‘It should be Everest’ – National League’s number of promotion spots is fine as it is

Maidenhead United's Sam Barratt and Notts County's Sam Slocombe argue. Photo: Darren Woolley.
Maidenhead United's Sam Barratt and Notts County's Sam Slocombe argue. Photo: Darren Woolley.

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It’s that time of year, the annual call for more promotion places from the Vanarama National League into the EFL League Two.

Football commentator Adam Summerton tweeted: “We now have 3 @TheVanaramaNL teams on course for 100 + points on their current ppg (99.67 for Chesterfield).

“Only one of Wrexham, Chesterfield and Notts County is guaranteed promotion.

“How can that ever be considered fair?”

Fair. It’s not fair. Football isn’t fair. If football was fair Altrincham, Enfield, Wealdstone and Runcorn would all have had time as Football League clubs.

The National League is a tough competition to get out of. It has its own TV deal with BT Sport precisely because of that competitive nature, as Summerton will well know.

Just because there are three ex-Football League sides vying for promotion isn’t a reason to add another promotion spot.

The opposite argument that there are clubs content sitting comfortably in League Two, that you have to be a particular basket case of a club to get relegated. Good. If you get relegated to the National League it means you’ve been a special kind of bad at football. And it’s hard to get back. But the crux of this argument is never really about three down.

I don’t write this piece out of a yearning for the traditional approach, I think there should be a consequence of not being good enough to stay in the Football League.

The Football League should be hard to get into. It should be an Everest. It should be a reminder to any club that achieves it they don’t want to go back.

Right now it’s about three ex-League clubs self interest, an extra spot makes it easier, it dilutes the competition. Maybe even Maidenhead United could get up there, imagine the furore then!

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