Something that has been a possibility in the mind of anyone who watches the promotion and relegation matters around non league football has now been confirmed by the Football Association.
The FA have confirmed that vacancies at step 4 level (the leagues above the Hellenic League) will be filled firstly by the remaining second places sides and then by the third placed team on a points per game basis.
Last summer the FA confirmed an extra 12 sides from the 14 step 5 leagues would be promoted to help fill the new divisions created – now with clubs withdrawing and merging from higher divisions it seems certain all second placed sides will go up and third placed sides will be in contention – something Steve Gabb predicted at the start of March.
The statement from the FA was posted on the Hellenic League website: “The position concerning vacancies at the end of season was clarified. Vacancies at STEP 3 would be filled by the losing Step 4 play-off finalists on a points per game basis.
“Vacancies at Step 4 would be filled, firstly by the TWO CLUBS at Step 5 who otherwise wouldn’t have been promoted. Any further vacancy would be dealt with on an invitation basis to those clubs ranked at third in each Step 5 league on a points per game basis.”
In the Hellenic League, the third placed club at the end of the season will be Highworth Town after Wantage Town failed to overhaul them in their final games of the season and the Worthians have the best Points Per Game ratio of any side in third in a step 5 league. Check the brilliant spreadsheet – square AD/131.