The Football Association have issued some guidelines regarding promotion and relegation in the National League System at the end of the current season.
The position is somewhat complicated as the National League North & South Divisions will be increased in size next season from 22 to 24 clubs. In addition there have been some withdrawals from leagues above ours.
Below is a simplification of the matter as much as possible stating the position relating to clubs playing in our Step 6 (First) Divisions.
There are 17 Step 6 Divisions in the country. The 17 champions will be automatically promoted to Step 5.
In 15 of the 17 Divisions (including both our North and South Divisions) the teams finishing 2nd to 5th will contest play-offs to decide which one team from each division also gains a promotion place to Step 5.
The clubs that finish second to fifth will contest play-off matches. The club that finishes second will play at home to the club that finishes fifth and the club that finishes third will play at home to the club that finishes fourth. The winners of the two fixtures in each division will play another match on the ground of the team that finished highest during the season. The winners will be promoted to Step 5.
The bottom three clubs in each of the 17 Step 6 Divisions will be liable to be relegated to Step 7, meaning that potentially 51 clubs could be so relegated. The number of clubs actually relegated will depend upon the number of successful applicants to be promoted from Step 7 to Step 6 and the number of vacancies left at Step 6.
Any further withdrawals from within the National League System will impact upon the situation outlined above.