The National League System structural review has taken another stride forward as the Football Association’s Leagues Committee formally ratified the decision to award the ownership and control to the two new Step 6 divisions which launch from next season.
A new division in the North-West area will be managed by the North West Counties League (Hallmark Security League) and the Essex/East Anglian area division will come under the Thurlow Nunn (Eastern Counties) League banner.
Work between the FA and the leagues will continue over the coming months in order to determine membership within the divisions.
The North-West Counties are expected to operate with North and South divisions whilst the Eastern Counties offer, as part of a joint venture with the Essex Senior League, includes the introduction of senior league officials to their management committee structure.
Ray Lewis, FA League Committee chairman, said: “Both of the applications that were ratified last week were very thorough and of a high standard. The Leagues Committee decided to implement a similar process as to the one utilised for the new Step 3 and Step 4 divisions, as this had previously served us well. The need for an extra division in the North-West was apparent due to the amount of Step 7 leagues in the area and for the Essex area not to have a Step 6 division was also a long-term concern of the committee.”
Paul Lawler, chairman of the Hallmark Security League, said: “We are delighted to have been successful in our application to run the new Step 6 division in the North-West, which will enable us to run two First Division competitions on a North and South basis, and reduce the amount of travelling within that level of the game. There is a lot of work to be done on the logistics for launching the new structure for 2018/19, and we will be working with the FA on this and announcements will be made in due course”.