BROWNE ON THE BALL: What a difference a day could make for Boston United

Newton and Kempster.
Newton and Kempster.

Oil-rich sheiks. Gas-flogging oligarchs. Americans who collect sports franchises. An exiled Thai Prime Minister. A self-opinionated sportswear retailer. Pornographers. The bloke who owned Harrods.

These are just a few of the characters who have owned Premier League football clubs in recent years.

On far too many occasions, these chaps - and many more - have overshadowed their club and become THE story in the press.

Whether it’s because of their spending, their sackings, their opinions, their debts or even their Michael Jackson statues, perfectly good clubs and their fans become laughing stocks when the finger of fun is pointed at the man at the top.

That’s one of the reasons Boston United should be so pleased to have David Newton and Neil Kempster running the show.

They’re not afraid to make the tough calls, but they also know that a chairman and vice-chairman are most effective when concentrating on their jobs and leaving football matters to others

You won’t see these two defending a pal on the steps of Southwark Crown Court. They won’t let the debt increase. They won’t leg it to Darlington when the going gets tough. And they certainly won’t try to pick the team.

But there’s one minor irritation I have with the Chestnuts’ regime... the switching of midweek matches from Wednesdays to Tuesdays.

Admittedly, my chagrin is a little rich considering we wouldn’t be watching any football at York Street had these two not stepped in when liquidation seemed the only reasonable outcome.

But on Tuesday evening, Boston United will host Gloucester City at York Street, and I’m not expecting a bumper crowd.

This isn’t the most mouthwatering home game of the season.

But the real problem is that the club are now playing their home matches on the same evening that ITV have the rights to the Champions League.

Instead of wolfing down a meal and rushing out to York Street, fans can watch arguably the biggest game of the European calendar so far... absolutely free.

And with the scores locked at 1-1 after the first leg, the drama in your living room may not be matched by two mid-table sides in England’s sixth tier (in fairness, City refused Boston’s wishes to re-arrange, although a precedent had been set).

A bit of rain and perhaps some season ticket holders will opt to stay at home too.

Tuesday night is also an evening where many local clubs - from the UCL to the Boston Saturday League - train and play, meaning United are also missing out on additional potential punters.

I may be completely alone in this opinion, but I loved the good old days when Wednesday night was traditionally Boston United’s home night.

In the days of the Conference and the Football League, it worked to the club’s advantage.

That extra day could inspire the side, having already seen their opponents’ results from the previous night. An additional 24 hours of recuperation could also see players available after picking up niggling weekend injuries.

I accept that, with United returning to part-time football, it’s a lot easier to play fixtures on a night where the squad were already committed to training.

But squad members certainly managed it in the past.

Earlier this season, Boston drew 2-2 with Solihull Moors in front of a crowd of 681, the club’s lowest league attendance in 12 years.

Newton admitted that dwindling crowd numbers was one of the reasons why he removed Jason Lee from the manager’s role.

Exciting or winning football is a banker when it comes to increasing attendances, but could switching matches to a Wednesday also help boost the numbers through the turnstiles?

Either way, at least the chairman hasn’t erected a life-sized statue of One Direction at the ground... yet.