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Statement from the NCU Management Board Regarding Future League Structures

NCU

Having received an overwhelming indication from the clubs that the 3-tier Senior League should if possible be in existence for this season only, the NCU asked the clubs to express their views on future arrangements. To prepare the way for the necessary changes to the league structure for 2019, it was felt appropriate at this stage to inform clubs of the impact of a proposal intended to be put forward by the Board at the 2018 AGM for the 2019 season – we want the clubs to know as clearly as possible what they are playing for in 2018.

The first of the proposals is:

Section 2 of the Senior League will consist of 8 teams (being the two bottom teams in Section 1 at the end of season 2018, and the teams placed 3rd to 8th inclusive in Section 2 at the end of season 2018) and Section 3 the remainder of the Senior League clubs not in the Premier League, Section 1 or Section 2.

This is dependent upon there being a minimum of 6 teams in the new Section 3, otherwise the teams eligible for Sections 2 and 3 will remain in a single section.

At the club meeting there was also considerable support for the reduction of Section 1 from 10 to 8 sides – the length of the current season being one factor, and an effort to ensure a long-term viability of Section 3 being another. To introduce a reduced Section 1 in 2019 was felt to be too soon, therefore the NCU Board will also propose rule changes at the 2018 AGM to the effect that:

In 2020, the Senior League will consist of 4 sections, the Premier League with 8 teams; Section 1 with 8 teams; Section 2 with 8 teams and Section 3 with the remaining teams, provided that there is a minimum of 6 teams in Section 3.  From the end of season 2020, only the teams winning Sections 1 to 3 will be promoted and only those finishing bottom of the Premier League and Sections 1 and 2 will be relegated.

In 2020, Section 1 will comprise the team finishing bottom of the Premier League and the teams placed 2nd to 8th in Section 1 at the end of season 2019.  Section 2 will consist of the teams finishing 9th and 10th in Section 1 and the top 6 teams in Section 2 at the end of season 2019.
If there are at least six more teams entered, Section 3 will consist of the teams finishing 7th and 8th in Section 2 at the end of season 2019 plus the remaining teams.  There will therefore be no promotion from Section 2 or 3 at the end of season 2019.

The 2020 proposals will take the form of a separate motion from that relating to 2019, leaving clubs free to support both, either or neither.