Merseyside clubs reap rewards of pyramid restructure

Bootle, Warrington Rylands, Lower Breck, AFC Liverpool, Vauxhall Motors and South Liverpool have all accepted The FA’s invitation of ‘upward movement’.

The National League System (NLS) restructure sees 107 clubs in total upwardly moved within the pyramid at Steps 4-6 in order to facilitate the new divisions.

Step 4 welcomed a new division and two additional new divisions at Step 5 and a reduction of divisions, from 20 to 17, at Step 6.

Following the curtailment of the seasons for these clubs, only South Liverpool and Rylands, with their FA Vase involvement, have played competitive football since restrictions in the United Kingdom were lifted.

As a result, the Bucks and Rylands move into the newly formed Northern Premier League – West in Step 4 just two promotions off the National League North.

The decision means Bootle will play at their highest level since they reformed in 1954.

Lower Breck and AFC Liverpool both move into the North West Counties Premier League after accepting the notion of the upward movement.

West Cheshire League leaders South Liverpool will be back in the North West Counties for the first time in 30 yards where they will host the likes of Ashton Town, Holker Old Boys, Pilkington and St Helens town.

Bootle Football Club said in a statement: “We would like to thank and congratulate all the supporters, players, volunteers, staff, committee members and the management team for all of their hard work both on and off the pitch over the last 2 years. Without your commitment, dedication and investment of time and money this achievement would have never been possible.

We look forward to competing against some of the best local clubs next season with some stand out derbies like Marine and Prescot Cables, which will be sure to draw some big attendances.

“We look forward to you all joining us on our journey up the national football pyramid, please keep an eye out on our website and social media accounts for the launch of our 2021/22 season tickets and fan cards.”

Rylands continue to surge up the football pyramid, they won the North West Counties Football League Division One South in their debut season. The decision to null and void the 2019/20 season saw their hopes of back-to-back promotions derailed.

“We are naturally delighted to have been accepted into the NPL West as part of the NLS restructure.

Paul Stretford, Managing Director

“I am particularly happy for the people who have made this possible, including the players, management, staff, fans and our executive committee.

Lower Breck move up into the Premier Division of the NWCFL, they won four out of their opening four before the season once against was drawn to a halt.

Despite playing three games less than league leaders Bury AFC, they were within four points of the top.

AFC Liverpool were also unbeaten before the premature ending of the campaign. Three wins and one draw saw them six points behind Bury.

Manager Chris Anderson said on Twitter: “The news we have all been waiting for! Well done to all our players for their consistency in performances and results over a the last 3 years since we left the Premier Division.

This is thoroughly deserved and now time to get ready for the Premier Division.

South Liverpool are within touching distance of winning the West Cheshire First Division title.

South have a three point lead as well as the superior goal difference over nearest challengers, Mossley Hill.

In their statement, they expressed their delight at the news: “We are absolutely delighted to announce we have gained promotion back into the Non League Pyramid after a 30-year absence! Thanks to the North West Counties Football League board and committee for supporting our application. We look forward to seeing you all next season.

It’s fantastic to once again be able to bring semi-professional football back to the South Liverpool area and we hope the local community get behind us and support our historic club in this exciting new chapter! It’s been long overdue.

Vauxhall Motors were also elevated into the next division some 430 days after they mathematically secured promotion only to be denied by The FA’s decision forced by the pandemic.

Clubs who are appealing the decision have seven days whilst lodging an appeal will incur a cost of £100.00.

Full details can be found on the FA website.