Promotion and Relegation guidelines – Season 2020/21

SCEFL Promotion Relegation

The FA have just confirmed their regulations for the new season and with little change across the board we once again will have 4 promotion places on offer from the First Division and a possible 2 from the Premier Division.

Here is a summary of the Promotion and Relegation situation across the National League System.

Step 1

2 promoted – Champions plus 1 via play-offs

Bottom 4 relegated.

Step 2

2 promoted from each division – Champions plus 1 via  6 team play-offs

Bottom side relegated from each division plus the worst ‘2nd from bottom side’ from the two Divisions, decided on PPG.

Step 3

2 promoted from each division – Champions plus 1 via 4 team play-offs

Bottom 2 relegated from each division, along with 2 third bottom clubs on PPG

Bottom two sides from each division will be relegated to Step 4. Another two “third bottom” clubs will be relegated on a PPG basis. If there are any reprieves available then one of the relegated PPG sides will get that reprieve. The bottom club of each division will not be eligible for a reprieve.

Step 4

2 promoted from each Division – Champions plus 1 via 4 team play-offs

At Step 4, the bottom side will go into a playoff with against a Step 5 side. The match will be hosted by the Step 4 side and the winner will play at Step 4 the following season with the loser playing at Step 5.

Step 5 (SCEFL Premier)

At Step 5, due to the expansion of Step 4 in 2021/2022, more sides than usual will promoted. Every champion will go up. In the North West Counties, Northern League and Northern Counties East, the top 3 sides will be promoted. In the other 11 divisions, the four runners up with the best PPG will be promoted. The other seven runners up will playoff against the seven bottom sides at Step 4 to see who will play at Step 4 the following season.

The bottom side from each of the fourteen divisions will be ranked on a PPG basis. The two sides with the best PPG will be reprieved, the other 12 will be relegated.

Step 6 (SCEFL First)

The top four teams from each division will be promoted, with the exception of the SWP division which will promote two sides from each division.

At Step 6, the bottom two sides are liable to relegation to a Feeder League. If any reprieves are available then the side with the best PPG will be reprieved.

Feeder Leagues

The top eligible team will be promoted, as long as they finish in the top 5. Only 1 promoted team are allowed per League.


In summary for the SCEFL then there will be more promotion places up for grabs in both Divisions. TWO teams could get promoted from our Premier Division and FOUR will get promotion from the First Division. Only the bottom side will get relegated from the Premier Division yet there could still be a repreive for them should they be among the 2 best PPG teams nationwide.

For more about Promotion and Relegation from the NLS please read the FA Handbook here





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