(EFL) English Football League Pyramid System

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(EFL) The English football pyramid is one of the deepest on earth, with the entire system powering the professional league at the top of the pyramid. At the top is the Premier League.

Here, Gold99 takes a comprehensive look at the entire English Football League system, giving readers a better understanding of each level of the (EFL) English Football League and how it affects other levels.

better understanding of each level of the (EFL) English Football League and how it affects other levels

What does EFL stand for?

EFL is the abbreviation of English Football League. It is the world’s first football league pyramid system, providing a blueprint for domestic leagues around the world to imitate and evolve into large-scale events.

Who founded the EFL?

William McGregor is widely regarded as the father of modern football and the founder of the English Football League.

He pioneered the original league rivalry, bringing 12 of the country’s most prestigious football clubs together to schedule home and away games each season. McGregor’s talent and insight helped form the basis of the Football League’s pyramid system.

Different english football leagues

The football league in England is divided into several levels: professional league, semi-professional league and amateur league.The top league is the Premier League, while the Championship, League One and League Two are the remaining professional leagues in England’s official football league pyramid.

The Second Division was followed by the National League, the first of the semi-professional leagues, although most teams now have full-time players.The National League has two tiers: National League and the second tier National League North/South, covering both halves of the country.

Next up is the seventh tier, consisting of leagues covering the four regional corners of the country:

  • Northern Premier League
  • Southern League Central Division
  • Southern Division of the Confederacy of the South
  • Isthmian League Premier League

After the seventh level, there are semi-professional leagues and countless amateur leagues across the country.

A guide to the EFL football league system at all levels

Super league

The Premier League is the most prestigious competition in English football. 20 teams compete for the grand prize, with the bottom three teams relegated to the second tier.


The second largest domestic competition in the English Football League system is the Championship, with 24 teams competing against each other.

The top two teams in the tournament advance, with the remaining four teams participating in the play-offs. The winner of the play-offs gets the third promotion spot. The bottom three of the 24 teams were subsequently relegated.

League One

As with the tournament, 24 teams compete to qualify. The top two teams that win the match will be automatically promoted, and the next four teams will compete in the play-offs for the third qualification.

A slight departure from the Championship is that the bottom four teams are relegated – making it one of the most brutal tiers of the English Football League pyramid.

Alliance 2

Similar to the Senior League, League Two has 24 teams competing for promotion.

However, the three teams with the highest points will automatically advance, and the next four teams will compete for the fourth place in the play-offs. The bottom two teams were relegated.

National league

The remaining tiers of English football provide support to the National League: the last tier before the EFL.

The winner of the National League will advance and then the next six teams will compete in a play-off to qualify for a second promotion. The bottom four teams are then relegated to the North or South Division.

National league north and south

The teams are divided into North Team and South Team based on geographical location. Two tournaments are played simultaneously, with 22 teams each taking part. The winner of each division will advance to the National League, and then the next six teams will compete in the play-offs for the second promotion spot. A total of four teams qualify for the National League. The bottom four teams in each division are subsequently relegated.

If the teams in the North and South Divisions are not equal due to promotion and relegation, teams will be transferred between the two divisions according to the location of the country until an even number appears.

Northern and Southern Premier League, Southern Premier Central and Isthmian League

There are four leagues running in parallel in Division 7; Northern Premier League, Southern Football League Central Premier League, Southern Football League Southern Premier League and Isthmian League Premier League.

There are 22 teams in each league competing for the championship and automatic promotion.

The next four teams will compete in the play-offs for the second promotion spot in each division. The bottom four teams are then relegated to Division 8. As with the National League North and South, if there is an uneven number of clubs in each division then transfers will occur.

Bet on (EFL) English Football League at Gold99 and bet on different events

Bet on (EFL) English Football League at Gold99 and bet on different events​

There is a tight-knit old boys network among Football League chiefs who will religiously vote to keep their friends’ teams in the fourth tier. There is no doubt that I feel the unwritten situation in football boardrooms: “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours|”.

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