New licence to be introduced to help ‘integrity’ of non-league clubs

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The FA Council has agreed to rule changes which will help promote the sustainability and integrity of non-league football clubs.

From the 2016/17 season onwards, clubs in steps 1 to 4 of the football pyramid – The National League and the three leagues below – will need a licence from their Leagues in order to be able to compete.

Clubs will be assessed in various areas including legal, ownership, integrity, stadia and finance in order to obtain a licence.

The introduction of the licences is seen as an important step to help protect clubs and to promote financial stability at this level of the game.

Further regulations approved by The FA Council include changes to The Owner’s and Director’s Test for clubs in the The National League and the three leagues below.

The changes allow The FA to publicise the results of ODTs if necessary and to take quicker action against a club and an officer that fails to comply with the regulations.

The changes are designed to improve the transparency and efficiency of the ODT processes and will come into effect from 1 August 2015.