With our return to life in the North West Counties League, the allocation of teams competing in the Premier Division has just been released by the FA.

A statement released on the official North West Counties website read as follows.

The FA Leagues Committee have confirmed the League Allocations for the 2023-24 season and the North West Counties League will look quite different next season, although we will have a number of familiar friends returning to the League.

In the Premier Division we will be running with a 24 team Division. Congleton Town, Winsford United and Northwich Victoria have all been laterally moved to the Midlands League. With a good points-per-game ratio from the 2022-23 season, Burscough have gained a reprieve from relegation and will remain at Step 5 in the Premier Division for the new season. They will be joined by Skelmersdale United, Colne FC, Glossop North End and Ramsbottom United, all former members who have been relegated to Step 5, but all familiar clubs to the NWCFL.

Skelmersdale were promoted just 12 months ago as they defeated Cinderford Town in the Inter-step play-off back on 30th April 2022, however their current ground that they are groundsharing at does not hold the required ground grade for Step 4 and they are placed in a relegation despite finishing a reputable 11th in the Northern Premier League Division One West last season. Ramsbottom United and Colne finished 20th and 19th respectively last season and were automatically relegated and it has been over a decade since Rammy’ were last with us. Football historians will remember the Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley side that won the league at that time, sercuring many records and starting their journey. Colne left us more recently, winning the Premier Division with equal aplomb in the 2015-16 season. They will be joined by Glossop North End who left us a season earlier than Colne via the same route.

The full list of clubs in the NWCFL Premier Division are:

AFC Liverpool
Barnoldswick Town
Charnock Richard
Cheadle Town
Isle of Man
Glossop NE
Kendal Town
Litherland REMYCA
Longridge Town
Lower Breck
Prestwich Heys
Ramsbottom United
Skelmersdale United
Squires Gate
West Didsbury + Chorlton
Wythenshawe Town