National League System - Steps 5 & 6 restructure update (February 2020)

Brightside

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Original FA plan was for 4 teams from a lot of the step 6 leagues, so why would that thinking change if relevant and makes sense on a geographical basis for the longer term sustainability of that league and maybe an affiliation with that league over a longer period.

All Step 6 leagues were going to promote 4 teams (Except SWW & SWE - 2 each) but there aren't enough vacancies to do so without Step 5 relegations.

Most leagues will promote 3 and a couple will promote 4, I think it is nearly the best they could do under the circumstances.

Ollie Bayliss has just tweeted. If teams fail to apply or fail the applications, then the FA will look as far down as 3rd place in league’s promoting the top placed side only & as far down as 5th place in league’s promoting the top 3.
That sounds reasonable, I'd hope each league would be able to keep at least 3 promotions (if 3 teams from the top 5 want promotion) rather than just offering North Ferriby the next spot regardless of who refuses.
 

Andy Mac

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So their argument is that they should be the United Counties Premier promotion candidate based on 10 games played rather than Shepshed Dynamo over either 25 games in 19/20 or 35 games 19/21?

The FA would never use just 20/21 records for promotions, there have just been too few games so do they just want to prevent Shepshed Dynamo for being promoted?
Anstey Nomarks have deleted now deleted the tweet. Presumably having been told that they haven’t got a leg to stand on.
 

Brightside

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Step 4


The one vacancy @ Step 4 I currently have in the Isthmian South Central (yellow) footprint as it seemed the best fit after I removed Walthamstow.
Step 5


The current 3 vacancies on this are in the Northern Counties East Premier, United Counties South & Wessex Premier.

Midland League looks odd with the Oxfordshire teams but I didn't want to include the two Northamptonshire teams instead, the other option would be there Hereford & Worcester teams but then the Hellenic League would need to include the Oxfordshire teams instead.
Step 6

This needs a lot more work on it and so far only contains the 311 teams remaining in Step 6 who aren't being elevated to Step 5.


The FA has advised of 30 promotions from NLS Regional Feeder Leagues, if anybody can advise of the most likely candidates then I can start to include them.

The current 29 vacancies are on this map are split;

Northern League2 - 3
Midland League1 - 1
Eastern Counties 1 North - 5
Eastern Counties 1 South - 3
Hellenic 1 - 2
South West Peninsula West - 2
South West Peninsula East - 2
Western League 1 - 1
Wessex League 1 - 3
Southern Combination 1 - 3
Southern Counties East - 4

Too maintain the footprints they have advise of, they're going to have to promote in the above areas. I already have Spartan South Midlands extending into Leicestershire and any further promotions North of Leicester will pull the league even further North.
I'm bringing all the maps / files onto one post

Consolidated 19/21 League Tables


Projections 2021-2022


Step 4 Map


Step 5 Map


Step 6 Map


Please point out any clubs who have moved grounds.
Please point out any differences between the spreadsheets and the Maps.
Please confirm if any teams don't wish to be promoted or who want to take voluntary relegation.
Please suggest any obvious lateral transfers to improve travelling.
 
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TUFCJON

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Wiltshire and North-East Somerset are difficult to get at from the far South-West so they should head to Hellenic before Bristol-based clubs. Definitely Westbury and Bradford for Bitton and Cadbury Heath. Would like to move Odd Down too, but that means splitting Hallen and Cribbs. Would keep an eye on that possibility as teams change.
 

TUFCJON

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How about Portland Wessex, Odd Down and Amesbury Hellenic, Hallen and Cribbs Western?

Nice easy M5 runs from the South West.
 

Burgesshillbee

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If all the promotions take place then both Southern Combination 1 and Southern Counties East 1 are going to need 6/7 teams each from Step 7 to get them up to 20 teams.
 

COLFC

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@Brightside City of Liverpool FC will be groundsharing at Vauxhall Sports & Social Club for season 2021/22, as opposed to Bootle
 

TUFCJON

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If all the promotions take place then both Southern Combination 1 and Southern Counties East 1 are going to need 6/7 teams each from Step 7 to get them up to 20 teams.

So step 6 leagues in the South-East will be desperately scraping around for teams while there will be no such problems in the North?

It’s almost as if we have too many step 5 / 6 leagues in the South East and not enough in the North.

Obvious solution was an extra step 5 between NW Counties and Midland instead of the totally unnecessary second Combined Counties League. Weight promotions from 6 to 5 with a Northern bias as was done from 5 to 4 and create more step 6 vacancies in the North where suitable teams are queueing up.

You’d then have four Northern and four Central tier 5s and 6s feeding two Northern and two Central divisions at tier 4.

The country is the wrong shape for perfect pyramid but this could have got pretty close instead of just perpetuating the South-East bias with more clubs.
 

Brightside

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@Brightside City of Liverpool FC will be groundsharing at Vauxhall Sports & Social Club for season 2021/22, as opposed to Bootle

Thanks, I did read that but I'm not always so on top with updating addresses.
Wiltshire and North-East Somerset are difficult to get at from the far South-West so they should head to Hellenic before Bristol-based clubs. Definitely Westbury and Bradford for Bitton and Cadbury Heath. Would like to move Odd Down too, but that means splitting Hallen and Cribbs. Would keep an eye on that possibility as teams change.
How about Portland Wessex, Odd Down and Amesbury Hellenic, Hallen and Cribbs Western?

Nice easy M5 runs from the South West.
I'm definitely not happy with the current Western Prem / Hellenic Prem split so I'll take another look. I'm not sure there is great split however it is done. I'll take a further look at travelling times and see if you're suggestions work better.
If all the promotions take place then both Southern Combination 1 and Southern Counties East 1 are going to need 6/7 teams each from Step 7 to get them up to 20 teams.
On my mapping, I currently have 3 and 4 vacancies for each but that is after 4 & 3 transfers each from the Combined Counties. Without these transfers (that fit the FA's footprints) they would only have 13 clubs each.

Step 5 clubs potentially moving from SCL/SCEL to CCL & particularly Step 6 clubs potentially moving from CCL to SCL/SCEL have been by far the most vociferous in their objections to the restructure, from what I have seen.
 

Brightside

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These are both worth a listen


So step 6 leagues in the South-East will be desperately scraping around for teams while there will be no such problems in the North?

It’s almost as if we have too many step 5 / 6 leagues in the South East and not enough in the North.

Obvious solution was an extra step 5 between NW Counties and Midland instead of the totally unnecessary second Combined Counties League. Weight promotions from 6 to 5 with a Northern bias as was done from 5 to 4 and create more step 6 vacancies in the North where suitable teams are queueing up.

You’d then have four Northern and four Central tier 5s and 6s feeding two Northern and two Central divisions at tier 4.

The country is the wrong shape for perfect pyramid but this could have got pretty close instead of just perpetuating the South-East bias with more clubs.

I partially agree with you.

It is definitely true that Step 6 leagues in the North will be fully populated and there will be a number of leagues @ Step 6 that will have vacancies that are tough to fill when there are a lot of eligible clubs in the Midlands especially with no leagues to go into (unless the Step 6 league footprints differ vastly from the FA's release)

There is a slight North / South imbalance but there is an even bigger imbalance between Steps 5 & 6 and this is caused by the areas where there were a different amount of Step 5 & 6 leagues (SWP, East Midland, West Midlands Regional, North West Counties, Hellenic), these areas did need sorting out and the multiple promotions has partly addressed this.

However most areas had 1 Step 5 & 1 Step 6 division so promoting 3/4 teams from Step 6 to Step 5 overpopulates Step 5 in the area and depletes the Step 6 league, especially in places where they have already struggled to fill Step 6 leagues (Kent, Essex etc.)

The FA started to correct the anomalies prior to the restructure (Step 6 leagues for Essex, Kent & a needed second one for North West Counties.

They could have given preferential Step 6 promotions but I think they should have completed the task;

Midland League Premier was the main destination for three Step 6 leagues (WMRL, ML1, EML) this has blocked a number of Step 6 clubs in the area from reaching Step 5 (3 down and only 1 up) and has also left few vacancies for Step 7 applicants. The obvious solution here was to promote 1/3rd of each Step 6 league (perhaps also an extra club in UCL1, NCE1 etc.) to create a new Step 5 league, possibly with the removal of 1 Step 6 league.

In the greater South West there was the following 2-5 set-up

Step 5

Western Premier
Hellenic Premier

Step 6

South West Peninsula West
South West Peninsula East
Western League 1
Hellenic 1 West
Hellenic 1 East

Some promotions here could have provided a better 3-4 set-up covering the following vague areas

A South West League from Cornwall to Somerset (with 2 Step 6 leagues)
A league from North Somerset to Gloucestershire to Wiltshire
A league from Oxfordshire to North West London

The Combined Counties, Wessex, Southern Combination, Southern Counties East, Essex Senior League, Eastern Counties needed only minor changes with the Spartan South Midlands losing it's North London clubs.

That would have moved the pyramid from 1-2-4-7-14-20 to 1-2-4-7-16-18. They could have created the 8th Step 4 division at the same time as removing the 18th Step 6 league.

There is a bit of a North/South bias but it's not as big as it seems.
@ Steps 5 & 6 I'd say there is about a 6/10 split between North (& Midlands) & South which is about 37.5% v 62.5%. The population split is about 47% v 53% but listing all Men's saturday clubs in England there is a 39% v 61% split.
 

jhorspool

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Biggleswade FC will groundshare at Bedford Town, Clapton currently sharing at Athletic Newham (no indication they are to move back to OSD so better bet to change it), and Langley seem to be on their own (they share with Chalvey and Slough Town at Arbour)
 

Brightside

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How about Portland Wessex, Odd Down and Amesbury Hellenic, Hallen and Cribbs Western?

Nice easy M5 runs from the South West.

I'm not happy with however I split this

Parts of Wiltshire and North-East Somerset are a long way from Cornwall but they're also a long way from Herefordshire.

I have however updated the following on the Step 5 map;

Western to Hellenic (3)
Bradford Town, Odd Down, Westbury United

Hellenic to Western (4)
Bitton, Cadbury Heath, Cribbs, Hallen

Western to Wessex (1)
Portland United

Wessex to Hellenic
Vacant spot

Over the next few season I can see the Bristol clubs having to go to the Hellenic Premier with the Western Border moved to around Western-Super-Mare
The question is,

is it better to;
A) Move some of them now and then the others move to join over the next few season?
B) Move Bradford Town, Odd Down, Westbury United and then split the Bristol teams over the coming years?
C) Move Bradford Town, Odd Down, Westbury United and then move them back to transfer over 4,5,6 teams over next season?

You either have to split local clubs or move teams back and forward.

Biggleswade FC will groundshare at Bedford Town.
Thanks, Now updated.

Clapton currently sharing at Athletic Newham (no indication they are to move back to OSD so better bet to change it)
Thanks, Now updated.

Langley seem to be on their own (they share with Chalvey and Slough Town at Arbour)

Thanks, Now updated.
 
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Sarumio Whites

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Thanks, I did read that but I'm not always so on top with updating addresses.


I'm definitely not happy with the current Western Prem / Hellenic Prem split so I'll take another look. I'm not sure there is great split however it is done. I'll take a further look at travelling times and see if you're suggestions work better.

On my mapping, I currently have 3 and 4 vacancies for each but that is after 4 & 3 transfers each from the Combined Counties. Without these transfers (that fit the FA's footprints) they would only have 13 clubs each.

Step 5 clubs potentially moving from SCL/SCEL to CCL & particularly Step 6 clubs potentially moving from CCL to SCL/SCEL have been by far the most vociferous in their objections to the restructure, from what I have seen.

I have said it before and I will say it again -the ONLY way to fill the two most south easterly divisions (SCE and SCL) at Step 6 - is to work out the entire nation's Step 6 clubs for next season, including ALL the eligible Step 7 promotes WHEREVER they geographically are and start from the North and fill the divisions until you get down to the south east. That is going to mean mass transfers a towards the end of the exercise, from the CoCo to the SCL and from the SCL to the SCE. Theres no way round it -the SCE and SCL do NOT have a sufficient source of step 7 clubs that can come up in their their existing traditional areas. If they want to be filled, then they have no optin but to move their boundaries north and West respectively and take on Step 6 clubs from their next neighbouring division over or we'll be having this same conversation in 5 and 10 years time
 

Unicorn

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If all the promotions take place then both Southern Combination 1 and Southern Counties East 1 are going to need 6/7 teams each from Step 7 to get them up to 20 teams.
Not really.
If the lateral transfers that Brightside suggests happen then the South East Counties division one will need four clubs to get it up to 20.
And the history in our area is that quite often teams from outside the NLS apply.
 

HarryC

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What I want to know is - if the Big Six get booted out of the Premier League, what will be the trickle-down effect on Hellenic Div 1 East? Anyone done a spreadsheet yet? ;)
Unfortunately, the FA are not filling spaces above this season, as part of the restructure, leaving league at each step 1, 2, 3, 4 one club short each level. obviously TV money will want a 20 team Premier League, to fill their schedules, so EFL would have to adjust relegations to make Championship, League One and League Two 3 x 22 clubs instead of 24 for one season, before mass promotions for 22/23
 

Oxford Stone

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They limp from one season to another - and I've lost count of who owns / runs them.
 

Interesting

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They limp from one season to another - and I've lost count of who owns / runs them.
Company called irama Sports Network (some link with Ian Rush apparently) purchased the ground and rents it back out at a rate they can't or won't be able to afford.

The head office for the company is a super yacht in Cannes!!!!!
 
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