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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 December 2005, 11:03 GMT
Conference seek promotion change
By Pete Oliver

The Nationwide Conference is stepping up its bid to secure three promotion places to the Coca Cola League.

In 18 months' time the Conference aim to put in a request to the League for a three-up and three-down policy to fit in line with higher divisions.

"We are looking for parity with the rest of football," Conference chief executive John Moules told BBC Sport.

"From the Premier League down it's three-up and three-down until League Two where it's four-up and two down."

Moules added: "The key thing is we feel that as a competition we have moved forward and earned the right to have equal promotion with everybody."

The Conference was granted a second promotion place by the League in 2002 and stated then that they would seek a review in five years' time.

The deadline falls at the end of the 2006/07 season and the Conference board meets on Thursday to outline plans to lobby their case.

"In the next 18 months we will be putting forward all the reasons why we should have three-up and three-down," said Moules.

The Conference first secured automatic promotion and relegation to and from the League in 1986/87, with Scarborough and Lincoln City swapping places at the end of that season.

Play-offs were then introduced in 2002/03 to decide the second promotion place, with Doncaster Rovers the first team to benefit.

The Conference top-flight will expand to 24 clubs next season and Moules believes that the time will be right for a third promotion spot to be put in place for the 2007/08 season.

The chief executive admits that some intensive lobbying will be required for the Conference to get its wish.

But with the Conference now almost fully professional and providing sustainable football for over half-a-dozen former League clubs, Moules believes the idea should be embraced.

He added: "We recognise that we have got a lot of work to do over the next 18 months to convince the 48 club chairman that we deserve an extra place. But I am very confident we can do that."


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