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English Football League teams

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Current Structure of the English Football League

The English Football League structure is now organised into four divisions, the foremost being the Premiership, the lowest being the Third Division. At the end of the season, a few teams in each division are either promoted or relegated depending upon their proximity to the top or the foot of the table.

As a further incentive to teams to avoid the comfort zone of mid-table mediocrity, play-offs have been instituted for teams from Divisions 1, 2, and 3 finishing within 4 positions of the automatic qualifiers in their respective divisions. The winner of each set of play-offs is also promoted.

The rewards for Premiership teams are places in European competitions such as The European Champions League, and represent a considerable financial incentive for teams.

In addition, if the topmost team from the Conference[?] has a ground which is satisfactory for League football, the lowest team from the Third Division is relegated to the Conference and the promoted team acquires full league status as happened in the season 2000/01 with the promotion of Rushden and Diamonds F.C.[?] and the relegation of Barnet F.C.[?]. For season 2002/03 two up, two down introduced, the second team promoted under the play-off system.

There is no system of play-offs for the top teams in a division; the league winner is determined solely based on the best record. The record is evaluation primarily on wins and losses, with three points for a win and one point for a draw, goal differential serving as a tie-breaker, however if the teams are entirely equal there would be a play-off at a neutral venue. There are also two League-wide competitions, the League Cup and FA Cup, that use a single-elimination format to determine a champion.

Welsh Teams

Professional football teams from Wales play in the English Football League. Scotland has its own football league system.

Former Structures of the English Football League

Formed in 1888 as one division comprising of Accrington F.C., Aston Villa F.C., Blackburn Rovers F.C.[?], Bolton Wanderers F.C.[?], Burnley F.C[?], Derby County F.C., Everton F.C., Notts County F.C.[?], Preston North End F.C.[?], Stoke F.C., West Bromwich Albion F.C. and Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C..

  • Second Division added in 1892.
  • Third Division added in 1920.
  • Third Division (North) added in 1921, Third Division renamed Third Division (South).
  • Third Division (South) and Third Division (North) amalgamated to form Third Division and Fourth Division in 1958.
  • FA Premier league formed after break from Football League in 1992. Second Division renamed First Division, Third Division renamed Second Division and Fourth Division renamed Third Division.

Domestic Cup Competitions

The FA Cup is the principal domestic cup competition, and is open to clubs of all levels. The winners qualify for the following season's UEFA Cup. The League Cup is open only to Premiership and Football League teams, and also provides a route into European play. The Community Shield[?] (formerly the Charity Shield) is an annual match between the Premiership champions and the FA Cup winners. There are also competitions restricted to lower-division clubs: the Football League Trophy (Associate Members' Cup) for members of the Second and Third Divisions, the FA Trophy[?] for semi-professional non-league clubs, and the FA Vase[?] for lower-ranking non-league clubs.

Premiership Teams

Lists updated for the 2003-04 season.

First Division Teams

Second Division Teams

Third Division Teams

Teams relegated from the Third Division to the Conference and not returned

Other teams no longer with full league status



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