“They say Rome wasn’t built in a day, but I wasn’t on that particular job”.

The news that Paul Doswell has left his role as manager at Sutton United after 11 years in charge of the club got everyone here thinking, why do managers get more time in Non-League than they do in the Football League?

It’s the same high pressure business where results are all the matters, yet lower down the ladder the boss’s seem to recieve more time to get results out of their playing squads than those at the top of the game.

Perhaps then the reasons are financial, maybe its the cost of managers that we see in the top divisions that give them such a short shelf life. Maybe the only way to keep a job in the top echelons of the sport is immediate success, if this truly is the case then gone are the days where we will see managing dynasties such as Ferguson and Wenger.

Therefore you have too look further down the pyramid for such leagacies such as Jason Ainsley at Spennymoor Town and John Coventry at Havant and Waterlooville, managers who have been given time to develop a team to suit their footballing philosophies. Which has brought success to their clubs all you have to do is look at the progress Spennymoor have made since Ainsley took over, rising from The Northern Laague Division Two, through the leagues and into the National League North, where this season they have secured themselves a playoff spot.

Is it time that managers in the football league are given longer to get their squad and tactics right before they are given their p45 like they are in non-league? It’s understandable why they aren’t with so much at stake, but not everyone is a miracle worker.

Artificial Pitches in Non-League.

The vast majority of leagues outside of the Football League allow games to take place on artificial surfaces, however the danger comes if a club is too successful.

Artificial pitches are allowed as high up in the football pyramid as the Vanarama National League, they are also allowed to be used in the FA Cup, in the Football League however they must play on grass, a rule that has been debated since articifical pitches became a reality.

Admittedly most football league clubs don’t need the extra income of people using their pitch through the week and other clubs renting it out if they can’t for whatever reason use their own facilities. But what about clubs in the Non-League?

Most Non-League clubs are ran by volunteers, where budgets are tight and a successful season can be the difference between a good next few years or bad ones.

This is where the danger of being too successful comes in, currently there are three artificial pitches in the Vanarama National League, the top division of Non-League football, owned by Bromley, Maidstone United and Sutton United. Clubs that need the income that the ‘3G’ pitch provides as it can be used all week every week, if they get promoted again, they would be forced to rip up their main income provider and install a grass pitch a cost which Im sure they would all struggle with.

Currently under National League regulations, any club which wins promotion but does not install a grass surface to comply with EFL rules would subsequently be demoted to National League North or National League South, and could also be fined. Ridiculous really, but regulations all three sides play under.

So, an artificial pitch, worth it or not? It depends how ambitious your club is.