EFL League One

The English Football League One (often referred to as League One for short or Sky Bet League One for sponsorship reasons, and known as the Football League One from 2004 until 2016) is the second-highest division of the English Football League and the third tier overall in the entire English football league system.

EFL League One
League one.png
Founded2004; 17 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 championsHull City
Most championshipsLuton Town
Wigan Athletic
(2 titles each)
TV partnersList of broadcasters
Current: 2021–22 EFL League One

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

At present, Gillingham hold the longest tenure in League One, last being out of the division in the 2012–13 season. There are currently seven former Premier League clubs competing in League One, namely Sheffield Wednesday (1992–2000), Ipswich Town (1992–95 and 2000–02), Charlton Athletic (1998–99 and 2000–07), Bolton Wanderers (1995–96, 1997–98 and 2001–12), Portsmouth (2003–10), Wigan Athletic (2005–13) and Sunderland (1996–97, 1999–2003, 2005–06 and 2007–17).[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 membersEdit

The following 24 clubs will compete in League One during the 2021–22 season.

Club Finishing position last season Location Stadium Capacity[2]
Accrington Stanley 11th Accrington Crown Ground 5,057 (2,000 seated)
AFC Wimbledon 19th London (Merton) Plough Lane 9,215
Bolton Wanderers 3rd in League Two Horwich University of Bolton Stadium 28,723
Burton Albion 16th Burton upon Trent Pirelli Stadium 6,912 (2,034 seated)
Cambridge United 2nd in League Two Cambridge Abbey Stadium 8,127
Charlton Athletic 7th London (Charlton) The Valley 27,111
Cheltenham Town 1st in League Two Cheltenham Whaddon Road 7,066
Crewe Alexandra 12th Crewe Gresty Road 10,180
Doncaster Rovers 14th Doncaster Keepmoat Stadium 15,231
Fleetwood Town 15th Fleetwood Highbury Stadium 5,311 (2,701 seated)
Gillingham 10th Gillingham Priestfield Stadium 11,582
Ipswich Town 9th Ipswich Portman Road 30,311
Lincoln City 5th Lincoln Sincil Bank 10,307
Milton Keynes Dons 13th Milton Keynes Stadium MK 30,500
Morecambe 4th in League Two (promoted via play-offs) Morecambe Globe Arena 6,476
Oxford United 6th Oxford Kassam Stadium 12,500
Plymouth Argyle 18th Plymouth Home Park 18,600
Portsmouth 8th Portsmouth Fratton Park 21,100
Rotherham United 23rd in Championship (relegated) Rotherham New York Stadium 12,021
Sheffield Wednesday 24th in Championship (relegated) Sheffield Hillsborough Stadium 39,732
Shrewsbury Town 17th Shrewsbury New Meadow 9,875
Sunderland 4th Sunderland Stadium of Light 48,707
Wigan Athletic 20th Wigan DW Stadium 25,138
Wycombe Wanderers 22nd in Championship (relegated) High Wycombe Adams Park 9,448

Teams promoted from League OneEdit

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 (2nd title) Blackburn Rovers Rotherham United (4th)
2018–19 Luton Town (2nd title) Barnsley Charlton Athletic (3rd)
2019–20 Coventry City Rotherham United Wycombe Wanderers (3rd)
2020–21 Hull City Peterborough United Blackpool (3rd)

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

Play-off resultsEdit

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
2020–21 Oxford United 0–3 Blackpool

Lincoln City 2–0 Sunderland

Blackpool 3-3 Oxford United

Sunderland 2–1 Lincoln City

Blackpool 2-1 Lincoln City

Relegated teamsEdit

Season Clubs
2004–05 Torquay United (51), Wrexham (43), Peterborough United (39), Stockport County (26)
2005–06 Hartlepool United (50), Milton Keynes Dons (50), Swindon Town (48), Walsall (47)
2006–07 Chesterfield (47), Bradford City (47), Rotherham United (38), Brentford (37)
2007–08 Bournemouth (48), Gillingham (46), Port Vale (38), Luton Town (33)
2008–09 Northampton Town (49), Crewe Alexandra (46), Cheltenham Town (39), Hereford United (34)
2009–10 Gillingham (50), Wycombe Wanderers (45), Southend United (43), Stockport County (25)
2010–11 Dagenham & Redbridge (47), Bristol Rovers (45), Plymouth Argyle (42), Swindon Town (41)
2011–12 Wycombe Wanderers (43), Chesterfield (42), Exeter City (42), Rochdale (38)
2012–13 Scunthorpe United (48), Bury (41), Hartlepool United (41), Portsmouth (32)
2013–14 Stevenage (47), Shrewsbury Town (45), Carlisle United (42), Tranmere Rovers (42)
2014–15 Notts County (50), Crawley Town (50), Leyton Orient (49), Yeovil Town (40)
2015–16 Doncaster Rovers (46), Blackpool (46), Colchester United (40), Crewe Alexandra (34)
2016–17 Port Vale (49), Swindon Town (44), Coventry City (39), Chesterfield (37)
2017–18 Oldham Athletic (50), Northampton Town (47), Milton Keynes Dons (45), Bury (36)
2018–19 Plymouth Argyle (50), Walsall (47), Scunthorpe United (46), Bradford City (41)
2019–20 Tranmere Rovers (0.94), Southend United (0.54), Bolton Wanderers (0.41), Bury[a]
2020–21 Rochdale (47), Northampton Town (45), Swindon Town (43), Bristol Rovers (38)

a Expelled in August 2019 after financial breaches.

Top scorersEdit

Season Top scorer(s) Club(s) Goals
2004–05   Stuart Elliott Hull City 27
  Dean Windass Bradford City
2005–06   Freddy Eastwood Southend United 23
  Billy Sharp Scunthorpe United
2006–07   Billy Sharp Scunthorpe United 30
2007–08   Jason Scotland Swansea City 24
2008–09   Simon Cox Swindon Town 29
  Rickie Lambert Bristol Rovers
2009–10   Rickie Lambert Southampton 30
2010–11   Craig Mackail-Smith Peterborough United 27
2011–12   Jordan Rhodes Huddersfield Town 36
2012–13   Paddy Madden Yeovil Town 24
2013–14   Sam Baldock Bristol City 24
2014–15   Joe Garner Preston North End 26
2015–16   Will Grigg Wigan Athletic 25
2016–17   Billy Sharp Sheffield United 30
2017–18   Jack Marriott Peterborough United 27
2018–19   James Collins Luton Town 25
2019–20   Ivan Toney Peterborough United 24[b]
2020-21   Jonson Clarke-Harris Peterborough United 31

b In 35 games. Season truncated due to coronavirus

Financial Fair PlayEdit

Starting from the 2012–13 season, a Financial Fair Play arrangement has been in place in all three 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 alsoEdit


  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.
  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, 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, 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.

External linksEdit