The Cost of Living Crisis: Non-League Football’s “Greatest Threat Since WW2”

Written by on 5th May 2023

The cost of living crisis is affecting millions of people up and down the land, with households across the nation grappling with astronomically high energy bills, and their hard-earned money stretching ever-thinner.

But there’s one aspect of our communities that is quietly being squeezed to the point of literal extinction in certain areas, and that is non-league football.

Cadbury Athletic Reserves playing Knowle Reserves at the impressive Cadbury Recreation Ground. April 25, 2018. Image credit: Elliot Macvie (@nonleaguematchday)

A recent BBC report labelled the crisis as the, “Biggest threat to non-league football since WW2”, as many grassroots clubs with long and proud histories have been forced to fold as they can no longer sustain themselves in the current climate.

As a passionate, lifelong football fan myself who knows full well the importance of the role they play in their communities, I attempted to better discover the extent of the problem non-league football is facing by speaking with experts who are on the ground week in, week out.

With many thanks to renowned non-league journalist, Mark Carruthers, as well as non-league journalist and presenter of the award-nominated Non-League Show, Ollie Bayliss, and finally non-league blogger Elliot Macvie, here is what I found:


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