THE National League play-offs will include six teams from next season in a radical shake-up for non-league football.
The new system, which will see two-legged ties scrapped, will result in teams finishing from second to seventh vying for promotion in the end of season play-offs, and is likely to be welcomed by a host of clubs, including Chester and Wrexham.
The title winners will be promoted automatically, while those teams finishing second and third will progress straight to one-off home semi-final matches.
Teams finishing fourth down to seventh will then play a one-off qualifying tie for the right to an away semi-final, before the final at Wembley.
However, National League chief executive Michael Tattersall confirmed there are no current plans to increase the number of promotion spots to three.
The same system is set to be rolled out in both National League North and South also, and will certainly give increased hope to those sides on the fringes of the top five last campaign that they could be involved in the end of season shake-up.
“Under the new format, all play-off matches will be played over a single leg in a qualifying round, semi final and promotion final,” Tattersall explained.
“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 proposals are expected to be ratified at the National League AGM on June 10, where clubs will be allowed to vote on the matter.
See full story in the Chester Leader