The English Football League started off with 12 founder members. How did we grow to the 92 Club?Read More
Whilst completing the 92 Club is undoubtedly a fantastic achievement, it is important to remember that football exists outside of "the 92" - with hundreds of games played up and down the country every Saturday.
Most fans will be aware of the Football Conference (or National League as it's now known). This is the national competition which sits below League 2 and is the top of the non-League pyramid. Two clubs are promoted into League 2 every season with the bottom two teams replacing them in the National League. Almost all clubs in the National League operate on a professional basis with full-time players.
Below the National League sits the National League North and National League South. The regionalised leagues of 24 teams cuts down on travelling time for players who are (mostly) semi-professionals with full-time jobs. 2 teams each from the North and South replace 4 National League teams who are relegated every season. The north/south split means teams can jump from one region to another - playing in the South one season and the North the next... great for groundhoppers!
Under the National Leagues we find a number of more localised divisions. These are generally made up of smaller teams with smaller stadiums - many of them with few seats and lots of standing capacity. Home and away fans can mix together, with fans often being able to choose where they sit/stand, being free to wander around the ground as they wish and getting very close to the action.
Every year a special day is held called Non-League Day. This day is set up to encourage fans of the bigger teams to visit their local non-League side and experience some of joys that non-League football can offer.
This is usually organised during the October international break when the Premier League and Championship teams have no fixtures arranged. Non-League clubs will often put on special offers (such as reduced admission or free food/drink) to tempt new fans to their game. Non-League Day is a great idea and often leads to bumper crowds for clubs who really need the money.
Why some people think non-League > Premier League...
So whilst we (obviously) love the 92 Club, this just goes to show that there's more to football in this country than just the top 4 leagues.