Leagues Restructuring

As you will all be well aware, we are nearing the business-end of the season and with that a lot of speculation as to where Clubs will be placed for the 2020-21 season. At the outset it is important to understand that we cannot possibly know the final outcomes until the final ball of the season is kicked but what we are committing to you, the Clubs, is that we will provide as much information as practicably possible in order to best prepare Clubs for the 2020-21 season.

To that end, we have conducted a mapping exercise (and will do so again in April) – this mapping exercise creates a simulated version of Club allocations at Steps 5 and 6 and is calculated using the following conditions:

  • The tables as they were at 31 December 2019
  • The Clubs are then ranked on their points per match average – this avoids the situation of a false simulation for those Clubs that are catching up on fixtures due to cup runs or postponements
  • The promotion and relegation Regulations are applied 1 o Note: the simulation has assumed that the winners of the seven Step 4/5 PlayOffs will be the Step 5 Clubs. This decision was taken on the basis that it would create the most movement and would be a ‘worst’ case scenario in terms of changes to League boundaries
  • The divisions are then arranged into groups of 20 at Step 5 and 18-20 at Step 6. It is the aim of The FA’s Leagues Committee to create divisions of 20 at Step 6, where possible. However, in geographical instances some divisions may operate with 18 or 19 for the first season.

As mentioned above, we will be performing the simulation again during March for circulation in April. This will no doubt provide The FA’s Leagues Committee (and in turn Leagues and Clubs) with a greater understanding of where the boundaries may lie. When circulating the mapping in April, Clubs who could be at risk of lateral movement will be given a notification to that effect. But, once again, we must stress that the final outcomes will not be known until the end of the season. Thank you for your support during this final, yet crucial, part of the National League System restructure and good luck for the remainder of the season.

Mark Frost, FA League s Committee Chairman – on behalf of The FA Leagues Committee