Promotion rules

FAW RULES
(a)  Save where the FAW otherwise directs under Regulation 3(g), there shall be automatic promotion and relegation between the Tiers of the Pyramid Tiers 1 – 4 (and promoted/relegated into and out of Tier 4), provided the promoted club meets the necessary Ground Criteria. A Qualifying Club (and a club otherwise promoted into Tier 4 from Tier 5) will not be promoted if it is not successful in its application.
 
(b)  The Tier 3 and 4 Ground Criteria shall be subject to the approval of the FAW. No Directly Affiliated League or Area Association will be allowed to operate a Ground Criteria for promotion which is more stringent than the level of the Pyramid Tiers 1 - 4 they feed into.  
 
(c) The Ground Criteria application process shall be as follows:-
 
(i) Clubs must apply by 30th September to the FAW in writing as per the FAW Tier 1 Club Licensing Regulations if they wish to be assessed against the criteria in the FAW Tier 1 Club Licensing Regulations for playing in the Welsh Premier League;
 
(ii) clubs must apply by 31st December to the FAW in writing as per the FAW Tier 2 Ground Criteria Regulations if they wish to be assessed against the criteria in the FAW Tier 2 Ground Criteria Regulations for playing in Tier 2; and
 
(iii) clubs must apply by 31st December to the relevant Directly Affiliated League in writing as per the relevant Tier 3 and Tier 4 Ground Criteria if they wish to be assessed against the Tier 3 and 4 Ground Criteria for playing in Tiers 3 or 4.  
 
(d)  A first ground inspection will be made before 1st February to inform clubs what work they are required to do to meet the Ground Criteria but (subject to anything to the contrary in the FAW Tier 2 Ground Criteria Regulations) they must complete all work to comply in full with the Ground Criteria of the higher league by 30th April to be eligible for promotion. Save as permitted in the FAW Tier 2 Ground Criteria Regulations, under no circumstances will a club be promoted if they do not meet the Ground Criteria by the 30th April deadline. Time shall be of the essence in respect of all deadlines contained or referred to in this sub-clause of the Regulations.  
 
(e) A Qualifying Club in a Directly Affiliated League that achieves a promotional place in its league (and a club from Tier 5 that achieves a promotional place to Tier 4) and meets the necessary Ground Criteria shall be expected to take up the promotion to the higher league in the next playing season. The final decision shall be made by the club.
 
(f)  No reserve team shall be permitted to play in the Pyramid Tiers 1 - 4, except in a dedicated reserves division which operates outside of the Pyramid League System.   
 
(g)  Subject to the overriding provisions of Regulations 2(d) and 2(f) and the FAW’s right to prescribe the number of clubs to be promoted and relegated within the Pyramid Tiers 1 – 4, promotion and relegation shall be as follows:-
 
 between Tiers 1 and 2 – two up, two down – one up/down to/from the Welsh Football League and one up/down to/from the Cymru Alliance League;

between Tiers 2 and 3 – three up/down in each of the North and South. In the North, one up/down to/from each of the Welsh Alliance League, Mid-Wales League and Welsh National League; in the South, three up/down to/from the Welsh Football League; and
 
 between Tiers 3 and 4 – two up/down to/from each of the Welsh Football League divisions 2 and 3; the Mid-Wales League divisions 1 and 2; the Welsh Alliance League divisions 1 and 2 and the Welsh National League premier division and division 1.
 
(h)  Where more than one contributory league feeds into any Tier within the Pyramid Tiers 1 – 4 the clubs promoted shall be the champion of its league, or the runner up in the league, if the champion club is unable to be promoted because it has not met the Ground Criteria.  
 
(i)  Subject to Regulation 3(g), the number of clubs promoted to a Directly Affiliated League must equate to the number of clubs relegated from the Directly Affiliated League, unless this would result in a division of the Pyramid Tiers 1 – 4 having more or less than 16 teams in the next playing season. In such circumstances the FAW may consider reducing the number of clubs relegated from the higher Directly Affiliated League; increasing the number of clubs relegated from the lower Directly Affiliated League or increasing or decreasing the number of clubs promoted into or out of any of the affected Directly Affiliated Leagues.
 
(j)  No Directly Affiliated League shall promote a club which does not finish as champions, or runners up, except leagues that operate more than one division, which may, with the specific approval of the FAW, promote up to the top three of the same division.
 
(k)  Directly Affiliated Leagues and Area Associations must inform both the FAW and each other by 1st February each year of clubs that have made application to be assessed against the relevant Tier 3 and 4 Ground Criteria and therefore who, if successful, will be eligible to be promoted to or within Tiers 3 and 4 of the Pyramid League System at the end of the season, irrespective of league positions at that date.  
 
(l)  Any club proposing ground sharing arrangements for matches in the next season in the Pyramid Tiers 1 – 4 must provide written confirmation by 1st April through their Directly Affiliated League or Area Association. This arrangement must satisfy the higher league and must be for a minimum of one season. Any club entering into a ground sharing arrangement for one season and being promoted on this basis, will automatically be relegated after one season if they are unable to continue the arrangement and are unable to confirm their facilities for the following season by 1st April. Time shall be of the essence in respect of all deadlines in this sub-clause of the Regulations.  
 
(m)  The inspection of clubs’ facilities for matches in the Welsh Premier League shall be the responsibility of the FAW as per the FAW Tier 1 Club Licensing Regulations. The inspection of clubs’ facilities for matches in Tier 2 shall be the responsibility of the FAW as per the FAW Tier 2 Ground Criteria Regulations. The inspection of clubs’ facilities for matches in Tiers 3 and 4 of the Pyramid League System shall be the responsibility of the Directly Affiliated League to which the club will be promoted, including those clubs in Tier 5 hoping to be promoted to Tier 4. The said relevant body shall be solely responsible for determining whether the applicant complies with the Ground Criteria of the relevant league. All applicant clubs must pay a ground inspection fee as follows; Tier 1 = £200, Tier 2 = £150, Tiers 3 and 4 = £100.

(n)  In respect of the Pyramid Tiers 1 – 4, Directly Affiliated Leagues and Area Associations must advise the FAW and each other within seven days of end of the playing season of the clubs who, subject to these Regulations, will be relegated or, having satisfied the Ground Criteria, will be eligible for promotion