Well definitely different. Tony Kempster, whose excellent Non-League
site I have linked to for additional information in this article has made an
attempt to guess who would be where based on the positions in 2002/03 here.
It seems a little strange with the three divisions of the
Football League all being 24 clubs that the re-structure has stuck to 22 clubs
per division. Maybe this is to allow room for Stevenage to suggest that we
expand the Conference if they look like going down again in the future.
Given the new structure it looks like the current feeders could
lose their individual identities and a lot of clubs get shifted around on a
geographical basis. This is a lot of history to lose but will finally do away
with the distinctions between the ex-professional Southern and Northern Premier
leagues and the old amateur Isthmian League.
It does seem strange to persist then with three feeders at the
level below the Conference, thus retaining a three into two split but to have
done differently would have meant the total demise of one league, probably the
Isthmian. This was always the contentious problem that needed to be addressed by
a restructure and seems to have been skirted in the proposed solution.
I would guess a whole heap of horse trading has gone on to get
this far though. The structure looks better all round and certainly provides a
clear line of promotion and relegation between the top and bottom of the game of
football in England.
Now watch Rangers and Celtic come in and screw it all up I