Football in England

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Football is the unofficial national sport of England and has a great place in English society . The first professional structures of football were laid here before the sport found supporters around the world.

History and Development

The roots of football can be found in various ball games that were practiced in England centuries ago. However, it was not until the middle of the 19th century that efforts to establish a uniformly accepted set of rules were successful ( see also: History of football ).

The Football Association

The Football Association , commonly known as the "FA", is the defining football organization in England. The Football Association was founded in 1863, making it the oldest football association in the world. All professional English football clubs are required to be members of the FA and thousands of semi-professional and amateur clubs have joined over time.

The organization The Football League , in 1888 launched, was the first professional football league in the world. Since the founding, other leagues have emerged and in the recent past efforts have been made to combine the leagues that have arisen in this way into a pyramid structure in order to enable promotion and relegation. The motivation for this step is to give every club the opportunity to move up to the highest league, regardless of what status the club currently has.

League system


The top English division is the Premier League , to which 20 teams belong. Among them is the English Football League , which is divided into three classes with 24 teams each. These 92 clubs are all fully professional clubs. All 92 are also referred to as league clubs , since up to and including the 1991/1992 season, the Premier League was the fourth division of The Football League as Division One. Clubs outside this group are referred to as non-league clubs , although they play in their “own”, self-contained leagues.

The top tier of "non-league" football is the Football Conference , which includes the National Division as divisions and one tier below that is the Conference North and South with 22 clubs each. Some of these clubs have full professional status, while others are semi-professional . Below the conference some clubs are semi-professional, but the majority are purely amateur clubs.

Below the Football Conference there are three regional football leagues, which are geographically divided but often overlap: the Northern Premier League covers the north of England; the Southern League covering the south (excluding south-east England), Central England and parts of Wales, and the Isthmian League which covers the south-east. Some of these leagues have a Premier League followed by a First Division (with the exception of the Southern League, which has a First Division which is split into North and South).

Only the Isthmian League has a third division, the Second Division, which is on the same level in the league structure as the top divisions of the North West Counties Football League, the Northern Counties East Football League, the Northern League, the Western Football League, the Wessex League, the Sussex County Football League, the Hellenic Football League, the Midland Football Alliance, the United Counties Football League, the Eastern Counties Football League, the Kent League, the Spartan South Midlands Football League, the Combined Counties Football League and the Essex Senior Football League.

Each of these leagues has a different structure of the divisions, but they all have one thing in common: there are always other leagues below them and these cover an ever smaller geographic area. In some areas there are more than 20 levels within the league system so constructed. The leagues that stretch between the fifth and eleventh levels are known collectively as the National League System and are tightly controlled by the FA.

Each league has its own set of rules, but always follows the principle that all clubs play two games against all other league participants and are awarded three points for a win, one point for a draw and no points for a defeat in a game. The table is always sorted according to the number of points, with the club with the highest number of points at the top and the club with the lowest number at the bottom of the table (further rules for sorting with the same number of points vary within the leagues). There are different rules of promotion and relegation and it is theoretically possible for any team to climb or fall to any level. However, there are minimum standards for this, such as the presence of a floodlight system or a certain number of seats in the stadium, which can mean that a club is still denied a sporting promotion.

The Premier League

Premier League logo

The Premier League is the top division in English football and has 20 clubs. Winning the Premier League is considered the greatest national success and leads to qualification for the UEFA Champions League , Europe's largest competition at club level.

The Premier League was founded in 1992 after the top English clubs successfully separated from the "Football League" in an effort to improve their share of the revenue while being independent of lower-class clubs. Further connections to the "Football League" were retained and at the end of each season three clubs from the Premier League were relegated and replaced by three representatives from the Football League Championship .

The runner-up at the end of a Premier League season is currently qualifying, like the winner, directly for the Champions League. The third and fourth placed clubs also qualify, but have to defeat another European opponent drawn from them in a round trip. This means that only two places in the Champions League are guaranteed for English clubs, which number can increase to four. The fifth-placed club has qualified for the UEFA Cup since the 2009/2010 Europa League season, (in the 2006/07 season, Liverpool, although only in fifth place at the end of the 2005/06 season, was not allowed to claim them as the defending champions To exclude the Champions League, to participate again in the competition, but had to enter in the first elimination round). In addition, the sixth and seventh-placed clubs can qualify for the UEFA Cup / Europa League. This is only possible when one of the four best teams from the Premier League wins the FA Cup , the English equivalent of the German DFB Cup , or the EFL Cup . The number of English clubs that qualify for the European competitions is determined by UEFA and is based on the results of previous years.

The Football League / English Football League

Although The Football League (since 2016 English Football League ) is the world's oldest league, it only ranks second in the hierarchy of English football after the top English clubs left in 1992 to form the Premier League . The Football League has 72 members and is divided into three equal divisions: the Football League Championship , Football League One and Football League Two .

Reserve leagues

Many clubs have reserve teams in separate leagues; in some lower regions reserve teams play against first teams from other clubs. The main leagues for reserve teams from professional clubs are the Premier Reserve League , the Pontins Central League , and the Pontins Football Combination .

The system

The representation in the sub-article football league system in England clarifies how the system works. For each division, the official name, the sponsored name (which often differs significantly from the official representation) and the number of clubs playing in the league are given. Clubs of the respective division are promoted to the division (s) above and to the division (s) below.

Cup competitions

The FA Cup trophy

The two most important cup competitions are the FA Cup and the EFL Cup . A few other national cups are aimed at clubs in the various divisions.

The FA Cup

First awarded in 1872, the FA Cup is the oldest and most famous national cup competition in the world. Well over 700 clubs in the higher classes can take part. The FA Community Shield will then be played in a game in August between the FA Cup winners and the English champions.

The EFL Cup

The EFL Cup (until 2016 Football League Cup ) is the second most important English cup competition and is played among 92 clubs in the Premier League and the English Football League. It was held for the first time in 1960/61.

Other cup competitions

The EFL Trophy , currently known by its sponsor's name as the Checkatrade Trophy , is a competition for clubs in Football League One and Football League Two, as well as a number of clubs specially invited from the Football Conference .

The FB Trophy is available to the leading clubs in the classes below the Football League and the FA Vase to clubs that play below these classes. The FA Trophy and FA Vase replace the former FA Amateur Cup , which was the most important competition for amateur clubs for many years. Clubs that play in leagues that are too low even for the FA Vase play the FA National League System Cup . The FA Sunday Cup is a trophy for Sunday League football teams .

Other cup competitions that are currently no longer played include:

After level 11, the cup games are organized and played regionally.

Football in the different regions of England

The most successful soccer regions are mostly anchored in the big cities, although some teams from smaller cities have also celebrated successes in the past.


London is the geographic "football capital" of England with represented in the season 2019/20 five in the Premier League clubs: the Chelsea , the Arsenal , Tottenham Hotspur , West Ham United and Crystal Palace . In the 1950s, successes for London clubs were few and far between, although Tottenham and Chelsea won a total of three championships.

Tottenham Hotspur dominated football in London during the 1960s. In 1961, they became the first English club of the 20th century to win the championship and FA Cup double. They defended the cup the following year and then won the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1963. Another triumph in the FA Cup followed in 1967 and Bill Nicholson's team became one of the best English teams ever. The only club that could keep up to some extent in the 1960s was West Ham United, who won the FA Cup in 1964 and the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1965. West Ham's captain was Bobby Moore , who led England to the world championship title in 1966.

The 1970s were also accompanied by successes for the London clubs. Arsenal were only the second team of the 20th century to win the championship and FA Cup double under the direction of coach Bertie Mee at the time. The Gunners won the FA Cup again in 1979, but by the end of the decade they had fallen behind the best English and European clubs. Tottenham's successes in the 1970s were winning the UEFA Cup in 1971 and the League Cup in 1973, but shortly afterwards they were relegated to the Second Division in 1977, which was then the second English division, although shortly thereafter the promotion succeeded and the club has been uninterrupted ever since plays in the top league. West Ham achieved their success in the 1970s by winning the 1975 FA Cup final when they defeated another club from London, Fulham . Chelsea started the decade as an FA Cup winner in 1970 and a European Cup winner just a year later. Towards the end of the decade the end of the club was close to bankruptcy due to a steadily growing mountain of debt and relegation to the Second Division .

The most successful club in London in the 1980s was Tottenham, who won the FA Cup in 1981 and 1982 as well as the UEFA Cup in 1984. Arsenal won their first ever League Cup in 1987 and that was followed two years later by their first championship in 18 years. which could only be secured in the last few seconds by beating Liverpool over the goal difference. West Ham was also able to enter the list of winners when they secured the FA Cup in 1980. You are the last team to win the cup and not belong to the top English league. The most glorious success of a London club in the 1980s, however, was the sensational 1-0 victory of Wimbledon FC against Liverpool in the FA Cup final in only the eleventh season of Wimbledon as a league club and the second season in the top class. With this victory they prevented the second Liverpool double from the championship and FA Cup in a row, which no club has managed to date.

Arsenal were two-time champions in the 1990s. They won the title of the First Division (today: Premiership) in 1991 with only one defeat in 38 league games and in 1993 they won the two national cup competitions. 1994 was the year of victory in the European Cup Winners' Cup and in 1998 they won the championship and FA Cup double. Chelsea also had good results during this period, winning the FA Cup in 1997, and both the European Cup Winners' Cup and the League Cup a year later. In 2000 she won the first FA Cup of the 21st century and the last final at the old Wembley Stadium . Tottenham Hotspur also celebrated success in the 1990s by winning the FA Cup in 1991 and the League Cup in 1999.

In the new millennium, London clubs have won the Premier League five times. Arsenal FC in 2002 and 2004 and Chelsea FC in 2005, 2006 and 2010 . The Gunners remained undefeated in the 2003/04 season, while Chelsea FC set a point record in the 2004/05 season (95) and conceded only 15 goals, and at the 2010 championship for the first time since 1963 the 100-goal Mark exceeded. Arsenal won the FA Cup three times and Chelsea twice. London clubs also won the League Cup with Chelsea (twice) and Tottenham Hotspur (once). Internationally, Arsenal and Chelsea only made finals for a long time, but not wins: Arsenal lost 2-1 to FC Barcelona in the 2006 Champions League final , while Chelsea lost to Manchester United in the 2008 final Penalty shootout 6: 7 lost. It was not until the 2011/12 season that Chelsea achieved international success: In the final of the Champions League, Chelsea beat Bayern Munich 5-4 on penalties.

Central England

The clubs from the center of England have achieved various successes over the years.

Aston Villa was the second club in English football history to win the championship and FA Cup double. This success in 1897 could not be repeated by any English club for over 60 years. Villa has often been the dominant club in central England, although this was also due to the weakness of the other clubs in the region and Villa played mostly in the 1990s and the second half of the 1980s as the only representative of the Midlands in the English top division. In recent years they have been accompanied by the clubs Birmingham City , West Bromwich Albion and the Wolverhampton Wanderers . Villa is a seven-time FA Cup winner, with the last success dating back to 1957 and being record winners at the time until Tottenham Hotspur first set the record in 1982 and then took it over in 1991. Aston Villa's greatest success in recent history was the championship in 1981 and even winning the European Cup a year later . Then, however, the club developed downwards and rose in 1987. After only one year they managed to get promoted again and they have always been present in the top English league since then. They were runner-up in the 1992/93 season and won the League Cup twice in the 1990s, but otherwise oriented themselves more in the midfield of the Premier League.

West Bromwich Albion is one of the most glorious clubs in English football, although most of them have not belonged to the elite league for the past 25 years. They won the FA Cup twice during the late 19th century and later added other cup wins in 1931, 1954 and 1968. They won the only championship to date in 1920, followed by their only victory in the League Cup in 1966. Although the club has not been able to add another title since 1968, they were able to establish themselves as a top club under Ron Atkinson in the late 1970s and 1980s . They finished fourth in the first division in 1980 and reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup the following year. However, after Atkinson moved to Manchester United , Albion's rapid decline began down to the Third Division, where they were relegated for the first time. In 1993 this flaw could be eliminated by the promotion and after nine seasons in the newly established Division One they returned in 2002 by finishing second at the end of the season in the top division. Since then, promotion and relegation have alternated with each other. In the seasons 02/03, 04/05, 05/06 and 08/09 they played in the Premier League, in the seasons 03/04, 06/07, 07/08 and 09/10 they played a league lower. At the end of the 2004/05 season, the team saved themselves on the last day of the match when they overtook the 3 teams placed before with a win. The team scored 34 points less than any other team that has held the class since the beginning of the three-point rule . With only six wins, this category also has the fewest wins. In the following season, however, the club left luck and as penultimate WBA returned to the second division.

The Wolverhampton Wanderers , like the neighbors and fierce rivals of West Bromwich Albion , are a famous club that has had some difficulties over the past 25 years. The golden era was in the 1950s when they were coached by Stan Cullis and led by team captain Billy Wright . During this time they won three championships, an FA Cup and reached the quarter-finals of the European Cup in the 1959/1960 season. After the FA Cup victory in 1960, the club had to wait 14 years for another title and won the League Cup in 1974, having previously reached the final of the trade fair cup in 1971. After they repeated this success in 1980, the Wolves then remained untitled and belonged to the first division for only three seasons. After relegation in 1981, they were able to celebrate their promotion again only a year later, but afterwards they could not hold the class again. From 1984 they were the second team in history to suffer three successive relegations and then found themselves in the fourth division. During this time, she narrowly escaped bankruptcy in two cases. When Jack Hayward bought the club and a new goalscorer matured in Steve Bull , this negative trend was reversed. By 1989 they were able to return to the second division through two direct promotions, in which they should, however, remain for the next 14 years. In 1995, 1997 and 2002 they narrowly missed promotion to the Premier League, which they then succeeded in 2003. After staying there for only a year and relegating, they failed to qualify for the Premier League again for the next 4 years. It was not until the 2008/09 season that they were promoted again.

Birmingham City is one of the largest football clubs in central England, has a huge crowd and is owned by David Gold , one of the richest men in Britain. They were mostly in the shadow of local rivals Aston Villa and often only lined up behind the Wolves and West Bromwich Albion. The Blues were only able to win one title with the League Cup in 1963 and have never been one of the first six places in the top division. 1986 was the starting point for a 16-year absence from top division football. After Birmingham City even had to go into the third division in 1989, they first returned to the second division in 1992, only to become third class again two years later. After the immediate resurgence in the following year, they finally returned to the House of Lords in 2002 and achieved the highest ranking of all clubs from the Midlands in the first year, which they had not achieved since the 1970s. In the 2005/06 season Birmingham rose again from the Football League Championship to rise again after 3 years in 2008/09.

Coventry City , while located in the west of the Midlands, is often not viewed as a team from the Midlands. Nevertheless, this club has an important place in English football, especially within the last 40 years. After the second division championship in 1967 and the associated promotion to the top division, Coventry stayed in the first division for 34 years despite all the contrary forecasts. The Sky Blues were never at the top of the league during that time, and never finished the league better than sixth in any season, but they did a surprising FA Cup victory in 1987 when they beat Tottenham 3-2. This was Coventry City's first and so far only final appearance and Tottenham subsequently won all seven FA Cup finals. Coventry was a founding member of the Premier League installed in 1992 and played there for a total of nine years, but could never complete a season above eleventh place and benefited from a 3-point deduction by Middlesbrough FC when they were relegated in 1997 . They had less luck at the end of the 2000/01 season when they were relegated from the Premier League. Coventry has been part of the English second division since then.

Another club from the Midlands is Stoke City . Probably the second oldest professional football club in the world has played in the top division time and again since it was founded, but phases in the second and even third English leagues followed. The 2007/08 season saw the club move into the top division for the first time in 23 years and have played in the Premier League since then. The team's greatest success is a victory in the 1972 League Cup.


Manchester is one of the strongest football cities in England and worldwide and almost all historical events in Manchester football are closely associated with Manchester United .

Manchester United won their first title with the English championship in 1908, followed by the FA Cup in 1909 and the second championship in 1911. After that, United remained untitled for 37 years. Between the two world wars, the team shuttled between the first and second leagues and the club always had to struggle with financial problems. The situation did not seem to improve until 1945 with Matt Busby a new coach was hired. Since then, Manchester United has had an almost uninterrupted success story as an English and mostly also a European top team. The first big team consisted of some of Busby's signings and a handful of players from the late 1930s, and ended the untitled period by winning the FA Cup in 1948. The road to success was drawn into the 1950s and was crowned by the championship in 1952. After players like team captain Johnny Carey were getting on in years, a rebuilding was necessary. Instead of buying in new players for a lot of money, Busby decided to replace its aging players with young talents who would soon be known as Busby Babes . This legendary team became English champions again in 1956, but the dreams of further success were suddenly ended by the events of February 6, 1958 in Munich . Eight players died and two more had to end their careers due to injuries when, after a game against the Yugoslav Red Star Belgrade, the plane that was supposed to fly the Manchester United players back to England crashed in a snowstorm during departure . Busby herself had to spend two months in the hospital and returned for the new season. He rebuilt the team around the survivors of the disaster and completed this process until they won the FA Cup in 1963. They were then able to win the championship in 1965 and 1967 and in 1968 were the first English team to win the European Cup. Busby resigned just a year later and was followed by players like Bobby Charlton and Bill Foulkes , while George Best's career also took a significant downward turn due to his increasing alcohol problems. This ended a successful era and Manchester United rose to the second division in 1974, for the first time since the 1930s. Ironically, relegation was sealed by ex-Manchester United player Denis Law when he scored the decisive goal for local rivals Manchester City . After just a year, United returned under new coach Tommy Docherty . They won the FA Cup again in 1977, but Docherty was forced to resign after he was found to have had an affair with the wife of the club's physiotherapist. His successor Dave Sexton worked four years with only moderate success and was fired in 1981. Sexton's successor Ron Atkinson was more successful and was able to win the FA Cups in 1983 and 1985, before he lost his job in 1986. Since then Sir Alex Ferguson has been active as a trainer without interruption and can refer to a long series of titles. This series began with winning the FA Cup in 1990 and the first European title win by an English club after the disaster at Heysel Stadium with the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1991. The first championship since 1967 was within reach in 1992, but they were ultimately defeated by Leeds United and had to settle for the League Cup. United has won eight championships since the Premier League was launched, with the FA Cup added in 1994 and 1996. However, the club was able to achieve its greatest success in 1999, when the only triple in English football history of championship, FA Cup victory and Champions League title was won and became an accolade for Ferguson. To date, Manchester United has won 16 championships, 11 FA Cup victories, two European national championship titles, a cup winners' title and a League Cup, which has not yet been surpassed by any other team.

Although Manchester City was mostly overshadowed by neighboring Manchester United, this club also had some moments of success. They have won four championships, five FA Cup trophies, a European Cup Winners' Cup and a League Cup, with the last mentioned success in 1976 marking the final title. In the past few years they have earned a reputation as an elevator team after having been promoted and relegated from the leagues several times. In the 1980s, they commuted permanently between the first and second division after a series of responsible coaches invested a lot, but could not turn it into success. In the 1990s, City began as one of the top ten teams in England, but found themselves immediately later in the relegation battle and had to go to the second division after the 1995/96 season. Two years later, the club even rose to the third division for the first time in its own history. After two consecutive promotions, the club celebrated its comeback in the Premier League in the 2000/01 season and although they had to return to the second division immediately afterwards, they established themselves in England's elite class through the immediately following promotion.


Liverpool is the second strongest English football city after Manchester and has been represented by one or both teams since the Football League began in 1888.

The Liverpool is the most successful English football club. The big time began in 1959 when Bill Shankly took the post of coach. Since that time, Liverpool has achieved a level of fame that only the Beatles can compare. Having previously won five championships, they first won the FA Cup in 1964 and by the time Shankly resigned in 1974 he added four championships, two FA Cups and a UEFA Cup to the collection. Shankly's successor, Bob Paisley, was even more successful and his nine-year tenure included six championships, three League Cup editions, an FA Cup, another UEFA Cup and even three European Cups; a record that was not followed by anything comparable until 2001 under Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United era. Paisley resigned in 1983 and new coach Joe Fagan only stayed two seasons at Liverpool FC. However, he said goodbye with a unique triple of the English championship, national championship cup and league cup. Fagan's resignation coincided with the loss of the league title when they were succeeded by local rivals Everton FC . Much more serious, however, were the incidents shortly before kick-off in the final of the national championship competition against Juventus Turin in the Heysel Stadium in Brussels . Violent riots in the stands resulted in 39 dead Juventus Turin fans and led to a five-year exclusion for all English clubs from European football competitions, which in 1990 was extended by one year for Liverpool. Regardless of the suspension, Liverpool developed splendidly on home soil under Fagan's successor and then only 33-year-old player-coach Kenny Dalglish . In his first season, Dalglish won the championship and FA Cup double. After the championship in 1988, the renewed FA Cup victory in 1989 and again a championship in 1990, he surprisingly ended his time in Liverpool. He was replaced by Graeme Souness , another former Liverpool player, whose three-year aegis with the FA Cup in 1992 saw only one title and the dismissal in January 1994. The next coach was Roy Evans , who had worked on the Liverpool coaching staff since the 1970s. He won the League Cup with the team in 1995, but was replaced by France's Gérard Houllier in 1998 after he failed to bring the long-awaited next championship title to Anfield . Houllier's time brought no further improvement in this regard, although the triple of League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup in 2001 was undoubtedly a highlight. This was followed by the Spaniard Rafael Benítez , who won the Champions League with the club in the 2004/05 season and thus ensured that five English clubs were represented in the European elite league for the first time in the 2005/06 season (Liverpool were defending champions, who had not qualified for the next season, granted a special arrangement, whereby they got a place in the Champions League qualification, where they prevailed). After he only reached seventh place in the table with the "Reds" in the 2009/10 season, he was replaced by Roy Hodgson .

The Everton was often in the shadow of the great neighbor from Liverpool, whose team only a few hundred meters on the other side of Stanley Park plays. Everton originally played at Anfield until 1892, when a dispute with their squire caused the club to move to Goodison Park , while Liverpool moved to Anfield. Everton won a number of championships and FA Cups in the 1920s, 1930s and 1960s and are the only team to have played in the top division for 100 years. The last great time fell in the 1980s when Goodison was one of the most feared stadiums for the opponents. The coach Howard Kendall led the team at the time to the championship and victory in the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1985 and only the defeat against Manchester United in the FA Cup prevented the triple. After the Heysel Stadium disaster, they were deprived of their place in the European competition just as they were in 1987 when they were again English champions. Since then, Everton has only won the FA Cup in 1995 under Joe Royle . As fourth place in the 2004/05 season under the coach David Moyes, they cut a season in the table for the first time in 20 years than their local rivals Liverpool FC.

The northeast

The north-east of England has seen some exciting phases in football, most of which have been some time ago.

The Sunderland AFC is the biggest club in the North East of England. They have won five championships, although the last one is dated from 1935. Between 1888 and 1958 Sunderland was permanently in the major league before relegation to the second division had to be accepted. Since then Sunderland has been on the road with variable success and was involved in one of the biggest surprises in 1973 when they won the FA Cup as a second division team and defeated Leeds United 1-0. Bob Stokoe became one of the most famous English coaches. Sunderland's low point took place in 1987 when they had to relegate to the third division for the first time in history as third from bottom of the second division and the subsequent defeat in the playoff games. After only one year they returned to the Second Division and after two more years they were able to celebrate the comeback in the top division, after they were previously defeated in the fight for promotion against Swindon Town , but benefited from the fact that the opponent was licensed for the first division was denied due to financial problems. After only one season Sunderland rose again and in addition to a final participation in the FA Cup in 1992, the first half of the 1990s was problematic when a number of coaches came and went within a very short time. Peter Reid took over the club in 1996 when the club had recently been promoted back to the Premier League as a second division champion. The direct relegation was followed two years later by an advancement as champions of Division One. Two notable seasons followed, as the club finished seventh in both 2000 and 2001. This was followed by a slump and after the relegation only just achieved, relegation followed as the worst team in the history of the Premier League with only 19 points in four wins and 21 goals. Reid's long time as coach came to an end and Howard Wilkinson only took over the team for a period of five months. In March 2003 Mick McCarthy took over the coaching post. He significantly rejuvenated the demoralized team and his work paid off in 2005 when he returned to the Premier League when they left the newly established Football League Championship as champions. The renewed comeback in the top division turned out to be very unfortunate and the AFC Sunderland rose again with only 15 points from 38 games in the second division. In the 2006/07 season Sunderland rose again and has since played permanently in the Premier League. Between 1899 and 1997 Sunderland played in historic Roker Park . Now they are at home in the Stadium of Light , which at the time of its construction was the largest football stadium after Manchester City's Maine Road , which was built in 1923.

Newcastle United are another big club from the North East. They last won the English championship in 1927 and although they were serious contenders for the title in the 1995/96 and 1996/97 seasons, they missed the second championship title. In the 1995/96 season they were already equipped with a clear lead, but gambled it away and had to let Manchester United overtake them in the table. The last big trophy that could be brought to the local St. James' Park was the UEFA Cup in 1969 and since winning the FA Cup in 1955 the club has not won another title in England. Nevertheless, Newcastle was permanently represented in the first division from 1993 to 2009 and employed some great players such as Alan Shearer , David Ginola , Les Ferdinand , Faustino Asprilla , Jermaine Jenas and Michael Owen . In 1996, the then current transfer record was broken when Newcastle Shearer signed for £ 15 million from Blackburn Rovers . In the 2008/09 season, however, Newcastle rose.

The Middlesbrough FC is the third major English club in the Northeast. Most of the time in his football history he stayed in the top two leagues. In 1986, the club had to make its way to the third division for the first time and was on the verge of financial collapse. However, it was saved by a new owner who laid the foundation for a new era in Teesside . Just months after de facto bankruptcy, Middlesbrough rose again to the second division and was able to return to the elite class only a year later. Although they were relegated again immediately afterwards, the club experienced a comeback in Ayresome Park like a phoenix from the ashes . Middlesbrough was a founding member of the 1992 Premier League, but they were relegated in their first season. They returned there in 1995 as the second division champions under the new coach Bryan Robson and said goodbye to Ayresome Park to move into the new Riverside Stadium . Robson succeeded in attracting top international players to the club, including three Brazilians: Branco , Emerson and Juninho Paulista . Italian striker Fabrizio Ravanelli was also a spectacular signing. Regardless of this, the club rose again at the end of the 1996/97 season, which was also caused by a 3-point deduction imposed by the FA after Middlesbrough unceremoniously postponed a game against Blackburn in December and this with dramatic Justified personnel problems due to injuries and illnesses. In the same year Middlesbrough lost the two English Cup finals. Middlesbrough rose back to the Premier League in 1998 and was there until the 2008/09 season. Under coach Steve McClaren , 'Boro' won the club's first title in 2004 with the League Cup and secured a place in the UEFA Cup. After the club finished the 2004/05 season in seventh place, they qualified for the UEFA Cup twice and in a row and even made it to the final, where they were beaten 4-0 to Sevilla FC in Eindhoven . Then things went steadily downhill for the club, which ended with relegation in 2008/09.


The most popular club in Yorkshire is Leeds United . Other well-known clubs in the area include Sheffield United , Sheffield Wednesday , Barnsley FC , Bradford City , Doncaster Rovers and Hull City . The latter is currently the only team represented in the Premier League that was able to rise to the top class for the first time in the 2008/09 season. The popular clubs Leeds United and Sheffield United are currently only represented in the lower leagues.

Successful small town clubs

The Blackburn Rovers, from Blackburn , Lancashire , are one of the most famous clubs in English football history. In the late 19th century and up until World War I , the Rovers were multiple English champions and FA Cup winners. With the FA Cup win in 1928 they ended a successful period and moved between the first two divisions for the next 40 years without showing any great ambition to win a title, apart from the FA Cup finals in 1960. In the In the 1970s, Blackburn then oscillated between the second and third division and was represented in the second division throughout the 1980s. In 1991 the steel manufacturer Jack Walker took over the association and ushered in a new era. Walker offered Kenny Dalglish, former Liverpool FC coach, an open checkbook in the event of athletic direction, and in just a few years the Rovers were back in the Premier League with a host of top footballers including Graeme Le Saux , Alan Shearer, Chris Sutton and Stuart Ripley . A dream came true in 1995 when Blackburn was able to win the English championship again after 1914. Dalglish's successors Ray Harford , Roy Hodgson and Bryan Kidd could not continue this success and the Rovers were relegated from the Premier League in 1999. They returned two years later under Graeme Souness and with a League Cup victory. The Rovers played continuously in the Premier League until the end of the 2011/12 season .

Ipswich Town , based in Ipswich in the middle of the county of Suffolk , was the best promoted team that won the English championship in the 1961/62 season under coach Alf Ramsey and thus deceived all experts who expected an established club to be the title holder. When Ramsey then left the club to look after the English national team and lead them to the world championship title, Ipswich slipped back into the second division. In the 1970s they returned to the first division under Bobby Robson , who later also became a national team coach. Ipswich Town won the FA Cup in 1978 and the UEFA Cup in 1981, before Robson took over the English team in 1982, ushering in a new decline as it had done 20 years earlier. In 1986 Ipswich rose to the second division and returned to the formation of the Premier League. After relegation in 1995 Ipswich returned after three defeats in the playoff rounds previously in the fourth attempt after the end of the 1999/2000 season under the new coach George Burley . After the fifth place as a promoted team and the associated qualification for the UEFA Cup, Burley was named coach of the year in England for this achievement. A setback followed in that the club had to relegate after the 2001/02 season, but received a consolation in the form of a UEFA Cup place after UEFA allowed the club to participate in the competition via fair play . Since then, Ipswich has played in the respective second division.

The Burnley FC from Burnley in Lancashire was English champion in 1960, but played since the 1970s outside the top division. The negative streak continued in the 1980s and had its low point in the descent to the fourth division in 1985 and was almost undercut in the two following years when the club was only just able to secure membership of the Football League via relegation there. When they finished first in the fourth division in 1992, they were the second team, alongside the Wolves, to win all four classes of the Football League. Burnley completed the next eight seasons in the third division (then: Division Two) before making the jump to the second division (Division One) in 2000. In this league they played in the following years and were trained first by Stan Ternent and then by Steve Coterill . For the 2005/06 season promotion to the Premier League was formulated as a goal and, according to experts, the club had a suitably competitive squad. At the end of the season, the team had to be 17th, however, happy not to have been relegated. In the 2008/09 season, Burnley FC, after narrowly missing a direct promotion place in the Premier League, after victories against Reading FC and Sheffield United in the playoffs, the promotion to the top English division.

The club Wigan Athletic in Wigan in Lancashire is owned by the former Blackburn Rovers player and owner of the JJB Sports chain Dave Whelan . You play for the first time in the Premier League after the promotion of the 2004/05 season. Wigan Athletic became a member of the Football League in 1978 and spent the next 25 years in the lower classes of the Football League, until they were promoted to the second division in 2003 and only two years later under coach Paul Jewell the promotion to the elite class as a runner-up behind Sunderland succeeded. In the Premier League, the newcomer introduced himself extremely well and was able to reach a comfortable tenth place in the table as well as the final in the English League Cup, which they clearly lost 4-0 to Manchester United. Wigan has kept the class every season since then.

The Bolton Wanderers are a club from the north west of England. The four-time FA Cup winner played permanently in the Premier League from 2001 to 2012 after several promotions and relegations.

The Portsmouth , which is located on the south coast, was a two-time English champion (1949 and 1950) and two-time FA Cup winner. Since their promotion in 2002/03 they have played permanently in the Premier League. The last major success is the 2007/08 FA Cup win against Cardiff City .

The English national football team

The English national soccer team played the very first international soccer game in 1872. The greatest triumph was winning the soccer World Cup in 1966 in his own country (see also: Wembley goal ).

Sven-Göran Eriksson had coached the English national football team since the beginning of 2001. England has been represented seven times at the European Championships and the team has already participated thirteen times at the World Championships . However, she was only able to win the title once at the 1966 World Cup in her own country. After the 2006 World Cup in Germany , Steve McClaren Eriksson took over as national coach in August 2006 . Fabio Capello coached the team from 2007 to 2012 . However, due to the demotion of the then captain John Terry by the FA, Capello resigned from his office. Gareth Southgate now trains the Three Lions .

The English team is always one of the favorites in international competitions, but they did not manage to qualify for the Euro 2008 because they did not make it into the top two of their group in the qualifying round (1st Croatia / 2nd Russia), which was already controversial coach McClaren finally cost his office.

The "Three Lions" are said to be weak on penalties. That is the result of lost penalty duels at the European Championships 2004 (semi-final against Portugal ), 1996 (semi-final against Germany ) and 2012 (quarter-final against Italy ), as well as the World Championships 1990 (semi-final against Germany), 1998 (round of 16 against Argentina ) and 2006 ( Quarter-finals against Portugal). They only won a penalty shoot-out at the 2018 World Cup (round of 16 against Colombia ).

Participation of England in the European Football Championship

England has hosted the European Football Championship once (1996).

Participation of England in the World Cup

England has hosted the Football World Cup once (1966).

Women's soccer

Though women's football has been around in England for over 100 years, it wasn't until the 1990s that the sport became popular. As in many other countries, the number of female players is increasing continuously. It is only in the more recent past that the sport has received more serious attention through televised coverage (e.g. through the FA Women's Cup final , international games played in larger stadiums, and in another way through the British comedy Kick it like Beckham ). The highlight of this development was the organization of the 2005 European Women's Football Championship by the English Association .


English women's football experienced its first boom in the period from World War I to 1922. In particular, the team of Dick Kerr's Ladies from Preston attracted tens of thousands of spectators to the stadiums. On December 26, 1920, the team played at Goodison Park in Liverpool in front of 53,000 spectators. Over 10,000 more spectators had to be sent home because the stadium was sold out.

In 1922, the Football Association banned women's football matches from being held on the fields of FA affiliated clubs. Officials gave the FA two reasons for their decision: On the one hand it was of the opinion that women were not physically suitable for the soccer game. On the other hand, it was claimed that playing football would put women at risk of childbearing potential. The real reasons, however, were that some of the women's games were played in front of over 10,000 spectators and thus became a great competition to the men's clubs.

The ban was not lifted until the early 1970s. In 1971 a cup winner was determined for the first time. In 1991 the national league and the league cup were added.


In England, women's football is usually played in legally independent clubs that are associated with men's football clubs. For example, the women at Arsenal London operate as “Arsenal Ladies Football Club” (Arsenal LFC for short). Independent women's football clubs, as there are many in Germany, are a rarity.

The club teams belong to the top European group. In the UEFA Women's Cup , the English representatives have reached at least the quarter-finals every time. In the 2006/07 season , Arsenal London became the first English team to reach the final. In April 2007, the team won against Swedish champions Umeå IK in 2 games 1-0 and 0-0.


The top of the English league system in women's football is the FA Women's Super League .

Schematically, the league pyramid looks like this:

step league
1 FA Women's Super League

8 clubs

2 FA Women's Super League 2nd

10 clubs

3 FA Women's Premier League Northern Division

12 clubs

FA Women's Premier League Southern Division

12 clubs

4th WPL Northern Division 1

12 clubs

WPL Midlands Division 1

12 clubs

WPL South West Division 1st

12 clubs

WPL South East Division 1

12 clubs

5 Women's Regional Football League's
6th County level 1 leagues
7th County level 2 leagues
8th County level 3 leagues

Cup competitions

In addition to the championship, there are three cup competitions. The FA Women's Cup is the most prestigious competition in English women's football. All clubs affiliated with the Football Association can take part in this competition . Record winners are Arsenal London and Southampton FC with eight wins each.

Next up is the Premier League Cup , a league cup competition for clubs in the first and second division. The record winner is Arsenal London with eight wins.

After all, at the start of the season, the reigning champions and the reigning cup winners meet in the FA Women's Charity Shield . Here too, Arsenal London is the record winner with three wins.

National team

The greatest success of the English selection was second place in the 1984 European Women's Football Championship . So far, the national team has only participated in a world championship once. In 1995 the team was eliminated in the quarterfinals against Germany . The national team qualified for the 2007 World Cup and was eliminated again in the quarterfinals. England is currently ranked 10th in the FIFA world rankings (as of April 2016).


The 57: 0 defeat of Burton Brewers against Willenhall Town on 4 March 2001 in Division One North of the West Midland Regional Women's Football League is probably the British record for the heaviest defeat in a football game.

Beyond organized sport

Football in England is not just a spectator sport or a domain for the official leagues and clubs. As a popular sport, it has a large number of active people on the most varied of levels, which are designed in many ways.

See also

Individual evidence