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Promotion and relegation in 2018/19 season

17th June, 2018

The format for promotion and relegation in the Toolstation NCEL has changed for the 2018/19 season to fall in line with the FA's new National League System regulations.

As part of this, at the end of the season in the NCEL:

* The Premier Division champions will be promoted to Step 4;
* The bottom two Premier Division sides will be relegated to Step 6 (the next-to-bottom side could be reprieved due to lack of teams coming up from Step 6);
* The Division One champions will be promoted to Step 5;
* The Division One runners-up will be promoted to Step 5 if they are one of the best nine Step 6 runners-up on a points per match basis nationwide;
* The bottom two Division One sides will be relegated to Step 7 (unless there are not enough teams coming up from Step 7, in which case clubs will be reprieved nationally on a points per match basis).

As a result, there will be no play-offs in Division One as of the 2018/19 season.

The league table on the website will be colour coded to reflect the new format.

The parts relevant to the NCEL in Rule 5.2 of the FA's Regulations for the Operation of the National League System state:

Step 4 and Step 5
The Clubs in the bottom two places in each of the seven divisions at Step 4 at the end of the Regular Season will be relegated and placed in the most geographically appropriate division at Step 5. These Clubs will be replaced by the fourteen Clubs finishing in first position in each of the fourteen divisions at Step 5 at the end of the Regular Season.
[...]
The Clubs promoted from Step 5 will be allocated to the most geographically appropriate division at Step 4.
A Club promoted to Step 4 shall comply with the Licencing System provision.

Step 5 and Step 6
The Clubs in the bottom two places in each of the fourteen divisions at Step 5 at the end of the Regular Season will be relegated and placed in the most geographically appropriate division at Step 6. These Clubs will be replaced by the nineteen Clubs finishing in first position in each of the Leagues at Step 6 at the end of the Regular Season together with the required number of Clubs finishing in second position at the end of the Regular Season on a points per match ratio. If there are insufficient Clubs to fill vacancies Clubs finishing second to bottom of the Step 5 divisions will be reprieved so that the best such Club shall be reprieved first.

Step 6 and 7
At the end of the Regular Playing Season the Clubs in the bottom two positions of each of the nineteen Step 6 divisions will be liable to relegation.
[...]
No more than 38 Clubs will be promoted from Step 7. [...] Where the eligible Clubs count does not reach 38 in number, reprieves of Step 6 Clubs shall come into effect on a points per match basis.

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