EFL League One

The English Football League One (often referred to as League One for short or Sky Bet League One for sponsorship reasons) 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
Founded2004 (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
(23 for 2019–20 season due to expulsion of Bury)
Level on pyramid3
Promotion toChampionship
Relegation toLeague Two
Domestic cup(s)FA Cup
League cup(s)EFL Cup
EFL Trophy
International cup(s)Europa League
(via FA Cup or EFL Cup)
Current championsLuton Town
TV partnersSky Sports
Quest (highlights only)
2019–20 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, prior to the advent of the Premier League, as the Football League Third Division.

At present (2019-20 season), Peterborough and Gillingham hold the longest tenure in League One, both last being out of the division in the 2012–13 season. There are currently six former Premier League clubs competing in League One, namely Blackpool (2010–11), Bolton (2011–12), Coventry City (2000–01), Ipswich Town (2001–02), Portsmouth (2009–10) and Sunderland (2016–17).[1]


There are 24 clubs in League One (though there are currently 23, due to the explusion of Bury). 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.

Media coverage

Sky Sports currently show live League One matches with highlights shown on Quest TV on their show EFL on Quest. Highlights of all games in the Football League are also available to view separately on the Sky Sports website. In Sweden, TV3 Sport has the rights of broadcasting from the league. A couple of league matches during the season of 09/10 including play-off matches and the play-off final to the Championship were shown. In Australia, beIN Sports broadcasts live Championship matches. In the US and surrounding countries including Cuba and Puerto Rico, some EFL Championship, EFL League One and EFL League Two games are shown on ESPN. In Spain, DAZN broadcasts live matches from League One and League Two.

Current members

The following 23 clubs competed in League One during the 2019–20 season. The 24th club, Bury, were expelled from the EFL on 27 August 2019 and did not fulfill any of their fixtures for the season. Their manager at the time was Paul Wilkinson.

Club Finishing position last season Location Stadium Capacity[2]
Accrington Stanley 14th Accrington Crown Ground 5,057 (2,000 seated)
AFC Wimbledon 20th London (Kingston upon Thames) Kingsmeadow 4,850 (2,265 seated)
Blackpool 10th Blackpool Bloomfield Road 17,338
Bolton Wanderers 23rd in Championship (relegated) Bolton University of Bolton Stadium 28,723
Bristol Rovers 15th Bristol Memorial Stadium 12,300
Burton Albion 9th Burton upon Trent Pirelli Stadium 6,912 (2,034 seated)
Coventry City 8th Birmingham (Bordesley) St Andrew's 29,409
Doncaster Rovers 6th Doncaster Keepmoat Stadium 15,231
Fleetwood Town 11th Fleetwood Highbury Stadium 5,311 (2,701 seated)
Gillingham 13th Gillingham Priestfield Stadium 11,582
Ipswich Town 24th in Championship (relegated) Ipswich Portman Road 30,311
Lincoln City 1st in League Two (promoted) Lincoln Sincil Bank 10,307
Milton Keynes Dons 3rd in League Two (promoted) Milton Keynes Stadium MK 30,500
Oxford United 12th Oxford Kassam Stadium 12,500
Peterborough 7th Peterborough London Road 15,314
Portsmouth 4th Portsmouth Fratton Park 21,100
Rochdale 16th Rochdale Spotland 10,249
Rotherham United 22nd in Championship (relegated) Rotherham New York Stadium 12,021
Shrewsbury Town 18th Shrewsbury New Meadow 9,875
Southend United 19th Southend-on-Sea Roots Hall 12,392
Sunderland 5th Sunderland Stadium of Light 48,707
Tranmere Rovers 6th in League Two (promoted via play-offs) Birkenhead Prenton Park 16,587
Wycombe Wanderers 17th High Wycombe Adams Park 10,300

Teams promoted from League One

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 Blackburn Rovers Rotherham United (4th)
2018–19 Luton Town Barnsley Charlton Athletic (3rd)

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

Play-off results

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, AET)
Sheffield Wednesday 4–2 Hartlepool United (AET)
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, AET)
2006–07 Yeovil Town 0–2 Nottingham Forest
Oldham Athletic 1–2 Blackpool
Nottingham Forest 2–5 Yeovil Town (AET)
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, AET)
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, AET)
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, AET)
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, AET)
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, AET)
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, AET)
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 (AET)
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, AET)

Portsmouth 0–0 Sunderland

Charlton Athletic 2–1 Sunderland

Relegated teams

Season Clubs
2004–05 Torquay United, Wrexham, Peterborough United, Stockport County
2005–06 Hartlepool United, Milton Keynes Dons, Swindon Town, Walsall
2006–07 Chesterfield, Bradford City, Rotherham United, Brentford
2007–08 Bournemouth, Gillingham, Port Vale, Luton Town
2008–09 Northampton Town, Crewe Alexandra, Cheltenham Town, Hereford United
2009–10 Gillingham, Wycombe Wanderers, Southend United, Stockport County
2010–11 Dagenham & Redbridge, Bristol Rovers, Plymouth Argyle, Swindon Town
2011–12 Wycombe Wanderers, Chesterfield, Exeter City, Rochdale
2012–13 Scunthorpe United, Bury, Hartlepool United, Portsmouth
2013–14 Stevenage, Shrewsbury Town, Carlisle United, Tranmere Rovers
2014–15 Crawley Town, Leyton Orient, Yeovil Town, Notts County
2015–16 Crewe Alexandra, Blackpool, Colchester United, Doncaster Rovers
2016–17 Port Vale, Coventry City, Swindon Town, Chesterfield
2017–18 Oldham Athletic, Northampton Town, Milton Keynes Dons, Bury
2018–19 Plymouth Argyle, Walsall, Scunthorpe United, Bradford City
2019–20 Bury[a]

a Expelled in August 2019 after financial breaches.

Top scorers

Season Top scorer Club 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

Financial Fair Play

Starting from the 2012–13 season, a Financial Fair Play arrangement has been in place in all 3 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]

See also


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