Over the years clubs have dropped out of the Football League to be welcomed by the sudden threat of the Blue Square Premier.
Teams such as Mansfield, Kidderminster, Rushden and Diamonds, and Wrexham – who are all currently in the Blue Square – previously played regularly in the Football League.
The teams who often replace such sides and take a place in the Football League are hungry for success, which on the pitch is certainly noticed. Burton Albion, who for the first time in the club’s 60 year history bought their ticket to the Football League last season, winning the Blue Square Premier outright in the most successful campaign the Brewers’ faithful has ever witnessed.
Paul Peschisolido, Burton Albion manager, has guided his side to league safety this year, after a more than impressive first season in League Two. Part of Burton’s success has stemmed from having a strong spine to their squad and the desire to cherish yet another year playing League football.
Accrington Stanley also fall into the same category as Burton when you look their own persona and that, before they were promoted from the Blue Square, almost four years ago in 2006 they were almost disregarded as a strong non-league battleaxe.
Stanley have shown a willingness under the pressure of a small budget and fanbase to proceed up the League Two table, narrowlingly missing out this season on the playoffs. This season has also seen Stanley record their best performance in the F.A Cup reaching the fourth round and reflecting the succcess of the original Accrington side of the late 1960’s.
Yet for the sides that do gain promotion to the Football League, in some cases to begin a rollercoaster of a ride that is nothing like non-league football, there are the once established League Two sides that will plummet to the roots of English football.
This season has seen no other like it in League Two. So far Rochdale have been promoted to League One for the first time in the club’s history and filthy rich Notts County have followed.
Focusing on the bottom half of Coca Cola League Two and north-east outfit Darlington are already confirmed relegated. With three games of the season left to play, one of three teams, Barnet, Lincoln City, or Grimsby Town could open the trapdoor for themselves and fall into the realms of non-league football.
Grimsby Town are currently seven points away from safety and seem almost destined to shadow Darlington into the Blue Square. The Mariners, who only nine years ago were playing their football in the Championship, play The Quakers this Saturday and if they cannot emerge victorious their worst fears will be realised.
Many of the first team players will either have relegation release clauses in their contracts or will simply leave the club as they will not want to be associated with a non-league side. The mistake clubs often make when they are pushed down into a lower league is to buy bigger players from higher divisions. However, this could be counter-productive and this certainly proved true for Gainsborough Trinity who this season had and used the biggest budget for players and found themselves in a battle for survival in the Blue Square North.
The conclusion is that now, in the current climate of small clubs with small budgets who fight a big fight, can prove deathly to the bigger, more renowned clubs who have a greater fanbase yet do not scrap for their lives in the Football League.Tweet