Today it has been announced that the National League football clubs will receive £10m funding as part of a unique partnership with The National Lottery.
The support will benefit the 66 clubs in the fifth and six tiers of English football, so that they can continue to play behind closed doors after the return of fans was paused due to rising COVID-19 infection rates.
Alongside the support for clubs, National Lottery players will also get a range of benefits – including free tickets once stadia are safe to reopen, grassroots football opportunities, and VIP experiences at Wembley Stadium.
All 66 clubs are playing football this season as a result. The £10m emergency support package, which will reach clubs via the Football Association (FA).
Nigel Railton, Chief Executive of National Lottery operator Camelot, said: “The National Lottery has been making a huge difference to communities across the country for the past 26 years, so we’re delighted to be working with the National League and FA to protect these essential clubs and help them to continue the vital work they carry out in their local communities. Millions of National Lottery players love football, so our partnership will also see them receive a range of great benefits. It’s our way of saying thank you to our players, who make a difference every time they buy a ticket.”
Mark Bullingham, FA Chief Executive, said: “This financial support is crucial as these clubs are the heartbeat of their communities and it would be a travesty if they were not able to survive. We have worked hard with the National League, Government and The National Lottery to make this happen and would like to thank everyone involved. The return of fans to stadiums remains a priority for us and we will continue to work with the Government and stakeholders across the game to reintroduce spectators in a safe way as soon as possible.”