The Football League (Greek: Φούτμπολ Λιγκ) was the second highest professional football league in Greece since its inception in 1962 as Beta Ethniki and until 2019. It then served as a third tier after the creation of the Super League 2 as the new second tier and it was eventually abolished in 2021 when the 2021–22 Super League 2 went from a 12 team to a 36 team league, absorbing most of the clubs from the Football League.
|Founded||1962 (as Beta Ethniki)|
2010 (as Football League)
|Number of teams||20|
|Level on pyramid||2 (1962–2019)|
|Promotion to||Super League 2|
|Relegation to||Gamma Ethniki|
|Domestic cup(s)||Greek Cup|
|Last champions||Kalamata (1st title)
Veria (1st title) |
|Most championships||Panachaiki (6 titles)|
|Top goalscorer||Ilias Chatzieleftheriou (152 goals)|
As the Second National Division (1962–2019)Edit
As the second tier of the Greek football league system, the Beta Ethniki was formally established in the fall of 1962, replacing the informal Greek FCA Winners' Championship, which at the time had tried various experimental formats towards establishing a second national football Division. All participating clubs had to disengage from their local football clubs associations' championships as a prerequisite for eligibility.
In its early years, the competition format was frequently altered each season. The competition was originally held in four groups of 14 clubs each until 1968–69, when the competition was reformatted to contain two groups. The following six years (1969–70 up to 1974–75), the competition was held with three Groups, whereas from 1975 to 1976 up to 1982–83 the league was again contested in two Groups, North and South. In the autumn of 1983, a single, pan-Hellenic League Table was established, a format that has been applied continuously until the 2012–13 season. When football in Greece became professional, the Hellenic Football Federation handed over the responsibility for the competition's organization to the Greek Professional Football Clubs Association (Greek: ΕΠΑΕ). In 2006, the Professional Football Association of the Second and Third National Divisions (Greek: ΕΕΠ Β΄ & Γ΄ Εθνικής) was set up, which replaced the Greek Professional Football Clubs Association as the governing authority of the Second and Third National Divisions.
In August 2010, the division's governing body decided to change its own, as well as the competition's distinctive title to Football League. The competition was contested as the Second National Division until 2019, when the Greek football league system was restructured and the Super League 2 was established as the new feeder league to the Super League.
As the Third National Division (2019–2021)Edit
As of 2019, the Football League Greece replaced the Gamma Ethniki as the third tier of the Greek football league system. It was finally abolished in 2021 with most clubs being absorbed into the second tier Super League 2.
Structure of the leagueEdit
There were 20 clubs that competed in the Football League until 2021, playing each other in a home and away series. At the end of the season, the bottom four teams were relegated to the Gamma Ethniki. The top two teams gained automatic promotion. Unlike the Super League, clubs in the Football League did not get relegated if the club failed to obtain a license. All teams in the Football League took part in the Greek Cup.
Seasons in second division (1959-60 — present)Edit
This is the complete list of the clubs that have taken part in the second division played from the 1959–60 season until the 2021–22 season of Super League 2. The teams in bold compete in Super League 2 in the 2022–23 season.
|35||Olympiacos Volou , Levadiakos|
|34||Kallithea, Apollon Pontou|
|32||Atromitos, Panetolikos, A.O. Trikala , Niki Volou|
|30||Proodeftiki , Panachaiki|
|27||Edessaikos, Ethnikos Asteras, PAS Giannina , Panserraikos|
|26||Kastoria, Doxa Drama|
|25||Korinthos, Ionikos , Diagoras Rodou|
|24||Naoussa, Kavala, AEL ,|
|22||Anagennisi Giannitson , Kalamata|
|20||Atromitos Piraeus, Panegialios, Acharnaikos|
|17||Agrotikos Asteras, Ilisiakos, Kilkisiakos, Lamia|
|16||Panargiakos, AO Chania, Panthrakikos, Rodos|
|15||Chalkida , Ergotelis , Apollon Smyrnis , Irodotos|
|13||Paniliakos , Almopos Arideas|
|12||Athinaikos, Argonaftis Piraeus, Aris Ptolemaidas, A.O. Kerkyra, Anagennisi Epanomis|
|11||Pannafpliakos, Aias Salaminas, Kozani, Anagennisi Artas|
|10||Ethnikos Piraeus, Pandramaikos, APS Patrae|
|8||Doxa Vyrona, Koropi , Kissamikos|
|7||Olympiakos Chalkidas, Ikaros Athens, M.E.N.T., Aspida Xanthis, Olympiakos Neon Liosion, A.O. Karditsa, Eordaikos, Thrasyvoulos , Apollon Larissas, Iraklis|
|6||Apollon Kalamata, Olympiakos Kozanis, Thermaikos Thessalonikis, Rodiakos, Foinikas Polichnis, Florina|
|5||Orfeas Xanthis, Apollon Serron, PAS Averof, AE Chania, Larisaikos, Iraklis Kavalas, Thyella Patras, Pagkorinthiakos, Olympiakos Loutrakiou, Orchomenos, Elpis Dramas, Filippi Kavalas, Aiginiakos, Ialysos, Panaspropyrgiakos, A.E. Karaiskakis, P.A.O. Rouf|
|4||Aris Peraeus, Pallamiaki, Chalkidona, Iraklis Serron, Asteras Athens, Megas Alexandros Irakleias, Evripos Chalkidas, Megas Alexandros Thessalonikis, Phoebus Kremastis, Nikiforos Florinas, A.P.O. Orfeas, A.O. Agios Nikolaos, Iraklis Psachnon, Fokikos, GS Alexandroupolis, Aris, AOK Kerkyra , Zakynthos , Episkopi|
|3||Olympiakos Patras,Olympiakos Lamias, Asteras Tripolis, Saframpoli, Kadmos Thivas, Panchaniakos, GS Iraklis Larissas, Patraikos OF, Patraikos AO, Kalogreza, Apollon Mytilinis, Thiva, Apollon Krya Vrysis, AO Petralona, Dorieus Rodou, Moudania, Makedonikos Siatistas, Agios Dimitrios, Aiolikos, Pontioi Verias, ASK Olympiakos, Haidari, AEL Kallonis, Ethnikos Gazorou, Ethnikos Alexandroupolis, A.E. Sparti , Platanias , O.F. Ierapetras, GS Ilioupolis,|
|2||Olympos Katerinis, Omilos Kalamatas, Aris Kastorias, Aris Korinthou, Aris Mytilinis, Mikrasiatiki Chiou, Preveza, Aris Dramas, Achilleas Trikalon, Amfissaikos, Anaplasis Tyrnavou, Spartiatikos, Talos Chanion, AE Komotinis, AE Nikeas, Eleftheroupoli, Dimitra Trikalon, AE Chalandriou, AE Tyrnavou, PGS Mytilinis, Leonidas Spartis, Orestis Orestiadas, AE Kavalas, Pyrsos Grevenon, AO Syrou, Achilleas Farsalon, Nestos Chrysoupolis, Aris Agiou Konstantinou, Ethnikos Sidirokastrou, Kampaniakos, P.O. Elassonas, Achaiki, Panionios, Anagennisi Kolindrou, Poseidon Neon Poron, ILTEX Lykoi, Akratitos, Kassandra Tyrnavos 2005 , Thesprotos Igoumenitsas, A.E. Kifisia, Veria NFC, PAOK B, Panathinaikos B, Olympiacos B, AEK Athens B|
|1||Meliteas Thessalonikis, Prasina Poulia, Pallevadiaki, Atromitos Ioanninon, AE Trikala, AE Chalkida, Aetos Chiou, Aris Tripolis, Pallesviakos, Achilleas Mytilinis, Aris Protis, Atlantis Chanion, Parrodiakos, Megas Alexandros Katerinis, Aris Larisas, AE Mytilinis, Panchiakos, P.O. Atsaleniou, Lamiakos, Iraklis Volou, Orfeas Komotinis, AO Alexandroupolis, Achilleas Triandrias, Doxa Neapolis, AEK Kalamatas, AO Tripoli, AO Spartis, Rethymniakos, Aris Chiou, Doxa Piraeus, Atromitos Serron , Elpida Nigritas, Xirokrini, AO Ioanninon, Bizani, Asteras Amaliadas, Pannemeatikos, Niki Polygyrou, Amfiali, Moschato, Akrites Sykeon, Rigas Feraios Velestinou, Thyella Serron, A.E. Messolonghi, Drapetsona, Pelopas Kiatou, Odysseas Kordeliou, Toxotis Volou, APE Langada, AO Pyrgos, Nafpaktiakos Asteras, Messiniakos, Asteras Magoulas, Vataniakos, A.O. Glyfada, AEK Athens, A.E. Ermionida, Trachones Alimou, Volos, Aittitos Spaton, Asteras Vlachioti, A.E. Iraklis Larissas|
Second Division championsEdit
From 1962 to 1983Edit
From 1983 to 2019Edit
Third Division championsEdit
From 2019 to 2021Edit
- ^ "Football League - Football League 2". Archived from the original on 30 March 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2010.
- ^ "Πρωταθλητής ο ΑΟ Τρίκαλα – Οριστικό τέλος στο πρωτάθλημα της Football League". www.trikalanews.gr (in Greek). 2 June 2020. Retrieved 2 June 2020.
- Football League at Soccerway
- Football League at footballleaguenews.gr