New National League System Feeder League for Shropshire

Picture: Credit Shropshire Star 

New National League System Feeder League for Shropshire 

The English FA have decided to approve a New Adult Male Saturday Football League in Shropshire as part of their shake up of the National League Pyramid which includes the seven tiers that sit beneath the English Football League.

The decision was made last week following a 10-month consultation by the English FA which included an application submitted by the Shropshire Football Association to run a league comprising Shropshire clubs from within the West Midlands Regional League and Shropshire Premier League.

The League which will commence next season will include a Premier Division comprising a minimum of 14 clubs and a 2nd Division comprising a minimum of 10 clubs. The historic decision by the English FA will mean that for the first time in the history of Shropshire League Football, clubs will have the opportunity of feeding directly into the National League Pyramid. Other benefits will include; Access to Football Stadia Improvement Grants and other FA development grants as well as opportunities to apply to enter the FA Vase.

Salop Leisure have been confirmed as the Title Sponsor of the league which will provide additional funding support for the clubs.

The Shropshire FA will be the first County Football Association to manage a league that feeds directly into the NLS and have agreed with the Shropshire County Premier League to merge management arrangements to create a two-tier league. 

By providing a competitive league with local derbies every Saturday it is felt that clubs will benefit from increased revenues which are vital to grassroots clubs. It also means that clubs are less likely to look for League football outside of the County which has led to the current County league shrinking from 44 clubs to 12 clubs in the last 8 seasons

Dave Simpson, Chairman of the Shropshire Football Association, said: “We have wanted to achieve this outcome since we created the Mercian League following the merger of the Telford Combination, Shropshire Alliance and County League in 2012.Many of our top clubs who won the Premier Division then fed into the WMRL Division 2 which was effectively a step backwards. This decision by the FA ends the problem of successful Shropshire clubs being penalised by not having direct access to the National League Pyramid”

Tony Bywater, Chairman of Salop Leisure, said: “I am delighted with this announcement and as a follower of grassroots football for many years I have had detailed discussions with Roy and Dave at the Shropshire FA about the need for such an initiative. I have been monitoring the progress of the application to the English FA and had no hesitation in supporting the project to ensure it got over the line. This development will provide a real boost to Shropshire Football clubs who do such great work within our local communities."

Mark Frost Chairman of the English FA Leagues Committee said “I was delighted to inform the Shropshire FA of our decision to grant the Salop Leisure Football League NLS Feeder League status from the 2020-21 season. In coming to its decision, the Committee agreed there was a geographical need to implement such a League in the Shropshire area”


For more information contact:
Roy Waterfield Shropshire FA CEO - or 01743 362769