First Team Star
Jun 4, 2012, 12:01 AM
Team(s): Chatham Town supporter
Post #16 of 33
In theory the 26 Premier Leagues are all equal to one another, but in practice they vary hugely in standard.
There is also considerable variation in the size of the pyramid structures. At one extreme we have Northern and Yorkshire, both of which have no promotion or relegation and hence no pyramid at all. Most of the country has a pyramid of some sort but also has non-pyramid leagues, while at the other extreme comes the East Anglia pyramid which has in total 55 divisions.
The 26 Premier Leagues are: Birmingham and District (Shropshire, Mid Wales, Staffs, Warwickshire, Worcs), Cheshire, Cornwall, Derbyshire, Devon, East Anglia (Cambs, North Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk), Essex (only one club north of Chelmsford), Home Counties (Herts, Berks, Bucks, Oxon), Kent, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool and District, Middlesex, North East (Durham and Northumberland), North Staffordshire and South Cheshire (Stoke on Trent, mainly), North Wales, North Yorkshire and South Durham (mainly Darlington and Teesside), Northern (centred on Preston), Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, South Wales, Southern (Hampshire), Surrey, Sussex, West of England (Gloucs, Somerset, Wiltshire), Yorkshire (includes no clubs west of Leeds).
Bedfordshire, Cumberland and Dorset are not really covered by the Premier League system. There are a handful of Beds clubs in the lower divisions of East Anglia, Home Counties, and Northants, but the main competition is the Bedfordshire League, an independent competition played on Sundays. There are three Cumbrian clubs in the Northern League, but otherwise it's the independent North Lancashire and Cumbria League (since Carnforth CC switched to the Northern, there are now no Lancashire clubs in this league). As for Dorset, Bournemouth CC play in the Southern League, but otherwise there's the Dorset League which is again independent of the system.
Lancashire and Yorkshire have numerous independent leagues, some of which are of a comparable standard to the Premier Leagues. But in the rest of the country, everyone who is any good plays in one of the Premier League systems.