Funding package looks set to help struggling National League clubs

Season to kick off without supporters...

National League games from all three divisions will begin without fans.

National League clubs look set to be in line for a funding bailout as their season kicks off without fans this week.

Because they are labelled as 'elite sport', teams in the National League and North and South divisions are unable to allow fans in to watch matches at present.

This left clubs fearing they would have to begin the season paying staff and contracted players while operating without their main source on income.

However, league officials have been in talks with the Government over funding to help cover losses and clubs have been emailed to be told a support package - not yet finalised but expected to be confirmed by the weekend - will be on its way.

It is understood the financial aid will be based upon expected gate losses and not other sources of income, such as programme and catering sales and other regular matchday fundraisers.

It has been reported the support funds could be between £2 million and £3 million per month until fans are allowed to return.

An October 1 return date for supporters of 'elite sport' was put on hold due to recent spike in COVID-19 cases.

Last week 20 National League North clubs who signed a statement saying they didn't want to kick off the season without fans due to financial worries.

Other clubs had suggested pulling out of this weekend's FA Cup matches as playing would trigger squad members' contracts.

But with funding set to be on the way it is believed National League clubs will begin their league season on Saturday.

North and South sides will be involved in FA Cup action, with their league campaigns getting underway in midweek.