The United Kingdom football league system is also known as the football pyramid. This league consists of a series of interconnected games for men’s association football clubs. The league follows a hierarchical format where promotion and relegation between leagues in different levels. Having this rule, the system is allowing even the smallest team the chance of ultimately rising to the very top.
Basically, there will be a certain number of the most successful teams in each league which will be promoted to a much higher league and those that finish at the bottom will unfortunately find themselves backing down a level. However, the promotion to a higher league is still contingent in meeting the criteria made by the higher league. That is why in theory; the small team can rise to a pinnacle.
There are a number of divisions within the football league system and they are the following:
- The Premier League or the top flight is the top league and only contains 20 clubs competing with each other.
- The Football League is lower than the Premier and it is divided into three divisions with 24 clubs each: League Two, League One and The Championship.
- The Football Conference is the top competition among the non-League football and usually consists of a Conference Premier with 24 clubs, Conference North and Conference south with 22 clubs each.
- Next to the Football Conference are the Northern Premier League Southern Football League and the Isthmian League. All of which have a Premier Division which consists of 24 teams.
Essentially, the clubs in the Premier League and Football League are all full-time professionals. While the rest of the other leagues or competitions are already considered the non-League clubs even if they play in league-type competitions. Suffice to say, the lower the pyramid or the league, the less professional the player gets.