EFL League One

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EFL League One
League one.png
Founded2004; 16 years ago (2004)
1992–2004 (as Division Two)
1958–1992 (as Division Three)
1921–1958 (as Division Three North/South)
1920–1921 (as Division Three)
Number of teams24
Level on pyramid3
Promotion toChampionship
Relegation toLeague Two
Domestic cup(s)FA Cup
League cup(s)EFL Cup
EFL Trophy
International cup(s)UEFA Europa League (via FA Cup)
UEFA Europa Conference League (via EFL Cup)
Current championsCoventry City
Most championshipsWigan Athletic
(2 titles), Luton Town
(2 titles)
TV partnersList of broadcasters
2020–21 EFL League One

The English Football League One (often referred to as League One for short or Sky Bet League One for sponsorship reasons) is the second-highest division of the English Football League and the third tier overall in the entire English football league system.

League One was introduced for the 2004–05 season. It was previously known briefly as the Football League Second Division and for much longer, prior to the advent of the Premier League, as the Football League Third Division.

At present, Peterborough and Gillingham hold the longest tenure in League One, both last being out of the division in the 2012–13 season. There are currently eight former Premier League clubs competing in League One, namely Swindon Town (1993–94), Ipswich Town (2000–02), Charlton Athletic (1995–2007), Portsmouth (2003–10), Blackpool (2010–11), Wigan Athletic (2005–13), Sunderland (2007–17), and Hull City (2016–17).[1]


There are 24 clubs in League One. Each club plays every other club twice (once at home and once away). Three points are awarded for a win, one for a draw and zero for a loss. At the end of the season a table of the final League standings is determined, based on the following criteria in this order: points obtained, goal difference, goals scored, an aggregate of the results between two or more clubs (ranked using the previous three criteria) and, finally, a series of one or more play-off matches.

At the end of each season the top two clubs, together with the winner of the play-offs between the clubs which finished in 3rd–6th position, are promoted to EFL Championship and are replaced by the three clubs that finished at the bottom of that division.

Similarly, the four clubs that finished at the bottom of EFL League One are relegated to EFL League Two and are replaced by the top three clubs and the club that won the 4th–7th place play-offs in that division.

Current members[edit]

The following 24 clubs will compete in League One during the 2020–21 season.

Club Finishing position last season Location Stadium Capacity[2]
Accrington Stanley 17th Accrington Crown Ground 5,057 (2,000 seated)
AFC Wimbledon 20th London (Merton) Plough Lane 9,300
Blackpool 13th Blackpool Bloomfield Road 17,338
Bristol Rovers 14th Bristol Memorial Stadium 12,300
Burton Albion 12th Burton upon Trent Pirelli Stadium 6,912 (2,034 seated)
Charlton Athletic 22nd in Championship (relegated) London (Charlton) The Valley 27,111
Crewe Alexandra 2nd in League Two (promoted) Crewe Gresty Road 10,180
Doncaster Rovers 9th Doncaster Keepmoat Stadium 15,231
Fleetwood Town 6th Fleetwood Highbury Stadium 5,311 (2,701 seated)
Gillingham 10th Gillingham Priestfield Stadium 11,582
Hull City 24th in Championship (relegated) Kingston upon Hull KCOM Stadium 25,586
Ipswich Town 11th Ipswich Portman Road 30,311
Lincoln City 16th Lincoln Sincil Bank 10,307
Milton Keynes Dons 19th Milton Keynes Stadium MK 30,500
Northampton Town 7th in League Two (promoted via play-offs) Northampton PTS Academy Stadium 7,798
Oxford United 4th Oxford Kassam Stadium 12,500
Peterborough United 7th Peterborough London Road 15,314
Plymouth Argyle 3rd in League Two (promoted) Plymouth Home Park 18,600
Portsmouth 5th Portsmouth Fratton Park 21,100
Rochdale 18th Rochdale Spotland 10,249
Shrewsbury Town 15th Shrewsbury New Meadow 9,875
Sunderland 8th Sunderland Stadium of Light 48,707
Swindon Town 1st in League Two (promoted) Swindon County Ground 15,728
Wigan Athletic 23rd in Championship (relegated) Wigan DW Stadium 25,138

Teams promoted from League One[edit]

Season Winner Runner-up Promoted Play-off Winner (Position)
2004–05 Luton Town Hull City Sheffield Wednesday (5th)
2005–06 Southend United Colchester United Barnsley (5th)
2006–07 Scunthorpe United Bristol City Blackpool (3rd)
2007–08 Swansea City Nottingham Forest Doncaster Rovers (3rd)
2008–09 Leicester City Peterborough United Scunthorpe United (6th)
2009–10 Norwich City Leeds United Millwall (3rd)
2010–11 Brighton & Hove Albion Southampton Peterborough United (4th)
2011–12 Charlton Athletic Sheffield Wednesday Huddersfield Town (4th)
2012–13 Doncaster Rovers Bournemouth Yeovil Town (4th)
2013–14 Wolverhampton Wanderers Brentford Rotherham United (4th)
2014–15 Bristol City Milton Keynes Dons Preston North End (3rd)
2015–16 Wigan Athletic Burton Albion Barnsley (6th)
2016–17 Sheffield United Bolton Wanderers Millwall (6th)
2017–18 Wigan Athletic Blackburn Rovers Rotherham United (4th)
2018–19 Luton Town Barnsley Charlton Athletic (3rd)
2019–20 Coventry City Rotherham United Wycombe Wanderers (3rd)

For past winners at this level before 2004, see List of winners of English Football League One and predecessors.

Play-off results[edit]

Season Semi-final (1st Leg) Semi-final (2nd Leg) Final
2004–05 Sheffield Wednesday 1–0 Brentford
Hartlepool United 2–0 Tranmere Rovers
Brentford 1–2 Sheffield Wednesday
Tranmere Rovers 2–0 Hartlepool United
(Hartlepool won 6–5 on penalties, a.e.t.)
Sheffield Wednesday 4–2 Hartlepool United (a.e.t.)
2005–06 Barnsley 0–1 Huddersfield Town
Swansea City 1–1 Brentford
Huddersfield Town 1–3 Barnsley
Brentford 0–2 Swansea City
Barnsley 2–2 Swansea City
(Barnsley won 4–3 on penalties, a.e.t.)
2006–07 Yeovil Town 0–2 Nottingham Forest
Oldham Athletic 1–2 Blackpool
Nottingham Forest 2–5 Yeovil Town (a.e.t.)
Blackpool 3–1 Oldham Athletic
Blackpool 2–0 Yeovil Town
2007–08 Southend United 0–0 Doncaster Rovers
Leeds United 1–2 Carlisle United
Doncaster Rovers 5–1 Southend United
Carlisle United 0–2 Leeds United
Leeds United 0–1 Doncaster Rovers
2008–09 Scunthorpe United 1–1 Milton Keynes Dons
Millwall 1–0 Leeds United
Milton Keynes Dons 0–0 Scunthorpe United
(Scunthorpe won 7–6 on penalties, a.e.t.)
Leeds United 1–1 Millwall
Scunthorpe United 3–2 Millwall
2009–10 Swindon Town 2–1 Charlton Athletic
Huddersfield Town 0–0 Millwall
Charlton Athletic 2–1 Swindon Town
(Swindon won 5–4 on penalties, a.e.t.)
Millwall 2–0 Huddersfield Town
Millwall 1–0 Swindon Town
2010–11 Bournemouth 1–1 Huddersfield Town
Milton Keynes Dons 3–2 Peterborough United
Huddersfield Town 3–3 Bournemouth
(Huddersfield won 4–2 on penalties, a.e.t.)
Peterborough United 2–0 Milton Keynes Dons
Huddersfield Town 0–3 Peterborough United
2011–12 Stevenage 0–0 Sheffield United
Milton Keynes Dons 0–2 Huddersfield Town
Sheffield United 1–0 Stevenage
Huddersfield Town 1–2 Milton Keynes Dons
Huddersfield Town 0–0 Sheffield United
(Huddersfield won 8–7 on penalties, a.e.t.)
2012–13 Sheffield United 1–0 Yeovil Town
Swindon Town 1–1 Brentford
Yeovil Town 2–0 Sheffield United
Brentford 3–3 Swindon Town
(Brentford won 5–4 on penalties, a.e.t.)
Brentford 1–2 Yeovil Town
2013–14 Peterborough United 1–1 Leyton Orient
Preston North End 1–1 Rotherham United
Leyton Orient 2–1 Peterborough United
Rotherham United 3–1 Preston North End
Leyton Orient 2–2 Rotherham United
(Rotherham won 4–3 on penalties, a.e.t.)
2014–15 Chesterfield 0–1 Preston North End
Sheffield United 1–2 Swindon Town
Preston North End 3–0 Chesterfield
Swindon Town 5–5 Sheffield United
Preston North End 4–0 Swindon Town
2015–16 Barnsley 3–0 Walsall
Bradford City 1–3 Millwall
Walsall 1–3 Barnsley
Millwall 1–1 Bradford City
Barnsley 3–1 Millwall
2016–17 Millwall 0–0 Scunthorpe United

Bradford City 1–0 Fleetwood Town

Scunthorpe United 2–3 Millwall

Fleetwood Town 0–0 Bradford City

Bradford City 0–1 Millwall
2017–18 Charlton Athletic 0–1 Shrewsbury Town

Scunthorpe United 2–2 Rotherham United

Shrewsbury Town 1–0 Charlton Athletic

Rotherham United 2–0 Scunthorpe United

Rotherham United 2–1 Shrewsbury Town (a.e.t.)
2018–19 Doncaster Rovers 1–2 Charlton Athletic

Sunderland 1–0 Portsmouth

Charlton Athletic 2–3 Doncaster Rovers (Charlton Athletic won 4–3 on penalties, a.e.t.)

Portsmouth 0–0 Sunderland

Charlton Athletic 2–1 Sunderland
2019–20 Portsmouth 1–1 Oxford United

Fleetwood Town 1–4 Wycombe Wanderers

Oxford United 1–1 Portsmouth (Oxford United won 5–4 on penalties, a.e.t.)

Wycombe Wanderers 2–2 Fleetwood Town

Oxford United 1–2 Wycombe Wanderers

Relegated teams[edit]

Season Clubs
2004–05 Torquay United, Wrexham, Peterborough United, Stockport County
2005–06 Hartlepool United, Milton Keynes Dons, Swindon Town, Walsall
2006–07 Chesterfield, Bradford City, Rotherham United, Brentford
2007–08 Bournemouth, Gillingham, Port Vale, Luton Town
2008–09 Northampton Town, Crewe Alexandra, Cheltenham Town, Hereford United
2009–10 Gillingham, Wycombe Wanderers, Southend United, Stockport County
2010–11 Dagenham & Redbridge, Bristol Rovers, Plymouth Argyle, Swindon Town
2011–12 Wycombe Wanderers, Chesterfield, Exeter City, Rochdale
2012–13 Scunthorpe United, Bury, Hartlepool United, Portsmouth
2013–14 Stevenage, Shrewsbury Town, Carlisle United, Tranmere Rovers
2014–15 Crawley Town, Leyton Orient, Yeovil Town, Notts County
2015–16 Crewe Alexandra, Blackpool, Colchester United, Doncaster Rovers
2016–17 Port Vale, Coventry City, Swindon Town, Chesterfield
2017–18 Oldham Athletic, Northampton Town, Milton Keynes Dons, Bury
2018–19 Plymouth Argyle, Walsall, Scunthorpe United, Bradford City
2019–20 Tranmere Rovers, Southend United, Bolton Wanderers, Bury[a]

a Expelled in August 2019 after financial breaches.

Top scorers[edit]

Season Top scorer(s) Club(s) Goals
2004–05 Northern Ireland Stuart Elliott Hull City 27
England Dean Windass Bradford City
2005–06 Wales Freddy Eastwood Southend United 23
England Billy Sharp Scunthorpe United
2006–07 England Billy Sharp Scunthorpe United 30
2007–08 Trinidad and Tobago Jason Scotland Swansea City 24
2008–09 Republic of Ireland Simon Cox Swindon Town 29
England Rickie Lambert Bristol Rovers
2009–10 England Rickie Lambert Southampton 30
2010–11 Scotland Craig Mackail-Smith Peterborough United 27
2011–12 Scotland Jordan Rhodes Huddersfield Town 36
2012–13 Republic of Ireland Paddy Madden Yeovil Town 24
2013–14 England Sam Baldock Bristol City 24
2014–15 England Joe Garner Preston North End 26
2015–16 Northern Ireland Will Grigg Wigan Athletic 25
2016–17 England Billy Sharp Sheffield United 30
2017–18 England Jack Marriott Peterborough United 27
2018–19 Republic of Ireland James Collins Luton Town 25
2019–20 England Ivan Toney Peterborough United 24[b]

b In 35 games. Season truncated due to coronavirus

Financial Fair Play[edit]

Starting from the 2012–13 season, a Financial Fair Play arrangement has been in place in all 3 divisions of the Football League, the intention being eventually to produce a league of financially self-sustaining clubs. In League One, this takes the form of a Salary Cost Management Protocol in which a maximum of 60% of a club's turnover may be spent on players' wages, with sanctions being applied in the form of transfer embargoes.[3][4][5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "What year did the Premier League start & which teams have played in it over the years?". Sam France. Goal. 29 April 2020. Retrieved 27 August 2020. Cite has empty unknown parameter: |1= (help)
  2. ^ "Football Ground Guide". Football Ground Guide. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  3. ^ "The Football League – About Us – FAQs – FL Explained – FL Explained – Financial Fair Play in The Football League". Archived from the original on 10 May 2012.
  4. ^ Vittles, by Jack; 18:32, 6 Dec 2017 (6 December 2017). "Financial Fair play: Does it apply in League One and League Two?". bristolpost. Retrieved 28 May 2020.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ McCartney, by Aidan; 12:02, 2 Feb 2015Updated14:43 (2 February 2015). "Financial Fair Play in League One: Separating fact from fiction". coventrytelegraph. Retrieved 28 May 2020.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ "Review into Bury's demise offers painful reminder of the need for FFP | Financial fair play | The Guardian". amp.theguardian.com. Retrieved 28 May 2020.

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