| UK Football Leagues
The English Football League was founded on 17 April 1888. It was based on the ideas put forward by William McGregor, a Scottish businessman living in Birmingham. Twelve clubs made up the new league. The number of clubs grew so that by the1958/59 season, there were Four Divisions with a system of promotion and relegation.
The Premier League was formed at the end of 1991/92 from the old First Division clubs. There are 20 team in the league. They play each other twice during the season, home and away, so each team plays a total of 38 league matches. At the end of the season, the top club is the League Champion and the bottom three clubs are relegated to the First Division.
The former Division 2,3 and 4 leagues now make divisions 1,2 and 3 of the Nationwide league. Each division has 24 teams so there are 72 teams in total. Each team within a division plays every club twice, home and away, so each team plays 46 league matches. At the end of a season, the top club is League Champion and is automatically promoted, with the second club, to the next division. The next four teams have a 'play off' (knockout mini tournament) for the third place. The bottom three clubs are relegated to a lower division. The clubs at the bottom of Division Three can apply to stay in the league.
The Scottish FA was formed in 1873. At the present time there is a Premier League and three lower Divisions, 1, 2 and 3. There are ten teams in each league. They operate in a similar way to the English leagues with a system of promotion and relegation, except they play each other four times, twice at home and twice away.
The GM Vauxhall Conference League
The GM Vauxhall Conference League is the leading league in England for semi-professional footballers. The champions of this league are considered for promotion to the Third Division of the Football League. They also lose some teams to the smaller regional leagues.
Football is popular throughout the UK and there are hundreds of regional and local leagues for boys, girls, men and women. Some leagues, such as the Unibond (northern premier) League, the Dr Martens (southern) League, and the Isthmian League, have more status than others do.
Teams from the smaller leagues around the country can be considered for promotion into the GM Vauxhall Conference.
Results 1996 - 1997 season:
Premier League Champions: Manchester United
First Division Champions: Bolton
Second Division Champions: Bury
Third Division Champions: Wigan Athletic
Vauxhall Conference: Macclesfield (promoted to Div. 3)
Unibond League: Leek Town
Dr Martens League: Gresley Rovers
Isthmian League: Yeovil Town
Scottish Premier League Champions: Rangers
Scottish First Division Champions: St Johnstone
Major Events 98|
Dec 4 - World Cup Draw
Jan 19 - Euro 2000 Draw
Feb 14/16 - Tennents Cup (SFA) 4th Round
Feb 13/14/15 - FA Cup 5th Round
Mar 3 - UEFA Cup QF 1st Leg
Mar 4 - Champions League QF 1st Leg
Mar 5 - Cup Winners' Cup QF 1st Leg
Mar 7 - Tennents Cup (SFA) 5th Round
Mar 7/8 - FA Cup QF
Mar 17 - UEFA Cup QF 2nd Leg
Mar 18 - Champions League QF 2nd Leg
Mar 19 - Cup Winners' Cup QF 2nd Leg
Mar 29 - Coca Cola Cup Final, Wembley, London
Mar 31 - UEFA Cup SF 1st Leg
Apr 1 - Champions League SF 1st Leg
Apr 2 - Cup Winners' Cup SF 1st Leg
Apr 4/5 - Tennents Cup (SFA) Semi Final
Apr 5 - FA Cup SF
Apr 14 - UEFA Cup SF 2nd Leg
Apr 15 - Champions League SF 2nd Leg
Apr 16 - Cup Winners' Cup SF 2nd Leg
May 6 - UEFA Cup Final
May 13 - Cup Winners' Cup Final
May 16 - FA Cup Final, Wembley, London
May 20 - Champions League Final
Jun 10 to
Jul 12 - World Cup Ch'ships, France
Jul 12 - World Cup Final, Stade de France, St. Denis
Football Match Facts
Football Hall of Fame
World Cup 98
Official World Cup Site
Scottish Football Association
Northern Ireland Soccer
The Football Association
16 Lancaster Gate London W2 3LW
The Scottish Football Association
[Acknowledgement for additional statistical information:
James M. Ross: email@example.com]
- In 1996, 575 league and non-league clubs registered to take part in the FA Cup.
- Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus have been the three most successful European clubs in recent years.
- The Wanderers won the first FA Cup in 1872, beating the Royal Engineers1-0.
- There were 12 clubs in the first football league of1888: Accrington, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Burnley, Derby County, Everton, Notts County, Preston North End, Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
- France hosts the World Cup for the second time in it history in 1998. The first was in 1938. Only two other countries have hosted the cup twice: Italy (1934 and 1990) and Mexico (1970 and 1986).
- The GM Vauxhall Conference League has also been known the Alliance Premier League and the Gola League.
- Alan Shearer was born four years after England last won the World Cup.
- England's number one goalkeeper in 1897 was William 'Fatty' Foulke who eventually tipped the scales at 24 stone.
- When a player represents his country, he literally wins 'a cap'. The cap is usually sent to the player a few weeks after the game.
- One of the highest scoring games in an FA cup match was during Round 1 in 1888. The result: Preston North End 26 Hyde 0
- The League Cup became the Milk Cup in 1982, The Littlewoods Challenge Cup in 1986, The Rumbelows Cup in 1990 and the Coca-Cola Cup in 1992. The Dairy Council and Littlewoods provided their own trophy but Rumbelows and Coca-Cola use the original League Cup Trophy.
- Birmingham missed out on the1921/22 FA Cup competition because their secretary forgot to return the entry form! Queen's Park Rangers made the same mistake in 1926.