Shocking Transfer News
I’ve written about my fandom of non league football before. Last season I had a season ticket for Paget Rangers. Unfortunately Covid 19 prematurely ended the season. I became a regular attender of Paget games because I had friends involved in the running of the club. In shocking transfer news, my friends at Paget transferred over to Romulus, who are in the division higher. Romulus play at Castle Vale Stadium, which I have a personal interest in. Community Energy Birmingham successfully ran a Community Share Offer to put Solar Panels on the roof of the stadium. I’d been looking for an opportunity to go and have a look at the solar array on the stadium and going to see a Romulus game gave me that opportunity.
Community Energy Birmingham’s Solar Array
Yesterday, Romulus played Leicester Road in the qualifying round of the FA Vase. Leicester Road play in the division below Romulus. I travelled to the stadium via an easy train/bus combination. The first thing that I did when I arrived at the stadium was to try to see the CEB solar array. Fortunately I could. It was a proud moment for me, as I reflected on all of the hard work that went into making the Community Share Offer work from the CEB Board. CEB has a Power Purchase Agreement with Pioneer Housing Group who run the stadium. We charge Pioneer housing for the electricity that they use in the stadium at a lower kWh rate than a commercial price. Our Solar Array is CEB’s largest with 109 panels covering a significant amount of the roof space. Sadly I was not able to get a good photo of the array, but I can assure you that it exists.
Moving on to the football. I was excited to watch Non League Football for the first time this season. Supporting an activity in a local community is important to me. Recent news of the Premier League putting non televised Premier League matches on PPV had left a bitter taste in my mouth so to be able to support a community group and the local economy is one I gladly took. Tannoy Tom was the stuff of folklore at Paget, and he was one of those who had made the jump from Paget to Romulus. He was on top form with his Tannoying as he did not make one mistake. Clearly the jump in the standard of football has inspired Tannoy Tom to raise his game. I also spoke to Matt, who was the Chair of Paget and is now the Chair of Romulus. He happily told me that the numbers through the turnstiles are larger than last season. The closure of Premier League grounds to fans has seen a big increase in numbers in Non League Football.
A dramatic conclusion to the game
I was able to enjoy a beer, whilst socially distanced from others. Romulus were on top of Track and Trace and had all of the necessary protocols in place. The game itself was an action packed 0-0. Romulus hit the post, and Leicester Road missed a penalty. Because it was a cup game, the winner had to be decided on the day, leading to a penalty shootout. As a neutral I thoroughly enjoy watching penalty shootouts. They are the ultimate test of nerve and technique, and not a lottery like some people say. In a funny moment; some of the Romulus players thought they had one when the final Leicester Road player had missed his penalty. The Leicester Road player missing that the final Romulus player had to score his penalty to win the game, which he dispatched confidently. Ultimately Romulus were the victors, winning 7-6 on penalties. Romulus go on to the first round of the FA Vase proper.
I had a good day out supporting a football team in the local community. In total I spent £24 on the day, £7 for the ticket, £7 on the bus/train to get there and £10 on drinks which is often less the price of just the ticket to a Premier League Match. My team Fulham FC, charged £50 to a home game when crowds were allowed. I wouldn’t pay that much to see them, but I’ll happily pay £7 to see a non league team play. I’d highly recommend going and supporting a local non league team. I plan on visiting Romulus again, as well as Northfield Town and Cadbury Athletic, who are my local Non League Teams.
You can learn more about Romulus FC here.