Your Instant Replay: An interview with, part 2

Here is the second and final part of the interview of YIR Louis Clark as he talks about the struggles during the recent lockdown and the hope for the future:

TK: When we got to September last year and the season finally started again did you get an increase in the number of clubs wanting games filmed or did you stick with the amount you already had?

LC: We had a small bump upwards but nothing major, around five more games a week. We came back originally with around 10-15 games a week, that’s after rain offs and clubs not playing for whatever reasons, the weather of course is a massive problem outside our control, when you look back to the winter before this one it was awful for rain so that was a knock on effect before covid.

For us it was more the pipeline of work that were hoping to come on board that disappeared which caused us a massive problem. But of course with the return of grassroots football from the end of the month we’ve been getting a lot more bookings again which is great and what is needed.

TK: And to the November lockdown where I saw you guys up at AFC Varndeanians on a Monday night, went to two games myself by Wednesday and Thursday down we went again. How much of a setback was that once again?

LC: A big one! We were lucky that we had the National League still going, for us that is Dorking Wanderers and latterly Eastbourne Borough. Dorking though are a great club to work for, their media department is very professional, they wanted a stream that makes money right from the very beginning which we did for them.

Before them we hadn’t done a lot of live streaming at all, it’s tricky as you well know, if I mention Barnet of course where we had issues trying to help them out and there is a lot of stuff that can be out of your hands, but it’s a learning curve all the time.

We also were doing Lewes Women too, but we found out the hard way by using club’s wi-fi and power is not the way forward, have they paid the bill, does it cut out part way through and re-set, is there a power trip to the supply etc, all these things and more.

So now we bring our own wi-fi and our own power so we know that if anything goes wrong it’s us and it works of course so much better now. As I mentioned we also have Eastbourne Borough, a great well run club too and clubs who of course wanted to play on during the rest of the season.

The feedback’s been great on both streams and they both understand we’re learning at the same time they are.

TK: Both clubs are now not able to play on with their division null and void, how does that affect you for the remainder of the season?

LC: It means a big struggle for me, where they were still playing friendlies for a few weeks awaiting the decision we had something to do and they were earning money a little bit, I’ve now been going out and doing removals for Darren Budd (Moving Buddies) to get some cash coming in, something different as a lot of people have been needing to do over the last 12 months.

TK: Streaming games has become a part of the norm at the moment, do you think going forward it will remain such a big part?

LC: That’s something that is out of our control with the 3pm blackout rule. I’ve spent of lot of time and money into getting the streams going equipment wise and I just hope they use some common sense at non-league level that there will still be people who won’t want to return to grounds when the season kicks off and will still want to watch and contribute to their team’s finances in some way.

If capacities are still capped next season then it’s a vital revenue line for clubs to compliment those that they can get inside the ground. Can it be around for a long while? I’m hoping so, not just for us but for the clubs who need every penny they can get their hands on.

TK: You’ve started up your online shop with your t-shirt range (link at the end of the article), what does the future hold for Your Instant Replay?

LC: The merchandise stuff is tough; we’ve nearly sold out though. Whether we do more with it I’m not yet sure, I mean we did well out of who we’ve sold to but we’ll see.

My aim though is for Your Instant Replay to not just be a production company, much more to it than that which is why I started off with the t-shirts. But I want to add more as you know, just the timing is awful currently.

I’m looking at podcasts, talk shows, weekly shows for league competitions in the very near future, I did want that off the ground over the next few months but some of that will have to wait.

I am wanting to do an NFL RedZone style where we go to a league and stream all their games on the one day to their website and then income by means of a match day ticket or monthly subscription.

The beauty of it would be like RedZone where you can be watching say Worthing vs Bognor and flick out onto Lewes vs Burgess Hill for instance. With that I’d also want to work on where we could become a non-league Soccer Saturday and flip to goals around our games, to give the whole experience.

The tech is there for it to be done, it’s just someone out there agreeing to make it happen and we go from there. Of course there is a bit of cost involved as you would need more people to run it but that is the goal ultimately.

Once we have dates etc for a new season then I can start to plan things a lot more and hopefully it’s relatively uninterrupted next year and we can push on again as a company, it’s all about timing though.

My thanks to Louis for his time and some great ideas for the future in there, if we can get a decent football season once again, his company should prosper.

Twitter: @YourInstReplay

Your Instant Replay: An interview with

In the last couple of weeks I sat down via Zoom with Louis Clark who runs Your Instant Replay to find out from him how they began, what the effect of the pandemic has been and what the future holds. Here is part 1:

TK: Louis, thank you very much for your time for this. Now I came across you and Your Instant Replay (YIR) when I was at Wick FC, but you guys began in 2016, was it something that you always wanted to do?

LC: To be honest mate, I didn’t have a clue when we first started! I’d never held camera nor done any editing, nothing like that, but I played abroad for like ten year or so and everything was filmed out there and I mean everything.

I had mates back here playing County league, Sunday league and Isthmian level and there was nothing like that and as a player I think you want to watch yourself play, I certainly did and was always searching for highlights that evening.

So I felt there was something there, some companies were doing it but it wasn’t consistent. I had to the idea then to come home, I was playing in Manilla at the time, I wasn’t ever going to be a big time professional player or anything and thought I really wanna try this.

Armed with one camera, I signed up at Worthing with Jon Meeney, they were the first club shortly followed by Steyning Town and of course then the first problem if they were both at home on the same day!

So I learnt the hard way it was going to be some expense to start with before I made any money back and I was playing while trying to do it as well, but my head was always on after the game picking up the cameras etc so I gave up playing and been full time at this since 2016.

I won’t lie, it was tough for a year and a half, losing money, trying to pitch it to people who couldn’t see the value in it. We made plenty of mistakes but learnt on the job to improve. We had a good relationship with the Sussex County FA which gave us some early exposure, but what is really great is 90% of the clubs who started with us in 2016 are still having their games filmed by us.

I still don’t think we’ve cracked it we’re surviving at the moment like a lot of things are in this current situation but pre-covid it was my dream job, it still is. It’s still the buzz of being around football, but the last year has no doubt nearly set us back to square one again.

TK: If we go back exactly twelve months from now, how many clubs did you have on board when the pandemic struck?

LC: I can’t quite put a figure on it because we had so many clubs saying ‘can you come and film this one game for us’, so the metric I use is how many we do per week which was 30 games per week and when I say games, Under 7’s Patcham and women’s football on a Sunday, County League and Isthmian plus National League South on a Tuesday night, college games on a Wednesday we do a lot of work with RMA run by Russell Martin and then games all round everywhere on a Saturday.

That was all pre-pandemic but we had lots in the pipeline too. We have a good relationship with the full FA as well, I don’t know if people have seen the ‘England reacts’ videos online that we put out and we had just started do to international friendlies for them. We were booked in to do England Under 21’s Lionesses at St Georges Park, but it all went just like that once the season stopped last March, it didn’t happen.

We were in a really good spot and the aim for this season was to be doing 50 games a week, the demand was there and I had clubs ready to go and now we’re facing fighting battles again, clubs are inevitably going to say next season sponsorship is down so they’ve got to cut costs etc. but the message I try and get across is the footage can pay for itself if you can find a sponsor or more than one or depending on your level the pay per view route.

It can be a real revenue earner for clubs and inevitably it will change when fans are allowed back into stadiums again and there will still be lots of opportunities but for now it’s tough, tough, tough.

TK: Did the first lockdown period change how you were going to do things going into the 2020/21 season?

LC: Yeah massively. As I mentioned we had planned for the 50 games, equipment to buy, getting people in place, and bang all gone! There are no contracts to this, most of it is done on a handshake. We’ve tried service level agreements but of course county leagues we can’t hold to that if they’ve run out of money.

So we kept most of the ones from last year but the ones who were going to come on board it really screwed things up for them and us and it didn’t help with not knowing when the season was actually going to kick off.

You can find YIR here:

@YourInstReplay on Twitter