The funding of the national game was in the past self generated. Transfer fees generated from the top clubs for up an coming stars in the lower leagues were the lifeblood of the game.
When Lincoln were relegated from the Football League last season, the club lost over £90,000 worth of grants that allowed them to run their Centre of Excellence. Faced with possible extinction, it was decided that for the Centre to survive it had to become a standalone business.
Local businessmen, companies and the unwavering support of parents ralied and the C of E survived and continues to be one of the most-admired set-ups in the lower reaches of the game. Karl Cunningham, a player who has gone through the system, has broken into the first team this season
Premier League and Championship scouts watch C of E games on a regular basis, the Centre has provided players for the first team as well.
The Youth policy has also provided both Nick Draper and Jordan Thomas who have made their debuts for the club.
Football is more a results driven game but the need to generate transfer fees is key to keep the lower leagues in existence.