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Promotion to NCEL applications deadline reminder

17th November, 2023

Clubs in Regional NLS Feeder Leagues who are interested in being considered for promotion to Step 6 of the FA's National League System that includes Toolstation NCEL Division One have until the end of the year to register their application.

Those with the appropriate facilities and potential to be in a sporting position to be eligible have until Sunday 31st December, 2023, to put themselves forward.

The relevant documentation should have been provided by each club's respective league but those who have not received it are urged to contact their competition for more information.

In addition to completing the application form and providing the necessary supporting documentation, clubs are asked to note the following from the FA:

• To be considered for promotion a club must finish in 1st position in their Feeder League competition at the conclusion of the current season. If a club finishing in 1st position does not wish to be considered for promotion, or fails the entry criteria, then a club finishing in 2nd position may be considered. If the club in 2nd does not seek promotion, or fails to meet the entry criteria, then clubs down to 5th position may be considered for promotion provided that they meet the appropriate entry criteria. Clubs finishing below 5th position MAY NOT be considered for promotion and, ordinarily, only ONE club will be promoted from each Feeder League competition. There will not be any more promotions from any feeder league.

• In order to be considered for promotion a club MUST comply fully with the requirements of Grading 7 as at 31st March 2024.

• Clubs may be considered for promotion without having floodlights in place however, those clubs without floodlights must comply with the following requirements as at 31 March 2024:

Planning permission for the provision of floodlights MUST have been approved by the Local Authority. Planning number will be required;

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 (three quotes);

Provide a copy of an appropriate development/installation plan.

• Floodlights MUST be installed and in working order by 30th September 2024. Step 6 competitions would be at liberty to impose a penalty on any Club that failed to comply with this requirement. Clubs that fail to provide floodlights by 31 March 2025 WILL BE classified as a relegated club regardless of their finishing position at the conclusion of Season 2024- 2025.

Note: the extension to 30th September does not apply for entry to The FA Vase. Clubs must fully comply with the H grade criteria before the commencement of the 2024-2025 season.

• Clubs promoted to Step 6 MUST comply fully with the requirements of Grading Category 6 by 31st March 2024. Clubs that fail to achieve this Grade WILL BE classified as a relegated club regardless of their finishing position at the conclusion of Season 2024-2025.

• A copy of the Ground Grading Questionnaire must be returned with the application.

• Please ensure that your club meets the appropriate grading requirements. Too many applications are submitted when grounds clearly DO NOT meet the required status.

• Ground sharing or moving to another ground which the Club does not own the freehold or leasehold, is not permitted in order to gain promotion. Clubs in these arrangements MUST be using the ground shown in the application throughout the whole of the current playing season (from the start of the 2023-24 Season and can be confirmed by your current League).

• Upon receipt of applications The Football Association will arrange for grounds to be inspected and graded. The co operation of Clubs in ensuring that inspections can take place will be appreciated. The inspections will be carried out by the Football Foundation Stadium Accreditation team.

• Clubs are reminded that grading visits are exactly that. They are NOT advisory visits. Clubs are responsible for ensuring that grounds fully comply with the requirements of Grade 7 prior to agreeing a date for a visit. A copy of the requirements of all grades can be found within this communication.

• Whilst existing ground share arrangements are acceptable, Clubs are reminded that new ground share arrangements are not permitted in order to gain promotion. A copy of any existing ground share agreements must accompany the application.

Please note that too many clubs apply for promotion when they know that they do not/will not meet the grading requirements. Please do not apply if you will not meet the entry requirements. Part applications will not be accepted. All required information must be submitted at the time of application. Incomplete applications may be rejected.

(Story Source: The FA)

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