Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston: We will not let clubs go to the wall

Wednesday 27th January 2021

Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston has announced that Steps Three to Six of the National League System will receive up to £10 million to protect the immediate future of around 850 clubs over the winter period.

Clubs are Step Three (for example, the Isthmian League Premier Division) can apply for a grant of £27,000 each.

Step Four clubs (for example, Isthmian League South East Division) can apply for a grant of £15,000 each.

Step Five clubs (for example, Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division) can apply for a grant of £10,500 each.

Step Six clubs (for example, Southern Counties East Football League First Division) can apply for a grant of £7,500 each.

Clubs will be contacted directly by the Football Foundation with full details and will be able to make an application from tomorrow.

Funds will be distributed quickly to clubs through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund.

“We promised to support sports and target help to where it’s most needed,” said Huddleston in a statement.

“The National League has already benefited from the Government support schemes through a £10 million Government-brokered cash partnership with the National Lottery, and there will be more support for the bigger clubs on the way.

“Today’s £10 million grant for lower League clubs in Step Three to Six will act as a lifeline for around 850 clubs in towns and cities across England and help these clubs through this difficult period until we can get fans back in safely.”

The two top-flights of Non-League, the National League, National League North and National League South, are angry that a second batch of funding will come in loans.

“With precious public money, we are providing financial support to the National League Steps One and Two in the form of loans,” said Huddleston.

“However, if clubs at those levels can demonstrate it needs grant funding urgently to survive, we will ensure that option is available.

“We will not let clubs go to the wall. Applications will be assessed by the independent Board, through the same rigorous process that we apply to other sports.”

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