FA will decide who gets promoted from Ridgeons

NIGEL Spurling, secretary of the Ridgeons League, has confirmed only one of his clubs can move up to a step four league next season.

NIGEL Spurling, secretary of the Ridgeons League, has confirmed only one of his clubs can move up to a step four league next season.

Both Needham Market and Soham have applied to move up, and effectively it means they must win the Premier Division title to stand a chance of moving up the football ladder.

Spurling said: “The Football Association will naturally look first at the champions of feeder leagues, and if they don't want to go up then the runners-up.

“So we cannot have both Needham and Soham going up.”


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Wroxham are also in contention for the championship, and it remains to be seen whether a second-place finish for either Needham or Soham would be enough as the Norfolk side have no plans to leave the Ridgeons League.

With six step four leagues in the country - and two teams relegated - there are 12 places available. But there are 15 step five leagues, which means a number of ambitious clubs will be left disappointed.

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The assumption is that either Needham or Soham would follow AFC Sudbury and Bury Town into the Ryman League, but Spurling confirmed that it is the FA who allocate league places.

They could offer places in the British Gas Southern Division One Midland or South and West Leagues.

And Brantham and Brightlingsea, who have had their grounds virtually passed for step five football, could be offered places in the Essex Senior League rather than the Ridgeons League if they finish in the top three of the Metaltec SIL and Kent Blaxill Border League respectively.

“It is now up to the FA, which league promoted clubs move up to,” confirmed Spurling.

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