The recent sudden and unexpected demise of Northern Premier League side Shaw Lane AFC has had a knock-on effect on the new Central Division of the Southern League as it has been proposed that Hednesford Town be transferred across to take Shaw Lane’s place.
Hednesford have appealed against this decision on the grounds that both Coalville Town and Kings Lynn Town are further north and should therefore be considered instead, and the result of that appeal will be advised when known.
Banbury United are to be switched from the South Division of the Southern League to replace Hednesford and it is understood that they will also be lodging an appeal, while Wimborne Town being moved up from the West Division to take Banbury’s spot.
Meanwhile the FA have also announced the arrangements for promotion and relegation at the end of the 2018/19 season following the creation of the new Central Division which has meant that there are now four divisions at Step 3 of the Non-League pyramid.
But as before only three clubs will be relegated from each of the Step 2 divisions (National League South and North) making six in all and therefore only six clubs can be promoted from Step 3.
The FA have decided that the champions of the four Step 3 divisions will continue to be automatically promoted but that only two of the four play-off winners will also go up.
The play-offs in each division will go ahead as previously, but there will then be two further play-off matches involving the four divisional play-off winners which will be scheduled by the FA Leagues Committee on the most suitable geographically basis.
The winners of those two matches will be given the two remaining promotion spots while the losers – although being divisional play-off winners – will therefore miss out on promotion and stay where they are.
The relegation situation is rather more straightforward as twelve clubs will still be relegated to Step 4. When there were three Step 3 divisions it was the bottom four from each division which faced the drop, but with the introduction of the new division it will now only be the bottom three which will go down