Monday 15 November 2021

Three types of club in the National League says Alty chairman

 Altrincham's co-chairman talks about the club who are likely to host Charlton in the second round of the FA Cup.

“Money talks more than you might think,” says Bill Waterson, co-chairman of Altrincham. “That’s not unreasonable given that players have a very short playing career so they can’t afford to be altruistic. They have to maximise their earnings and it’s difficult to argue with that.”

Altrincham have been in the National League since the start of last season after winning the play-offs to land a return to the top tier of non-League after a five-year absence. They have a proud history outside the country’s top four leagues but since their return to this level last season, the gaps that have opened up within the league have grown more obvious.

“There are three types of club in the National League — the big clubs relying on the momentum of averaging over 5,000 spectators,” Waterson says. “There are the ambitious clubs that are not traditionally Football League clubs but have a big-money backer and are working their way up the pyramid. Then, there are those who don’t feel they can compete."

“The jump from one to another is quite substantial, as we are finding now trying to go from a club aiming to avoid the relegation zone to one challenging at the top. There is a chunk of clubs towards the bottom of the table who are biding their time. That’s an operating model which is, ‘Don’t worry about us, we’re just passing through’.

“We’re counting up to 50 points, so looking down rather than up in terms of what we expect to do this season, but our ambition is to be one of those smaller clubs competing with those traditionally bigger clubs. It’s about attitude as much as anything.”

If we are ever in a position to go up, we will be ready to go up and will be able to hold our own. It’ll be easier in some respects to hold our own in the Football League than it would be to get out of the National League just because of some of the resources that are available to the clubs at the top of this league.”

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