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The FA's Leagues Committee have been working hard over the past few months to decide the principles to be applied when allocating clubs at Steps 3 & 4 for season 2018/19, and made their final decisions at their meeting on 6th February. They have, this morning, released the details of their principles to the clubs and leagues likely to be involed. For the avoidance of doubt, we currently play at Step 3.
There will be an additional division at Step 3 next season, and the four divisions will consist of a North Division, a Central Division, which will consist of a band from the east coast to the west of Birmingham, a South West division and a South East division. The Southern League will administer the Central and South West divisions, the Isthmian League the South East division and the Northern Premier League the North Division.
There will also be an additional division at Step 4 next season taking the total to 7. The Northern Premier League will administer two Northern Divisions, and they are calling a meeting of its member clubs to decide whether to remain with a north/south split, or to change to an east/west allocation. The Southern League will administer the South Western and Midlands areas, whilst the Isthmian League will administer three divisions, best described as East Anglia, London & South Central and South East.
Obviously the big question for Hendon supporters is which division we are likely to be in if we are at Step 3 next season. It appears, based on maps that the club have received from the FA, that we could be in either of the South West or South East divisions. The border between the two is anticipated to fall somewhere on the western side of London, and depending which clubs are promoted and relegated, will depend on where the border finally falls.
The full league allocations will be made as usual once all the promotion and relegation issues have been resolved, and in previous years has been released in the second or third week of May. The FA emphasise that this is for season 2018/19 and the make-up of clubs in future season may alter this approach.