The FA has announced a ruling on Step 6 clubs who fail to reach the required ground grading criteria by 31st March 2016.
At a recent Leagues Committee meeting, the Step 6 ground grading review was discussed, and the results revealed that only 47% of the clubs in Step 6 leagues across the country currently meet the Grade G requirements in full.
The FA Leagues Committee considered all the relevant factors and the current situation, whilst also recognising that there are a number of clubs who would have believed they met the Grade G until the recent review.
It was agreed that:-
· Clubs that fail to meet the required grading requirements as at 31 March 2016 will retain their position at Step 6 going forward.
· Leagues with failed clubs must pass a resolution at their next and subsequent AGMs, confirming the agreement of their member clubs to accept clubs without the appropriate grading into the constitution for the ensuing season.
· When a league achieves full membership (number to be agreed), clubs that fail to meet the required grading criteria will then become subject to relegation.
· The criteria for promotion from Step 7 to Step 6 remains as at present.
· Clubs without the appropriate Step 6 grading will not be permitted to enter FA competitions.
· Clubs without the appropriate Step 6 grading will not be permitted to gain promotion to Step 5 (i.e NWCFL Premier Division).
· Clubs without the appropriate Step 6 grading will not be permitted to seek a lateral Step 6 movement to another competition.
This situation will continue to be monitored and subject to further review in March 2018.
Any league wishing to include clubs that do not meet the full Step 6 grading requirements for Season 2016/17 must complete and return a form to the FA within 14 days of the league AGM, assuming that the member clubs have voted to accept them into the competition.
Step 6 leagues will not be allowed to accept any additional clubs that do not meet the appropriate ground grading criteria for Step 6.