As you accompany me on my football journey (agggghhh…the J word. A one off I promise), it is probably fair to say that most of us are sailing uncharted waters. We’re bobbing along in a St Albans shaped vessel on the crest of a National League System wave. Our knowledge of both our ship and the surf are limited and so the occasional bit of education is called for I think…..as is the urgent need to cease and desist from the seafaring theme that I seem to have introduced for no good reason whatsoever.
So this week we are going to do…..the pyramid, with not a grain of sand in sight. This is the National League System Pyramid which makes up the 7 levels of Leagues that sit below the Premiership and the Football League (where I used to hang out).
At the top of this pyramid is the Football Conference, which is known as step one of the pyramid, BUT level five of English football (do keep up at the back there).
One layer below are the Conference North and South and then a mere hop, skip and a jump below that is the most important bit – step three occupied by the Northern, Southern (hooray – that’s where SACFC are) and Isthmian Premier Divisions. I won’t go any further down, in part because I can see one or two of you are going a bit glassy-eyed but also because the mighty SACFC are only looking up this season after what I hear was an impressive 4-1 win in a friendly against Stevenage at the weekend.
Anyway I digress. Why pyramid? Well apparently because most of the leagues have more than one league below them and promotion comes from each of those leagues. So for example the winners of both Conference North and South get promoted to the Football Conference.I share your pain – it does sound a bit thin. I kind of get it, although when I look at the helpful diagram (link below) from the FA (helpful and FA in the same sentence…how strange) then I do think more national league arrow or Xmas tree.
There will be an exam on this at some point, so best to take it all in, people.
The Isthmian League is a lovely name for a football league. Founded in 1856, it is allegedly named after the ‘Isthmian games’, first held in Corinth in 582 BC. True or not? I dunno…it’s all Greek to me (BOOMBOOM).
Have a great week.