Can Subbuteo help non league clubs survive?

As I messed about on Twitter to avoid having to think about the Merseyside derby I saw the hashtag #boycottppv was trending and I think it’s clear fans are fed up with being milked for every last penny in a game awash with millions.

If you support a lower league club this will be nothing new. The current state of football is a worrying one for those concerned about the future of their clubs.

In Subbuteo’s long and illustrious history one thing could always ensure people flocked to buy a lower league team set – an FA Cup run.

Alan Ellis, who worked for Subbuteo, told the Tunbridge Wells museum display about Subbuteo a nice story about the FA Cup.

He said: “It was a real headache I can tell you, because we have the British cup and invariably you have one of the lower teams in the earlier stages of the competition that does well. You always have a giant killer. Each season there’s one of the lower teams that knocks out one of the premier sides. It always happens.

“The week that happens the demand for the lower team – there’s no statistics to support it. All of a sudden everyone wants Watford, because Watford knocked out Manchester United out of the FA Cup. (Subbuteo) had to pay an awful lot for the Watford colours until the success stopped.”

It’s a great story and it is interesting to hear just how some of the team colours were decided on. It also shows that the rarer Subbuteo teams are obviously those that didn’t enjoy a 60s, 70s or 80s cup run!

It also got me thinking; Subbuteo has an amazing opportunity at the moment to start teaming up with lower league and non league clubs to produce special edition or limited edition official team sets. These could be sold in club stores and online and profits could go towards helping the club through the current tough times.

The result would be a huge surge in sales from fans of the clubs and collectors, as well as Subbuteo arriving once again in homes around the country. It could inspire children to learn more about the game and also help struggling clubs.

It’s a marketing no-brainer.

Stephen Hurrell
Stephen Hurrell
Stephen is the founder and editor of The Hobby Online and The Hobby by Subbuteo.Online print magazine. He is a giant nerd and specialises in Subbuteo, retro football kits and consumer stories. A journalist and editor of 15 years, he has written about football for some of the UK's biggest publications.

Similar Articles


Most Popular