In light of recent discussion regarding Sunday’s Promotion Final, The National League would like to provide the following background information.At the
National League the staff and management are acutely aware of the current financial challenges facing fans across the country and equally recognise that without the fans the game doesn’t exist.
We don’t always get everything right, but we make every decision in the best interest of our clubs and the competition and we hope that fans will understand the challenge of balancing, securing a showpiece venue and the consequent costs involved with doing that. While we were able to keep the base price tickets lower than last season and that of Under 16’s, we do acknowledge that there is a premium on the higher ticket prices and that the lower priced tickets sold out quickly.
By way of background it was in the spirit of creating a showpiece occasion, befitting a Promotion Final, that we undertook a search for a venue, that began back in October, and the challenge we faced was finding a suitable stadium that wasn’t undergoing a pitch renovation as soon as the current football season had ended, more complicated this year than usual as there will be an earlier start to next season because of the timing of the World Cup.
Both the clubs and fans deserve a memorable final after what has been a fantastic season. We enjoyed an incredible day in Bristol last season and at Wembley in previous years. The competition this year has seen many teams with large followings compete for a place in the play-offs. This meant we needed a stadium that was also capable of providing the capacity to cope with the anticipated high demand for tickets. We didn’t want to disappoint the fans with a lack of available seats.
The London Stadium has shown this season in particular what a special atmosphere it can create for big games. West Ham’s Europa League exploits are a strong reference point to this. It is a stadium with world class facilities, and we believe it’ll stage a brilliant final on Sunday.
Our main goal at The National League is to administrate and deliver income to our member clubs and any proceeds generated from the final and all other commercial activity will go to our clubs. To be clear, The National League will not be taking any profits from Sunday’s final – 100% of the proceeds will go back to our member clubs.
We’re passionate about what we do and we take great pride in the fact that clubs who have joined us from the EFL are able to return there better from being in The National League and likewise that a new breed of clubs proceed through our ranks to challenge the accepted order of the leagues above.
Overall, behind the scenes we are working really hard to generate increasing incomes for our clubs, with the help of fantastic commercial partners like Vanarama and BT Sport.
On that note we have had incredible support from Vanarama who have been actively looking at ways of directly supporting fans in the cost of the final, and The National Lottery who are working with community groups to ensure families and deserving individuals who otherwise would have struggled can get there on the day – with much of the transport costs being covered for this initiative.
If the final is anything like as exciting as the semi-finals and indeed last year’s final, then it should prove to be another memorable occasion. With over 17,000 tickets sold in the first couple of days we are assured of a fantastic atmosphere on Sunday.
We will always listen to clubs and fans to help inform any decisions for future occasions and we always seek to act in the best interests of all parties. Going forward, we want to continue the dialogue with our member clubs and fans to ensure they’re being heard.
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