The North West Counties Football League would like to remind all clubs looking to apply to be promoted the National League System at Step Six that the deadline for applications is approaching. All applications should be submitted by the 31 December deadline. The cheque payment is also due by this date and it should have the Club’s name written on the back if from a personal/unrecognisable account.
Where a Club applied for promotion during the 2019-20 Season, the clubs application and fee will be carried forward to this process. The Club do not need to take any further action. If a Club wishes to withdraw its application, it should do so in writing to NLS@thefa.com by December 31st.
All promotion applications and/or queries, along with the supporting documents, should be sent to NLS@TheFA.com
For reference the full process is detailed below, this is the criteria set by The FA.
• The Football Association will manage the promotion process for all clubs seeking promotion from Regional NLS Feeder League level to Step 6 of the National League System. Clubs are reminded that there will be no automatic internal promotions.
• There will be a promotion application fee of £120 (inc VAT). A club will be eligible for one free grading inspection (should one be required) which will be arranged by the Association.
Additional visits requested by a club will be charged at £120 (inc VAT). It should be noted that the initial £120 (inc VAT) fee is a promotion application fee and not a grading fee.
• Should a Club have applied for promotion during the 2019-20 Season, their application and fee will be carried over to the 2020-21 Application Process. The Club does not need to do anything. If a club does not wish to be considered for promotion, it should inform the Association in writing by December 31st 2020.
• To be considered eligible for promotion clubs must complete thoroughly the application form and return it to NLS@TheFA.com. Application forms must be accompanied by the relevant documents as listed in section five of the application:
- Copy of Ground Share agreement or freehold documents or licence agreement or tenancy agreement (as applicable)
- Latest set of approved audited or certified annual accounts which cover the period between 1 September 2019 and 31 August 2020
- Copy of latest floodlight certificate (where applicable)
- Copy of latest artificial pitch Performance Test Certificate (where applicable)
- Completed Ground Grading Questionnaire (see the criteria in subsequent pages of this document)
• When emailing the completed application form to NLS@TheFA.com your current League MUST BE copied in to the email.
• Clubs are advised that any applications received after 31 December WILL NOT be accepted and are reminded of the need to forward their applications prior to the holiday period and via email – do not make a postal application.
In addition to completing the application form and providing the necessary supporting documentation Clubs are asked to note the following:
STEP 6 PROMOTION APPLICATION CRITERIA 2021-2022
• 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. FOR THIS SEASON ONLY – owing to the Step 6 restructure, it may be necessary to consider additional promotion candidates on a geographical basis. The FA Leagues Committee reserves the right to promote more than one Club per Feeder League and would enter consultation with Feeder Leagues if this were required.
• In order to be considered for promotion a club MUST comply fully with the requirements of Grading Category H as at 31st March 2021 (criteria included within this communication).
• 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 2021:
- Planning permission for the provision of floodlights MUST have been approved by the Local Authority
- 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 2021. 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 2022 WILL BE classified as a relegated club regardless of their finishing position at the conclusion of Season 2021-2022.
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 2021-2022 season.
• Clubs promoted to Step 6 MUST comply fully with the requirements of Grading Category G by 31st March 2022. Clubs that fail to achieve this Grade WILL BE classified as a relegated club regardless of their finishing position at the conclusion of Season 2021-2022.
• A copy of the accompanying 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.
STEP 6 PROMOTION APPLICATION CRITERIA 2021-2022
• Ground sharing is not permitted in order to gain promotion. Clubs in a ground share MUST be using the ground shown in the application throughout the whole of the current playing season.
• 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 a representative of the appropriate Step 6 competition together with, where possible, a representative from the club’s current Feeder League competition.
• 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 H prior to agreeing a date for a visit. A copy of the requirements of Grade H 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
We at the NWCFL wish all applicants the best of luck with their applications and remind all applicants that it is the FA who ultimately make the decsions on acceptance and to which League system they are put in when this process has been completed.