The IF’s, the BUT’s, and the MAYBE’s of the impending NCEL constitution

Step 5 and 6 league constitutions are one of the hot topics, actually, probably the hottest topic at the moment and none more so than in the NCEL circles. We have the if’s, the but’s and the maybes, and we cover them all.

What do we know

Each league will be reduced to 20 teams for the 2018/19 season, therefore we are losing two sides from each NCEL division.

Pontefract Collieries, Pickering Town and AFC Mansfield have all been promoted to the EvoStik Northern Premier League East.

Knaresborough Town, Yorkshire Amateur and Eccleshill United have all been promoted to the NCEL Premier Division.

Rainworth MW have taken demotion to Step 6.

Clipstone, Parkgate and Harrogate Railway Athletic all finished in the bottom three of the NCEL Premier Division.

Clipstone will be leaving NCEL for East Midlands Counties Football League.

Brigg Town and Retford United finished in the bottom two of the NCEL Division One

Goole AFC finished bottom and in the relegated zone of the EvoStik Division One North.

NCEL Premier Division

2017/18 = 22 sides

2018/19 = 20 sides

22 – 3 promoted sides (to EvoStik) – 3 relegated sides + 3 promotion sides (from NCEL D1) + 1 Relegated EvoStik side (Goole AFC) – 1 Rainworth = 22-3-3+3+1-1=19 (one further side required to make 20 sides for 2018/19 season)

NCEL Divison One

2017/18 = 22 sides

2018/19 = 20 sides

22 – 3 Promoted sides (to NCEL PD) – 2 relegated sides (to step 7) + 2 relegated sides (from NCEL PD) = 22-3-2+2=19 (one further side required to make 20 sides for 2018/19 season – which would be a side from Step 7)


The FA since the start of the season have been saying that their will be NO reprieves.


Grimsby Borough COULD be awarded a 4th promotion place into the NCEL Premier Division.


A club COULD be moved laterally into the NCEL Premier Division to fill the final spot.

IF Grimsby Borough were awarded a place in the NCEL Premier Division then either:

Brigg Town COULD be reprieved (See earlier comment though) OR a further Step 7 promotion.


Due to the reallocations of Step 5 and 6, it COULD be that Ollerton Town, Clipstone and Rainworth MW MAYBE relocated to the East Midlands Counties Football League, which MAY leave another slot in NCEL Division One, which MAY go to another Step 7 sides, or a reprieve.

We could all be wrong and The FA throw the rule book out of the window and surprise us all. However, time will tell and we will have to wait and see.

A well known Non-League expert called Robert Jones has updated his NCEL League constitution and he has:

and breathe….!

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