Sports

Relegation Explained

With season-end almost upon us, most teams will be looking at their respective performances and planning what they have to do in the following year. There will only be one champion – but there will be at least 2-3 other teams that would be celebrating along with them. There will also be 2-3 other teams that would regret having played how they had as they say goodbye.

Confused? Don’t be, I’ll be explaining how the entire process works.

Football all over the world works in a tier system, where the teams’ individual performance decides which tier they will be playing the next year. The bottom-placed teams are relegated to the second division from the premier division, and the top-most teams from the second division get promoted to replace the bottom-placed teams for the next season. Let’s take the example of last season’s English Premier League points table to understand how the process works.

Manchester City was crowned champions, while Cardiff City, Fulham and Huddersfield were the worst-performing teams, who ended up getting relegated. England’s second tier is called The Championship, whose top 2 teams get direct promotion, while the next four teams, i.e. the 3-6 positioned teams went head-to-head in a semi-final/final type of competition to see who the third team getting promoted would be. This is how it went –

Norwich and Sheffield United earned direct qualification into the Premier League and the next four teams, i.e. Leeds United, West Brom, Aston Villa and Derby County played against each other to see who would be the last team getting qualification. Aston Villa ended up being the last team going up into the Premiership.

The first and second division names of a few popular countries are given below –

Spain First Division – La Liga

 Second Division – Segunda Division

England First Division – Premier League/Premiership

  Second Division – Championship

France First Division – Ligue 1

   Second Division – Ligue 2

Germany First Division – Bundesliga

  Second Division – Bundesliga 2

Italy First Division – Seria A

  Second Division – Serie B

There are certain countries that do not follow the tier system at all at present. These countries include America’s Major League Soccer (MLS), India’s Indian Super League (ISL) and I-League* and Australia’s A-League.

*India’s football governing body has decided to incorporate the promotion/relegation system from 2025, where the ISL will be the first tier and the I-League will be the second tier.

If you still have any questions about this system then leave your questions in the comments. If you have predictions regarding this season’s promotion/relegation candidates, leave those in the comments, too!

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