Only one team will be relegated from the Southern League Premier Division – King’s Lynn Town’s current division – in 2017/18 following the biggest shake-up to the grassroots game in more than a decade.
The Evo-Stik League Southern has been chosen to run the new Step 3 division which is being created for the start of the 2018-19 season.
This follows a long-awaited review of Steps 3 and 4 of the National League system to iron out geographical anomalies, cut down on travelling costs and time for fans, players and officials and encourage more Step 5 clubs to climb the pyramid.
In the first major restructuring of the game since 2004, there will also be the creation of a new Step 4 division which will be run by the Isthmian League.
In total, the 276 clubs currently playing in Steps 1 to 4 will increase by 20 to 296 when the two new divisions kick-off in August 2018.
Across the board, the reshuffle will see three current Step 3 divisions of 24 clubs increase to four divisions of 22 clubs while the six Step 4 divisions currently run by the Northern Premier, Isthmian and Southern Leagues will rise from 136 clubs playing in six divisions to seven 20-club divisions.
To achieve its aim, the FA also confirmed that only the bottom clubs in the current Step 3 divisions will be relegated at the end of next season.
In addition, only the clubs finishing last in the six divisions currently operating at Step 4 will be relegated next season with 26 clubs coming up from Step 5.