate - August Bank Holiday Monday 2003                                Photograph by Sam Hicks

The Ground Guide

A to Z Index

Go to the above link to find a specific ground ... or just feel free to browse!  Clubs are indexed either in the traditional A-Z fashion. Note that clubs bearing the prefix “AFC” are listed under “A”.

For the benefit of ground-hopper, who may be interested in visiting a few grounds within a particular geographical area I have included the county in brackets after the club name..

As you visit the club pages you will see that I have avoided the temptation to include sponsors’ names when listing Leagues. This is partly reactionary - after all, the Isthmian League for example, has all but lost its identity in the wake of numerous sponsors prefacing it with their own brand ... hence, the Vauxhall-Opal League, Diadora League, Icis League, and of course the Ryman League to name just four. A more pragmatic reason however is that whilst sponsors come and go, (usually) the Leagues remain, although for quite how long is an interesting question.

Increasingly - and certainly within the more recent pages - I have purposefully not listed which Division a club plays in. This is purely for pragmatic reasons and to avoid the need for too much updating every close season. I will of course, make any adjustments to the League brought about by restructuring and promotion.

Inevitably, things will have changed at the grounds listed since I last visited. Equally, although I have endeavoured to maintain accuracy, I am ashamed to admit there may even be the odd mistake and/or typographical error that has crept in.

Please email me at
david@pyramidpassion.co.uk if for any reason, the information is not up-to-date.

Note All Leagues have now been updated in time for the start of the 2006/07 season, taking into account the various promotions, relegations and restructuring.

This has been a very time-consuming process and inevitably I may have missed something.
If you spot one of these ‘deliberate mistakes or omissions’ please let me know. Equally, if any club has a website that it not listed, drop me a line and I will include it on their page

DB (August 2006)

Good Grounds?
What constitutes a ‘good ground’? As the saying goes: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, and to my mind football grounds are no different. As I live on the South Coast and an hour from the nearest motorway, the majority of grounds currently featured on the site are from the midlands and south of the country ... although this will be expanded over a period of time!

The painting on the left perhaps sums up my particular fetish - large wooden stands with pitched roofs. Remember this and you will be under no illusions as to what you are letting yourself in for if you choose to visit a ground that I’ve particularly waxed lyrical over! No doubt you will disagree with many of my preferences - perhaps because I tend to prefer the higgledy-piggledy arrangements produced by additions added over a period of time, rather than a neatly homogenous arrangement of stands and terracing.

Thankfully, Non League football generally escaped the consequences of the Taylor Report, largely because the majority of clubs rarely attract four figure gates, with many at the lower reaches of the Pyramid struggling to even reach three figures. Had they been required to radically upgrade their facilities then, many would have simply gone out of existence.

Quite why a club with such a modest average gate requires a 150-seat stand is beyond my comprehension; yet, slowly but surely the old brick and wood structures, and (perish the thought) grass banks, are being replaced by modern, functional but ultimately characterless replacements, as beaurocracy catches up with them. The term ‘identikit’ or ‘flat-pack’ stadium has often been used in a derisory way to describe these ‘improvements - often an entire new ground paid for by developers as part of a deal for buying up a clubs traditional home. One cannot blame the clubs for this - very often it’s the most pragmatic solution - but we should cherish those older grounds all the same.

Of course, not all modern grounds are characterless. Some of the newer Non League stadiums are superb, and there are plenty of examples around of how to build a new ground and retain a little character at the same time.


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