The FA has written to all leagues in the National League System, asking them to remind all clubs of the possibility of lateral movement between leagues at the end of the current season.
The letter was sent to all leagues at Steps 2 to 7, and reinforces the possibility of lateral movements and states that while it is too early to be more specific at this stage, the advance warning is being given to all clubs, to advise that this could occur.
A notice has also been issued for New Clubs and teams wishing to enter the System above Step 7, as opposed to clubs wishing to be promoted from Step 7 to 6.
Usually a club can only enter the NLS at Step 7. However, a League may seek approval from the Committee to receive a club or team not currently in membership of a League within the NLS provided that there is:
(a) exceptional circumstances
(b) a vacancy within its constitution
(c) the club meets the entry criteria and
(d) promotion and relegation issues have been satisfied.
The deadline for these applications to be received by the FA has now changed to 1st February in each season and it is a League that must apply for a Club to be entered in to their competition, not the Club itself.
However, the FA have emphasised that a club will only be considered for allocation to a league or division after normal promotion and relegation has been applied, and if a vacancy exists in that particular division.
Any decision shall only be capable of Appeal to The Association by the affected League.