The Northern League is the second oldest football league in the world. Formed in 1889, the Northern League included both professional and amateur clubs, permitted to play individual professional or permit players. This continued until 1906, when at the annual meeting it was decided that the League would be restricted to amateur clubs only.

The League is based in the north east of England and has teams from four County FA’s – Cumberland, Durham, Northumberland and North Yorkshire.

Three teams from the bottom of the first division are relegated to the second, while the top three from the second division are promoted to the first division, (subject to meeting ground criteria). The bottom two of the second division can be relegated to either of the feeder leagues – Wearside and Northern Alliance (depending of whether ground criteria has been met by the Feeder leagues). One team from each of the feeder League’s being promoted to the second division.

Following the FA’s restructure of the non league pyramid in 2004, the Northern League is at step 5/6 of the National League System.

The League and its sponsors also recognises the achievements of its clubs throughout the season. At the end of the season, the Annual Dinner will present awards not only to the players and clubs, but also to back room staff of clubs.