20 Facts About English Football League


English Football League is a league of professional football clubs from England and Wales.

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The operations centre of the Football League is in Preston, while its commercial office is in London.

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The Football League was founded in 1888 by Aston Villa director William McGregor, originally with 12 member clubs.

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Financial considerations led to a major shake-up in 1992, when in a step to maximise their revenue the leading members of the Football League broke away to form their own competition, the FA Premier League, which was renamed the Premier League in 2007.

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The name "Association English Football League Union" was proposed by McGregor but this was felt too close to "Rugby English Football League Union".

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Unlike in most other Leagues in Europe, no single English club managed to remain ever-present in the division during the one hundred and four years of its existence as the top division in the country.

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English Football League was suspended for four seasons during the First World War and resumed in 1919 with the First and Second Divisions expanded to 22 clubs.

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In 1920, leading clubs from the Southern English Football League joined the English Football League to form a new Third Division, which in 1921 was renamed the Third Division South upon the further addition of more clubs in a new Third Division North.

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English Football League was suspended once more in 1939 with the outbreak of the Second World War, this time for seven seasons.

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The fortunes of the First Division clubs suffered a fresh blow in 1985 when all English Football League clubs were banned from European competitions as a result of the Heysel disaster, where crowd trouble involving Liverpool fans at the European Cup final in Belgium resulted in 39 spectator deaths during a crush in a Juventus fan section.

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The first £2million player transferred between English Football League clubs was Tony Cottee, who moved from West Ham United to Everton in July 1988 – although several players had already been sold by English Football League clubs to foreign clubs for even higher fees.

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However, following the formation of the Premier English Football League, it became increasingly difficult for newly promoted clubs to establish themselves in the top flight.

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In 1892 the Football League absorbed 11 of the 12 clubs in the rival Football Alliance after it folded, meaning the League now had enough clubs to form another division.

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In 1920 the Football League admitted the clubs from the first division of the Southern League and Grimsby Town, who had failed to be re-elected to the Second Division the season before and been replaced by Cardiff City .

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In 2004, the Football League renamed its divisions: the First Division became the Football League Championship, the Second Division became Football League One and the Third Division became Football League Two.

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Football League Play-offs are used as a means of determining the final promotion place from each of the league's three divisions.

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Since 1983 the English Football League has accepted lucrative sponsorships for its main competition.

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In 1992 the threat was realised as the First Division clubs left to establish the FA Premier English Football League and signed a contract for exclusive live coverage of their games with Sky TV.

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On 18 September 2008, the Football League unveiled a new Coca-Cola Football League podcast, hosted by BBC Radio 5 Live's Mark Clemmit to be released every Thursday.

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Football League Board meets monthly and consists of two independent directors, three directors representing the Championship, two representing League One, and one representing League Two.

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