CLUBS operating within the Cymru Leagues structure will receive £750,000 of National Lottery funding to compensate for fans being unable to attend games.

The Football Association of Wales decided to allocate the grant to the top two tiers of the Welsh domestic pyramid, which will be split evenly between all 44 clubs.

This is yet another crushing blow to the grassroots system, wish is still without a formal start date and suffering significant hardship in the process.

Clubs such as Caernarfon Town, Bangor City, Prestatyn Town, Colwyn Bay, Llandudno and Conwy Borough will receive funding while matches continue to be played behind closed doors, owing to the current COVID-19 restrictions.

Although second-tier clubs have yet to begin their respective campaigns, both JD Cymru North and South are expected to be granted ‘elite athlete’ status by Sport Wales as early as this week.

National Lottery players 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.

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.”

This will be a financial boost for clubs operating within the Cymru League system, which has taken precedent over what the FAW continues to call “recreational” football further down the pyramid.

Clwyd South MP Simon Baynes welcomed the funding news and stated it recognised the vital role football cubs play at the core of their communities.

“They act as hubs for people to come together and give our children, young people and adults opportunities to stay active, as well as bringing a source of pride and community spirit to their towns and villages,” he said.

“I am very grateful to the Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart for his role in bringing the FAW and The National Lottery together in delivering this vital support for our clubs, and very much hope that it will enable clubs to keep going until fans can safely return to grounds.”