We may only be in January, but in just 15 weeks, promotions and relegations from Non-League’s Step 1 to Step 6 will start to be confirmed – and we look at the how it stands at the moment.
Step 1 (National League)
Promotion is pretty straight forward, top spot is promoted to League Two which currently stands at Leyton Orient.
A second side is promoted via the play-off’s, which involves teams placed 2nd to 7th, with two Quarter-Final, two Semi-Final’s and a Final. Current teams are: Salford City, Wrexham, Solihull Moors, AFC Fylde, Sutton United and Harrogate Town.
The bottom four teams are relegated from the National League and placed into the appropriate National League North/South, then a slight reshuffle may occur due to the split of N/S to ensure an even distribution between the leagues.
Current sides in the relegation zone: Aldershot Town, Chesterfield, Maidstone United and Braintree Town.
Step 2 (National League North/South)
A very similar scenario to Step 1 occurs, with the same promotion, play-off terms, but only three relegation spots.
Chorley are currently leading the National League North, whilst Torquay United are 5 points clear at the top of the National League South.
Play-off’s for National League North contains: Bradford Park Avenue, Stockport County, AFC Telford United, Chester, Altrincham and Spennymoor Town. Whilst National League South contains: Woking, Chelmsford City, Bath City, Concord Rangers, Welling United and Billericay Town.
Currently in the relegation zone in National League North are FC United of Manchester, Ashton United and Nuneaton Borough. Whilst from National League South their is East Thurrock United, Gloucester City and Weston-Super-Mare.
Six teams overall will be promoted to Step 2 from Step 3. These will comprise the leading club in each Step 3 division, together with two of the four divisional play-off winners, following inter-divisional play-offs.
Currently the top leaders in the four Step 3 divisions are Haringey Borough, Nantwich Town, Taunton Town and Stourbridge.
The 16 sides inside the play-offs are: (Bostik Isthmian Football League Premier Division) Kingstonian, Dorking Wanderers, Enfield Town and Lewes, (EvoStik Northern Premier Division) Farsley Celtic, Warrington Town, South Shields and Scarborough Athletic, (EvoStik Southern League Premier Division South) Weymouth, Salisbury, Harrow Borough and Met Police, (EvoStik Southern League Premier League Central) Kettering Town, King’s Lynn Town, Biggleswade Town and AFC Rushden & Diamonds.
At Step 3, the bottom three sides will be relegated to Step 4. If any spaces are available at Step 3 due to clubs dropping out then the “unlucky playoff winner” at Step 4 with the best PPG will be promoted. If there are more than two vacancies then relegated clubs will be reprieved on a PPG basis. The bottom club of each division will not be eligible for a reprieve.
The 12 sides currently in the relegation places are: (Bostik Isthmian Football League Premier Division) Wingate & Finchley, Harlow Town and Whitehawk, (EvoStik Northern Premier Division) Stafford Rangers, Workington and North Ferriby United, (EvoStik Southern League Premier Division South) Chesham United, Frome Town and Staines Town, (EvoStik Southern League Premier League Central) Hitchin Town, St Neots Town and Bedworth United.
At Step 4, the side finishing 1st will be automatically promoted to Step 3. Sides finishing 2nd to 5th will go into playoffs. This will result in 7 sides winning their divisional playoffs. However, of these sides, only the 5 sides with the highest PPG will be promoted to Step 3, therefore 2 sides will win their respective play-offs and will NOT be promoted.
The current leaders of each Step 4 Division are: Radcliffe, Morpeth Town, Peterborough Sports, Yate Town, Hayes & Yeading, Bowers & Pitsea and Cray Wanderers.
The following is a list of teams currently in the play-offs of their respective leagues, with their points-per-game displayed. The bottom three sides however, if they currently won their play-offs would not be promoted due to their inferior points-per-game total.
|Blackfield & Lang||S1S||2.095|
|Maldon & Tiptree||I1N||2.000|
At Step 4, the bottom two sides will be relegated to Step 5. If any reprieves are available then the side with the best PPG will be reprieved. The bottom club of each division will not be eligible for a reprieve.
Currently in the relegation zones throughout Step 4 are Kendal Town, Skelmersdale United, Gresley, Stocksbridge Park Steels, North Leigh, Kidlington, Fleet Town, Barnstaple Town, South Park, Egham Town, Mildenhall Town, Dereham Town, and Herme Bay.
Note: Thamesmead Town resigned from the Isthmian 1 South East. They will take up the “20th position” in that division, therefore effectively will be relegated.
Only the side finishing 1st in each Step 5 division will be promoted to Step 4, with NO play-offs.
The 14 sides currently occupying top spot in their respective leagues are Chertsey Town, Godmanchester Rovers, Stansted, Brackley Town, Ilkeston Town, City of Liverpool, Yorkshire Amateur, Consett, Chichester City, Fisher, Tring Athletic, Daventry Town, Sholing and Willand Rovers.
At Step 5, the bottom two sides will be relegated to Step 6. If any spaces are available at Step 5, then the remaining Step 6 runner ups will be promoted. After they have been exhausted, reprieves will be available to the side with the best PPG. The bottom club of each division will not be eligible for a reprieve.
The 28 sides currently in the bottom two are: Badshot Lea, Walton & Hersham, Hadleigh United, Framington Town, Leyton Athletic, Barkingside, Tuffley Rovers, Longlevens, Dunkirk, Wolves S C, Hanley Town, Abbey Hey, Harrogate RA, Goole AFC, Seaham Red Star, Penrith, Loxwood, Eastbourne Utd, Croydon, Rusthall, Cockfosters, Stotfold, Rothwell Corinthians, Wellingborough W, Team Solent, Andover New Street, Hengrove Athletic, Shortwood Utd.
28 promotion spots available for Step 6 to Step 5. This will mean the Champion club from each division, plus the 9 runners up with the best PPG across the 19 divisions. Should there be any vacancies at Step 5, then the amount of runners-up being promoted will be increased.
At Step 6, promotion is compulsary. However, clubs in the SWP are allowed to turn down promotion due to location/costs. This could open up an additional promotion spot.
Due to Thamesmead Town folding at Step 4, there will be a vacancy at Step 5, thus a 10th runner up will be promoted.
The 19 sides with the best PPG (not top of their leagues as some clubs have played more games than others in their respective leagues so to even it out we have selected it this way): Bedfont & Feltham, Selston, Harleston Town, May & Baker, Burnham, Easington Sports, Racing Club Warwick, Longridge Town, Rylands, Campion, Billingham Town, Tavistock, Steyning Town, Welling Town, Harefield Town, Anstey Nomads, AFC Stonham, Tividale, Cheddar.
The top 10 sides from the 2nd Best PPG table would also be promoted, with the next 9 sides not qualifying.
|2ND BEST PPG TABLE|
|Current Position||Team||League||Current PPG|
|1||Heather St J||Mid1||2.409|
At Step 6, the suggestion is that the bottom two sides will be relegated to Step 7. If any reprieves are available then the side with the best PPG will be reprieved. The bottom club of each division will not be eligible for a reprieve.
The 38 sides currently in the relegation zones are Fleet Spurs, Cove, Borrowash Victoria, Arnold Town, Felixstowe & W R, Needham Market R, Fire United, Newbury Forest, Abingdon Town, Chinnor, Tyherington Rock, New College Swindon, Nuneaton Griff, Littleton, Daisy Hill, Atherton LR, Ellesmere Rangers, Stone Dominoes, Harworth Colliery, FC Bolsover, Brandon United, Durham City, Launceston, Sticker, Midhurst & Easebourne, Worthing United, Rochester United, Meridian VP, Amersham Town, Hatfield Town, Burton Town W, Raunds Town, Totton & Eling, Andover Town, Pershore Town, Pegasus Juniors, Chippenham Town and Bristol Telephones.
There are 45 divisions at Step 7 and just 38 sides promoted to Step 6. These sides will be ranked on a PPG basis with the top 38 being promoted and each division will only be able to promote one side. Here are PPG taken the top PPG from each division (not necessarily top spot due to games in hand etc).
|2||Letchworth G C||Herts||2.846|
|2||Hebburn T R||Wearside||2.778|
|1||Stockton W E||NorthRid||2.706|
|2||TVR United||W Riding||2.700|
|1||Carlton Athletic||W Yorks||2.688|
|3||James King B||Northants||2.571|
|1||Clay Cross T||CMN||2.529|
|2||Brigg Town CIC||Lincs||2.500|
|2||Old Malton St M||York||2.444|
|1||Shefford T & C||Beds||2.438|
|3||Newton (Wirral)||W Chesh||2.429|
|1||N Gawber Col||Sheffield||2.333|
|2||Thornton Cleve||W Lancs||2.267|
Information extracted from Peter Miller’s excellent spreadsheet.