NLS Step 5 and 6 – South West Proposal – Consultation Statement

Following the Summer 2021 restructure of the National League System, representations were made from the South West Peninsula League and the Western League on the travelling impacts to Clubs in the South West of the country, especially at Step 5. Our unique and treasured National League System allows for any Club in any part of England the ability to progress from Grassroots to the EFL with the most recent restructure allowing for a pure pyramid of promotion and relegation.

Despite the many positive aspects of the restructure, there has been a well-recognised impact in the South West with a collective number of Clubs making abnormally long journeys at this Step level coupled with a challenging road network. Recognising this, representatives from The FA have met with officers of the respective Leagues to explore alternative options which must protect both the integrity of Competition and the fluidity of the pyramid. A proposal was submitted to The FA Leagues Committee, who have supported a proposal in principle.

Following further dialogue, it has been agreed that these proposals must now enter a period of consultation with stakeholders in the area including, but not limited to, Leagues, Clubs and County FA’s. The two Leagues have been authorised to undertake discussions to present and explain their proposals and in due course, The FA will seek observations of these proposals from stakeholders before the FA Leagues Committee consider the next steps.