Football Trade Directory

Applications open for non-league winter survival funding

About 850 non-league clubs will be eligible to apply for some of the £10 million injection as the first part of the government's Sports Winter Survival Package.

Teams in the four tiers below the National League North and National League South, will benefit.

But Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston also offered hope to the 66 National League clubs, promising: "We will not let clubs go to the wall."

The government will examine individual cases following a furore over loans.

Clubs at steps one and two in England's non-league system had agreed a delayed start to the season in October, with the help of a £10m government grant.

But that was on the assumption there would still be further financial support to complete the season if fans remained locked out of grounds in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead, when a further cash injection was offered prior to the country going back into lockdown in early January, it was not as a grant, but as a provisional £11m loan on very low interest terms.

It caused discontent at many clubs who thought a promise of funding was to cover the entire season, not just the first third of it.

But the government says that any club in proven need of emergency funds just to survive will still be listened to if their imminent future is at risk and they can demonstrate loans are unaffordable.

"With precious public money, we are providing financial support to the National League Steps 1 and 2 in the form of loans," added Mr Huddleston.

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

"Applications will be assessed by the independent board, through the same rigorous process that we apply to other sports."

Posted in Club news on