National League South

The National League South, formerly Conference South (billed as The Motorama National League South for sponsorship reasons[1]), is one of the second divisions of the National League in England, immediately below the top division National League. Along with National League North, it is at the second level of the National League System, and at the sixth tier overall of the English football league system.

National League South
Conference South trophy pictured in 2009
Founded2004
CountryEngland
Number of teams22 (24 in 2022)
Level on pyramid6
Step 2 (National League System)
Promotion toNational League
Relegation toIsthmian League Premier Division
Southern League Premier Division South
Domestic cup(s)FA Cup
FA Trophy
Conference League Cup (defunct)
International cup(s)Europa League
(via FA Cup)
Current championsWealdstone
(2019–20)
WebsiteNational League
Current: 2021–22 season

It was introduced in 2004 as part of a major restructuring of the National League System. The champion team each year is automatically promoted to the National League. A second promotion place goes to the winners of play-offs involving the teams finishing in second to seventh place (expanded from four to six teams in the 2017–18 season).[2] The three bottom clubs are relegated to Step 3 leagues.

For sponsorship reasons, it has been known as Blue Square South (2007–2010), Blue Square Bet South (2010–2013), Skrill South (2013–2014),[3] the Vanarama Conference South (2014–2015), the Vanarama National League South (2015–2019) and the Motorama National League South following a three-year sponsorship deal announced in January 2019. Since the start of the 2015–16 season, the league is known as the National League South.[4] The 2018–19 champions were Torquay United.

The National League South was reduced to 21 clubs for 2020–21[5] and was expected to expand to 24 teams in 2021–22.[6][7] Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in England, the 2020–21 National League South season was curtailed and voided after written resolutions were put to a vote. No teams were relegated.[8] Expansion is to be implemented before the 2022–23 season, when the bottom club is relegated and four promoted from Step 3.[9] There will be four relegations from the South starting in 2023.