Northern League trio set for promotion as FA Leagues committee outline pyramid restructure plans
Three Ebac Northern League Division One clubs could be set for promotion into step four of the non-league pyramid after the FA outlined the criteria for their planned restructure.
The governing body have confirmed that their leagues committee are looking to promote 110 clubs from steps four to six of the pyramid as they look to implement a new division at step four.
The planned restructure was set to go ahead last summer but the Covid-19 pandemic forced the FA to delay it for a year.
According to details in a lengthy document released on Monday afternoon, clubs will be given a points per game average based on their completed fixtures across the 2019/20 and 2020/21 league seasons.
Clubs will be ranked based on those calculations and the top three clubs in the Northern League’s top division will be invited to apply for promotion into the Northern Premier League’s second tier.
That would mean Hebburn Town (2.20 PPG), Stockton Town (2.48 PPG) and Shildon (2.07 PPG) would be eligible to apply if an FA Council passes the recommendations made by their Leagues Committee.
There would be heartache for North Shields as their average points per game over the two seasons is just 0.02 less than Shildon’s total.
The document also outlined the same criteria for promotion from Northern League Division Two and that would signal good news for West Allotment Celtic, Crook Town and Redcar Athletic as they rank as the three clubs with the highest points per game average.
A number of clubs across the Northern League’s feeder leagues (Wearside League, Northern Alliance and North Riding Football League) have applied for promotion into Division Two over the last two seasons.
However, the FA confirmed that they “did not consider it appropriate to utilise sporting data in the same way to determine upward movement.”
The document went on to confirm that any promotion into step six of the pyramid would be “determined by the relevant leagues on the basis of a subjective application process”.
North East clubs to apply for promotion include Wearside League clubs Boldon CA, Gateshead Leam Rangers, Chester-le-Street United, Richmond Town, Wolviston, Horden CW and Darlington Town, Northern Alliance clubs Newcastle Blue Star, AFC Killingworth and Blyth Town and North Riding Football League duo Boro Rangers and Redcar Town.