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Restructuring of the lower leagues could see League 2 merging with the National League Premier Division and split into north and south

The National League and League 2 could merge into a new regionalised structure, according to weekend reports.

League 2 clubs agreed to end their season last week and the National League have already done the same. The burden of ongoing and future costs were key for both leagues in making their decision.

Dover up against Hartlepool United in the National League Picture: Alan Langley
Dover up against Hartlepool United in the National League Picture: Alan Langley

It’s thought that a regionalised system could increase attendances and help boost finances of the lower-league clubs whenever football at that level resumes.

The lower levels of the English Football League have been split before, into north south, and it was an idea mooted recently for League 1 and 2, and one backed by Gillingham manager Steve Evans.

But the Gills would still be faced with the prospect of long trips west, to the likes of Exeter and Plymouth, while the ‘north’ boundary would extend as far as Coventry and Peterborough.

The Daily Mail have now reported that “chairmen at lower league clubs have had preliminary discussions” about move.

There has been no formal dialogue between the National League and their member clubs.

For the likes of Dover Athletic, in the National League, they have faced some long trips north, including one to Barrow. This season's trip up north caused a row when train delays meant the Kent side were unable to reach the ground.

Dover were unavailable for comment on Monday but they might prefer games closer to home, with the potential to face some bigger fixtures, against the likes of Colchester United and Leyton Orient.

Dependent on how the National League decide on relegation and promotion, Ebbsfleet United could be part of any radical shake-up. They didn’t want to comment when approached.

Fleet are yet to find out if they will be relegated this season but they are already looking ahead, with the search for a new manager underway after deciding against offering Kevin Watson a new deal when his runs out at the end of May.

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