List of former Football League clubs

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An action scene from a soccer match, played on a sun-soaked summer's day. Before an old-fashioned terraced stand packed to the rafters with fans, mostly clad in red, a penalty kick has just been taken by a player wearing a red shirt and white shorts. The ball is nestled in the bottom-right-hand corner of the net, with the goalkeeper helpless on the opposite side of his goal. Behind the penalty taker, a few players from each team can be seen on the edge of the penalty area.
Boston United were relegated from the Football League after a 3–1 defeat to Wrexham on the final day of the 2006–07 season, ending a five-year spell in the League. Wrexham themselves would be relegated in the following season, ending an 87-year spell.

The Football League comprises professional football clubs from England and Wales. It was established in 1888 and in 1892 the Second Division was formed, with the existing division being renamed the First Division.[1] The First World War caused the League to be postponed from 1915 to 1919 and two seasons following its resumption a Third Division was introduced for one season, before being regionalised as North and South.[2] The 1958–59 season saw the introduction of a Fourth Division, with the top 12 clubs from the Third Division North and South from the previous season starting in a national Third Division, and the bottom 12 starting in the Fourth Division.[3] The introduction of the Premier League, which superseded the First Division as the top-flight of English football, caused a reorganisation of the English football league system in 1992, with the Fourth Division being disbanded.[4] The First Division, Second Division and Third Division were rebranded as the Championship, League One and League Two respectively ahead of the 2004–05 season, which came as part of a sponsorship with Coca-Cola.[4]

From the 1986–87 season, the club finishing bottom of the Football League's basement division was relegated to the Conference National, the highest level of non-League football,[5] depending on the ability of the Conference champions to meet FA requirements.[6] Before this, clubs would lose their League status by failing to gain re-election after finishing in the bottom four of the bottom division.[7] Since the 2002–03 season, the bottom two clubs of League Two face relegation to the Conference.[8]

The list includes clubs that are current members of the Premier League, who lost their Football League status upon promotion, and those which lost their status by other means. This includes clubs which have become defunct, merged with another club or have been relegated to a lower position in the pyramid.

Clubs[edit]

The tables show the first and last seasons in which each club competed in the League. Some clubs' membership was intermittent between their first and last seasons. Clubs shown in bold were among the founder members of the League. As of 2014, the founder member clubs playing in the League are Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Derby County, Notts County, Preston North End, and Wolverhampton Wanderers. Notts County and Preston have continuously been League members, whereas the others have played in the Premier League at one time or another.

Three former members of the old Football League Division One no longer play in the Football League (or Premier League): Bradford Park Avenue, Darwen and Glossop.

Current members of the Premier League (2014–15)[edit]

Club First League
season
Last League
season
Ref(s)
Arsenal 1893–94 1991–92 [9]
Aston Villa 1888–89 1991–92 [10]
Burnley 1888–89 2013–14 [11]
Chelsea 1905–06 1991–92 [12]
Crystal Palace 1920–21 2012–13 [13]
Everton 1888–89 1991–92 [14]
Hull City 1905–06 2012–13 [15]
Leicester City 1894–95 2013–14 [16]
Liverpool 1893–94 1991–92 [17]
Manchester City 1892–93 2001–02 [18]
Manchester United 1892–93 1991–92 [19]
Newcastle United 1893–94 2009–10 [20]
Queens Park Rangers 1920–21 2013–14 [21]
Southampton 1920–21 2011-12 [22]
Stoke City 1888–89 2007–08 [23]
Sunderland 1890–91 2006–07 [24]
Swansea City 1920–21 2010–11 [25]
Tottenham Hotspur 1908–09 1991–92 [26]
West Bromwich Albion 1888–89 2009–10 [27]
West Ham United 1919–20 2011–12 [28]

Other former member clubs[edit]

Club First League
season
Last League
season
Reason Current status Ref(s)
Aberdare Athletic 1921–22 1926–27 Not re-elected Defunct [29]
Accrington 1888–89 1892–93 Resigned Defunct [30]
Accrington Stanley 1921–22 1961–62 Resigned Defunct, but a new Accrington Stanley formed in 1968 and are playing in Football League Two [31]
Aldershot 1932–33 1991–92[A] Liquidated Defunct, Aldershot Town later formed and are playing in Conference Premier [32]
Aldershot Town 2008–09 2012–13 Relegated Playing in Conference Premier [33]
Ashington 1921–22 1928–29 Not re-elected Playing in the Northern League Division One [34]
Barnet 1991–92 2012–13 Relegated Playing in the Conference Premier [35]
Barrow 1921–22 1971–72 Not re-elected Playing in the Conference North [36]
Bootle 1892–93 1892–93 Resigned Defunct. A new club, formed as Langton in 1953, changed name to Bootle in 1973, and now playing in the North West Counties Football League Premier Division [37]
Boston United 2002–03 2006–07 Relegated Playing in the Conference North [38]
Bradford Park Avenue 1908–09 1969–70 Not re-elected Defunct, revived version of the club playing in the Conference North [39]
Bristol Rovers 1920–21 2013–14 Relegated Playing in the Conference Premier [40]
Burton Swifts 1892–93 1900–01 Merged with Burton Wanderers to form Burton United Defunct, a successor club formed in 1950 Burton Albion F.C. plays in Football League 2 [41]
Burton United 1901–02 1906–07 Not re-elected Defunct, a successor club formed in 1950 Burton Albion F.C. plays in Football League 2 [42]
Burton Wanderers 1894–95 1896–97 Not re-elected; later merged with Burton Swifts to form Burton United Defunct, a successor club formed in 1950 Burton Albion F.C. plays in Football League 2 [43]
Chester City 1931–32 2008–09 Relegated Defunct, Chester later formed and are playing in the Conference Premier [44]
Darlington 1921–22 2009–10 Relegated Defunct, Darlington 1883 playing in the Northern Premier League Division One North [45]
Darwen 1891–92 1898–99 Resigned Defunct, AFC Darwen later formed and are playing in the North West Counties Football League Division One [46]
Durham City 1921–22 1927–28 Not re-elected Playing in the Northern League Division One [47]
Gainsborough Trinity 1896–97 1911–12 Not re-elected Playing in the Conference North [48]
Gateshead 1930–31 1959–60 Not re-elected Defunct, revived version of the club playing in the Conference Premier [49]
Glossop 1898–99 1914–15 Not re-elected Playing in the North West Counties Football League Premier Division [50][51]
Grimsby Town 1892–93 2009–10 Relegated Playing in the Conference Premier [52]
Halifax Town 1921–22 2001–02 Relegated Defunct, Halifax Town later formed and are playing in the Conference Premier [53]
Hereford United 1972–73 2011–12 Relegated Defunct [54]
Kidderminster Harriers 2000–01 2004–05 Relegated Playing in the Conference Premier [55]
Leeds City 1905–06 1919–20[B] Expelled Liquidated [56]
Lincoln City 1892–93 2010–11 Relegated Playing in the Conference Premier [57]
Loughborough 1895–96 1899–1900 Not re-elected Defunct [58]
Macclesfield Town 1997–98 2011–12 Relegated Playing in the Conference Premier [59]
Maidstone United 1989–90 1991–92[C] Liquidated Defunct, revived version of the club playing in the Isthmian League Premier Division [60]
Merthyr Town 1920–21 1929–30 Not re-elected Defunct, revived version playing in Southern Football League Division One South & West [61]
Middlesbrough Ironopolis 1893–94 1893–94 Resigned Defunct [62]
Nelson 1921–22 1930–31 Not re-elected Playing in the North West Counties Football League Division One [63]
New Brighton 1923–24 1950–51 Not re-elected Defunct, revived version's youth team in West Cheshire League Youth Division. [64]
New Brighton Tower 1898–99 1900–01 Liquidated Defunct [65]
Newport County 1920–21 1987–88 Relegated Defunct, revived version of the club playing in the Football League Two [66]
Northwich Victoria 1892–93 1893–94 Resigned Playing in the Northern Premier League Division One South [67]
Rotherham County 1919–20 1924–25 Merged with Rotherham Town to form Rotherham United Defunct, Rotherham United playing in Football League Championship [68]
Rotherham Town 1893–94 1895–96 Resigned Defunct, Rotherham United playing in Football League Championship [69]
Rushden & Diamonds 2001–02 2005–06 Relegated Defunct, AFC Rushden & Diamonds playing in the United Counties Football League Premier Division [70][71]
Scarborough 1987–88 1998–99 Relegated Defunct, Scarborough Athletic later formed and are playing in the Northern Premier League Division One South, another phoenix club Scarborough Town F.C. dissolved in 2013 after only 2 years in existence [72]
South Shields 1919–20 1929–30 Relocated and became Gateshead Defunct, a revived South Shields was also absorbed into Gateshead before the current South Shields team was created which is currently playing in Northern League Division Two [73]
Southport 1921–22 1977–78 Not re-elected Playing in the Conference Premier [74]
Stalybridge Celtic 1921–22 1922–23 Resigned Playing in the Conference North [75]
Stockport County 1900–01 2010–11 Relegated Playing in the Conference North [76]
Thames 1930–31 1931–32 Resigned Defunct [77]
Torquay United 1927–28 2013–14 Relegated Playing in the Conference Premier [78]
Wigan Borough 1921–22 1930–31 Resigned mid way through season Defunct [79]
Wimbledon 1977–78 2003–04 Relocated and became Milton Keynes Dons. AFC Wimbledon formed as a self-proclaimed phoenix club in 2002 Defunct, MK Dons playing in Football League One, AFC Wimbledon playing in Football League Two [80]
Workington 1951–52 1976–77 Not re-elected Playing in the Conference North [81]
Wrexham 1921–22 2007–08 Relegated Playing in the Conference Premier [82]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

A. A Aldershot resigned during the 1991–92 season and the club's record was expunged from the table.[32]
B. B Leeds City were expelled and forcibly wound up by the FA during the 1919–20 season and the club's record was expunged from the table.[56]
C. C Maidstone United were included in the fixtures for the 1992–93 season but folded after postponing their first match.[83]

References[edit]

General
  • "Jawad, Hyder; Ghosts of the League: 1946-92". Flict Enterprises (2014). 
Specific
  1. ^ Joyce, Michael (2004). Football League Players' Records 1888 – 1939. Tony Brown. p. 295. ISBN 1-899468-67-6. 
  2. ^ Joyce. Football League Players' Records 1888 – 1939. pp. 297–298. 
  3. ^ "The Football League 1958–1959". Historical Football Kits. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  4. ^ a b "History of the Football League". The Football League. 2010-09-22. Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  5. ^ Barnes, Stuart (2007). News of the World Football Annual 2007–2008. Invincible Press. p. 58. ISBN 0-00-725555-1. 
  6. ^ "Guide to the Non-League Pyramid". BBC Sport. 2008-03-31. Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  7. ^ "A short history of the Football League". soccer.mistral.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  8. ^ "The fight for survival". BBC Sport. 2003-03-30. Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  9. ^ "Arsenal". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-11. 
  10. ^ "Aston Villa". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-11. 
  11. ^ "Burnley". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2014-06-10. 
  12. ^ "Chelsea". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-11. 
  13. ^ "Crystal Palace". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2013-12-23. 
  14. ^ "Everton". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-11. 
  15. ^ "Hull City". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2013-12-23. 
  16. ^ "Leicester City". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-11. 
  17. ^ "Liverpool". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-11. 
  18. ^ "Manchester City". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-11. 
  19. ^ "Manchester United". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-11. 
  20. ^ "Newcastle United". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  21. ^ "Queens Park Rangers". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  22. ^ "Southampton". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2013-01-20. 
  23. ^ "Stoke City". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-11. 
  24. ^ "Sunderland". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-11. 
  25. ^ "Swansea Town". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  26. ^ "Tottenham Hotspur". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-11. 
  27. ^ "West Bromwich Albion". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  28. ^ "West Ham United". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2012-01-20. 
  29. ^ "Aberdare Athletic". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  30. ^ "Accrington". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  31. ^ "Accrington Stanley{1}". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  32. ^ a b "Aldershot". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  33. ^ "Aldershot Town". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2014-03-06. 
  34. ^ "Ashington". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  35. ^ "Barnet". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  36. ^ "Barrow". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  37. ^ "Bootle{1}". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  38. ^ "Boston United". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  39. ^ "Bradford Park Avenue". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  40. ^ "Bristol Rovers". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2014-05-09. 
  41. ^ "Burton Swifts". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  42. ^ "Burton United". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  43. ^ "Burton Wanderers". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  44. ^ "Chester City". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  45. ^ "Darlington". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2010-05-16. 
  46. ^ "Darwen". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  47. ^ "Durham City". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  48. ^ "Gainsborough Trinity". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  49. ^ "Gateshead{1}". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  50. ^ "Glossop North End". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  51. ^ "Glossop". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  52. ^ "Grimsby Town". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2010-05-16. 
  53. ^ "Halifax Town". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  54. ^ "Hereford United". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2013-04-13. 
  55. ^ "Kidderminster Harriers". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  56. ^ a b "Leeds City". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  57. ^ "Lincoln City". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  58. ^ "Loughborough TOwn". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  59. ^ "Hereford United". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2013-04-13. 
  60. ^ "Maidstone United". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  61. ^ "Merthyr Town". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  62. ^ "Middlesbrough Ironopolis". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  63. ^ "Nelson". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  64. ^ "New Brighton". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  65. ^ "New Brighton Tower". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  66. ^ "Newport County". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  67. ^ "Northwich Victoria". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  68. ^ "Rotherham County". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  69. ^ "Rotherham Town". Historical Football Kits. Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  70. ^ "Rushden & Diamonds". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  71. ^ "Edinburgh’s sadness as Rushden & Diamonds reach end of the road". The Local. 2011-07-05. Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  72. ^ "Scarborough". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  73. ^ "South Shields". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  74. ^ "Southport". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  75. ^ "Stalybridge Celtic". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  76. ^ "Stockport County". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  77. ^ "Thames". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  78. ^ "Torquay United". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2014-05-09. 
  79. ^ "Wigan Borough". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  80. ^ "Wimbledon". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  81. ^ "Workington". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  82. ^ "Wrexham". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  83. ^ "Maidstone United". Historical Football Kits. Retrieved 2008-08-19.