National League (English football)

The National League (named Vanarama National League for sponsorship reasons) is an association football league in England consisting of three divisions, the National League, National League North, and National League South. It was called the "Alliance Premier League" from 1979 until 1986. Between 1986 and 2015, the league was known as the "Football Conference".[2]

National League
Founded1979; 42 years ago (1979) (as Alliance Premier League)
2004; 17 years ago (2004) (North & South)
CountryEngland (66 clubs)
Other club(s) fromWales (1 club)
DivisionsNational League
National League North and South
Number of teams23 National League
22 North & 22 South (24 each from 2022–23)
Level on pyramid5–6
Promotion toEFL League Two
Relegation toNorthern Premier League Premier Division
Isthmian League Premier Division
Southern League Premier Division
Domestic cup(s)FA Cup
FA Trophy
League cup(s)Conference League Cup (defunct)
Current championsSutton United (National League)
(2020–21)
TV partnersBT Sport[1]
NLTV (2015–present)
Websitethenationalleague.org.uk
Current: 2021–22 National League

Most National League clubs are fully professional, while most National League North and National League South clubs are semi-professional. Some professional clubs were previously in the English Football League (EFL), as opposed to clubs that have always been non-League. The National League is the lowest of the five nationwide football divisions in England, below the Premier League and the three divisions of the EFL, and is the top tier of the National League System of non-League football. The National League North and National League South form the sixth tier of English football. The National League consisted of only one division until 2004, but expanded as part of an extensive restructuring of the National League System beginning with the 2004–05 season.