As we are now into the last THREE Months of the 2019-2020 season I believe a reminder is in need to be issued to Premier & Division One clubs regarding end of season processes concerning Promotion & Relegation issues.
The detail below is an extract from the FA Regulations pertaining to the Operation of the National League System.
Competition – Step 5 League’s
Combined Counties League Champion Club
Eastern Counties League Champion Club
Essex Senior League Champion Club
Hellenic League Champion Club
Midland League Champion Club
North West Counties League Champion Club, 2nd and 3rd placed Clubs
Northern League Champion Club, 2nd and 3rd placed Clubs
Northern Counties East Champion Club, 2nd and 3rd placed Clubs
Southern Counties East Champion Club
Spartan South Midlands Champion Club
Southern Combination Champion Club
United Counties League Champion Club
Wessex League Champion Club
Western League Champion Club
In addition to the above, the remaining 2nd placed Clubs will be ranked on points per game (then goal difference, then goals scored if required) with the four highest placed Clubs also receiving automatic promotion.
The remaining seven 2nd placed Club’s will take part in the Step 4/5 Play Off matches on a single match basis at the ground of the Step 4 Club they are drawn against. Where possible, the draw for the Play Off matches will be regionalised. The winners of these Step 4/5 Play Off matches will be allocated to Step 4. Advised today that these matches will be played on Sat 2nd or Sunday 3rd MAY.
The Clubs to be promoted from Step 5 will be allocated to the most geographically appropriate division at Step 4. A Club promoted to Step 4 shall comply with the Licencing System provision as set out in Appendix 1 to the Standardised Rules.
Step 5 and Step 6
The Clubs in the bottom place in each of the fourteen divisions at Step 5 at the end of the Regular Season will be ranked on a points per match basis (then goal difference, then goals scored if required) - the twelve lowest will be relegated and placed in the most geographically appropriate division of Step 6.
These Clubs will be replaced by the Clubs in 1st & 2nd position of the two divisions operated by the South West Peninsula League and the Clubs placed in 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th positions in the remaining eighteen Leagues at Step 6 at the end of the Regular Season.
Step 6 and 7
At the end of the Regular Playing Season the Clubs in the bottom two positions of each of the twenty Step 6 divisions will be liable to relegation. All Step 7 Clubs seeking promotion to Step 6 must make application using the prescribed form direct to The Association, copied to their existing League, by 31st December in the relevant year. In order to be considered for promotion Clubs must finish in 1st position in their Step 7 league. If the Club finishing in 1st position does not wish to be promoted or fails to meet the entry criteria then the club finishing in 2nd position will be eligible for promotion. If the club in 2nd position does not seek promotion or fails to meet the entry criteria then clubs down to 5th position may be considered for promotion provided that they meet the appropriate entry criteria.
Clubs finishing below 5th position may not be considered for promotion and, for this season only, more than one club may be considered from each League. Each application must be accompanied by the agreed application fee, as determined by the Committee, which is non-refundable.
No more than 40 Clubs will be promoted from Step 7. If more than 40 Clubs are eligible for promotion they will be chosen based on a point’s per match basis. Where the eligible Clubs count does not reach 40 in number, reprieves of Step 6 Clubs shall come into effect on-a-points per match basis.
For the 2019/20 season only, at Steps 2-3 the Club finishing in last place in the table at the end of the Regular Season will be relegated and not reprieved.
At Steps 1 to 6, if a Club becomes eligible to take part in a Play Off Match and refuses to take part in that match or if a Club qualifies for promotion and refuses to be promoted then that Club shall be relegated from the division from which it has so qualified and shall play the following Playing Season in the division at the next Step below which is deemed the most appropriate by the Committee.
If the refusal/ineligibility applies to a Club currently operating at Step 6, the Club will be removed from the NLS and placed in the appropriate Regional NLS Feeder League.
Brian King - CEO ulsport Hellenic League