First of all, we are saddened that as a League we have to issue an article to deal with misinformation, supposition, innuendo and lies that have recently appeared on various social media platforms. It seems that some people are keen on creating their own myths and want to pass them off as real on social media, and it's unfortunate that some read what they say and assume it's gospel truth. None of this is helpful to the Central Midlands Football League's status as one of the Premier NLS feeder Leagues in the UK, with a much-respected set-up and reputation for both playing standards and facilities. Let's not forget that in this season's FA Vase, when most other Step 7 Leagues were not entering clubs at all, the CMFL had seven representatives, and the the last remaining Step 7 side in this year's competition was - once again - a CMFL team. That's how strong this League is.
The FA re-organisation of the pyramid has been put on hold for 12 months, but as part of that restructure, the FA have decided to rebrand Step 7, as "NLS Regional Feeder Leagues" that come under jurisdiction of the County FAs. Our sanctioning FA is Derbyshire, even though our league covers an area that includes clubs that are members of different FAs (Nottinghamshire, Sheffield & Hallam, West Riding, and Lincolnshire). That doesn't mean that any League is going to be axed, or replaced, or that promotion and relegation will disappear, or places in the Vase removed, they will just not be an "official" part of the NLS (in much the same way that anything below Step 7 isn't regarded as part of the pyramid). No new leagues will be added and no existing ones removed, so where this strange rumour about the CMFL being "replaced" in the pyramid originated, who can say? Either way, it's 100% inaccurate.
For 2020/21 (whenever it starts) all Leagues at this level have been asked to submit draft constitutions to the FA. From the FA letter to all leagues of 23 June: "The Leagues Committee agreed at their meeting on 16th June that in line with no Promotion and Relegation following the expungement of Season 2019-20, that also Vacancies at Step 6 will not be filled by upward movement of clubs. This also falls in line with our guidance to Leagues that Constitutions will remain the same for 2020-21". Basically, what we started with in 19/20 should be what we start 20/21 with, the exceptions being resignations or clubs that have folded (such as Swanwick or Askern), and exceptionally, at our level we have been allowed to replace these teams by offering places to clubs from our lower divisions to fill vacancies. This is NOT "promotion" in the regular sense and certainly not (as one club are loudly proclaiming) on a Points-per-game basis as the CMFL decided not to use PPG as a way of deciding tables. To date, three clubs have been offered and accepted places in our top divisions for next season; more may follow.
For similar reasons, no League at our level should be publishing any "agreed" constitution as they have not yet been approved by the FA. Again from the same FA letter: "Thank you to all of you for sending through your draft Constitutions. I appreciate many of you are wishing to know when these will be ratified. The ratification is on Agenda for the next Leagues Committee on July 14th. In regards to AGMs. Leagues will be able to decide how best they wish to manage this either by delaying AGM till after this date or continuing with the current AGM and either put a note that Constitution’s will need future approval by any agreed means. Due to the unprecedented times we are in, we do not think that anyone is going to raise the point that AGM’s are being held after the normal deadline. The FA nor County FA’s are going to raise any concern by a delayed AGM during the pandemic". In other words, we'll confirm your constitution after 14 July, if you hold an AGM before this date, you may have to put in place arrangements to ratify an amended constitution.
1. No changes to League status for 2020/21
2. Ideally little or no change to the constitution for 20/21
3. No promotion or relegation between Steps 6 & 7, but Step 7 can include new clubs to fill vacancies
Today, members of the CMFL Committee are holding talks with the County FA on a range of issues, any relevant update will be made known to you ASAP. In the meantime, we would be grateful if member clubs would check their facts with us first before posting rumours on social media. We are still here to answer your queries, either by phone or email, please do not be afraid to ask questions.
On behalf of the CMFL League Management Committee