20 Facts About 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 Football League Union" was proposed by McGregor but this was felt too close to "Rugby Football League Union".

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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 Football League joined the 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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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 newly formed top division would have commercial independence from the Football Association and the Football League, giving the FA Premier League license to negotiate its own broadcast and sponsorship agreements.

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

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In spite of the economic prosperity between 1992 and 2004, many Football League clubs did run into financial problems during this time, although none of them were forced out of business.

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Former Football League clubs include all 20 of the current members of the Premier League along with various relegated, removed or defunct clubs.

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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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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 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 Football League and signed a contract for exclusive live coverage of their games with Sky TV.

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Many Football League matches are broadcast to local audiences via BBC Local Radio stations or by commercial stations.

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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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