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National League: Dates, teams, venues, history & more

The National League is the fifth tier of the English football pyramid and also the highest level of the Non-League system.

Reaching the Football League and competing in League Two is the aim of all clubs in the National League.

In the 2023/24 season, Chesterfield finished top of the pile and were promoted as champions, while Bromley battled through the play-offs to secure their place in League Two for the 2024/25 campaign.

National League 2024/25 dates

The National League 2024/25 will kick-off on 10th August 2024, with exact dates for the play-offs yet to be confirmed.

National League 2024/25 teams

The confirmed list of teams taking part in the National League 2024/25 campaign will be:

AFC Fyle, Aldershot Town, Altrincham, Barnet, Boston United, Braintree United, Dagenham & Redbridge, Eastleigh, Ebbsfleet United, FC Halifax Town, Forest Green Rovers, Gateshead, Hartlepool United, Maidenhead United, Oldham Athletic, Rochdale, Solihull Moors, Southend United, Tamworth, Wealdstone, Woking, Yeovil Town, York City.

National League 2024/25 how to watch

TNT Sport will show selected matches from the National League live over the course of the season, as well as a highlights package of all the fixtures.

National League 2024/25 format

A total of 24 teams compete in the National League, but with only one automatic promotion position available to the champions, it is one of the most notoriously difficult leagues to secure promotion from.

The sides that finish second to seventh do still have a chance of securing promotion to the EFL via the play-offs, with the teams that end the regular campaign between fourth and seventh entering at the quarter-final stage, with fourth hosting seventh and fifth entertaining sixth in one-off ties.

The winners of the two quarter-final ties progress to the play-off semi-finals where the teams that finished the regular season in second and third enter the equation, with those higher-ranked sides having the luxury of playing at home.

Whichever teams prevail from those semi-final ties then meet in the final at Wembley, where the winner will secure promotion to League Two.

At the other end of the table there are also relegation positions to fill, with the bottom four teams in the final standings dropping down to either the National League North or South, depending on their geographical location.

National League history

The 2024/25 season is the 46th National League campaign, with the first having taken place during 1979/80 when Altrincham were crowned champions.

It is also the 10th season since the division was rebranded to the National League from the Football Conference.

National League previous winners

Barnet and Macclesfield Town are the most successful clubs in the National League's history, as they have both won the title on three occasions.

A further seven sides have lifted the championship twice - Lincoln City, Cheltenham Town, Stevenage (then Stevenage Borough), Kidderminster Harriers, Maidstone United, Enfield and Altrincham.

Chesterfield are the current champions, having landed the title for the first time during the 2023/24 campaign.

Season

Champions

Play-off winners

2015/16

Cheltenham Town

Grimsby Town

2016/17

Lincoln City

Forest Green Rovers

2017/18

Macclesfield Town

Tranmere Rovers

2018/19

Leyton Orient

Salford City

2019/20

Barrow

Harrogate Town

2020/21

Sutton United

Hartlepool United

2021/22

Stockport County

Grimsby Town

2022/23

Wrexham

Notts County

2023/24

Chesterfield

Bromley

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