Non League football shake-up: New divisions for steps 3 and 4 - and East and West divisions for Sussex

Big shae up for Non League football
Big shae up for Non League football

Two new divisions will be introduced at Step 3 and 4 as Non League football faces a shake-up - with two Step 7 leagues being planned for Sussex.

We revealed yesterday a proposal had been put forward and will be decided on at an Alliance Committee and FA meeting next week.

But the new structure has been agreed in principle and will see new divisions at Step 3 (Ryman Premier level) and Step 4 (Ryman South level). The FA are also planning two Step 7 leagues in Sussex, one East and one West.

The idea is to help reduce costs and travelling times.

What do you think of the restructure? Email sport.sussex@jpress.co.uk

The divisions in Step 3 - currently the Isthmian Premier, Southern Premier and Northern Premier League Premier divisions - have 24 teams but under the new proposals suggest they will be reduced to 22 and the Step 4 leagues reduced to 20 teams.

How promotion and relegation will work is yet to be decided.

The FA also want Step 5 leagues to each have 20 clubs and they are planning two new leagues at Step 6.

As well as reducing clubs’ expenditure on getting to games, the FA hope it will create a more natural flow through the Pyramid and provide a clear pathway for participation through the System on a region-by-region basis.

They were waved through in principle at an FA Council meeting at Wembley on Wednesday, meaning the Leagues and Clubs department can start working on the finer details.

The next step is consultation with the leagues to draft the regulations for next season in order to rejig the numbers for the new structure to be implemented for 2018-19.