With ten places being created at Steps 3 & 4 for the 2013-14 season, there is a need to move more teams up the pyramid.
One suggestion, being discussed on the NLM Forum is to encourage Northern League sides to make a step up. However, a lot of these sides are, quite understandably, reluctant to move up as their travel costs will go up. With petrol prices higher than Keith Richards on a good day, this expense alone will severely drain the financial resources of clubs and may force more of them under.
With Goodrich FC (West Midlands Regional League) the latest club consigned to non-league history, we should avoid encouraging clubs to live beyond their means. If that means them being a big fish in a small pond, then so be it, as long as it means that they are financially secure to continue trading/playing week in week out.
However, a solution to the 10 spaces might be found across Offa's Dyke in Wales. With a number of clubs in the north and south of the country dis-satisfied with the FAW's running of the game, could an exodus of clubs across to England help fill up vacancies? No, I am not talking about parachuting the likes of Rhyl, Bridgend Town, Barry Town and Neath into Step 3 & Step 4, but if these clubs could be placed at Step 6 or Step 7 and other sides moved up, perhaps it would offer a better solution.
Rhyl applied to the North West Counties League two years ago, and they would definitely be a strong inclusion in that league. Also Caernarfon Town have been said to be interested in playing in England again. That's two already from North Wales. What about the possibility of Newtown (did have a fall-out with the FAW) and Chris Kamara's new favourite Welshpool Town moving across to the West Midlands or new Shropshire Premier League at Step 7?
Down in South Wales, there are many teams who could see the Western League as an attractive proposition - Neath FC, recently relegated and stung by FAW criticism, might see their future over the other side of the Severn. What about Bridgend Town and Barry Town moving over as well? What about Cwmbran Town (one time League of Wales champions) quitting for the Hellenic?
That, in theory, gives us eight sides. Two more are needed - well, how's about Jersey FC (Combined Counties) and Manx FC (West Lancashire Premier?) Okay, they're not Welsh, but if they can follow in the footsteps of fellow Islanders Guernsey FC then let's be having them!