The English Football Association (FA) has announced its involvement in The National Lottery Football Weekends, a new initiative that includes an exclusive ticket offer as a thank you to UK National Lottery players that helped to keep non-league clubs going during the pandemic.
In October 2020, the National Lottery provided £12.5m ($16.7m/€15m) to non-league clubs across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Lottery has also supported grassroots and community football since 1995, and has provided £200m in funding.
The National Lottery stepped in when the pandemic hit, as many non-league clubs received little to no gate revenue during lockdowns and restrictions.
As a thank you to those who took part in the Lottery each week, helping to support 231 clubs across the UK, players can now take part in The National Lottery Football Weekends.
Each club, for one home fixture in March or April, will run a ‘Buy One Get One Free’ ticket offer for National Lottery players. While bringing a financial boost to these non-league clubs, it also provides the opportunity for National Lottery players to watch a local team.
The campaign will also be supported and delivered by the National League, the Scottish FA, Football Association of Wales (FAW) and Irish Football Association (IFA).
In England, the participating clubs will be in the National League, National League North and National League South.
FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said: “The National League system is incredibly important to the English pyramid and the positive impact local clubs have on their communities up and down the country is clear to see.
“Volunteers, leagues, clubs and fans have all pulled together during the pandemic and it will be fantastic to see so many people out supporting their local team across the National Lottery Football Weekends.”