FA reveals plans to change non-league system

ALL CHANGE: Both Sudbury and Halstead may be impacted by plans announced by the Football Association
ALL CHANGE: Both Sudbury and Halstead may be impacted by plans announced by the Football Association

The Football Association has announced plans to shake up the non-league football system, which could have an impact on clubs in the Isthmian and Thurlow Nunn League set-ups.

In a bid to reduce costs and travelling time, the governing body has concluded that a fourth division at Step Three level would be beneficial.

This would run alongside the Isthmian Premier, Southern Premier and Northern Premier League Premier divisions, all of which currently contain 24 teams.

Under the new proposal, which it is hoped will be implemented in ahead of the 2018/19 season, those leagues will be reduced to 22 clubs apiece.

Meanwhile, it is expected cuts will also be made at Step Four, likely to be down to 20 teams.

As it stands, AFC Sudbury, Needham Market, Bury Town and Soham Town Rangers all ply their trade at these levels of the game.

Step Five leagues (Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division) will lose one team, taking the total to 20.

In addition, a new league is to be created in Essex at Step Six, and it remains to be seen if this will have any consequences for Thurlow Nunn League First Division side Halstead Town.