According to a release on the Uhlsport Hellenic Football League website there could be some ‘lateral’ or sideways movement for clubs in the summer in a knock on effect from the FA’s plan to create to new divisions at steps 3 and 4.
We’ve covered the new divisions and the fact it brings the possibility of two clubs winning promotion to step four in more depth here, and the latest on which leagues are eligible is here but suffice to say it sounds like there could be a few clubs moving in and out of the Hellenic in the summer. The most recent example was when Windsor joined the Berkshire contingent in the Hellenic in the summer from the Combined Counties League while Sandhurst Town switched across the summer before.
The full release on the Hellenic League website reads: “The League has received information from the Football Association with regard to two issues that may affect certain club’s.
Hellenic League Executive Officer Brian King explains. “As club’s will be aware from previous correspondence earlier in the season there will be changes in the Non League System for season 2018/19 whereby an additional Step 3 and Step 4 division will be generated in the Midlands and all step 5 and 6 division’s being reduced to a maximum of 20 clubs. ”
“It is likely that lateral transfers will take place to reduce/increase membership of clubs in competitions that are over or under-subscribed, however, that is not to say that a club that believes they would benefit from a lateral transfer to another competition should still apply.”
“As clubs will also be aware I am leading an application to the FA for the Uhlsport Hellenic League Division TWO to attain Step 7 status and await certain details from clubs within TWO EAST & WEST to finalise the UHL application for such status.”
‘All step 5 and 6 division’s being reduced to a maximum of 20 clubs’
That line would suggest, with the Hellenic Premier already at the preferred number of sides but potentially losing two teams at the end of the season we could see a few new teams moving in. We’ll possibly see moves for geographical reasons, the league covers a vast area of the south from East Berkshire across to Gloucestershire, taking in Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and a small part of Northamptonshire.
Hopefully there will be no break up of the Berkshire groupings which has seen strong attendances, particularly when sides play each other. The Combined Counties League though will almost certainly see some movement. The Premier Division has 22 sides while Division 1 has 19, the Wessex League which covers parts of Hampshire down to the South Coast also currently has 22 sides.
The step 6 divisions vary from league to league. Hellenic Division 1 East is down to 13 following the withdrawal of Henley Town while Division 1 West is 15. There are a few around the country though that have over 20 teams but that is down to the fact in the most part they don’t split the divisions. One of the things that allows clubs in the Hellenic League to continue without floodlights is the reduced number of fixtures, and in particular the lack of midweek fixtures.
Talking of floodlights, what do you think?