A PROPOSED restructuring of non-league football, with a second division of the Nationwide Conference a possibility, may not affect Accrington Stanley if the current Unibond Premier Division leaders achieve their championship goal.
But failure to land the title would leave Stanley among the clubs considering whether to apply for a Conference Division Two spot.
Conference Chief Executive John Moules has written to the FA to inform them of proposals for a rule change which will see the Conference expanded to up to 66 clubs. This would consist of the existing Conference and either one more, or two more leagues.
The 69 clubs in the three current 'feeder' leagues - the Unibond, the Ryman and the Dr Martens - have been invited and if enough apply there could be one national Conference Second Division or perhaps two regional divisions.
That would probably involve the Midlands clubs involved dividing on a north and south basis, basically meaning two feeder leagues to the Conference where there are currently three.
There are of course several clubs who already don't apply for promotion to the Conference - Bradford Park Avenue for example - because they wouldn't meet the ground grading requirements.
And while many clubs, whose facilities and support can't match Stanley's, would probably baulk at the prospect of increased travelling and expenses, ambitious and financially-sound Stanley would be just the sort of club the new set-up would be looking to attract.
Unibond League officials have admitted that some of their member clubs could be interested and have called a meeting with the clubs next week.
League Secretary Duncan Bayley said: "It seems highly likely that some of our clubs would want to join the new Conference. At the end of the day the clubs will look after themselves."
Clubs have been asked to reply to the Conference by the end of January, when a decision will be taken based on the number of applicants.
Stanley, of course, hope that by clinching the championship they will be in the top section of any restructured set-up in any case. But they have to consider the implications if they fail to gain promotion or, indeed, should they go up and come back down.
The club have issued a statement to say that they will not be distracted from their pursuit of the title while giving thought to the ramifications.
The club have actually replied to the Conference to say that they will provisionally resign from the Unibond League if the revamp goes ahead.
And manager John Coleman said: "We can't let it distract from our goal of winning the league and if we do so it becomes an irrelevence for the time being."
- BACUP Borough manager Brent Peters has heaped praise on Stanley after his North West Counties League Division Two side were allowed to play two 'home' games at the Crown Ground while their own new pitch beds in.
Borough's third scheduled match at the Crown, last Sunday, was hastily re-scheduled for Rossendale United's Dark Lane after heavy rain but Peters, a well-known figure in local non-league circles who had a brief spell as Director of Football at the club in 1996.
After his side enjoyed two wins at their temporary home he said: "I can't thank the Chairman Eric Whalley and all of the people at Stanley enough. Eric and his staff have been absolutely brilliant.
"When you are an ambitious club, as they are, you need good people in place from top to bottom and they certainly have. Everyone connected with the club did their utmost to make our matches there run smoothly. Even on a night when Stanley had a match away at Ashton and on Boxing Day, they did us proud.
"People such as Mick Schultz, the Lottery Manager, and Dave Thornley, the Reserves manager, turned out when they had no obligation to do so and the stewards and the bar steward, everyone connected with the club, basically, did us proud."