Three Up, Three Down & The Stigma Of Non-League Football


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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7 Responses

  1. Il chino says:

    Good article. One thing not mentioned is the success of teams who’ve been promoted to the league: Stevenage, Exeter, Crawley, Torquay and accrington have all done well. I can’t think of a team who’ve come up that have gone straight back down. Surely there isn’t even an argument. If kleathouse at perennial strugglers Barnet is for it, then other league chairmen should be seriously thinking about the idea.

  2. mike says:

    As one whose interest lies in football outside the confines of the Football League, I have two observations to make. The first is that the turkeys currently in League Two are unlikely to vote willingly for Christmas, while those formerly resident there but now rehoused in BSBP will do anything they can to get back in; the second is that it is now clear that BSBP is indeed significantly different from those leagues below it and that the traditional understanding of ‘non-League’ no longer fits above the two regional Blue Square divisions (which should incidentally be renamed ‘M25 and southward’ and ‘all other areas’). This I regret, but it will continue to be the case for the foreseeable future – or until the banks foreclose on a raft of full-time clubs.

  3. Peter says:

    To add to Il Chino’s comment, the last team to get relegated from League Two who are now back in the Football League is Torquay from the 2006-07 season.

  4. Geoff says:

    Agree with previous posts.It is very difficult to get out of this godforsaken league as my team the stags realise.We are in a better position this season to get out as we will have the best squad we have had since we were in the old div1.I will tell you how difficult it is to get could put 2 of the best teams from div 2 and I would wager that they would struggle to get out.I would like to see league 2 and the bsp premier regionalised to form div2 north and south.this would result in more local derbies less travelling bigger crowds and more profitable clubs.

  5. Rob says:

    I like the idea, but I do worry about the finances of it all. The BSP, since the introduction of the second promotion spot and the slimming down of the second tier of non-league to two leagues, has seen an increase in the number of clubs having financial problems. As a Barrow fan, it’s odd to think that only 4 other teams have remained in the league constantly for the 6 season that we’ve now been in it: Wrexham, Mansfield, Cambridge and, inevitably, FGR. That’s a huge turn-over of clubs and one which sometimes threatens the legitimacy of the league.

    Would 3 up/3 down improve or worsen this? On the one hand, it the tightness of only offering 2 promotion slots causes clubs to push extra hard, taking risks from promotion: with 3, it becomes a little easier to go up and therefore the pressure to spend is reduced. On the other, it would only increase the temptation to over-stretch… I feel that the BSP clubs needs financial stability first before taking this step.

  6. Salop_Ian says:

    Over the last seven seasons an extra promotion/relegation would have seen the following promoted automatically:
    Wrexham, AFC Wimbledon, Luton, Cambridge (twice), Oxford, Hereford.
    The following would have been relegated from League Two:
    Barnet (twice), Cheltenham, Grimsby, Chester, Macclesfield, Stockport.
    This would suggest that the extra automatic promotion place would actually make it easier for former League clubs to get back into the FL. It would also make it harder for ‘non-league’ clubs to establish themselves there and leave clubs in crisis more vulnerable to relegation from the FL.

  1. July 2, 2012

    […] whether some of the bigger teams could handle themselves in League 2. Coincidentally, I discovered this cracking article on Two Hundred Percent debating whether it’s time for three to be relegated from League 2 and three to go up from […]

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