Read this post by County faithful, Jamie Summers, and thought it to be a nice synopsis of current days. Long may they exist! Reproduced with kind permission.
“My shot of Stockport County’s following at Altrincham today – well over 1,500 away fans at a sixth tier fixture. It’s been a difficult decade for County – a football club emasculated by administration, financial mismanagement and off-field ineptitude and/or amateurism; but, after a fallow period in regional football, there’s a growing feeling that this is a club heading once again in the right direction. Today’s 1-0 victory was County’s sixth win in seven games, during which time they’ve conceded only twice. It was also their fourth victory over Altrincham this season without conceding against them – and Altrincham are a good side at this level. The Hatters start 2019 sat 3rd in the National League North, and with a squad and management team which has a bond and understanding with the supporter base like no other in the last ten years. Perhaps this really is their season. Either way, it’s a football club which has started to get its mojo back.”
Look at this fantastic blog post that summarises just why the ‘County family’ is a superior community offer to many of the EPL clubs. May be elite on the pitch but not always off it.
Stockport County Make Family Dreams Come True..
My own book explains many of the links that relate to this blog being mainly about UK and Turkey. I still recall also my father-in-law and brother-in-law’s first trip to Edgeley Park when the then Commercial Director, Steve Bellis, orchestrated a rousing chorus of “Turkey, Turkey, Turkey” in the hospitality suite, post-match, to show warmth and welcoming. A story often recited by relatives in Turkey to this date.
The family remain committed to County and Bilen Kur writes for the leading football blog in the Country, which not surprisingly is called “scarf around my neck”. Bilen is a Co-Director with me at FC Sports Marketing LTD. Talk SPORT has recognised our knowledge in this territory.
Steve has continued his foray into Turkey, though not to my extent obviously. His latest venture is to take the hit reality TV show there with broadcasting on channel, TRT Spor. We played a role in early introductions to selected football contacts to help his Kickworldwide evaluate the feasibility of selected commercial opportunities. We remain able to work in partnership and collaborate on opportunities that might require our different skills.
The show, which is called ‘Futbol Prensi’ in Turkey, is conducting auditions in Konya, Kayseri, Erzurum, Trabzon, Samsun, Ankara, Gazientep, Adana, Antalya, Denizli, Izmir, Bursa, Sakarya, Istanbul and Diyabakir. The winner will be contracted to Liverpool FC.
Our next encounter is social and a trip to The Grange to watch an England match in the Euros. Steve Bellis took the brand of Stockport County into China and created a profile the envy of many an English Premier League club.
When “County” went down, I recall someone saying that this was the best thing that could happen to us. We’d just bounce back was the rhetoric. I rubbished the suggestion, pointing out that the BSP read like a graveyard of former ‘League’ teams: York, Cambridge, Luton, Grimsby etc. If we were to remain in that Division in Season one that would be a result in my opinion, after a free-falling demise and so many woes – consolidation had to be the name of the game.
Facing the on-going reality, relegation brings with it reduced income. There is an immediate loss of the £250,000 Premier League solidarity payment; TV revenue and sponsorship £430,000 is halved for one year and then goes all together; youth development funding of £180,000 a year is halved for two years and then gets removed.
It’s a significant contrast from the generous parachute payments clubs relegated from the Premiership receive for three years.
All this explains why the Centre of Excellence in its current guise is not sustainable – and why innovative ticketing regimes need to be piloted such as ‘mad hatter prices’ to boost attendances for forthcoming seasons including attracting ‘new blood’ (the fans of tomorrow) and deriving supplementary in-stadia secondary spend.