Struggling National League footie clubs get £10Million boost
Fans of National League football have something to cheer about following the announcement of a £10Million lifeline from The National Lottery to help cash-strapped lower league clubs survive the delayed return of crowds to sporting events.
The financial support, which will be delivered by the Football Association (FA), will help clubs make up gate revenue lost as a result of the recent decision to postpone the return of fans to sporting venues on the 1st October. The decision to delay their return was made in order to stem rising coronavirus infection rates across the country.
The £10Million will be distributed among the 66 clubs in the fifth and six tiers of English football, but the UK Government is working with The National Lottery to make sure similar initiatives are put in place to support clubs in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The emergency support package, which will be delivered by the FA, recognises the vital role National League clubs play in their communities.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said, “I know from a brilliant club in my area that National League football clubs are the beating heart of their communities and too precious to lose. This £10Million fund will provide a bridge to help clubs survive this immediate crisis whilst we work together on the safe return of fans.”
He added, “I’m very grateful to National Lottery players for getting help to these community clubs so quickly.”
As well supporting clubs through some tough times, the initiative will provide National Lottery players with a range of benefits including free tickets and VIP experiences at Wembley Stadium (once sporting venues are safe to reopen).
Nigel Railton, Chief Executive of National Lottery operator Camelot, said it was “delighted” to be working with the National League and the FA to protect clubs and help them continue their vital community work.
He said, “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."
31st October 2020
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