ESL Opinion | Scott Davies
The North East region was a particular stronghold of the beautiful game for most of the 1900s. The State of New England was a pioneer, with the New England/North Eastern Football Association (NEFA) often being seen as the most powerful player in the running of national matters and influence.
Fast-forward to 2017 and it appears to be in a massive decline. Many former giants are currently plying their trade in the second-tier National League-Premier (NLP). Only Amorgan Celtic and Elverpool can fly the north-eastern flag- and they compete for the Copa Eboria, but were both out of the reckoning for the ESL title. Hillsborough, up until recently, the third team, got relegated at the end of 2016-17.
The ESL has attracted national (and international) attention, making it more glamorous to be associated with. The increase in exposure has increased the finances- and with finances has come expansion and widespread appeal. Now the ESL has teams in Coratia, San Andreas, Hallas and Totterdam. NEFA teams used to only have compete with the teams from the capital (Landor’s ALFA, Angel and Olympians, Melborg and to some degree– Carlton) and Hansylvania (New Jorg United, Philton Rovers). It’s a totally different story nowadays.
All of these NE teams are in the second-tier NLP for the 2017-18 season:
Hearts of Monaghan
West Hampton Athletic
Spare a thought for Burnham City, who have fallen into the third flight, last season .
flirting dangerously with relegation from NL1 into NL2.
So how has this happened? As with many of these issues in modern football – it comes down to money. The key investment is lacking in these classic hard working cities and towns and has become flush in the brighter, newer, modern parts of Eboria. San Andreas, Mayona, Coratia, Hallas et al. have become the places investors and fans want to be seen in. The poor old North East is being left behind.
The second problem is down to the academies. The young players are going to the glamorous teams and only spending time on line in the lower clubs in the North East. Any player that is a young star will be snapped up by the teams with the money. It creates a vicious circle. These clubs are forced to find ‘moneyball’ players and success is not always that easy.
What is the solution? The clubs need to either keep their talent and/or attract more investment. Is that coming any time soon? we will have to wait and see.