Manchester Football League

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Manchester Football League
Founded1893
CountryEngland
DivisionsPremier Division
Division One
Division Two
Division Three (for reserve teams)
Division Four (for reserve teams)
Number of teams38 (for the purposes of the league system)
Level on pyramidLevel 11 (Premier Division)
Feeder toNorth West Counties League
Promotion toNorth West Counties League
First Division
Domestic cup(s)Gilgryst Cup
Murray Trophy
Open Trophy
Manchester League Cup
Current championsHindsford (Premier Division)
Heywood St James (Division One)
Middleton Colts (Division Two)
(2018–19)
WebsiteOfficial Website
Official Twitter Page
Official Facebook Page

The Manchester Football League is a football league in England, affiliated with Lancashire FA, covering a 30-mile radius from Manchester Town Hall. It was formed in 1893, although play ceased between 1912 and 1920. Currently it consists of five divisions, with the Premier division being at level 11 of the English football league system.

Structure[edit]

The League consists of five divisions, from Premier Division to Division Four. The Premier Division, Division One and Division Two can incorporate both first teams, and reserve teams of clubs who are playing at a higher level, while Divisions Three, Four and Five usually consist entirely of reserve or lower teams.

However, for the 2018–19 season only, the constitution was amended to allow a small number of reserve teams into the bottom division of the first teams (Division Two) to even up the numbers. This was put in place in the hope to keep all teams playing regularly as opposed to the old structure which meant teams could go without a fixture for a few weeks at a time.

The Premier Division has a promotion and relegation arrangement with the North West Counties Football League, placing it at level 11 of the English football league system. However, the NWCFL's ground requirements are considerably higher than those of the Manchester League, so meeting them usually requires expensive improvements, and consequently few teams take up the opportunity of promotion. Ashton Athletic took the step up in 2006, despite only finishing 4th in Division One. Teams such as Salford City, Maine Road and Northern Nomads have all played in the league at some point. The latest team to make the step up was Prestwich Heys after the 2015–16 season.

Teams from the Premier Division are relegated to Division One, making Division One the twelfth level of the English league system. However, first teams from Division One could be relegated to Division Two after the realignment of the league structure at the start of the 2017–18 season.

For the 2019–20 season there were 39 clubs competing at Level 11, 12 and 13 of the system but this may reduce as the season goes on if Clubs leave.

Current member clubs (2019–20)[edit]

Premier Division[edit]