The Premier league now has riches beyond the wildest dreams of the merry band of club chairmen and TV executives who conceived the league back in 1992.The winners now receive an astonishing £96 million and the last placed team, pocket a mind boggling £62 million to reward abject failure for finishing bottom to spend on rebuilding a team ready for championship football.

 

With transfer fees of £30 million plus occurring regularly and £100,000 a week wages not reserved for just the cream of the elite, England’s top flight is comfortably the richest in the world and the trend is certain to continue as a result of the latest £5 billion TV deal.

 

In January it was revealed that all 20 clubs in the Premier League are amongst the 40 richest clubs in Europe. With wads of cash, voraciously marketed and branding appealing to a mass audience, Premier League football is riding the crest of a commercial wave. The consumer is paying the price, whether as a Sky customer or a football supporter.  A Liverpool or Tottenham season ticket holder will pay  north of the £700, whilst  the cheapest price  of £985 a season at the Emirates to watch Arsenal scrape into a Champions League position, but not threaten a challenge for the title, makes them the most expensive side to watch in the world.

 

These exorbitant ticket prices have marginalised thousands of ordinary supporters and left Premier League the preserve of the prawn sandwich eating, corporate ticket blagging, middle class indifferent.

 

There is an alternative in league 2 and Non-League football sometimes derided as a joke and of poor quality by uneducated opinion giver, but as a Non-League football fan myself I can tell you that this is not the case.

 

For the past 2 seasons I have made the 12 mile trip down to Lewes FC near the Sussex coast. For a reasonable £10 entrance fee you can enjoy Semi-Professional football in a welcoming atmosphere all within the stunning setting of the South Downs. Not only can you enjoy the traditional feel of the ground and the location, you can also enjoy feeling close to the action while still watching a good quality of football. Perhaps the most important factor for me and what draws me away from the excesses of Premier League football is that you can feel on a level with the players who are paid nominal expenses and earn an honest living during the week. To feel part of it is the essence of the experience and a lifetime away from the ugly indulgence of the Bentley culture that the Premier League represents. 

Published by Tom Black