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English Football League (EFL)

The English Football League (EFL) is a league competition featuring professional football clubs from England and Wales.  Founded in 1888 as the Football League, the league is the oldest such competition in world football, and was the top-level football league in England from its foundation until 1992, when the top 22 clubs split away to form the Premier League.  The English Football League is also the name of the governing body of the league competition, and this body also organises two knock-out cup competitions, the EFL Cup and the EFL Trophy.  The operations centre of the Football League is in Preston, while its commercial office is in London.  The commercial office was formerly based in Lytham St Annes, after its original spell in Preston.

The three leagues below the Premier League are known as the Championship, League One and League Two, normally with 24 clubs in each division (72 in total).  In the 2019-2020 season, League One was reduced to 23 following the expulsion of Bury.  Promotion and relegation between these divisions is a central feature of the League and is further extended to allow the top Championship clubs to exchange places with the lowest-placed clubs in the Premier League, and the bottom clubs of League Two to switch with the top clubs of the National League, thus integrating the League into the English football league system.  Promotion and relegation are determined by final league positions, but to sustain interest for more clubs over the length of the season one promotion place from each division is decided according to a playoff between four clubs, which takes place at the end of the season. It is therefore possible for a team finishing sixth in the Championship or League One, or seventh in League Two, to be promoted rather than the clubs finishing immediately above them in the standings.  Although primarily a competition for English clubs, clubs from Wales -- currently Cardiff City, Swansea City and Newport County - also take part, while in the past Wrexham, Merthyr Town and Aberdare Athletic have been members.

Clubs gain three points for a win, one for a draw, and none for a defeat.  At the end of the season, clubs at the top of their division may win promotion to the next higher division, while those at the bottom may be relegated to the next lower one. At the top end of the competition, three Championship clubs win promotion from the Football League to the Premier League, with the bottom three Premier League clubs taking their places.  At the lower end, two League Two clubs lose their Football League status with relegation to the National division of the National League, while two teams from that division join League Two of The Football League in their stead.

Promoted Directly
Promoted via Playoffs
Bottom 3 Clubs
Top 2 Clubs
One from 3rd to 6th-place
Bottom 3 Clubs
League One
Top 2 Clubs
One from 3rd to 6th-place
Bottom 3 Clubs
League Two
Top 3 Clubs
One from 4th to 7th-place
Bottom 2 Clubs
National League
Top Club
One from playoffs
Bottom 2 Clubs

The Football League was associated with a title sponsor between 1983 and 2016.  As this sponsor changed over the years the league, too, has been known by various names.  Starting with the 201617 season, the league has moved away from having a title sponsor, rebranding itself as the EFL, in much the same way the Premier League is known as the 'EPL' internationally.

2018 - 2019

Two teams were relegated from the football league to non-league football, i.e. the Vanarama National League, at the end of the 2018 - 2019 season:

Yeovil Town
Notts County

While two others were promoted from non-league football to replace them:

Salford City
Leyton Orient

2019 - 2020

Relegated from the Premiership to Championship


Promoted from the Championship to the Premier League

Leeds United
West Bromwich Albion

Relegated from the Championship to League One

Wigan Athletic

Promoted from League One to the Championship

Coventry City
Rotherham United
Wycombe Wanderers

Relegated from League One to League Two

Normally, four teams would go down, but this year Bury of League One went out of business, so only three teams were relegated.

Tranmere Rovers
Southend United
Bolton Wanderers

Promoted from League Two to League One

Swindon Town
Crewe Alexandra
Plymouth Argyle
Northampton Town

Relegated from League Two to the National League

Macclesfield Town
(normally two teams would be relegated, but as Bury FC went out of business the EFL needed a net gain of one).

Promoted from the National League to League Two

Harrogate Town

Team Crests

The following are the crests and names of the football clubs in and out of the EFL since the 2019-2020 season.  Note that although Bury FC is included in the list, this club was officially expelled from the league at the start of the season.  Similarly, Macclesfield Town was wound up in the High Court in Sepember 2020.

Accrington Stanley
Aston Villa
Birmingham City
Blackburn Rovers
Bolton Wanderers
Bradford City
Brighton & Hove Albion
Bristol City
Bristol Rovers
Burton Albion
Cambridge United
Cardiff City
Carlisle United
Charlton Athletic
Colchester United
Coventry City
Crawley Town
Crewe Alexandra
Crystal Palace
Derby County
Doncaster Rovers
Exeter City
Fleetwood Town
Forest Green Rovers
Fulham FC
Gillingham Town
Grimsby Town
Harrogate Town
Huddersfield Town
Hull City
Ipswich Town
Leeds United
Leicester City<
Leyton Orient
Lincoln City
Luton Town
Macclesfield Town
Manchester City
Manchester United
Mansfield Town
MK Dons
Morecambe FC
Newcastle United
Newport County
Northampton Town
Norwich City
Nottingham Forest
Oldham Athletic
Oxford United
Peterborough United
Plymouth Argyle
Port Vale
Portsmouth FC
Preston North End
Queens Park Rangers
Reading FC
Rochdale AFC
Rotherham United
Salford City
Scunthorpe United
Sheffield United
Sheffield Wednesday
Shrewsbury Town
Southampton FC
Southend United
Stevenage FC
Stoke City
Sunderland AFC
Swansea City
Swindon Town FC
Tottenham Hotspur
Tranmere Rover
Walsall FC
West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
Wigan Athletic
Wimbledon AFC
Wolver'ton Wanderers
Wycombe Wanderers

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