Major changes are coming to the English Football Pyramid at the end of the 2019/20 season, directly affecting Berkshire clubs.
At step 6 (Hellenic League Division One East, Combined Counties League Division One for example), the end of the 2019/20 season will see the number of division reduce from 20 to 17 while at step 5 there will be an increase from 14 to 16.
The reduction at step 6 will see the end of the West / East split of the Hellenic League Division One’s with the clubs in the East division largely, but not exclusively being taken on by the Combined Counties League.
It is important to note that at present, all club allocations are provisional.
Who can get promoted?
The increase of division at step 5 means it is a bumper season for clubs hoping to play at a higher level next season.
The top four clubs from every step 6 division in the country will be promoted at the end of the season.
In the Combined Counties League Division One, Jersey Bulls, Farnham Town, Bedfont & Feltham and Sandhurst Town all look good to make the step up.
What else is to play for?
Relegation is a very real concern this season for clubs at step 6. In the Hellenic League, due to a shortage of teams in each division this realistically hasn’t happened, but the FA have said that clubs in the bottom two positions of each of the 20 Step 6 divisions will be liable to relegation.
The key word there is ‘liable’, and depends entirely on their being enough clubs coming up from step 7 as well as clubs resigning further up the pyramid having a bearing on the situation.
At the time of writing, Godalming Town and Eversley & California occupy the bottom two places in the CCL One, while Langley and Abingdon Town occupy the same spots in the Hellenic League Division One East.
It is worth noting that reprieves may also come in to effect on a points per game basis if there are less than 40 clubs eligble for promotion from step 7.