Welsh football league system

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The Welsh football league system (or pyramid) is a series of football leagues with regular promotion and relegation between them.

Structure of Welsh football[edit]

At the top is the Welsh Premier League, which is the only national league in Wales. Below it is the second tier of leagues, covering north and south Wales. The south is covered by the Welsh Football League while the north and centre is covered by the Cymru Alliance. The champions of each of these leagues can be promoted to the Welsh Premier League, subject to acceptable ground facilities, and if the champions cannot meet the criteria the runner-up team may be considered.

Second and lower tier leagues (North Wales)[edit]

In the north the Cymru Alliance has only one division, and has a feeder league structure of its own with three regional leagues feeding it—the Mid Wales League (covering Brecknockshire, Radnorshire, Montgomeryshire and Ceredigion) the Welsh Alliance League (covering all of the north except Wrexham) and the Welsh National League (Wrexham Area) (covering the small region around Wrexham). Again, the champions or runners-up of these leagues can be promoted into the Cymru Alliance, given suitable grounds.

Below these third tier leagues are even more localised leagues: in Central Wales there are four leagues feeding into the Mid Wales League (covering Ceredigion, Montgomeryshire, Mid Wales South, and Aberystwyth areas respectively), while below the Welsh Alliance there are the Gwynedd League and the Clwyd League and these even have feeder leagues of their own such as the Anglesey League. The Welsh National League (Wrexham Area) has two lower divisions of its own and the Clwyd East Football League is the feeder league below it.

Second and lower tier leagues (South Wales)[edit]

In the south, the Welsh Football League has three divisions all covering the whole of the South Wales geographical area, and it is not until the fifth tier of the pyramid that local leagues appear. Promotion to, and relegation from the Welsh League is structured, as in the north, on three regional football associations (Gwent FA, South Wales FA, and West Wales FA). Each can send one promoted team into the Welsh Football League. This is straightforward enough in the Gwent FA area, where there is one senior league, the Gwent County League, whose champions (or runners-up) are eligible, if they satisfy Welsh Football League criteria. (Below the three divisions of the Gwent County, there are the Newport and District, East Gwent, Central Gwent and North Gwent leagues)

The South Wales FA area is more complicated however, as this region has two senior leagues of identical status covering the same area, each with two divisions - the South Wales Senior League and the South Wales Amateur League - often the champions of these leagues have to play off for the single promotion place to the Welsh Football League. Below these two leagues are local leagues in the towns and cities of South Wales, the champions of which can confusingly be promoted into either of the higher leagues.

The West Wales FA area is the only one not to have set up a senior league in its area - this means that there are four local leagues (Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Swansea and Neath & District) with all their champions potentially having to play-off for the one available promotion place. However as few west Wales clubs can face the prospect of the travelling implications of moving up to the Welsh Football League, this four-way play-off idea is theory rather than practice. The latest clubs to gain promotion from this region were Llansawel in 2006 (from the Neath & District League), West End in 2005 (from the Swansea Senior League), Ystradgynlais in 2004 (from the Neath & District League), Cwmamman United in 2002 (from the Neath & District League) and Garden Village in 1999 (from the Carmarthenshire League).

Current system[edit]

For each division, its official name, sponsorship name (which often differs radically from its official name) and number of clubs is given:

Level League(s)/Division(s)

1

Welsh Premier League
12 clubs

2

Cymru Alliance
16 clubs
Welsh Football League Division One
16 clubs

3

Welsh National League Premier Division
15 clubs
Welsh Alliance League Division One
15 clubs
Mid Wales Football League Division One
16 clubs
Welsh Football League Division Two
16 clubs

4

Welsh National League Division One
13 clubs
Welsh Alliance League Division Two
13 clubs
Mid Wales Football League Division Two
13 clubs
Welsh Football League Division Three
19 clubs

5

Clwyd East Football League
10 clubs
Gwynedd League
13 clubs
Clwyd League Premier Division
12 clubs
Aberystwyth League Division One
11 clubs
Montgomeryshire League Division One
11 clubs
Ceredigion League Division One
12 clubs
Mid Wales South League
15 clubs
Gwent County League Division One
16 clubs
South Wales Amateur League Division One
16 clubs
South Wales Senior League Division One
16 clubs
Carmarthenshire League Premier Division Neath & District League Premier Division Pembrokeshire League Division One Swansea Senior League Division One
13 clubs

6

Anglesey League
13 clubs
Caernarfon & District League First Division
11 clubs
Clwyd League Division One
13 clubs
Aberystwyth League Division Two
9 clubs
Montgomeryshire League Division Two
11 clubs
Ceredigion League Division Two
12 clubs
Gwent County League Division Two
16 clubs
South Wales Amateur League Division Two
16 clubs
South Wales Senior League Division Two
16 clubs
Carmarthenshire League Division One Neath & District League Division One Pembrokeshire League Division Two Swansea Senior League Division Two

7

Caernarfon & District League Second Division
11 clubs
Gwent County League Division Three
15 clubs
Aberdare Valley League Premier Division Bridgend & District League Premier Division Cardiff & District League Premier Division Cardiff Combination League Premier Division Merthyr & District League Premier Division Port Talbot Football League Premier Division Rhondda & District League Premier Division Taff Ely & Rhymney Valley Alliance League Premier Division Vale of Glamorgan League Premier Division Carmarthenshire League Division Two Neath & District League Division Two Pembrokeshire League Division Three Swansea Senior League Division Three

8

East Gwent League Division One Gwent Central League Division One Newport and District League Premier Division North Gwent League Premier Division Aberdare Valley League Division One Bridgend & District League Division One Cardiff & District League Division One Cardiff Combination League Division One Merthyr & District League Division One Port Talbot Football League Division One Taff Ely & Rhymney Valley Alliance League Division One Vale of Glamorgan League Division One Carmarthenshire League Division Three Swansea Senior League Division Four

9

East Gwent League Division Two Gwent Central League Division Two Newport and District League Division One North Gwent League Division One Cardiff Combination League Division Two Vale of Glamorgan League Division Two

10

Newport and District League Division Two

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]