The English Football League

Welcome to SportMuse’s homepage for the English Football League!

The English Football League (EFL) is a league competition featuring professional association clubs from England and Wales. The Football League was founded in 1888, and as such, is the oldest competition in world football.  Until 1992, it was the top league in England, when the top 22 clubs split away to form the Premier League.

The EFL comprises tiers 2, 3, and 4 of the English Football pyramid. The leagues are known as the Championship (tier 2), League One (tier 3) and League Two (tier 4), and each division has 24 clubs. Promotion and relegation between these divisions is a central figure of the EFL, and has extended to allow three clubs from the Championship to exchange places with the bottom three from the Premier League at the conclusion of each season, as well as the top two clubs from the National League (tier 5) to exchange places with the bottom two clubs from League Two.

While primarily a competition for English clubs, clubs from Wales – currently Cardiff CitySwansea City (both Championship), and Newport County (League Two) – take part in the competition.  The EFL also sanctions the EFL Cup and EFL Trophy, the first of which awards a qualification to the UEFA Europa League continental competition, though the EFL Cup has been dominated by clubs from the Premier League in recent history. EFL clubs also take part in the FA Cup, which includes football clubs from all 10 tiers of English football.

For the 2019-20 season, the champions of the leagues were as follows:

  • Championship ; Leeds United
  • League One: Coventry City
  • League Two: Swindon Town

Joining the champions in promotion to the next tier from each league are:

Also, two clubs will be joining League Two from the National League: league champion Barrow and playoff winner Harrogate Town, who will be playing in the EFL for the first time in their history.

Relegated clubs to the leagues of the English Football League:

  • Championship (from Premier League): AFC Bournemouth, Watford, and Norwich City
  • League One (from Championship): Charlton Athletic, Wigan Athletic, and Hull City
  • League Two (from League One): Bolton Wanderers, Southend United, and Tranmere Rovers

One club will also be departing League Two for the National League. Typically, it would be two clubs, but Macclesfield Town was saved from relegation when Bury was expelled from the EFL at the beginning of the season.  Nevertheless, Stevenage was the last place club when the League Two table was settled based on PPM and they will be heading to the National League next season, though there is an appeal ongoing after Macclesfield Town was punished by the EFL multiple times during the season.

For a look at the clubs taking part in the upcoming 2020-21 English Football League season, please check out the following pages: