*BS*BLUE SQUARE FOOTBALL CONFERENCE have released the following press statement:
*BF*“We may be considered to be a minor player in the demise of Setanta but we know we have an excellent marketable product”.
So said the independent Chairman of the Football (Blue Square) Conference, when questioned this week on what financial impact the fall from grace by the Irish broadcaster would have on Conference football.
Brian Lee, who was instrumental in the rise of Wycombe Wanderers from non league to League One status, remains bullish and optimistic in the wake of the devastating news to hit his 68 member clubs, since what many saw as inevitable news, was actually announced.
“Recent viewing figures, which are comparable with the Scottish Premier League, clearly show that we have a competition which is of major interest to subscribers who hold the sport so dear to their heart in this country. It would be silly not to recognise the value of Premier League packages which became available following Setanta going into administration but with the Blue Square Premier now consisting of numerous ex Football League clubs and the cream of the non- league battling it out season after season we would like to think, that we can amongst the debris, find a new broadcaster who values what the ordinary supporter wants from the game nowadays”
Lee continued “The ordinary fan knows in the current climate that he or she cannot afford some of the pricing that is associated with the top of our game and have turned to find a more sensible and sustainable product in the market place. We believe we can offer that, not only in real terms at any of our member clubs but as a product which can be relayed into people’s homes. Obviously whether there is any mileage still to be obtained through the administrators or whether we accept a new approach, we want broadcasters to know we are happy to talk. We were the first to embrace the model of innovations brought to our screens by Setanta with their unique approach to presenting and we are willing to continue such an approach, if a broadcaster is also willing to help the top end of the grass roots game. In global terms the financial deal we had with Setanta was not huge by modern day standards but it was a major lifeline to my member clubs”.
The Football Conference, which celebrated it 30th year last season, continues to lead the way for all clubs’ aspirations in the world outside The Premier League and The Football League. Having been at the forefront for so long it is obvious The Football Conference will not leave any stone unturned to keep the momentum going in the advances it has made over those past three decades.