Evo-Stik chairman pulls no punches at FTD's Warrington Networking Event
Evo-Stik chairman Mark Harris gave an impassioned speech about the plight of non league clubs in tiers 3 and 4 at FTD's Warrington Networking Event last week.
An enthusiastic audience of clubs and businesses attended the latest football Networking day organised by the FootballTradeDirectory.com - the sports leading on-line football resource.
Delegates included reps from the Premier and Super League down to non-league clubs, like the Mark Harris's own Witton Albion.
Explaining the problems facing clubs at steps 3 and 4 of the National league Systems, he estimated that supporters account, on average, for around 62p of every £1 of club revenue based on.
'We don't have the luxury of a Premier League hand me down like the Conference, and apart from some FA Grant money there is little help from the FA either' he told the gathering.
Harris went on to say: 'We rely on the good will of our fans and volunteers. If you asked the 60 odd Evo-Stik club chairmen if they'd prefer £10 grand in cash or an army of good volunteers - the majority - if not all- would take the volunteers.
'That's the reality of life at this level and whilst the FA Chairman Greg Dyke is talking about spending £150 million and more in grass roots football - he doesn't necessarily define grass roots football like the rest of us.'
'We have to find our own money, but with a diverse selection of clubs we have a vibrant proposition and sponsors like Evo-Stik in the Northern Premier League, and the likes of FWP and BetBright who are exhibiting today(at the event) are the life blood for us.'
'There are opportunities for other companies to get involved with a great community based product. We have big clubs like FC United and the rejuvenated Salford City and many smaller ones. We are proud that we have in recent seasons been a repository for former league clubs like Halifax Town and Chester who have fallen on hard times. We believe we have helped them resurrect their clubs and long might that continue.'
Mr Harris was roundly applauded for an incisive contribution to a very successful event.
The next Footballtradedirectory networking event is at Sheffield Wednesday on 27th November. Anyone interested can email firstname.lastname@example.org.