Ground Sharing Takes New TwistPosted: November 9, 2008
Financially strapped Coca Cola League Two Clubs have come up with a revolutionary ground-sharing scheme. It involves two separate football games taking place at the same time on the same pitch.
“We came up with the concept when it became clear that so few League Two games were selling out”, revealed Football League Commercial Director Stewart Thomson. “Clubs need to get more fans through the turnstiles. They need to try and save administrative and housekeeping costs. Even things like floodlighting can be a real headache when the electricity bill lands on the Chairman’s doormat”.
In brief, the new scheme will involve four teams kicking off on the same ground at the same time. “In effect, there’ll be one referee, two assistant referees and 44 players. Fans from four different clubs will pack into the stands, creating a terrific atmosphere with good-natured rivalry. It’s going to be really exciting to watch, with four teams fighting over two balls”.
In an experimental game staged earlier in the month the result was Dagenham and Redbridge 3 Macclesfield 2 Bury 2 Bradford City 1.
“It was a terrific day,” claimed Mr. Thomson. “All beverage outlets were busy. There were relatively few problems, though we had to direct fans who weren’t sure which opposition team they should be hurling abuse at. The referees had to come out in the second half with one whistle and one horn, as the first half was a bit confusing. The teams soon got used to it, even though they had no idea what the scores were a the end”.
(RIGHT: Dagenham & Redbridge’s Magnus Okuongha wins a header against Macclesfield while Bury’s Simon Wade celebrates his side’s opening goal against Bradford City.)
When Sports Offensive mooted the possibility of four clubs playing in the same ground on the same day but kicking off at different times so that the games could be played in the traditional way, Mr. Thomson nervously looked at his Blackberry and muttered something about a conference call he had to get onto.