The Premier League is the top division league in England and known for its extreme popularity. Despite being restricted to English teams, the Premier League is way too popular across the world. Billions of Spectators watch it with interest as well as craze. And it’s clubs including Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, etc are one of the best performing and most successful clubs of all time.
How could a team not dream of being promoted to the Premier League when they know they could get way too much success and fame through it. And more importantly, they would get the title of Premier League. Every team in England is desperate to be a part of the Premier League but do all of them get to be? Does every club that approaches it get success in doing so? No. It doesn’t work like that. Not every team gets to participate in the Premier League. If not every one, then who? Who gets promoted to the Premier League? In this article, we will get to know about it in detail.
Who gets promoted to the Premier League?
Have you ever heard of the English Football League Championship (EFL). It’s commonly known as Championship in England and for sponsorship purposes, Sky Bet Championship. The EFL or Championship is the highest division of the English Football League and ranks second highest in the overall English football league system after the Premier League. Currently, the English football league Championship involves 24 clubs.
You might be confused why I am talking about this when we are supposed to dig about something else. But have patience because your answer is hidden behind this story. Continuing from where I left, the Football League Championship was introduced for the 2004-05 season and is the rebrand for the former Football League first division. And this was also a rebrand of the Football League Second division.
So, basically the winner of this division is awarded with the English Football League Championship trophy which was previously awarded to the winners of the English top flight. Each season, top two winning teams of this Championship are promoted to the Premier League automatically. Also the teams which finish the season in 3 to 6 place are promoted to the playoffs. And whoever team wins the playoff tournament also gets promoted to Premier League. So, in total three teams get promoted. On the contrary, the four worst performing teams are relegated to the League 1 which is the third level division of the English Football League system after the Premier League and the EFL.
Championship is the richest non-top-flight division in the world and ninth richest in Europe alone. It’s attendance is also quite impressive as attendance for its average match was 20,181.
What does History say?
We all know that England has had a rich history of being the centre of the best Football systems. In addition, it is also the home of the world’s first Football League system. Commonly known as the Football League, this first league system was introduced in 1888 by Aston Villa director William McGregor. He wanted to modernise and unite the Football clubs to bring reform at that time.
At that time, there were 12 teams in the league which was divided into two regions ; The Lancashire region and the Midlands region. The Lancashire region included Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Preston North End, Accrington, Burnley and Everton. And the Midlands region included Derby County, Stoke City, Wolves, Aston Villa, Notts County and West Bromwich Albion.
Everyone must be aware of this fact that in present times, the Premier League is the highest division in the English Football League system. It was first introduced in 1992 featuring 22 clubs at that time. But later it was restructured to a 20-team league in the 1995-96 season.
Since the beginning of the Premier League, only three teams faced expulsion to the second division. But an interesting fact is that its team members don’t get any promotion to another league as its the Highest level League. On the other hand, the top four teams in the league get automatic Qualification for the UEFA Champions League with the top five and sixth league getting the opportunity to play in the UEFA Europa League. And as of 2021, the seventh ranked team of the Premier League will play in the UEFA Europa Conference League.
You will be surprised to know that there are numerous unknown advantages of playing in the Premier League as its teams automatically get the opportunity to compete in Cup games such as the FA Cup as well as the League Cup.
League 1 and League 2
Now that we are done talking about the first level division (Premier League) and second level division (EFL Championship) of the English Football League system, its time to take a glimpse inside League 1 and League 2 which are the third and fourth levels of this system respectively. Both of these leagues function quite similarly.
Unlike the Premier League, both these leagues have scope of promotion. The top three teams in both leagues are promoted to higher level divisions. Teams that finished fourth to seventh place in the league are promoted to the playoffs tournament. Whichever team wins in the playoffs will be the fourth team to get promotion. So, in total four promotion slots are available in these sister leagues.
While talking about relegation, there is some variation in the method. The four worst performing teams in League 1 are relegated to League 2. And in League 2, the four worst performing teams are excluded to the Fifth division.
There’s a fifth division?
You must be shocked to learn that there exists a fifth division in the English football league system as well. But hey, it’s not a league division. In other words, the bottom teams of League 2 are relegated to fifth division which is a non-league Football. Well, here it gets a little interesting as this non-league Football is a mixture of professional and semi-professional clubs. But it’s the lowest level league division.
Excitingly, the National League has scope for promotion. Yes! You heard me right. The winner of the National League automatically gets promoted to the fourth division. While the next six top teams will be up for the Playoffs. And the winner of playoff tournament will automatically gain promotion to the professional league.