As Pompey push for promotion from League Two, the structure of promotion and relegation in the Football League can sometimes cause confusion. This is for those who may not be clear on how teams move throughout the leagues.
Relegation and promotion between the Premier League and Championship is relatively straight forward and the system which is most widely known and understood. Three teams are relegated from the top flight with the top two from the second tier going up automatically. There is then a four-team play-off to determine the third team to take their place at the top table.
This is also true between the Championship and League One. The process changes between Leagues One and Two.
The usual tree-up system applies in the third tier of the Football League system. However, at the bottom teams finishing 21st to 24th drop down to the bottom division. This means that in League Two, the top three teams are promoted with teams finishing fourth to seventh in the play-offs. Two teams are relegated out of the league into the National League.
This means that Paul Cook’s team need a top-three instead of just a top-two finish to progress back into League One. This task is currently in the Blues’ hands as we approach the final month of the season.