Chester FC ’s chances of a play-off spot in the National League come the end of next season after plans for a radical overhaul were announced.
From next season there will now be six play-off spots available for teams finishing second to seventh, although teams finishing second and third will automatically go through to a one-legged semi final. All two-legged games are to be scrapped.
Teams finishing in fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh will play a one-game qualifying round. The news has been confirmed to the Chronicle by the National League.
National League chief executive Michael Tattersall told Pitchero.com : “Under the new format, all playoff matches will be played over a single leg in a qualifying round, semi final and promotion final.
“The club finishing second and third will automatically proceed to a semi final at their home ground.
“The clubs in fourth and fifth will stage qualifying round ties against the teams finishing seventh and sixth.
“The winners of those matches will then complete the semi final line up.
“The format involves the same amount of matches as now. With six clubs competing, it will increase the interest levels.
“The same format will also apply in the North and South completions with finals being played at a club ground.”
There are no plans in the near future to increase the number of teams promoted to the Football League.
A proposal will be put forward to all National League member clubs to change to six-team play-offs at the Annual General Meeting on 10 June. At the AGM, clubs can vote to amend the proposals, decline them or accept them.