Despite some people saying that the fifth tier of English football is becoming more and more competitive the calibre of the clubs is going down, so as a result it is not as competitive as it was.
Fans of teams in the lower reaches of League Two are terrified about relegation for a number of reasons, one of which is that it is very difficult to get promoted back but it is not, you could make the argument that teams are spending loads of money to get into the EFL and failing for example Forest Green but their were and still are teams in the league that are better than Forest Green. Also fans who are worried about not getting back into the EFL after relegation here is a stat for you, since relegation to non league was introduced in 1988 only a handful of teams have not gotten back, for every Wrexham that has not returned there has been a Barnet, so fans of the bottom six in the EFL fear not even if you go down you will return at some point.
Now this season you could say that York City are showing the difficulties of life in the fifth tier but what about Dagenham & Redbridge, both York and Dagenham were relegated last season with lacklustre teams and there is only so much you can change over the summer, so why has this happened, well it’s simple York are run terribly and Dagenham are not they face the same competition but Dagenham are better equipped to deal with it, York are not. I am not denying that this league has some level of competition but lets face it we all know that unless a miracle happens Lincoln City will win the league and guess what Lincoln are ex Football League. But I do believe that if Lincoln and Tranmere go up this season the National League next season will be even less competitive, what would you have? Forest Green and Eastleigh trying to buy promotion, the two teams who have come down and some other team, also if it was so competitive how come last season Dover and Braintree managed to qualify for the play-offs ahead of teams like Gateshead, Eastleigh and Wrexham?
Now, it 100% was more competitive a few years ago, the 2012/13 season springs to mind, at that point Forest Green had just come into money and you had a whole host of ex EFL clubs for example, Luton, Mansfield, Cambridge, Wrexham, Stockport, Grimsby and Newport and now four seasons later 85% of those teams are back in the EFL. Also over the past two seasons at least one club who was just relegated made an immediate return to League 2, in 2015, Bristol Rovers won the play-offs and in 2016 Cheltenham Town were crowned National League champions, so the league which four years ago was a convention for former Football League clubs is now a pit stop before you are back on the road in the EFL, so fans of teams in the bottom six of the 92 don’t worry that much, if you are run properly you will return.
By Damon Brimble