I have been producing football programmes since 1983 and currently produce for 8 semi-professional clubs in the Isthmian and Southern Leagues. In the past I have produced for around 40 other clubs in the same and other Leagues. I also design and print for around 90 different County FA’s Saturday, Sunday, Women’s and Youth Leagues at the end of the season for their Cup Final programmes. I also have a healthy relationship with the Football Association and have produced many big match programmes in the past for them. I also have a great rapport with many clubs having built up a good working relationship when dealing with them as away clubs for my clubs programmes.
ON-LINE TO HARD COPY PRINTED PROGRAMMES:
During the Covid-19 pandemic, I have been sitting idle and wanted to find something to fill my time. My other hobby of groundhopping is also obviously curtailed, so thought I would try and help out fellow fans with this new idea. I was stunned to see the quality of a sample programme I printed for a friend and the idea grew from there. I am able to print the PDF’s and send back to you in quick time for your collection. Whether I can afford the time to do this in the future is dependent on the return to football and the amount of time this will require. It’s all very well having a hobby like this, but my business will have to come first, so will just have to see what happens.
We very much also hope that groundhoppers will return to grounds that do not produce hard copy programmes with the knowledge that when they get home, they can possibly obtain a programme from the game. This will, in turn, help the clubs with the extra income on the gate and other outlets. So it seems everyone wins!
Due to the nature of the modern copiers, they cannot print to the edge with full bleed. All info etc. is printed but is reduced by about 3%. I can only print what is there and a lot of these programmes are simply not designed for printing, hence the odd shapes sometimes and the small blank areas around the pages. A5 programmes are perfect for me but quite often the pages print in a different order to what is on the PDF on the clubs websites. When time allows, I do try and move some pages around so it reads better and when page numbers have been included, it makes things even more difficult. Also when pages are not in groups of 4 ie 12,16,20,24,28,32, etc, I will add an advert or sometimes remove a non essential advert to get to the necessary number of pages, otherwise they will be blank. Certain programmes that are a flip-over type cannot be printed as the order of pages will be completely wrong. My 2 new coloured copiers have just been installed and my booklet-maker is second to none with stitching, folding, trimming and square spine edging.
Following the trial run for a few weeks, many customers have expressed their delight in the quality of the programmes. Their glowing testimonials will be on a section on the website very soon.
I am merely doing this as a hobby and to help out fellow collectors and can print just a single programme if need be and with that in mind, I am charging just £2.50 per programme to cover the costs with hopefully a little left over. This may seem a little unfair for 12 page programmes if the price is the same as 36 page programmes, but I simply cannot check each and every file and keep adjusting files. It is so much easier for everyone to know that for just £2.50, they will have that programme in their collection. I will gain on some and lose on others. My copiers are on contract and service, so for £2.50, I have to pay copy charges, paper, toner, staples, club commisions, etc. When programmes are over 40 pages, we may have to slightly increase the charge but will advise when requested.
From January 1st 2021 we will donate 50p for every programme printed to the home club.
This will ensure a good relationship with all clubs and everyone wins. I will keep a table of those clubs and amounts as the season progresses and any club can request their running total at any time. I will also publish the final table on here as it will make interesting reading.
As with all posted items, Royal Mail have a ridiculous charging system where postage charge can go up by 80p just for putting in an extra 4 pages in a programme as it’s down to weight. Where I often get caught out is I weigh programmes but forget about the weight of the hard back envelopes which can sometimes be 25% of the weight of the programme!. I will, again, to make things simple, charge £1.50 per programme. I have to pay for the hard-backed envelopes, protective folders, tape and obviously stamps. My little post office is sometimes very busy with customers coming out of the door and even past the adjacent shop, so I have to drive the car and pay for parking to the main post office which incurs even more expense. I understand that sometimes I will lose out on postage by paying more, but other times it will be lower so hoping that it all evens itself out. Remember this is not a profit making scheme, just a hobby that pays the expenses. I go to the post office every other day on average, so you never have to wait long for your order. We only send by 2nd class as if you pay for 1st class, I would have to make a special trip to the post office when time is limited. * CURRENTLY THE LITTLE POST OFFICE I USE IS SO BUSY THAT I HAVE TO LIMIT THE TRIPS TO ONCE A WEEK. I CANNOT SIMPLY PLACE THEM IN THE POST BOX AS I NEED PROOF OF POSTAGE WHICH MEANS QUEUEING.
As this website is in its early stages, I have yet to set up a dedicated payment system. For now, I will accept bank transfer or PayPal but will advise when you place any orders. Just email me and I will let you know the best way for this. I cannot accept cheques at present as I just cannot get to the bank and then wait for clearances. Once we get around to organising it, there will be an easy system for ordering and paying.
I have previously advertised that 10% of our profits will go the The Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. I have heard back from them and it is complicated. They class me as a business and to that extent, I have to guarantee them a £25,000 donation each year in order to say I am raising for them and to use their logo's etc! I have therefore decided that I will make a personal donation from my own company at the end of the season. Therefore there will be no charity funds from these programmes and instead will be making a 50p donation for each programme that I sell to the clubs themselves. This 50p, which will start on January 1st 2021, is far far greater than the 10% that would have gone to the charity under my previous intent. Basically, we are breaking even on an average sized programme and hopeful of getting some advertising on the website to help costs but this will be a year or so down the line, when we are established and the website has a certain number of hits. As I keep stating, this is a hobby and like all my hobbies, costs me money. I will have a section on here of other types of printed programmes that I am selling, so hopefully, I can gain some profits that way.
As previously stated, these are just to show you what's out there and not all have been downloaded by myself. When football starts again, the list will be added to daily and will be right up to date when you click on the Listings tab. As well as being in the listings, it will also be on a new button RECENT PROGS in case you do not realise they have been added. It could be best to check that button every time first. I will also add in new programmes that I am told about that are available in PDF format.
At present, they are in a simple list form but hoping soon to have them on here in a more attractive looking section including photos of the programmes that we have permission to print and an easy to buy option. They are in season and home club alphabetical order and all clubs can be found by clicking CONTROL & F and putting the name of the club in, so you can search for a particular club very easy. Please fell free to ask me anything about any of the programmes by email.
Providing, I have the necessary permissions, I can put you on our subscription service. This will be unlike many others where you pay nothing up front. Just let me know if you want your clubs home or away programmes that are on-line only and we will contact you a few days before each game to ask if you still want the programmes. It helps us if we have a rough idea so we can put it on our spreadsheet and also ensures, we have sufficient supplies for this ie paper, toner, staples and postage items. We cannot take any payment up front in case the home clubs deny permission.
Under this menu we will be publishing articles produced by fellow Non-league football enthusiasts, starting off with the History of Football Programmes which will be published in weekly parts
There is also our new Football Association Competition Button which takes you to all FA Cup, FA Trophy and FA Vase Results and fixtures. We have also added the front programme covers for some and will be soon adding links to the relevant websites where these programmes can be obtained that we cannot print. without permission. Please feel free to email me any other cover scans that can be added or if there was no programme produced, again let me know.