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Chris Clapham

Step 5 Restructuring

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The CCL has been invited to a National meeting on Sunday 8 January, at Burton Albion FC when, presumably they will be advised of the FA's proposals.

The league are currently "completely in the dark" as to what they are.

There are 4 regional meetings on the following 4 Sunday's which step 5 clubs are invited to attend.

The one affecting the CCL is to be held at Thurrock FC (in the hotel) on 15th January.

 

Speculation here please?

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These are parts of an email from the league regarding the FA visiting ALL step 5 clubs ahead of any restructuring of leagues!!!

 

"At the moment, all CCL Prem clubs have a Grade F or above, other than Farnham Town, who are currently G and who have until 31 March to attain Grade F."

 

"The bottom line is that, if there is a re-structure to reduce the Step 5 leagues from 14 to 12, a number of clubs will be forcibly relegated, possibly for ground grading reasons alone."

 

Blimey!!!

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The FA want to continue the regionalisation of the non-league pyramid as started several years ago. The latest step would be to reduce the current 14 step 5 leagues to 12 to make automatic promotion/relegation to/from step 4 more straightforward as currently 14 leagues fight for 12 places. The idea would be amalgamation of leagues in areas where there are considered to be too many and this could mean CCL + Hellenic, Kent + Sussex for example which would of course mean a large number of clubs being relegated to step 6. The fly in the ointment means that the playoffs used in all steps above would have to be introduced meaning 4 clubs from each of the step 4 divisions being relegated each season and I can't see the Northern, Southern & Ryman leagues agreeing to that number of clubs lost each season.

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The FA want to continue the regionalisation of the non-league pyramid as started several years ago. The latest step would be to reduce the current 14 step 5 leagues to 12 to make automatic promotion/relegation to/from step 4 more straightforward as currently 14 leagues fight for 12 places. The idea would be amalgamation of leagues in areas where there are considered to be too many and this could mean CCL + Hellenic, Kent + Sussex for example which would of course mean a large number of clubs being relegated to step 6. The fly in the ointment means that the playoffs used in all steps above would have to be introduced meaning 4 clubs from each of the step 4 divisions being relegated each season and I can't see the Northern, Southern & Ryman leagues agreeing to that number of clubs lost each season.

 

Wouldn't the FA have the final say though? Isn't restructuring outside of the remit of a club vote within their own leagues?

Reckon Essex & Kent and Wessex & Western would make more sense as mergers!

Edited by Chris Clapham

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The FA want to continue the regionalisation of the non-league pyramid as started several years ago. The latest step would be to reduce the current 14 step 5 leagues to 12 to make automatic promotion/relegation to/from step 4 more straightforward as currently 14 leagues fight for 12 places. The idea would be amalgamation of leagues in areas where there are considered to be too many and this could mean CCL + Hellenic, Kent + Sussex for example which would of course mean a large number of clubs being relegated to step 6. The fly in the ointment means that the playoffs used in all steps above would have to be introduced meaning 4 clubs from each of the step 4 divisions being relegated each season and I can't see the Northern, Southern & Ryman leagues agreeing to that number of clubs lost each season.

 

I agree they wouldn't buy this deal, but If they stick to only 1 Club promoted from each of 12 Step 5 leagues, only 2 clubs from each Step 4 division would be relegated

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Best I can do by pairing off these leagues.

 

Combined Counties League Premier Division b

Eastern Counties League Premier Division f

Essex Senior League a

Hellenic League Premier Division c

Kent League Premier Division a

Midland Alliance g

Northern Counties East League Premier Division e

Northern League Division One e

North West Counties League Premier Division g

Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division c

Sussex County League Division One b

United Counties League Premier Division f

Wessex League Premier Division d

Western League Premier Division d

 

Obviously only 2 pairings are required. It would appear that the south and south east is the biggest issue?

Edited by Chris Clapham

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When the first proposal was received about a possible re-structure of Step 5/6, it made specific mention of the South East as being the likely area where leagues would be reduced. I have no idea what we will be told on 8 Jan at the national meeting but there is no escaping the situation that if 14 leagues are reduced to 12, then some clubs face forced relegation and if the FA remain true to their original proposal, this will mainly fall upon clubs in the SE.

 

Those that remain at Step 5 but in a re-organised league are likely to face longer and more costly journeys than is currently the case. There will be a knock-on effect at Step 6.

 

This is a personal view (although supported by most if not all the Management Committee) but it is difficult to see any great merit in the proposal as it did not include the promise of any additional promotion places at Step 5. Admittedly the original proposal may have been amended but I rather doubt it. The only merit seems to be that it looks good on paper with 12 Step 5 leagues feeding into 6 Step 4 divisions but as we all know it never works out like that.

 

For a start the Northern League, doubtless for their own valid reasons, rarely has a club who wish to be promoted and the continuing situation of clubs going our of business make a mockery of the nice looking situation on paper. As well as the Northern League, there are other leagues who don't supply a promotion candidate every season and I believe I am correct in saying that, to date, we have never had the situation where there are 14 champion clubs all eligible for promotion at the end of the season, with two having to be rejected. Even if that situation did occur, doubtless one or other of the Step 4 divisions could run with an extra club for a season, which has happened before for different reasons

 

It is for clubs to make their own mind up as to whether or not they are in favour of the proposals once they are released but these regional meetings will probably be the only opportunity for clubs to air their own views directly to the FA and I would urge that all our clubs make the effort to attend, even though the meetings are on a Sunday and are geographically inconvenient, the nearest one to our area being at Thurrock. Club officials have all the details in an email sent by me this morning.

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Good stuff Whitelaw. I will be attending the Thurrock meeting

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Would it not be advisable for the League to have a Pre-Meeting of all Clubs,prior to the 8th of January,so that they all sing from the same Hymn sheet,with a UNITED VOICE.Even if they do not know what the F.A.'s proposals are.One thing for sure is that Clubs will have extra travelling costs,smaller crowds,putting a further burden on already stretched Finances.Thought we were in a recession,ALL IN IT TOGETHER LIKE. I LOVE THE F.A.

Edited by Smudge

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Would it not be advisable for the League to have a Pre-Meeting of all Clubs,prior to the 8th of January,so that they all sing from the same Hymn sheet,with a UNITED VOICE.Even if they do not know what the F.A.'s proposals are.One thing for sure is that Clubs will have extra travelling costs,smaller crowds,putting a further burden on already stretched Finances.Thought we were in a recession,ALL IN IT TOGETHER LIKE. I LOVE THE F.A.

 

I am pretty sure the league will let the clubs know what happens on 8th January Smudge.

I wonder if anyone on here would like to see the CCL merge with another league?

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Why should it,it has a Full Compliment of Teams,is well run,and progressing year by year.Unlike the Kent League that has 16 Teams only in their Premier Division,I believe.

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Why should it,it has a Full Compliment of Teams,is well run,and progressing year by year.Unlike the Kent League that has 16 Teams only in their Premier Division,I believe.

 

indeed it does

http://www.kentleague.com/Kent%20League%20Tables/non-active%20all%20divs.php

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Essex/Kent has got to be a nailed on and then they could also have a decent Step 6 division. Also it will make Step 6 fall into line with gradings so may be a tough one on Step 6 clubs that are around at the moment.

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The sentence.............

 

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it !!" ........

 

............springs to mind.

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The only sensible merger would be with the sussex lg, teams adjacent to surrey like redhill and three bridges and the sides along the m23

Edited by spy

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I think it would be difficult to have a meeting of all the clubs before we are told exactly what the proposal is. We wouldn't be able to say any more than what I have stated on here and in the email to club secretaries. However, I will ensure that as much information as possible is passed to clubs after 8 Jan but before the regional meetings.

 

If there is a simple merger between leagues, the travelling difficulties would be immense for some anyone fancy Wembley to Sheppey, for example. My best guess as to the proposal is that some or all leagues in the SE will be broken up and re-merged but with two less of them, which may well result in some horrendous journeys anyway.

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Cant be any longer journeys than travelling to/from GFC. :)

Edited by HKP

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I think if there are to be mergers,I can see Wembley being pushed into the Spartan League. If I had a time, I would look at the locations of all the Step 5 teams in the country and try and divide them into 12 leagues, but I don't.

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I didn't think the FA had the power to merge leagues.

I thought all they can do is allocate leagues to various steps in the National League System.

Because of that, what I can see happening is the Essex Senior being downgraded to step 6 with the teams who want to stay at step 5 absorbed into other leagues which will have knock on effects throughout the south east. There isn't a step 6 league in Essex at the moment.

I can't see Kent being downgraded as the FA have just allowed them to set up a step 6 league for this season.

The other reduction I can see involves the Hellenic League. It's step 6 divisions are full of reserves so I can see its Premier Division being downgraded to step 6 with the current teams split amongst various leagues - Ascot, Bracknell, Binfield, Reading etc. could all join an expanded CCL with the Eastern CCL clubs being pushed into the Sussex or Kent Leagues.

This is why I think Windsor were put into our league and not the Hellenic - the FA have plans!

I might be putting two and two together and getting five and I may be completely wrong in my view that the FA can't merge leagues but I think the solution is fairly easy. The leagues that get downgraded will kick up a stink but the FA have the power to move them around - they've done it plenty of times in the past.

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And farleigh & warlingham and who knows, cobham & mvscr

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The big question is could Guernsey be forced to stay at step 6 or do the champions have to be promoted?

 

Also what if there were too many step 6 clubs? Would it mean a forced relegation for sides without the correct ground grading ?

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And farleigh & warlingham and who knows, cobham & mvscr

 

 

And maybe Dorking, Bookham and Farnham

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