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Tuesday, 11 February, 2003, 12:49 GMT
Crowd boost for Conference

The Nationwide Conference is enjoying a popularity boom following the introduction of promotion play-offs.

The award of a second promotion place to the Nationwide League means that the clubs finishing second, third, fourth and fifth will contest the play-offs.

The winner of the final at Stoke City's Britannia Stadium will claim a place in Division Three alongside the Conference champions.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating and we are on course for record attendances this year

John Moules,
Conference chief executive

Yeovil Town have opened up a sizeable lead at the top of the table, but at least seven clubs are fighting it out for the next four places.

And Conference chief executive John Moules believes that has played a massive part in generating the biggest crowds the league has ever seen.

"The proof of the pudding is in the eating and we are on course for record attendances this year," he said.

"The play-offs have added to the competition and the levels of attendances.

"Normally at this time of the season crowds would go down. But this time they have increased and we had another 22,000 watching Conference games last weekend.

"No-one has gone up and no-one has gone down and there are 22 clubs all still scrapping for their futures next season. That's great for football."

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