Gloucester City and Oxford City have been placed back in the National League North with the Football Association releasing the provisional National League System Club Allocations for 2019-20.
There are four reprieves at Step 4 while there has been a slight adjustment to the footprint of the two Northern Premier League Division Ones after club feedback.
The new North Ferriby, formed following the demise of North Ferriby United, will start at Step 6 in the Northern Counties East League Division One and Jersey Bulls kick-off life in the NLS in the Combined Counties League Division One.
Clubs from Steps 1 to 6 have seven days to appeal where they’ve been placed and the allocations are only final when confirmed at next month’s league AGMs.
Gloucester recently survived in their second season in the National League South after eight years in Step 2’s northern section.
Oxford had three years in the North between 2012 and 2015, including a sixth-place finish, but have spent the last four campaigns in the South.
Their lateral movement is the consequence of Maidstone United, Havant & Waterlooville. Aldershot Town and Braintree Town being relegated out of Non-League’s top flight.
There are still question marks over the future of Gateshead with Aldershot Town first in line for a reprieve.
At Step 3, Hednesford Town have been shifted into the Southern League Premier Central from the NPL Premier and are set to be joined by Kings Langley, who narrowly missed out on the Southern League Premier South play-offs.
North Ferriby United’s demise has created a vacancy at Step 4, which has been taken by Romford.
Colwyn Bay’s decision to enter into the Welsh system has reprieved Kendal Town, AFC Mansfield’s resignation saves Carlton Town and Barnstaple Town are the beneficiaries of Street opting to drop down.
There is lateral movement in the Step 4 NPL divisions with the leagues shifting from West and East to North West and South East – although they are more titles than the specific areas of the country the leagues cover.
From 2020-21, there will be an eighth division at Step 4 that will encompass the north-east area as the FA continues the transition to a pure Pyramid.
As revealed by The NLP last month, it means a number of different end-of-season scenarios to make up the increase in numbers at Step 4.
Fourteen Step 5 champions will be promoted along with the second and third placed clubs in the Northern League, North West Counties and Northern Counties East.
The four highest points per game from the remaining 11 runners-up will go up and the remaining seven will take part in a one-season-only play-off with the seven bottom-placed sides at Step 4.
This season’s Super Play-offs at Step 3 have been dropped and the controversial PPG method that saw just five of this season’s Step 4 play-off winners promoted also scrapped.
From 2020-21, the National League North and South will increase to 24 clubs so next season eight Step 3 teams – four champions and four play-off winners – will go up and only two will be relegated from each Step 2 division.
Next season the bottom two clubs in each Step 3 division will be relegated along with two more third-bottom clubs based on PPG.
The Hellenic League’s Division One East and Division One West will run with 15 and 14 clubs respectively, but discussions are ongoing with a view to increase the membership of both to 16.
Tagged Club allocations