National Lottery support for all 44 Cymru Leagues clubs welcomed
THE Football Association of Wales (FAW) has announced that all 44 Cymru Leagues clubs are set to receive financial support as part of a unique partnership with The National Lottery.
The financial package – established by the FAW and The National Lottery and facilitated by the UK Government – will see clubs in the JD Cymru Premier, JD Cymru North and the JD Cymru South receive funding while matches continue to be played behind closed doors – or not at all – owing to the current COVID-19 restrictions.
Current north-west Wales teams in the leagues are Caernarfon Town and Bala Town in the JD Cymru Premier and Holyhead Hotspur, Llangefni Town, Bangor City, Conwy Borough, Llandudno and Colwyn Bay in the JD Cymru North – whose season has yet to begin.
An official statement on the package said: “Football clubs and training facilities across the Cymru Leagues are often at the heart of their communities.
“They act as central hubs that give further opportunities for children and adults to be active, while bringing a source of pride to their towns.
“This funding stream recognises the essential role that Cymru Leagues clubs play beyond matchday.
“National Lottery players, who make a difference every time they buy a lottery ticket, will also get a range of benefits as a thank you for their support – including free tickets to football matches, once stadia are safe to reopen, and VIP experiences with the Cymru National Team.
“The funds, which will be distributed via the FAW, will play a key role in ensuring that the clubs can continue to exist, and, where possible, operate during these difficult times.”
Jonathan Ford, CEO of the Football Association of Wales, said: “At the FAW, we are incredibly grateful for our unique partnership with The National Lottery and the funding stream which has been provided for our clubs across the Cymru Leagues, while matches continue to be played behind closed doors.”
Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart said: “Clubs in the Cymru Leagues play a huge role in their local communities and, like many others, they have been struggling in the current climate.
“I’m delighted that the UK Government could help bring The National Lottery and the football authorities together to deliver for these clubs and for grassroots football in Wales. From Prestatyn to Taffs Well, this funding package will help enable clubs to keep going until fans can safely return.”
Chief Executive of National Lottery operator Camelot, Nigel Railton, said: “The National Lottery and its players have been making a massive difference to communities across the UK for the past 26 years, so we’re thrilled to be able to partner with the Football Association of Wales to provide vital funding for these incredibly important clubs in the Cymru Leagues.
“As a huge football fan myself, I know what this will mean to fans of these community clubs, and I’m sure they’ll be pleased to hear that their clubs are getting the support they need.”
The partnership follows a similar National Lottery initiative between the FA and National League in England, which was facilitated by the UK government.
Work continues on partnerships with the Scottish and Northern Ireland FAs.