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Big shake-up of Shropshire football league system

Bridgnorth | Sport | Published:

Scores of Shropshire football clubs are poised to win promotion this summer – without kicking a ball.

Scores of Shropshire football clubs are poised to win promotion this summer – without kicking a ball.

A major re-structuring of the Saturday scene will see a new Mercian League formed for clubs in the county and on its border.

Shropshire FA chiefs are now anxiously waiting to learn if the new league will receive recognition from national headquarters by being placed on the national football pyramid.

"This would be of benefit for everybody," said Shropshire FA vice-chairman Dave Simpson.

Under the current system, teams playing in the County League Premier Division must earn two promotions to reach the West Midlands League Division One and climb on to the bottom tier – step seven – of the national pyramid.

But it is hoped the green light will be given for the Mercian League to have its own step seven status, offering immediate promotion to the West Midlands League Premier Division.

"The new league will be forming anyway but we are just waiting to hear from the English FA to see if we have been successful in step seven status," added Simpson.

"Our argument is that if a new team forms in Shropshire at the moment, it has to win five promotions to reach step seven and that simply isn't fair.

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"Under the new three-tier system we are proposing, a club could get on the national pyramid within two seasons."

The new league could include a Premier Division and a Division One as well as Eastern and Western conferences.

An option could be given to Shropshire clubs who are currently plying their trade in West Midlands League Divisions One and Two – Wellington Amateurs, Hanwood, Bridgnorth Town Reserves, Wem, Haughmond and St Martins – to return to the Shropshire county system.

Telford Combination teams would also be invited to join County League clubs in the newly-formed Mercian League.

That could have led to the winding up of the Combination, but clubs voted 7-5 for the proposal and 75 per cent was required for the league to fold.

"We had to respect the views of the five clubs that wanted to remain in the independent league," added Simpson.

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