Bungay Town will pay you to choose them for a watch on this year’s Non-League Day
- Credit: Archant © 2006
Bungay Town are planning to follow their superb start to the season with a big impact on a much-loved date in the football calendar – by paying fans to watch them play.
As has become tradition, the first international break of the season – when fans of Premier League and Championship sides have a free weekend – will signal Non-League Day, encouraging those supporters from across the country to check out their local lower league side.
And come Saturday's big occasion, Anglian Combination Division Two leaders Bungay are planning to do something special, inspired by the recent closing of the summer transfer window – pay fans 5p each to sample the Black Dogs in action at Maltings Meadow.
'On reflection of the stupid amounts of money being paid out at the top level of the game, we are paying 5p for fans to come in,' said Town vice-chairman Shaun Cole.
'The fee Real Madrid paid for Gareth Bale (£85.3m) would pay for the entire populations of China, the USA and the Bahamas to come and watch Bungay Town play on Saturday.'
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Non-League Day was set up by James Doe in 2010 as a social media experiment, after being inspired by a pre-season trip to Devon to watch Queens Park Rangers play at Tavistock – and is now backed by the likes of Premier League and Football League clubs, MPs and charities as a way of supporting 40,000 semi-professional and amateur clubs across the UK.
Bungay have a 100pc record and top the table after four games, heading into Saturday's clash with pointless Brandon Town, who prop up the table. Kick-off is at 2.30pm.
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'Non-League Day is a great chance for smaller clubs to show how enjoyable watching the game at a lower level can be,' added Cole.
'We are proud of our facilities which are, quite frankly, better than many I have seen in the Ryman League and that's five steps above our level. Furthermore we're always looking to improve those facilities for the people of Bungay.
'I have been watching football every Saturday since I was 11. I spent 20 seasons watching Norwich City, 18 seasons with Lowestoft Town and this is my fourth with Bungay. Once you get hooked, the level of your team makes no difference to how you feel when it wins or loses. I've become hooked on the Black Dogs.
'I would like to say to those thinking of coming along, come and join us. You may be pleasantly surprised how entertaining a lower level non-league game can be.'