Update on applications from Step 7 Clubs

Thu 30th November 2017 | Announcements
By Ian Templeman

The League Management Committee would like to remind Step 7 Clubs, particularly in our feeder leagues, that the deadline for submitting applications for promotion to our Step 6 Divisions for the 2018-19 season is 31st December 2017.

As previously stated, we have been successful in our application to the FA to expand with an additional Step 6 Division in the North West from season 2018/19, splitting the current format into North and South Divisions in-order to reduce traveling distances, journey times and costs.

This obviously requires additional Clubs, of which the FA are handling the application process. All Step 7 Leagues should have by now circulated to their Member Clubs the relevant promotion criteria, issued to them by the FA.

The Committee is encouraged by the response received to date from Step 7 Clubs requesting further information and/pr advisory ground grading visits.

Those requests from Step 7 Clubs now number 20, and are not just restricted to our usual Step 7 feeder leagues but include a number of what we would consider border area clubs from other Step 7 Competitions. We have also had enquires from 3 clubs not currently in Step 7 Divisions and 2 new Clubs, which is a different issue altogether.

The FA have stated that the normal criteria of only one Club being promoted from a Step 7 league may not be applied for next season as it is intended to have a maximum of 20 Clubs in each division.

Also, there is also a possibility of lateral movement of some current Step 6 Clubs as the re-structure of the National League System from Step 3-6 reduces all divisions to a maximum of 20 clubs in each.

Step 7 Clubs may be considered for promotion if they do not currently have floodlights in place, but they must meet the following requirements by the 31st March 2018:

  • Planning permission for the installation of floodlights must have been approved by the relevant Local Authority
  • Evidence provided that funding applications have been submitted
  • Evidence provided that the balance of any funding required is in place
  • Evidence provided that quotations have been obtained from appropriate contractors
  • A copy of an appropriate development/installation plan must be provided

Floodlights must be installed and working by 30th September 2018, and the League would be at liberty to impose a penalty on any club that was admitted for the start of season 2018-19, and subsequently failed to comply with this requirement.

Clubs that fail to have floodlights in place by 31st March 2019 would be placed in a relegation position regardless of their finishing league position at the end of season 2018-19.

League Secretary John Deal said: "We have been delighted with the interest shown so far by Step 7 Clubs and we have carried out ground grading and advisory visits at over half of those to date. 

"It must be stated, however, that there are a number who are considered to be unlikely to meet the FA Ground Grading Step 6 Entry Criteria (Grade H).

"We are therefore issuing another notice to Clubs in our area currently playing in Step 7 leagues to contact us if they require advice and guidance with regard to meeting the required ground grading criteria and the application process.

"With regard to any Club in a neighbouring Step 6 League who wish to be considered for lateral movement, they should make their intentions known to the FA and their current League".

Any Step 7 Clubs requiring guidance with regard to ground grading and League membership issues should contact John Deal by email to: john.deal@nwcfl.com  also advising their own League Secretary that they have requested a free advisory ground grading visit.


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