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  1. #1
    Amor de Cosmos's Avatar
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    Goodbye Southern League, farewell Northern League, ta ta Isthmian League

    From this weekend's Evo-Stik League AGM:


    "Including an option to extend again at the end of the 2018-19 season and subject to approval by the Football Association, the agreement sees the competition branding simplified to The EVO-STIK League South, with the three individual divisions retitled EVO-STIK League South Premier, EVO-STIK South East and EVO-STIK South West"

    From our cousins the Northern Premier League now become:-
    "The new deal will bring a slight name change to all three NPL divisions. The competition's branding is simplified to The EVO-STIK League, with the individual divisions named the EVO-STIK League Premier, EVO-STIK North and EVO-STIK South"

    And finally, our cousins from the Isthmian League:-
    "The Bostik League, the 3 divisions will be known as the Bostik Premier, the Bostik North, and the Bostik South, and over the next few weeks clubs and fans will see the introduction of the company’s branding into grounds, shirts, websites and other collateral"

    Well in one fell swoop there goes a substantial chunk of footballing history A good weekend's work chaps

  2. #2
    Snake Plissken's Avatar
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    So the Evo-Stik South is actually in the North and the Bostik North is in the South, and is a couple of hundred miles south of the Evo-Stik North?

  3. #3
    Sits's Avatar
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  4. #4
    SouthdownRebel's Avatar
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    To be fair, these aren't huge changes from what I can tell - these three leagues have been giving up their names to sponsors for years. Bostik are now sponsoring all three, so the Isthmian is no longer called the Ryman, and the names are tweaked on the two Evo Stik leagues. Evo-Stik League Northern becomes just Evo-Stik League and Evo-Stik League Southern becomes Evo-Stik League South.

  5. #5
    Ray de Galles's Avatar
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    Yeah, nobody sensible ever used the previous sponsored/rebranded names for these leagues and we'll carry on not using these ones - especially as they seem ridiculously confusing.

  6. #6

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    This level of similarity means that I'll be continuing to use the Isthmian, Northern Premier and Southern League names next season.

    Fun fact-ette - The Isthmian League was the first to take sponsorship, in 1973 - and the sponsors were Rothmans cigarettes.

  7. #7
    Ray de Galles's Avatar
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    I will admit to Rymans being the only sponsored name I ever felt any warmth for (but still didn't really use) but that's because I like stationers.

  8. #8
    Satchmo Distel's Avatar
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    The NPL was formed in 1968 so is younger than the other two. The Northern League was equal in status to the NPL in 1968 but is now two tiers below and was traditionally amateur.

    I`m not sure the Evostik results or tables will be published anywhere that would confuse someone who was unfamiliar with the real leagues, just as no non-league follower confused the NPL and NL back in the 70s.

    I'm not sure why the northern clubs did not unify into an NPL until 1968. Travel costs or conservative local leagues holding on to power?

  9. #9

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    The Northern Premier League was semi-professional upon foundation whereas the Northern League was amateur (the distinction was done away with 1974). As far as I know, the Northern League resisted attempts to integrate into the non-league pyramid until the start of the 1990s and even turned down an offer to become a feeder league to the Alliance Premier League (now National League) when the offer was made to the Isthmian League in the early 1980s, which, I guess, accounts for the lopsidedness of that still exists in having two southern and one northern division below the National Leagues North and South.

    Had the Northern League joined earlier there would have been two for each of the north and south. I'm guessing here obviously, but had this happened, I wouldn't mind betting that the Southern & Isthmian, and NPL and NL would have have merged to form two divisions feeding into the National League North & South by now. (No-one would put up with one promotion place these days.)

  10. #10
    Ray de Galles's Avatar
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    I'm a non-league follower and I still get confused between the NPL and NL now, though I am pretty southern (not Southern, or Evo-Stik South Premier) focussed.

    I just tried to tweet about this but even reducing the leagues in question to EvoStikPremierEvoStikNorthEvoStikSouthEvoStikSouth PremierEvoStikSouthEastEvoStikSouthWestBostikPremi erBostikNorthBostikSouth left no room for other comment and I was worried that people would think I was quoting early Manic Street Preachers lyrics.
    Last edited by Ray de Galles; 19-06-2017 at 12:20.

  11. #11
    longeared's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by My Name Is Ian View Post
    the Northern League resisted attempts to integrate into the non-league pyramid until the start of the 1990s
    You could argue that's still the case, given the reluctance of many of their teams to take promotion because it means their players miss out on Saturday night on the piss in Newcastle. Though they're perfectly happy to travel to the south west to play in the Vase.

  12. #12
    Rogin the Armchair fan's Avatar
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    Those names will never stick.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Ray de Galles View Post
    I'm a non-league follower and I still get confused between the NPL and NL now, though I am pretty southern (not Southern, or Evo-Stik South Premier) focussed.

    I just tried to tweet about this but even reducing the leagues in question to EvoStikPremierEvoStikNorthEvoStikSouthEvoStikSouth PremierEvoStikSouthEastEvoStikSouthWestBostikPremi erBostikNorthBostikSouth left no room for other comment and I was worried that people would think I was quoting early Manic Street Preachers lyrics.
    Pah, the FA are not really trying. They've got nothing on the East Region Hockey Leagues.

    The East splits itself into quadrants at the transition between Trophy and Vase level sides (Hockey has borrowed the same tier system and titles for it's National Cups from football). These quadrants are named geographically. But then at the bottom end of those it splits again into north and south groupings...

    This means that the bottom Division covering South Cambs and a little of Suffolk, which the Men's 4th and 5th and Ladies 3rds and 4th teams of the club I play for are set to compete in next season, end up as all-points-of-the-compass entities:
    East Men's League Division 6 North-West (South)
    and
    East Women's League Division 5 North-West (South)

    Or in abbreviated form: East Div.6NW(S) and East Div.5NW(S)


    Oh yeah, and two seasons ago there was a East Division 2 Central in the Women's leagues. It covered a wholly different geographical area from the East NW(S) Divisions - that was Herts, Essex and North and East London!

    I leave aside the recent period with a league title sponsor called NE14, where NE did not stand for North-East...
    Last edited by Janik; 19-06-2017 at 13:06.

  14. #14
    Amor de Cosmos's Avatar
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    Aside from historical continuity — the Southern League, in name, has been around since 1894, the Northern League since 1893, and the Isthmian League since 1905 — the most depressing aspect of this is that there's nothing about any of them now that provides footballing context. What happens when Bostick/Evo-Stik quit the sport? Another company will re-brand. In a couple of decades they will just be ever changing names floating in a footballing void.

  15. #15
    Third rate Leszno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray de Galles View Post
    I will admit to Rymans being the only sponsored name I ever felt any warmth for (but still didn't really use) but that's because I like stationers.
    I think the only sponsored name I can recall using was simply because it helped make the lyrics scan better when those of us scuffling about at the bottom of the 4th division used to mock their rivals for the drop with "Vauxhall Conference calling you, calling you..."

  16. #16

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    I still hear "You're going down to the Vauxhall Conference" at some L2 grounds....

  17. #17
    Jorge Porbillas's Avatar
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    It's still the Vauxhall Conference to many Wrexham fans ... at least nobody calls it the Gola League

  18. #18

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    Bring back "The Alliance Premier League", I reckon.

  19. #19
    Fussbudget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by longeared View Post
    You could argue that's still the case, given the reluctance of many of their teams to take promotion because it means their players miss out on Saturday night on the piss in Newcastle. Though they're perfectly happy to travel to the south west to play in the Vase.


    Quote Originally Posted by Amor de Cosmos View Post
    Aside from historical continuity — the Southern League, in name, has been around since 1894, the Northern League since 1893, and the Isthmian League since 1905 — the most depressing aspect of this is that there's nothing about any of them now that provides footballing context. What happens when Bostick/Evo-Stik quit the sport? Another company will re-brand. In a couple of decades they will just be ever changing names floating in a footballing void.
    I'm confused now. It's the NPL that's rebranding, isn't it? The Northern League is going nowhere. And the NPL hasn't been around that long.

  20. #20

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    The NPL was founded in 1968, I think.

  21. #21
    Amor de Cosmos's Avatar
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    Yup. My bad. Apologies for the confusion. (Lord knows it's confusing enough without my help.)

  22. #22
    Kevin S's Avatar
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    So, as longeared mentioned this morning on the Local Football (step 5 and below) thread, the Step 3 and 4 leagues are being expanded for the 2018-19 season.

    According to the Non-League Football Paper, "an extra division at both Step 3 and 4 is set to come into effect from the 2018-19 season. The Southern League will run the new Step 3 division while the Isthmian League will take charge of the additional Step 4 division."

  23. #23
    Kevin S's Avatar
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    So the name "EVO-STIK League South Premier" will be a one-season wonder, because next season there'll be two of them.

    Step 1 National
    Step 2 Nat North Nat South
    Step 3 NPL Prem Isthm Prem South Prem A South Prem B
    Step 4 NPL 1A NPL 1B Isthm 1A Isthm 1B Isthm 1C South 1A South 1B
    Last edited by Kevin S; 26-06-2017 at 15:18.

  24. #24
    Satchmo Distel's Avatar
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    It cuts travel costs for the teams who were already in those levels, who now have a geographical split into two, but it means the artificially promoted clubs from the old lower steps probably have more costs.

    Also, what if a team doesn't want the promotion?

  25. #25
    So that is a 1,2,4,7 Divisional set-up. Erm, right. Not many numbers have common factors of 4 and 7. That is going to make promotion/relegation between steps three and four... unwieldy.

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