For those with a masochistic edge to their personality, BT Sport shows live coverage of the GM Vanarama Blue Square National Conference from time to time. BT, of course, are just the latest to try their hand at selling non-league football to the masses. First was L!ve TV, and then it was Sky. In 2006, however, Setanta took it on. And it meant we need not miss a cold January evening trip to Farsley Celtic or an absolute pasting from Aldershot.
We met Farsley Celtic at the peak of their powers – but then things went awry; disbanded in 2010 and replaced with a new club. So, we’re talking about the old club here and will do this all over again should we take on the new one. What we mean by the peak of their powers, by the way, was promotion to the Blue Square Premier for the 2007-8 season. It was a short stay, however; relegated at the first attempt. Meanwhile, the cash problems were mounting.
It nearly came to a head when the Conference North expelled them due to cash issues before the 2009-10 season. A reprieve let them back in – but that too was very short-lived. With the cash issues still there, the Villagers crashed into administration in March 2010. And, again, they were kicked out; this time for good; the old club collapsing on 10 March.
The closure of the former club did, however, see a new club rising in its wake. At first, the club called itself Farsley AFC. But they’re now known as Celtic again. A 2019 rebrand saw the ground name, nickname, and badge all changed. A last-day escape at the end of the 2021-2 campaign spared them relegation from National League North at the expense of local rivals Guiseley. So, they go again. Could a return to the top flight of non-league football be around the corner?