Pyramid Regulations

FAW REGULATIONS FOR THE PYRAMID LEAGUE SYSTEM

Definition

In these Regulations, the following words and expressions have the following meaning:- Area Association: Any regional football association defined pursuant to Rule 11.1.2.

Council:

Supreme executive body of the FAW as defined in the Rules

Directly Affiliated League: Any men’s league defined pursuant to Rule 11.1.3.

FAW:Football Association of Wales Limited.

FAW Domestic Club Licensing Regulations: The quality standards and procedures set by the FAW from time to time which all existing members of the Welsh Premier League and those seeking promotion must adhere to. Football Related Liabilities: Shall have the meaning defined in the Preambleto the Rules.

Ground Criteria: The mandatory ground facilities set by the relevant Directly Affiliated League which all existing members and those seeking promotion must adhere to at their registered home ground. Pyramid League System: The pyramid league system for the playing of competitive league men’s football in Wales at various levels, as approved by the FAW from time to time.

Pyramid 1 – 4:

The top levels 1 - 4 inclusive of the Pyramid League System.

Qualifying Club: Any club defined pursuant to Rule 11.1.1.

Rules: The rules of the FAW as passed by the Members of the FAW from time to time.

1.Responsibilities and Objectives

(a) The Pyramid League System provides football clubs throughout Wales with a framework of competitive men’s football appropriate to their playing, ground facilities and economic means and permits the seasonal movements of clubs between the leagues in an orderly manner.

Section G

(b) The FAW has responsibility for Pyramid 1 – 4 which form the Directly Affiliated Leagues in the Pyramid League System and the Area Associations have responsibility for those leagues in the Pyramid League System below the Directly Affiliated Leagues.

(c) Except where otherwise stated, these Regulations apply to Pyramid 1 – 4.

2.League Structure

(a) The Pyramid 1 - 4 for Directly Affiliated Leagues shall be determined by the FAW. Each league, and its divisions, will be placed at a given level in the system, with the Welsh Premier League at the head.

(b) No Directly Affiliated League or Area Association shall incorporate any changes in the structure except at the direction, and with the approval, of the FAW.

(c) The FAW will control these Regulations. No Directly Affiliated League in the Pyramid 1 - 4 shall change the number of its divisions or number of teams playing in a division without the written permission of the FAW.

(d) Divisions in Pyramid 1 - 4 shall contain no more than 16 teams, unless with the written permission of the FAW.

(e) Every Directly Affiliated League in the Pyramid 1 - 4 shall conform with

the decisions of the FAW as laid down from time to time.

3. Promotion / Relegation

(a) Save where the FAW otherwise directs under Regulation 3(e), there shall be automatic promotion and relegation between the levels of the Pyramid 1 4, provided the promoted Qualifying Clubs meet the necessary Ground Criteria, as approved by the FAW from time to time.

(b) The Ground Criteria for promotion to level 4 from level 5 of the Pyramid League System shall be approved by the FAW from time to time. 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 1 - 4 they feed into. Clubs must apply to the FAW in writing as per the FAW Domestic Club Licensing Regulations if they wish to be assessed against the criteria in the FAW Domestic Club Licensing Regulations for playing in the Welsh Premier League. Clubs must apply to the relevant Directly Affiliated League before 31 December in each season if they wish to be assessed against the Ground Criteria for playing in levels 2, 3 or 4 of the Pyramid League System. A club will not be promoted if it has not been successful in its application.

(c) A Qualifying Club in a Directly Affiliated League that achieves a promotional place in its league 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 Qualifying Club.

(d) No reserve team shall be permitted to play in the Pyramid 1 - 4, except in a dedicated reserves division which operates outside of the Pyramid League System.

(e) Subject to the overriding provisions of Regulation 2(d) and the FAW’s right to prescribe the number of clubs to be promoted and relegated within the Pyramid 1 – 4, promotion and relegation shall be as follows:- between levels 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 levels 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 levels 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.

(f) Where more than one contributory league feeds into any level within the Pyramid 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.

(g) Subject to Regulation 3(e), 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 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.

(h) 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.

(i) 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 Ground Criteria and therefore who, if successful, will be eligible to be promoted to or within the Pyramid 1 - 4 at the end of the season, irrespective of league positions at that date.

(j) All clubs who wish to make an application to be assessed against the relevant Ground Criteria and therefore who, if successful, will be eligible to be promoted to or within the Pyramid 1 – 4 in the following season mustdo so in writing to the higher league between the start of the season and 31st December. A first ground inspection will be made before 1st February to inform clubs what work they require to do to meet the Ground Criteria but

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. 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 in this sub-clause of the Regulations.

(k) Any club proposing ground sharing arrangements for matches in the next season in the Pyramid 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 1stApril.


Time shall be of the essence in respect of all deadlines in this sub-clause of the Regulations.

(l) The inspection of clubs’ facilities for matches in the Welsh Premier League shall be the responsibility of the FAW as per the FAW Domestic Club Licensing Regulations. The inspection of clubs’ facilities for matches in levels 2, 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 for level 5 hoping to be promoted to level 4. The said relevant body shall be solely responsible for determining whether the applicant complies with the Ground Criteria of the higher league. All applicant clubs must pay a ground inspection fee as follows; Level 1 = £200, Level 2 = £150, Levels 3 & 4 = £100.

(m) In respect of the Pyramid 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.

4. The Movement of Clubs within the Pyramid 1 - 4 other than by Promotion or Relegation

(a) Whenever a club applies pursuant to Rule 11.1.1.3 for admission to Membership of the FAW as a Qualifying Club playing in a Directly Affiliated League, the following will apply:-

i. The application by the club should be submitted as soon as possible and in any event must be received by the Chief Executive of the FAW 1st June.

ii. The application should include details of:-

a.the reason for the application;

b.the proposed playing name;

c. a description of the ground facilities and evidence of security of tenure that meets the relevant Ground Criteria; and

d. the management structure of the club.

iii.The application will be determined by the Council in its absolute discretion. Without limiting such discretion, the Council shall have the power to:-

a. grant consent as applied for; or

b. grant consent in principle but order the applicant club play at

a different level in Pyramid 1 - 4 to that applied for; or

c. refuse consent for the applicant club to play in Pyramid 1 – 4 but order the applicant club play in a league at a level in the Pyramid League System below level 4; or

d. in any of the above cases where consent is granted or an order made, impose such conditions as the Council thinks necessary including, without limitation, the playing name ofthe applicant club or, where there is a strong connection between the applicant club and the club that has, for example,

(1) been wound up or

(2) is being taken over as a going concern by the applicant club, the Council will have the power to impose a condition requiring the applicant club to make a contribution (in whole or in part in the Council’s

absolute discretion) to the Football Related Liabilities of the club that has been wound up or is being taken over; or

e. refuse the application. Solely as guidance to any potential applicant under this Regulation 4 (a)

that has a strong connection to a club that has been wound up, and without limiting the absolute discretion of Council, the FAW will ordinarily expect the applicant club to apply to join the Pyramid League System either at

level 4 or two levels below the level at which the other (connected) club competed prior to being wound up, whichever is the lower.

(b) If a Qualifying Club ceases to compete in a Directly Affiliated League during a season but that Qualifying Club wishes to apply to continue playing in the Pyramid 1 - 4 in the following season, the following will

apply:-

i. An application by the Qualifying Club should be submitted as soon as possible and in any event must be received by the Chief Executive of the FAW by 1st June.

ii. The application should include details of:-

a.The reason for the application, including the reason the Qualifying Club ceased to compete in the Directly Affiliated League;

b. A description of the ground facilities and evidence of security of tenure that meets the relevant Ground Criteria; and c.the management structure of the applicant.

iii. The application will be determined by the Council in its absolute discretion. Without limiting such discretion, the Council shall have the power to:-

a. grant consent as applied for; or

b. grant consent in principle but order the Qualifying Club play

at a different level in Pyramid 1 - 4 to that applied for; or

c. refuse consent for the Qualifying Club to play in Pyramid 1 –

4 but order the Qualifying Club play in a league at a level in the Pyramid League System below level 4; or

d. in any of the above cases where consent is granted or an order made, impose such conditions as the Council thinks necessary including, without limitation, a condition requiring the applicant club to discharge (in whole or in part in the Council’s absolute discretion) the Football Related Liabilities of the club before the commencement of the next playing season; or

e.refuse the application. Solely as guidance to Qualifying Clubs making an application under this Regulation 4(b) and without limiting the absolute discretion of Council, the FAW will ordinarily expect a Qualifying Club to play in level 4 of the Pyramid League System or two levels below the level at which it competed prior to ceasing to compete, whichever is the lower, unless there is a league at only one level below the level it competed prior to ceasing to compete which does not have the maximum number of clubs.

(c) If two or more Qualifying Clubs or one Qualifying Club and another club propose a transaction or series of transactions which result in the merging or consolidation of those two clubs into one club (“the Proposed Merged Club”) and wish to apply for consent to play in Pyramid 1 – 4 in the following season, the following will apply:-

i. A joint application by the two clubs must be received by the Chief Executive of the FAW by no later than 1st June.

ii. The application should include details of:-

a. the reason for the application;

b. the proposed playing name;

c. a description of the ground facilities and evidence of security of tenure that meets the relevant Ground Criteria;

d. identification of all Football Related Liabilities;

e. a declaration that the Proposed Merged Club will adopt and, in the ordinary course of business, discharge all the Football Related Liabilities of the two clubs; and

f. a declaration that each applicant club is compliant with the Rules and rules of membership of its relevant Directly Affiliated League or Area Association.

iii. The application will be determined by the Council in its absolute discretion. Without limiting such discretion, the Council shall have the power to:-

a. grant consent as applied for; or

b. grant consent in principle but order the Proposed Merged Club play at a different level in Pyramid 1 - 4 to that applied for; or

c. refuse consent for the Proposed Merged Club to play in Pyramid 1 – 4 but order the Proposed Merged Club play in a league at a level in the Pyramid League System below level 4; or

d. in any of the above cases where consent is granted or an order made, impose such conditions as the Council thinks necessary including, without limitation, a condition requiring the Proposed Merged Club to discharge (in whole or in part in the Council’s absolute discretion) the Football Related Liabilities of both applicant clubs before the commencement of the next playing season; or

e. refuse the application.

(d) Any application to fill a vacancy or otherwise compete in the Pyramid 1 – 4 in any other circumstances (including, without limitation, following incorporation or de-incorporation of a Qualifying Club under Rule 112) shall be determined by the Council in its absolute discretion.

5. Joint Liaison Committees

(a) A joint liaison committee (“JLC”) shall discuss matters of policy relating to Ground Criteria and promotion and relegation issues which are common to the leagues in the Pyramid League System.

(b) The JLC shall meet annually no sooner than 1st February and no later than 31st May each year and will be arranged by the FAW’s National Game Board (“NGB”) who will provide 14 days’ notice of the date and venue of the meeting along with a copy of the agenda specifying the business to be considered. When discussing promotion from level 5 to 4 of the Pyramid System, the FAW will call two JLC meetings, one in the North and one in the South. The southern meeting will consist of the Welsh Football League, South Wales Football Association, Gwent County Football Association and the West Wales Football Association. The northern meeting will consist of the Welsh Alliance League, the Welsh National League, the Mid-Wales League, the Central Wales Football Association, the North-East Wales Football Association and the North Wales Coast Football Association.