UK Football Leagues

The League System

UK football leagues work as a pyramid system. The most prestigious leagues are at the top, and the lesser ones are lower down. Teams can advance up through to higher leagues if they are promoted. Conversely, if they perform poorly, they will be relegated down the pyramid and replaced.

Other reasons for being relegated can include failing to meet a set number of standards. For instance, if a club does not have appropriate facilities, this can affect their position. So too can issues related to club finances. The conduct of players can also have an effect.

The system is fair in theory because it allows lowly amateur teams to possibly rise up to the highest of football leagues. However, this can be much more unlikely in practice. Despite this, the pyramid is in a constant state of flux, with teams moving up and down the leagues every year.

The top leagues have a nationwide scope. Lower down the pyramid leagues become more local and cover smaller areas of the UK. The highest leagues have one division whereas lower ones can have multiple. Tournaments for smaller leagues also tend to be less regular compared to the top ones.

Premier League

The Premier League is the highest on the pyramid. It contains 20 teams. Each year the bottom three teams get relegated. The member clubs become shareholders. Annually, seasons tend to run between August and May. 38 matches take place (a home and away game for each team.) Since its inception, the Premier League has featured 47 different English and Welsh clubs. The television rights for broadcasting Premier Leagues are highly sought after. Corporations such as Sky and BT have spent millions in the past for it.

English Football League Championship

This is the second-highest overall division and the highest of the English Football League (EFL). It contains 24 teams who compete to get into the top spot. Each season the two best teams are promoted to the Premier League. The lowest three teams are relegated down to League One.

Popular League Teams

League games will tend to draw large crowds as well as a significant TV viewership. Because of this, the teams that play in the big leagues have received a good level of international fame. Fans can often be seen wearing licensed club shirts and other merchandise.

  • Manchester United

Based in the Old Trafford area of Greater Manchester, this football team has won the most trophies of any UK club. Over the years the “Red Devils” have attained 20 League trophies, 5 League cups, 21 FA Shields and 12 FA cups. During the 1960s this team rose to fame thanks to the management of Matt Busby.

  • Arsenal

Arsenal Football Club hail from Islington, London. They regularly play in the Premier League. Their awards have included 13 League titles, 15 FA shields, and a League Centenary Trophy. This team had the highest average league position of the 20th century. Arsenal members are easily recognisable thanks to their red shirts and white sleeves.

  • Chelsea F.C.

Chelsea has been around since 1905 and also plays in the top football division. They have won 8 FA Cups, 5 League Cups, a UEFA Champions League and a UEFA Super Cup. They are based at Stamford Bridge in London. Chelsea’s kit includes a royal blue shirt.