Number of teams in Ryman leagues could be cut if FA propsals go ahead

Gareth Heath (left) and Leiston play in the Ryman Premier

Gareth Heath (left) and Leiston play in the Ryman Premier - Credit: James Bass

The Ryman Premier Division, which currently features AFC Sudbury, Leiston, Lowestoft Town and Needham Market could be reduced from 24 to 22 teams.

The Football Association (FA) is planning a major restructure of the National League System structure, with proposals also suggesting a move from 24 to 20 teams in Ryman North, which currently houses clubs such as Bury Town and Brightlingsea Regent.

The proposals also suggest a new division be created at Step Three level, to run alongside the Ryman Premier, Southern Premier and Northern Premier,

The FA also want 20 clubs in each Step Five league (Thurlow Nunn Premier) and are planning two new leagues at Step Six level (Thurlow Nunn Division One equivilant), including one in the Essex area.

The FA hope the changes would reduce clubs’ travel costs, as well as creating a more natural flow through the pyramid and a clear pathway for regional participation.

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