Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Featured
Chris
Chris

Chris Buckley: Notts County should not be relying on playoffs for promotion

The recent League Two playoff games between Exeter City and Carlisle United, and Luton Town and Blackpool, have highlighted the narrow gap for error within this division.

Exciting as they may be to watch, the playoffs aren’t easy, nor are they straightforward as people may think.

Promotion at the end of the day can reap rewards for any club that is successful enough to clinch it - the evolution and step forward can ultimately turn around a club's fortunes too.

League Two teams on their day can beat anyone, just look how Hartlepool United managed to claim a victory over the champions on the final day, so success on the field involves hard work and a lot of perseverance.

Whilst some fans will argue that the standard of football is dire, it’s improved a lot over the years and is certainly difficult.

I feel any lower tier division usually is this way, as the National League is about the hardest of them all – yet League Two is no easy street.

Clubs have to earn their promotion and if Notts hadn’t lost all those games in a row, we may have been able to turn things around.

When we were in the drop zone, I never felt we would push out and be on the verge of mathematically pushing up the higher end of the division. This alone shows you how quickly things can change in League Two.

The league won’t be any easier next season, we will welcome the return of Lincoln City – who I feel will have a culture shock after how a portion of their fans have reacted in the past few days (well done for your promotion lads, but focus - you’re not champions of League Two yet). Yet they will give the majority of teams a good game on their day.

Forest Green Rovers are rather unknown but I expect them to invest and to be more successful than most of the smaller League Two teams – i.e the sides like Newport County, Morecambe and Cheltenham Town.

Other clubs falling down the pyramid will add further depth to the competition already found, with Port Vale being no push over. Swindon Town and Chesterfield are also sides that should be able to put aside the woes of relegation in order to focus on a new campaign.

I am aware from various comments that Chesterfield are in some financial difficulty, yet I fully expect them to be pushing for the top half of the table.

Coventry City may go on to replicate what we did in 1998 or lead the division like Doncaster Rovers did this campaign – I wouldn’t expect them to slip up at all.

There will be more than 10 teams who are all capable of pushing for the top positions, so League Two won’t exactly be there for the taking for any club – let alone us.

Whilst we may be able to watchfully cast an eye on the playoffs in terms of realistic expectations, all of this will depend on the type of signings we make and how Kevin Nolan can further gel his squad together.

I would love Notts to push for automatic promotion, yet I would say that stability usually takes a few seasons and at this early stage it’s looking like we will be just another decent League Two team.

A handful of exciting signings could easily change this, whilst a ‘real’ togetherness on the pitch and impact from us fans in the stands in terms of support may encourage a hard-working Notts County to exceed expectations.

I noticed a friend's comment recently on Facebook which got me thinking. Byron Webster, the Millwall defender, had been quoted as saying: “Going up this way is the best way to it” – referring to his side's League One playoff final win over Bradford City at Wembley.

There’s no denying that a trip to Wembley can't be an historic and grand occasion, yet if you aim to be one the division's best, you can’t rely on them.

Notts fans who recall our own playoff final forays just need to cast their memories back to Brighton & Hove Albion - we know that they’re joyous occasions but on the other hand we then have the 2-0 defeat to Bradford back in 1996.

Our track record in the playoffs stands at two wins (1989-90 and 1990-91) and two defeats (1987-88 and 1995-96), which pretty much sums up the 50/50 nature of the beast.

Therefore, I would personally hope that we could recruit in strength and build to gain promotion automatically.

However, if Notts were to find themselves in the playoffs, I know we would give it a good shot. We just shouldn't have to rely on them in order to return to League One.

Share your thoughts about this feature article on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans.

Edited by Chris

  • Like 5


Sign in to follow this  

Share your PRIDE with PON! Visit our Community Forum

Join us - Discuss - Write for us - Debate - Contact us


User Feedback

Recommended Comments

i agree chris, stability is important and we should build to challenge strongly rather than just blindly aim for promotion. the recent mumblings and rumoured players makes me think we will just be average.

after the way we ended last season i know we can do better.

realistic steps and just to push forward would be nice overall. i dont expect us to go up as champions but neither do i want to see the club settle for play offs. 

  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

A visit to Wembley with no guarantee of promotion or a place in the top three, where's the clubs ambition? We need to be passionate about fighting for promotion, not relying on it via the playoffs.

  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

We need to be more ambitious than hoping for the playoffs, the automatics is doable if Notts recruit wisely. Don't get me wrong promotion must be the key, though I don't think we should settle for being standard. Alan Hardy has increased the clubs budget by 10% after signing a non league player we released as a youth.

Mansfield fans will be laughing at us right now.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't really care what Mansfield fans think about Notts, it's quite irrelevant and Notts just need to balance things out.

For me, it's easy to fail to reach the play-offs or slip out of them. We need strong competition on the field, so we can match the league. All we want is a hard-working Notts County, so I do hope we can push for automatics because it would make the season more enjoyable.

Flirting with around 4 to 7th isn't actually stress free.

  • Like 2

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Every chairman I've spoken to would rather they had gone up via the playoffs. BUT ONLY IN HINDSIGHT, when they already know they've been promoted! That's because of the buzz when you've won at Wembley...and the fact that it's far more financially lucrative. I think going up as Champions is the best option, though!

  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

On another note, did anyone see the interview where AH said the aim was automatic promotion next season? Cue the startled rabbit look by KN - that's a big pressure to overachieve with a mid table budget. He does seem to have modified this, hence why he's amended his ambitions, it seems?

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, Patsypie said:

Every chairman I've spoken to would rather they had gone up via the playoffs. BUT ONLY IN HINDSIGHT, when they already know they've been promoted! That's because of the buzz when you've won at Wembley...and the fact that it's far more financially lucrative. I think going up as Champions is the best option, though!

Isn't the praise money for coming first decent though considering the league? I'm not suggesting it's silly money but must be decent.

How does it compare to the play-offs out of interest?

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
On 21 May 2017 at 23:39, Chris said:

Isn't the praise money for coming first decent though considering the league? I'm not suggesting it's silly money but must be decent.

How does it compare to the play-offs out of interest?

If I remember correctly, it was about £25k for going up as champions. The prize money isn't bigger for play off promotion, but you'd get about 200-350k from the bigger gates. Like I said, in hindsight, when you know you've gone up, that's why might have chairmen preferred r it. Never, in a gazillion years, would I think it was something to aim for! But..we all think differently.

  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Patsypie said:

If I remember correctly, it was about £25k for going up as champions. The prize money isn't bigger for play off promotion, but you'd get about 200-350k from the bigger gates.

That makes sense with the rewards coming from gate recipes.

What happens to the money generated via the play-off final? Is that included in the 200-350k quote or does the Football League collect it due to the venue fees etc. Just something I find genuinely interesting. Thank you for taking the time to reply.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites


Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


About Us

Pride of Nottingham is an independent fansite devoted to Notts County, the world’s oldest league football club. Created in 2013, it has served as a source of Magpie news, features, match previews, reports, analysis and interviews for more than three years.

Support PON

Enjoy our content? Want to help us grow? Your donation will go a long way towards improving the site!

Donate
×