Whether you are a die–hard fan or simply someone who enjoys a good game, there is no denying that English football is one of the most exciting spectacles in the world. And with seven different tiers of men’s professional football along with one professional women’s league, there is sure to be a match for everyone. We cover the widest selection of football tickets anywhere in the UK; find ticket for the Premier League, Championship, League One, League Two, National League, National League South, National League North and the Women’s Super League below!
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The Premier League
The English Premier League is the top level of the English football league system. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the English Football League (EFL). Seasons run from August to May, with each team playing 38 matches (playing all 19 other teams both home and away).
The Premier League has the highest average attendance of any football league in the world. It was the most–watched primary football league in the world for with average club attendance of 41,463. The Premier League is also the most–watched sports league in the world, broadcast in 212 territories to 643 million homes and a potential TV audience of 4.7 billion people.
The Premier League is one of the richest sports leagues in the world. In the 2018–19 season, the average club was worth £2.2 billion. The six largest clubs by revenue in the 2018–19 season were Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City. These “Big Six“ clubs have won the English title 19 times between them since the Premier League‘s inception in 1992. Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City are also the only five clubs to have won the UEFA Champions League/European Cup while competing in the Premier League.
The Premier League is also home to some of the most iconic stadiums in world football, including Anfield, Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge.
The EFL Championship
The English Football League Championship is the second–highest division of the English Football League (EFL) and second–tier overall in the English football league system. It was founded in 2004, when the football league First Division was rebranded as the Football League Championship. The league currently comprises 24 teams.
The Championship is the richest non–top flight football division in the world and the seventh richest division in Europe. With an average match attendance of 17,578, the Championship is the third most–watched secondary football league in the world, behind only the Bundesliga 2 and Major League Soccer.
The six highest–placed teams in the Championship automatically qualify for the following season‘s UEFA Europa League group stage, with the top two going directly into the group stage and the fourth– through seventh–placed teams entering in the second qualifying round. The three lowest–placed teams are relegated to League One. The Championship is home to some of England‘s biggest and most historic clubs, including Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday, and Derby County. The stadiums of these clubs are among the largest in England, with Villa Park, Hillsborough Stadium, and Pride Park Stadium all able to seat more than 30,000 spectators.
The Championship also features intense rivalries, such as the West Midlands derby between Aston Villa and Birmingham City and prior to Leeds United’s promotion to the Premier League, the Yorkshire derby between Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday.
EFL League One
In English football, the EFL League One is the second–highest division of the English Football League and third–tier overall in the English football league system. League One was introduced for the 2004–05 season. It was previously known as the Football League First Division, and before that, the Football League Second Division. Since the rebranding of the English Football League in 2016, the league has been known as EFL League One. The League One title has been won 12 times by six different clubs since its inception in 2004.
League One is contested by 24 clubs each season. Each club plays every other club twice, once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents, for a total of 46 games. At the end of the season, the top two clubs are automatically promoted to the EFL Championship while the third through sixth–placed clubs compete in a playoff to determine the third promoted club. The bottom four clubs are relegated to EFL League Two. Since the League One playoff was introduced in 1987, it has been won by a different club each time it has been contested. The first ever playoff winner was Charlton Athletic, who defeated Leeds United in the final.
League One is considered to be a highly competitive division, with all 24 clubs striving for promotion to the Championship. The standard of play is also high, with many League One clubs possessing strong squads and playing attractive football. This makes League One an exciting and popular division to watch.
EFL League Two
Football League Two is the third–highest division of the English Football League and the fourth tier overall in the English football league system. It was introduced for the 2004–05 season. It was previously known as the Football League Third Division. Before the advent of the Premier League in 1992, the fourth tier of English football was known as the Football League Fourth Division. Following the creation of the Premier League, the Football League was renamed the Football League First Division, and the former Fourth Division became the Football League Second Division. With the further addition of a second division of the Premier League in 2004, the Third Division became known as Football League Two.
Portsmouth are the most successful team in the division, having won the title on three occasions (2012, 2013, 2017). Wycombe Wanderers have also been crowned champions twice, in 2007–08 and 2020–21.
National League, National League South & National League North
The National League, National League South and National League North are the three divisions of the National League in English football. The National League South and National League North were formed in 2004, when the Conference North and Conference South were formed. The Conference North and Conference South were originally known as the Nationwide Conference and the Coca-Cola Football League, respectively. They were formed in 1997 as part of a major restructuring of the English football league system.
The National League is the highest division of the National League and sits at the fifth tier of the English football league system. It contains 24 clubs, all of which are full–time professional.
The National League South is the second division of the National League and contains 22 clubs. It sits at the sixth tier of the English football league system.
The National League North is the third division of the National League and contains 22 clubs. It sits at the seventh tier of the English football league system.
The National League, National League South and National League North are all important leagues. They provide a pathway for clubs to progress to the English Football League, and they also provide a platform for clubs to compete in the FA Cup and other cup competitions.
The Women's Super League
The FA WSL, or the Womens Super League, is the top level of the Womens football pyramid in England. The FA WSL was founded in 2011, and is made up of 12 teams. Each team plays each other team home and away, totaling 22 games each. The top two teams at the end of the season qualify for the UEFA Champions League, with the third and fourth place teams qualifying for the UEFA Womens Champions League.
The FA WSL started as a semi–professional league, with players earning a maximum of £20,000 per year. In 2017, the league became fully professional, with players earning a minimum of £30,000 per year. The increase in salaries has led to an increase in the quality of play, as well as an increase in the number of foreign players in the league. The most successful team in the FA WSL is Chelsea, who have won the league six times. Arsenal have won the league three times, and Liverpool have won it twice.
The FA WSL is the highest level of Womens football in England, and is one of the most competitive leagues in the world. The league is constantly improving, and is attracting more and more fans each year, especially following on from the incredible Lionesses performance in the World Cup, lifting the trophy in 2022!
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So, there you have it – the seven tiers of men’s English football and one women’s football league. Whether you want to see the very best that the country has to offer in the Premier League, or you want to watch some great football without the crowds and expense of the top tier, there is a level of football for everyone. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and enjoy the beautiful game!