BBC Radio 5 live has a new offering for the 2012/13 football season as it brings the popular BBC The Non League Show to a national audience. Part of BBC London 94.9 output since 2006, the new nationwide show will now broadcast from August 19 2012 each Sunday from 5.30am.
The live show will be available to listen again all week via the BBC iPlayer
, plus there will be a longer version available each Sunday via free download from the 5 live website
Hosted by Caroline Barker, the show has a long history of championing the game and will continue to look at the current issues affecting all levels of football below the Football League.
Commenting on the new addition to the 5 live schedule, deputy controller, Jonathan Wall said: "We are delighted to make this the new weekly home for non-league football fans. It shows our commitment to all levels of the game in this country. The passion and the commitment from Caroline and her network of contacts will ensure we cover all the best stories each week."
Caroline said: "The show finding a new home on 5 live is a real endorsement of the work of non-league football in raising the profile of the game. With more fans of our level of football than ever before, this is a fantastic opportunity to show off the work of the clubs and, most importantly, the fans that make those teams tick."
The show has strong links with the non-league, along with the wider footballing community including the FA. Brian Lee, the Chairman of the Football Conference Ltd, whose clubs play at the pinnacle of the
non-league game said: "This is tremendous and a great statement to the game that we are being recognised in such a fashion. At a time when we as a competition are pursuing more parity with a drive for three up and three down between ourselves and the professional game, it could not be better received."
Kelly Simmons, the FA's Head of the National Game said: "It's great to see non-league football receiving national exposure. The growth of the game, especially at grassroots level deserves a platform like BBC Radio 5 live."
One of the key areas for the show will be the voice of the fans, encouraging interaction across multimedia platforms to highlight the real strength and importance of fans to the grassroots game.
Kevin Rye from the fans group, Supporters Direct said: "It's critical that the big issues that affect supporters whatever level their clubs plays at are discussed. I can think of no better proponents than the biggest radio station in the country and the show that helped to bring the nation's attention to non-league football."
Alan Alger from Blue Square Bet commented: "The Non-League show has highlighted the strength and depth of feeling for the game outside of the Premier League and Football League. "Our clubs are given a fantastic platform for stories and initiatives that would otherwise be ignored by the wider media. "The popularity of the show never ceases to amaze me and on my travels up and down the country I meet many online listeners who would be grateful of the national platform".
David Emery, editor of The Non-League Paper, said: "It's fantastic news that the Non- League Show is able to go on showcasing all the great work being carried out in grass-roots football up and down the country. For fans to be able to listen to the show at the same time as reading their hot-off-the-press NLP is the perfect combination over breakfast on a Sunday morning!".
The BBC Non League Football Show will broadcast on Radio 5 live, Sunday mornings 5.30am to 6.00am from August 18.