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Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Art1983, 12 Oct 2019.
The incident was the 'early hours' not discovered until later though.
A few sports teams criss-cross south Wales by train, albeit sporadically. Makes a club event of a long day out, make use of groupsave and not spend on a bus.
Crystal Palace’s squad and manager did Newcastle away on the train last season.
Dover and Barrow are in the National League, its the 5th level of FA competition and the first national level. Below that level 6 is divided into 2 geographic regions to reduce travel, level 7 below that is divided into 4 regions. Leagues go down to level 10 with the geographic areas becoming smaller.
Paying for a squad and staff to travel long distances first class on the train isn't cheap either. If it's about cutting costs surely a coach is cheaper.
The mistake they made yesterday was not leaving early enough or having a coach on standby. They should have been out of Euston before 9.
Yesterday probably summed up the folly of having FIVE national leagues. Dover will now have to travel to Barrow on a Tuesday night.
I was on a Virgin train once and Boreham Wood's team were also in first class.
I think they got on at Milton Keynes and were travelling to Barrow (presumably last part by coach).
News reached them that the game had been postponed and they got off at Crewe to return south.
However having geographic regions in level 6 (National League North & South), hasn't stopped the situation of matches such as Blyth Spartans (Northumberland) v Gloucester City or Gateshead v Hereford.
It is probably due to the larger amount of southern based teams at that level which causes teams that should ideally be in National League South ending up in National League North.
It produces a huge drain on these club's finances as it is either a very long journey there and back on the day, or hotel accommodation needed the night before the match.Some of the bigger clubs in the National League North do travel by coach all the way (for example York City), but I have seen a few of teams on the train on a Friday before a Saturday match.
However getting back from Gloucester City to Cramlington (the closest station to Blythe) after a Saturday match either means missing the end of the match or getting home the following morning.
Barrow has always been notorious as a difficult away game to get to. There was a time a few years back when it wasn't possible to get back to London by train after a Saturday game there.
So the Dover team were stuck at Euston but the supporters coach made it all the way to the ground before finding out the game was off? I find that very hard to believe.
I've been to Barrow and Dover and if either of them is to be classed as a "tin pot club" I would say its Dover. Horrible club in a horrible town with horrible little fake Stone Island clad teenage fans. The town of Dover makes Barrow look like Barcelona!
Getting into the National League / Conference is a big thing for non-league clubs and playing games nationally comes with it. Dover and Barrow have spent many years in the regional divisions and I don't think for one minute either of these clubs would like to go back there.
The problem was at level 7 there was 3 regional leagues and 2 of them were southern based, each promoting 2 clubs. So for years out of 6 clubs promoted 4 would usually be southern going into step 6 which took the north league at step 6 further and further south. Now its 4 leagues at step 7 with an equal number of north and south (the extra league is predominantly Midlands based, which promotes into the north).
The likes of Hereford, Oxford and Gloucester tend to be the demarcation clubs, when ideally it'd be the likes of Solihull and Kidderminster.
Dover to Barrow is nearly as long as trip as you'll get in England so if they can afford first class travel for their squad and staff for that journey they could have got a coach the day before and a reasonably priced hotel. It's only a once a season trip. Now they'll have to go on a Tuesday night.
Unless the Conference rules have changed, clubs are not penalised for no-shows if they are travelling by rail and an incident prevents them from fulfilling the journey.
However, the Conference does penalise no-shows or late arrivals if a journey is made by road.
I'm sure Dover will "risk" travelling by train again, most of their players are London-based so few would be starting their journey at Dover.
When my team was in the Conference (a distant memory now) we always used London trains for fixtures at Altrincham, Morecambe, Runcorn, Southport, Gateshead etc.
They should just leave earlier to account for delays if they're travelling on the morning of the game. Trains get cancelled or delayed for all kinds of reasons so you have to factor in some potential time lost.
One of the problems was Barrow doesn't have a train service from London and the coach from Lancaster was another hour to account for.
Can you show your workings please?
A discounted advance group booking in first class at the weekend plus cabs/local coach trip vs booking a coach and (at least one) driver for two days, finding a hotel that has 15-20 decent rooms available and a conference room, all the extra food, and possibly hiring training facilities too.
Are the players in the National League full time professionals? If some of them have jobs in the 'normal' world as well then travelling on the day is clearly preferable for the players.
Only one team in the National League is truly part time with players with ‘normal’ jobs - teacher, lawyer etc
Several others are probably in the grey area where the players have other part time jobs like personal trainer etc
I suppose the motorways are just as bad sometimes as the railways for getting players to games.
However last year i went to Maidstone v Macclesfield for an evening game. The away team and supporters were at the ground. Game was called off because the HOME team couldn't get there in time!!
Yeah , they flew to Bournemouth too . Celtic i think used to fly to Inverness and Aberdeen
It does seem surprising, but it's mentioned in the statement that Dover Athletic have put out.
"However, we are shocked and disappointed with the response from Barrow AFC and some of their supporters. ... We were further shocked to hear about abuse directed by Barrow officials towards both our Kit Manager and our Supporters Club driver – the latter had travelled to Barrow this morning and was subjected to foul and abusive language as a Barrow Club official attempted to board the supporters coach."
So it did arrive in Barrow, and had its driver known that there was a problem you'd imagine he'd have parked up at Charnock Richard or somewhere and waited for further news.
I don't have the National League rulebook either so I can't look the point up. What I do know is that when I was involved with an Isthmian League club, that league had a "strict liability" rule on this. Notoriously, it once kicked Wroxham FC from Norfolk out of its League Cup for not arriving at a midweek game in Canvey Island on an evening when there was heavy snow in East Anglia. There was no snow in the flatlands of the Thames Estuary, so the visitors should have got themselves there, it ruled.
Since then, the FA has introduced standardised league rules across the board. You'd hope that they would be a bit more common sense, but common sense and the FA do not always go together.
There's one from county cricket that comes to mind. Before the championship was split into two divisions, there used to be a tradition that Glamorgan v Lancashire was played at Colwyn Bay during the holiday season. This was a Glamorgan home game, but the home team used to fly from Cardiff to Liverpool and then by coach, while the Lancashire players just travelled in their cars from Manchester.
Man City frequently use the train for London games. They do travel the day before, normally
Never seen the entire team but have seen individual players from my club on the train after the match. And in one case on the plane! Flew to Newcastle for a Sunderland home game when there was major rail engineering work and flew back with Nyron Nosworthy.
It was just stupid of Dover to book a train at 09.30 from London to Cumbria, especially when Lancaster to Barrow is another hour to factor in. Basically meant everything had to go like clockwork to arrive on time for the game.
Obviously you can't account for a serious incident but trains do frequently get cancelled and delayed.
We had supporters fly to that and our game at Gateshead yesterday.
Problem with a north-south regional league is the east-west links in England are terrible.
The Leeds United team travel to some London games by train. I believe Manchester United do too. It's possible to hire a carriage of a pendolino I believe.
Pretty sure Wenger used to do it in his early years at Arsenal. Infact they'd still travel to games in North West as you had that incident of him getting abused at Stoke on Trent station a few years back.
Manchester clubs both get on at Stockport for London games (often pictures of them waiting in the papers).
He fell over at Lime Street one year.
Indeed he did!
Worth baring in mind sometimes clubs won't have the option if the rolling stock isn't there or the journey takes as long as a coach would, I doubt anyone has ever seen Leeds or Sheffield teams on a Northern service.
Makes sense for London clubs to use Virgin as you can get to say Preston in two and a bit hours compared to a good 4 hours if coach option is taken.
I was surprised to see the Scotland Rugby team heading down the M6 on a coach a few weeks back, must have taken a long time to get to Japan that way
Some would argue they still didn't turn up.