This page aims to show the complete history of admission to the Football League. The term "Football League" is take to include the Premiership. You can view full details by year, or full details by club
Up until 1988, the bottom teams in the Football League had to apply for re-election to the League. Any aspiring non-league clubs with seek election alongside them
In the 40 years of elections after World War two, just seven teams failed to be re-elected
In the 50 seasons of football after WWII, 17 teams were relegated from the league
From 1988 to 2002 promotion between the league and the conference was on an automatic one-up one-down basis, subject to ground and financial criertia
Between 1993 and 1997, the Fotball League changed the deadline by which these criteria had to be met, resulting in no promotions
From 2003, a two-up-down system was introduced, with the Conference having play-offs amongst the 2nd to 5th placed teams to decide which gained the second promotion spot.
Of the 24 teams that have joined the League since WWII, eight have since been relegated. The shortest gap between promotion and relegation was four years. (Halifax going up in 1998 and back down in 2002)
Of the 17 teams that hav left the League since WWII, seven have subsequently rejoined. Darlington (1992 / 1993) and Shrewsbury (2003 / 2004) are the only two to re-join after one season.
This page would simply have been impossible without the help of Footballsite.co.uk. There's a lot there, including detailed club histories.
The following table summarises the reasons why a club left or joined the League.
Division 2 Creation
Division 3 Creation
Division 3N Creation
Clubs in League
*Please note that the word "relegated" is used on the other related sections to mean not re-elected or relegated. I intend to change this soon, so that things are consistant with the above table.