Hereford United Director of Football Graham Turner remains optimistic that there will be two promotion places up for grabs in the Nationwide Conference from next season.

Turner is a member of a five-man pressure group of Conference club chairmen, who will meet the Football Association's chief executive Adam Crozier next week to discuss the issue.

Their aim is to try and persuade the Football League to accept the two-up two-down proposal, which many pundits believe is long overdue.

However, the League have stalled over making a decision which has infuriated the Conference clubs, with a deadline for proposed rule changes drawing ever closer.

The matter is set to be voted on at the League's annual meeting in June, and Turner said: "I think there has to be some optimism about it, but it won't be easy.

"We have to convince the Football League chairmen to vote themselves an extra relegation place, and that is a difficult task and has been a stumbling block over a number of years.

"One of the upsetting factors is that even though we had been told it had been agreed in principle as long ago as last May, they haven't decided if all 72 Nationwide League clubs or just the Third Division clubs will vote on it."

It's long been felt that most Conference clubs are better run than many sides already in the League and have better facilities, and consequently should be given increased opprtunities for promotion.

Hereford have more reason than most to back a change in the rules, having lost their League status four years ago.

If the system had been in place this season, then Hereford's season would be very much alive - rather than just having the FA Umbro Trophy to go for, with a 15-point gap to make up on leaders Yeovil Town.

Turner added: "If there was an extra promotion place we would be having quite a reasonable season, but as it is we are fourth in the table and yet we are regarded as having an unsuccessful season."

The other club chairman in the pressure group besides Turner are Terry Smith (Chester), Charles Clapham (Southport), Phil Wallace (Stevenage) and Andy Shaw (Telford).