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Southern Football League Premier Division
Southern League
Country England.png England
Founded 1893
Number of teams 22
Promotion to National League North
National League South
Relegation to Division One Central
Division One South & West
Levels on pyramid 7
Domestic cup(s) FA Cup
FA Trophy
Southern League Cup
Current champions None (season abandoned) ()
Website Official website
Football current event 2020–21

The Southern League is a men's football competition featuring semi-professional clubs from the South and Midlands of England, and South Wales. Together with the Isthmian League and the Northern Premier League it forms levels seven and eight of the English football league system.

The structure of the Southern League has changed several times since its formation in 1894, and currently there are 84 clubs which are divided into four divisions. The Central and South Divisions are at step 3 of the National League System (NLS), and are feeder divisions, mainly to the National League South but also to the National League North. Feeding the Premier Divisions are two regional divisions, Division One Central and Division One South, which are at step 4 of the NLS. These divisions are in turn fed by various regional leagues.

History

Football in the south of England

Professional football (and professional sport in general) developed more slowly in Southern England than in Northern England. Professionalism was sanctioned by The Football Association as early as 1885, but when The Football League was founded in 1888 it was based entirely in the north and midlands with the County Football Associations in the South being firmly opposed to professionalism.

Woolwich Arsenal (nowadays simply Arsenal) were the first club in London to turn professional in 1891 and were one of the prime motivators behind an attempt to set up a Southern League to mirror the existing Northern and Midlands based Football League. However, this venture failed in the face of opposition from the London Football Association and Woolwich Arsenal instead joined the Football League as its only representative south of Birmingham in 1893. Additionally, an amateur league, the Southern Alliance was founded in 1892, with seven clubs from the region, but that folded after one incomplete season.

Current members

Club Home ground
AFC Rushden & Diamonds Hayden Road
Alvechurch Lye Meadow
Banbury United Spencer Stadium
Barwell Kirkby Road
Biggleswade Town Langford Road
Bromsgrove Sporting Victoria Ground
Coalville Town Owen Street Sports Ground
Hednesford Town Keys Park
Hitchin Town Top Field
Kings Langley Gaywood Park
Leiston Victory Road
Lowestoft Town Crown Meadow
Needham Market Bloomfields
Nuneaton Borough Liberty Way
Peterborough Sports Lincoln Road
Redditch United Valley Stadium
Royston Town Garden Walk
Rushall Olympic Dales Lane
St Ives Town Westwood Road
Stourbridge War Memorial Athletic Ground
Stratford Town Knights Lane
Tamworth The Lamb Ground

External links

Template:Southern Football League Premier Division seasons

Football in England
League competitions The FA Cup competitions
Premier League England (B) (C) FA Cup
Football League (Champ, 1, 2) (U-21) (U-20) Football League Cup
National League (Prem, N, S) (U-19) (U-18) FA Community Shield
Northern Premier (Prem, 1N, 1S) (U-17) (U-16) EFL Trophy
Southern League (Prem, Cen, 1S&W) List of clubs FA Trophy
Isthmian League (Prem, 1N, 1SC) List of stadiums Conference League Cup (Defunt)
(by capacity) FA Vase
List of leagues
Records
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