The National League is an association football league in England consisting of three divisions, the National League, National League North and National League South. Originally called the Alliance Premier League from 1979 until 1986. Between 1986 and 2015, the league was known as the Football Conference. As part of a sponsorship deal with car leasing company Vanarama, the league is known as the Vanarama National League.
Most of the National League clubs are fully professional, whilst most National League North and National League South clubs are semi-professional. The professional clubs are usually clubs which have been in the Football League in the past, as opposed to those who 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 Football League, 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 which took effect beginning with the 2004–05 season.Close