THE Corbett Sports Welsh Premier - the national league of Wales - once again kick-offs the 2012/13 season with 12 clubs, after a reduction in size from 18 clubs in 2009/10.
Gap Connah's Quay won a return to the top flight after a two year absence, promoted as Huws Gray Alliance champions. But no club was relegated from the league because Neath lost their place after failing to gain a domestic licence, and no club was eligible for promotion from the Macwhirter Welsh League in the south.
The New Saints finished the campaign as champions for the sixth time, with previous champions Bangor City finishing as runners-up after a 5-0 defeat in the title decider on the last day of the season.
Llanelli claimed the final Europa League spot through the play-offs after defeating Bala Town in the final.
There is no route for promotion from the Welsh Premier, although the champion side is entered in the Uefa Champions League, with two clubs entered in the Europa League alongside the Welsh Cup winners.
The clubs will play each other twice in the first phase of the 2012/13 competition.
The league will then split into top six and bottom six, with the clubs in those groups playing each other twice again to make a 32-fixture league season.
No club in the bottom six may finish higher than seventh, no matter how many points are gained during the split stage.
Clubs finishing in third to seventh position will then take part in a play-off to determine who gains the third Europa League spot the following season.
Should the Welsh Cup winners be amongst those clubs, the eighth placed club would be invited into the play-offs.
Because of this, the season will be extended, as the play-offs will not be able to take place until after the Welsh Cup final.
- Winners £15,000
- Runners up £12,500
- 3rd £10,000
- 4th £8,000
- 5th £7,000
- 6th £6,000
- 7th £5,000
- 8th £4,000
- 9th £3,000
- 10th £2,000