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Relegation from the Combo

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09:00 - 03 April 2008

The Carlsberg South West Peninsula League yesterday issued a statement clarifying the promotion and relegation issues which will affect next season's line-ups.

This includes confirmation that there will be no relegation from the premier division this season.

The league's board stated: "The South West Peninsula League received a request from the Football Association Ltd (The FA) a month ago seeking an increase in the size of the premier division (Step 6) next season.

"The main reasons for the request were to provide additional marking games for Level 4 referees (supply league) and to give this league a similar number of clubs compared to other Step 6 leagues in the country.

"The board of the SWPL considered this request at its March meeting, but deferred acceptance until two conditions were approved by the FA. We have now received written confirmation from Mike Appleby, National Leagues Manager at the FA, that these conditions have been approved.

"The request was originally for the premier division to expand from its present 18 clubs to 22, but the league board instead sought that the size increase to 20 clubs for the foreseeable future and that any move to 22 clubs could only occur once all clubs in the division had floodlights installed. This was one of the conditions agreed by the FA."

The league also stated that:

In order to achieve 20 clubs for the 2008/09 season, there will be no relegation at the end of the current season - and one club from each of division one east and west will be promoted to the premier division.

Priority will be given to the applicant in each division that finishes the highest and meets the grading criteria, even if that club does not actually finish in the top two positions. Additionally the league have received written confirmation from Plymouth Parkway confirming that they have withdrawn their request to join the Western League.

With 20 clubs in the premier division, the constitution of the two division one's would fall from the current 33 clubs to 31. This was the second area of concern and the FA have approved the league taking this number up to 34 clubs (54 being the maximum number of clubs that the league's rules allow).

In order to achieve the increase from 31 to 34 the following will apply:

There will be no relegation from either divisions one east or west this season. The three additional vacancies will be filled by taking clubs from those that have already applied.

No more than one club will be taken from any one of the individual feeder leagues and priority will be given to clubs that achieve both a top two finish and the ground grading.

The board went on : "If that does not provide three clubs we will next look at clubs that did not finish in the top two, but achieved the ground grading and finally, we will look at the next best applicant clubs that are not in membership of a league that we have already taken a club from.

"This increase will occur only this summer, after this change we are required to run with no more than 54 clubs and no more than 20 of them in the premier division, therefore in future any club being promoted or joining the league can occur only by another club leaving the league or being relegated.

"Finally the board wishes to stress that it had no intention of increasing its numbers at this early stage, but we have reacted and co-operated with the FA in order to provide a set-up that supports not just the member clubs but the referees promotion system in both Devon and Cornwall."

What does it mean to the Combo at the end of this season?

Well now it's in the open I can tell you all.

I have been told there will be no relegation from the Combo this season. Either Truro or Helston will be promoted (up to SWPL which one) and Portreath will be promoted to the ranks.

There now I've got it off my chest. It's been hard the last few weeks keeping it a secret.

Teams at the bottom of the combo please don't stop playing just cos you think you're safe. The honour of your team is at stake.


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Either Truro or Helston will be promoted (up to SWPL which one)


[The added emphasis is mine]

Forgive me for being thick, but it isn't up to the teams to settle who finishes 1-2? Or does that mean that the SWPL could take the team finishing second if they prefer? (Assuming all ground requirements, etc.)

That seems a bit hard on the squad that would finish in first but get left behind.

Am I misunderstanding? :unsure:

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Guest Dermot

As i understand it,Truro 1st team have got to accepted into the Southern League before Truro 2nds can get promoted to the SWPL,providing they win the Combination League. ;0) :blink:

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but if there are six feeder leagues to the peninsula league and only three places surely there is a chance that neither truro or helston would go up . ?

Of the six feeder leagues, two (The North Devon League and the Plymouth and West Devon Combination League) have no applicants.

So I will guess the three clubs will be-

Truro City Reserves leaders from the JCCL

Bovey Tracey leaders of the South Devon League

Exeter Civil Service leaders from the Devon and Exeter League- although St.Martins with games in hand have a better record

This leaves Godolphin Atlantic lying second from the ECPL as outsiders

This would push the East/West border Eastwards which would mean Plymstock United playing in the SWPL(West) division next season.

This is only my speculation.

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Unfortunately for Truro, there are other applicants for promotion to Southern League and they may well meet all the criteria as well. As with SWPL, the final decision will be that of the "Board of Directors". I hope Truro make it but they are at a great geographical disadvantage compared to the more centrally placed applicants.

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