Conference National, currently christened as the Blue Square Premier, is the top division of the Football Conference in England. It is the highest level of the National League System and the fifth highest of the overall English football league system. It is comprised of fully and semi-professional clubs (a total of 24).
The Conference National was established as the ‘Alliance Premier League’ in 1979 and immediately helped in bringing together clubs from the Northern League as well as from the Southern league, thereby constructing a very solid platform for lower level teams to improve themselves.
Since the 2002-2003 campaign, the league has been granted a second promotion place. A play-off decided who joins the champions in the Football League. In 2006 the Conference was stretched from 22 to 24 teams by relegating two teams and promoting four teams. In the 2006-07 season a “four up and four down” system between the Conference National and its two feeder divisions was introduced.
In April 2007, it was announced all the Football Conference had agreed a three year sponsorship deal with online betting firm Blue Square. According to the deal, all three Conference leagues would be sponsored by Blue Square from the 2007-08 season.