The Ardal Leagues are a football league in Wales. The word "ardal" translates as "district" in English. They have clubs with amateur/semi-professional status and sit at the third level of the Welsh football league system. The first year of their operation will be 2020–21 with the Football Association of Wales owning and administering the tier 3 leagues for the first time. These changes follow from a review of the Welsh football pyramid. To be eligible clubs need to meet the criteria for FAW tier 3 certification.
|Number of teams||64|
|Level on pyramid||3|
(Welsh football league system)
|Relegation to||Mid Wales Football League|
North East Wales Football League
North Wales Coast East Football League
North Wales Coast West Football League
Gwent County League
South Wales Alliance League
West Wales Premier League
The leagues is split into two leagues, covering North and South Wales. Both Northern and Southern leagues have two regionally-based sections of sixteen clubs each:
The winners of each league will be promoted to either the Cymru North or the Cymru South as long as they meet the FAW's tier 2 certification criteria. Subject to also meeting these criteria, the four runners-up clubs will enter play-off matches with two of the clubs also gaining promotion (one from the North and one from the South).
The Ardal Leagues structure replaces the former tier 3 leagues: Welsh Football League Division One, Mid Wales Football League Division One, Welsh Alliance League Division One and the Welsh National League Premier Division, leagues based in South Wales, Mid Wales, North West Wales and North East Wales respectively.
Relegation from the Ardal Leagues will be to six local tier 4 leagues, with three clubs relegated from each of the tier 3 leagues at the end of the season. The tier 4 leagues are run by each of the Area Associations of Welsh football, the West Wales Football Association, the South Wales Football Association, the Gwent County Football Association, the Central Wales Football Association, the North East Wales Football Association and the North Wales Coast Football Association.
Ardal League teamsEdit
On 10 July 2020 the FAW confirmed the 64 teams in the new tier 3 leagues. In an attempt to avoid dividing the current Mid-Wales teams across all four leagues, the North-East league contains a large contingent of the Mid-Wales teams. The North-West league contains the sides near the North Wales coast. After confirmation of their inclusion STM Sports announced on 27 July that they had folded, leaving only 15 sides in the South West league. On 3 August it was confirmed that Cardiff Draconians had been promoted from the South Wales Alliance League to fill the remaining place in the league.
Since COVID-19-originated restrictions have been put in place by the FAW. As from 10 August, clubs can train in groups of 15 and contact training will be allowed at all-levels of football. However, competitive and exhibition matches are still not allowed to take place.
Applicants for FAW Tier 3 CertificationEdit
- "ARDAL LEAGUES COMPLETE DOMESTIC PYRAMID RESTRUCTURE". Football Association of Wales. 28 July 2020. Retrieved 28 July 2020.
- "The Pyramid Review". Football Association of Wales. Retrieved 24 May 2019.
- Llyr, Owain. "Welsh football: Leagues restructure confirmed by FAW". BBC Sport. Retrieved 30 July 2020.
- "Membership of Tier 3 leagues confirmed". Football Association of Wales. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
- Jones, Jordan. "Cardiff Draconians admitted to Ardal Leagues". Y Clwb Pel-Droed. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
- "FAW News". Retrieved 3 August 2020.
- "Granted FAW Tier 3 Certification for 2020 / 21 season" (PDF). Football Association of Wales. 25 June 2020. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
- "FAW TIER 2 & TIER 3 APPLICANTS CONFIRMED". Football Association of Wales. 10 January 2020. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
- Jones, Jordan (8 July 2020). "Seven clubs granted Tier Three Certificate on appeal". Y Clwb Pel-Droed. Retrieved 30 July 2020.