Football: Third Division preview - Funds dry up at the bottom
Friday 06 August 1999
Last summer the 24 Third Division clubs shared a transfer income of over pounds 4m. This year that sum has shrunk to less than pounds 1.4m. Barnet's shirt sponsorship, by Loaded magazine, seems inappropriate - Brighton's deal with Skint Records is far more apt.
In the post-Bosman football world, clubs with rich backers tend to be tipped for success. The bookies' favourites for the Third Division title are Darlington, who have an ambitious and wealthy new chairman in George Reynolds. His funds, plus the pounds 300,000 received from Aberdeen for the goalkeeper David Preece, has allowed his manager David Hodgson to offer tempting salaries. Lee Nogan, the former Welsh international striker, has arrived from Grimsby and has been joined by, among others, Neil Heaney from Manchester City and Neil Aspin from Port Vale.
Northampton and York, arguably unlucky to be relegated, may bounce back while, if their manager Barry Fry can hang on to some gifted young players, Peterborough could fulfil their potential at last.
An unexpected challenge, considering only three clubs finished below them in May, could come from Hull City. Aided by his vastly experienced assistant John McGovern, the Tigers' player-manager Warren Joyce performed a minor miracle in avoiding relegation last season. Good players such as Jason Harris from Preston and John Eyre from Scunthorpe have arrived in the summer.
In the lower half of the table, the three Devon teams may struggle as could Barnet, who are distracted by off-field problems. They must find a new home by this time next year. Hartlepool and Carlisle, 22nd and 23rd last term, look in worse shape, though.
Carlisle, who have had three managers during a shambolic summer, cannot always rely on last-minute winning goals from goalkeepers for salvation.
Predictions: Automatic promotion: Darlington, Peterborough, Northampton. Play-offs: Hull, Swansea, York, Brighton. Relegation: Carlisle.
Regular cast member Ste Hay, played by Kieron Richardson, is about to test TV boundaries
Latest in Sport
Daniel Sturridge injury latest: Brendan Rodgers ready to buy a striker as setback rocks Liverpool
Amir Khan exclusive: 'Manny Pacquiao has been beaten in his last few fights, beating Floyd Mayweather would be massive'
Louis van Gaal: the liberal, the enemy and... err, the poet
Jack Wilshere ready to be the heartbeat of Roy Hodgson’s new England era
Chelsea vs West Brom: Chelsea fans expect strong response to Jose Mourinho's 'empty stadium' jibe at Stamford Bridge this weekend
- 1 Lee Evans announces retirement from comedy on The Jonathan Ross Show
- 2 Pirelli calendar 2015: The problem with 'plus-size' models like Candice Huffine
- 3 These grandmas smoking weed for the first time are wonderful
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
G20 summit: Enter Putin. Accompanied by four warships. To the sound of mockery
'Muslims pre-date Columbus in discovering America,' says Turkish president Erdogan
David Cameron 'compares Vladimir Putin’s Russia to Nazi Germany' ahead of tense meeting
Former Tory PM Sir John Major says 'we would not have an NHS without migrants'
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
G20 summit: David Cameron warns Vladimir Putin that Russia's relationship with the West is at a 'fork in the road' over Ukraine
Benefits: Argyll Scott International: Argyll Scott is recruiting for a Permane...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: COMMERCIAL PROPERTY SOLI...
Benefits: Argyll Scott International: Due to further expansion, a leading inte...
£27000 - £32000 per annum + training: Langley James : Senior Technician; Promo...