Category: Football League

Down To The Wire: The Story Of The Football League Play-Offs

The Football League play-offs reach their thirtieth anniversary earlier this year, and it feels as though they have been with us forever. In a way, of course, they have. As we recently detailed, The Football League ran play-offs between 1892 and 1898 to determine all promoted and relegated teams under the name of test matches, before switching to automatic promotion and relegation for the 1898-99 season. It would turn out to be an entire lifetime before they would return, and the circumstances surrounding that return turned out to be fairly prosaic. The banning of English clubs from Europe following...

Read More

The Perverse Joy of Small Attendances

Perhaps this marks me out as the worst sort of rubber-necker, but there is something that I find strangely enjoyable about looking out for low attendances at football matches. Coming across one can invoke very strange feelings of surprise, concern, and very occasionally a smile dripping with schadenfreude. In modern times, this usually means looking to evening matches in the lower divisions. If you’re a non-league club who ground-shares and has an inconsequential cup match against a team with a small support on a Champions League night, you may well pass across my radar. It’s usually only fleeting, but...

Read More

The Football League & Wimbledon’s Nickname

It seems to be one of the more immutable rules of life that, for an organisation as hopelessly bone-headed as the “English” Football League, the old adage that it is better to remain silent and considered a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt will usually be ignored with a recklessness that borders upon being cavalier. Friday night’s League One match between Wimbledon and Milton Keynes was almost certainly difficult enough to stomach without the post-match of the body that claims to regulate the seventy-two clubs of the Football League. As it stands, we are left...

Read More

Football League Review: Sunderland & Villa’s Purgatory

Five games into the Football League Championship season, there are surprising faces at the top of the table. Cardiff City sit at the top of the pile with five wins out of five following a narrow but deserved win against Queens Park Rangers at The Cardiff City Stadium, with Ipswich Town sitting in second place in the table despite seeing their strong start to the season stutter following a home defeat at the hands of Fulham. The top of the table, however, isn’t really where the genuine interest rests in this division. The real interest comes at its other...

Read More

Stevenage & Grimsby Town: A Storm In A D-Cup?

On paper at least, a League Two match between Stevenage and Grimsby Town would hardly be expected to be the sort of football match that makes national newspaper headlines, and indeed casual observers of lower league football might have been forgiven for glancing at the results and assuming that nothing particularly unusual had happened. Stevenage won the game by three goals to one – their first league win of the season – Grimsby had a player sent off, and a crowd of just under 2,800 people was present to watch it all. So far, so routine. However, events away...

Read More