THE FOOTBALL Association (FA) has provisionally placed Windsor in the Hellenic Premier Division for the 2017/18 season.

The league constitution was revealed by the FA last week and sees Windsor move laterally from the Combined Counties Premier Division.

The move comes after North Greenford United won an appeal to play in the Combined Counties League rather than the Hellenic League last year, and to address the balance in the number of clubs in the respective Premier Divisions.

Windsor can appeal the move with the FA, though that is unlikely with the restructure of the National League set to take place at the end of next season, and are set to be accepted into the Hellenic League at their upcoming AGM.

Brian King is chief executive officer at the Hellenic League and told the Observer: “Windsor have been laterally transferred because of what happened with North Greenford 12 months ago.

“It put the Combined Counties League into a position of having 23 clubs and reduced Hellenic League numbers from our optimum status of 20 clubs.

“There was almost certainly going to be at least one move and The FA made the decision on the basis that it would be beneficial to Windsor from the perspective of close local derbies.

“There are three or four clubs in close proximity to Windsor, which will make for exciting local derbies and, if played on holidays or Friday nights, could bring in substantial crowds.

Royal Borough Observer:

PHOTO: Stag Meadow will host local derbies between Windsor and rivals Bracknell Town, Ascot United and Binfield next season.

“We as a competition expected a club to move to us to equate what happened 12 months ago and Windsor were the best club for that.

“I’ve spoken with the Windsor secretary and the club is quite looking forward to the new challenge.”

Asked if the Stag Meadow-based club’s stalled lease negotiations with The Crown would be a concern to the Hellenic League, King said: “We are aware of the situation with Windsor and believe they have the security of tender but are still in negotiation with The Crown.

“We are worried about any situation with any club going through this because negotiations take a heck of a long time because of the variables that are involved.

“We’ve not had any in-depth discussions with the club about the lease arrangements, and the FA are happy with the situation as it currently stands.”

Hellenic League chairman, Robert Dalling, said he is delighted to welcome Windsor and believes their presence in the Premier Division will be a boost to league attendances.

He explained: “Windsor will find a large number of local derbies in this league to make travel more simple. There are one or two matches a little bit further afield but we give clubs time to get there.

“In the Combined Counties League you have to go across London and into heavy traffic, but we do our absolute best to make sure travel is at a minimum.

“I hope Windsor will enjoy games with clubs like Bracknell Town, who got over 700 at some matches last season, and these big attendances are for the good of the clubs.

“Derbies will increase attendances and I’m delighted to see it.”