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Cash boost for Welsh football’s top two tiers – but grassroots misses out again

A £750,000 payout from the National Lottery will be shared between all 44 Cymru League clubs – but grassroots misses out yet again.

The Football Association of Wales announced today that the six-figure sum will be split between the JD Cymru Premier, Cymru North and Cymru South.

If the amount is divided equally, each club will get £17,045.

The financial package – established by the FAW and The National Lottery and facilitated by the UK Government – will see clubs in Wales’ top three leagues receive funding while matches continue to be played behind closed doors, owing to the current COVID-19 restrictions.

According to the three partners, 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, commented: “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.”

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.

Grassroots North Wales comments

Any money invested in Welsh football is welcome, but tiers 3-5 receive nothing under this scheme and they need help urgently too.

Simon Hart’s comments raise the question does he fully understand what grassroots football is and who it covers?

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