As Dumbarton's Sonstrust (of which I'm a proud member) has rightly noted on its website, the promotion of my locals Exeter City to League Two in England, and of Stockport County to League One -- the old Fourth and Third Divisions, respectively -- is great news for fans who are claiming a stake in their clubs through provident societies, otherwise known as supporters' trusts.
What's more, this season has been a great one for the "little teams" all round. Queen of the South put up a fine display at Hampden in the Scottish Cup final the other day, and will compete in Europe next season. Cardiff's Welsh wizards made it to the 'English' FA Cup final, losing out to Portsmouth who, while hardly small, are outside the self-defining elite of English football. AFC Wimbledon, who rose out of the ashes of "Franchise FC" (MK Dons - who correctly handed the rights to the '88 Cup win to AFC, and duly got promoted too) are now only two steps away from League Status. FC United of Manchester (the non-Glazer MUFC) are now just below the Conference, and fans of those other Reds who can't afford the ticket prices have formed AFC Liverpool.
Meanwhile, Aldershot are back in the English League again, 12 years after they dissolved and reformed; Accrington Stanley are surviving there (just); and Barrow are back in the Blue Square Premier following their depressing double demotion which began in 1972. The big bucks and publicity may still be with the favoured few, but the minnows are striking back. Next it's the Mighty DFC for the climb, I hope.
[Pic : (c) Sonstrust and Donald Fullarton - Dumbarton fans. What a handsome crew, eh?]