The FA today released the allocations of clubs to leagues in the National League System (NLS).

Division One:

North Shields and Shildon have been relegated from the Northern Premier League East to the Ebac Northern League Division One (at Step 5 in the NLS).

Sunderland RCA has been reprieved because of resignations and a voluntary relegation in other leagues in the NLS and stays in the division because of their points per game rating from last season.

Boro Rangers and Birtley Town have been promoted from Division Two (Step 6 in the NLS), while Pickering Town has been laterally moved to the Toolstation Northern Counties East League.

For the 2023/24 season Division One will comprise: Birtley Town, Bishop Auckland, Boro Rangers, Carlisle City, Crook Town, Guisborough Town, Heaton Stannington, Newcastle Benfield, North Shields, Northallerton Town, Penrith, Redcar Athletic, Seaham Red Star, Shildon, Sunderland RCA, Tow Law Town, West Allotment Celtic, West Auckland Town, Whickham and Whitley Bay.

Division Two:

Thornaby has been relegated to Division Two.  Sunderland West End has also been reprieved as one of the best second bottom placed clubs ranked according to points per game.  Willington has been relegated.

FC Hartlepool, Newcastle Blue Star and Yarm & Eaglescliffe have been promoted to the division from feeder leagues.

For the 2023/24 season Division Two will comprise: Bedlington Terriers, Billingham Synthonia, Billingham Town, Blyth Town, Boldon CA, Brandon United, Chester-le-Street Town, Chester-le-Street United, Easington Colliery, Esh Winning, FC Hartlepool, Horden CW, Jarrow, Newcastle Blue Star, Newcastle University, Prudhoe YC Seniors, Redcar Town, Ryton & Crawcrook Albion, Sunderland West End, Thornaby, Washington and Yarm & Eaglescliffe.

Ebac Northern League cups

The League Management Committee has decided that both the Brooks Mileson Memorial League Cup and the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup will be held in the 2023/24 season.  (The league cup is for teams from both divisions, while the EA cup is for second division teams.)

The draws for the preliminary and first rounds will be held at the annual general meeting on Saturday, June 17,

The Cleator Cup – the traditional season opener for the league – will be contested between the winners of last season’s divisions:  Newton Aycliffe will host Boro Rangers.  (The Cleator Cup is usually between the league champions and the winners of the league cup but the league cup was not held last season.)

The match will be played on Saturday, July 22.

League chairman Glenn Youngman said: “We’re delighted to welcome FC Hartlepool,  Newcastle Blue Star and Yarm & Eaglescliffe to the league in what promises to be a very competitive second division.

“Thanks also to Newton Aycliffe and Boro Rangers for agreeing to play the Cleator Cup to start our new season.”