The League One which is known as Sky Bet League 1 for sponsorship purposes is the second highest division in the Football League after the Championship in England. The league 1 is also the third highest league in England, and this is not to confuse you since we have earlier established that it is the second highest division, it becomes the third highest league because the Premier League, which is the most elite league in England is a separate entity from the Football League.
League 1 has evolved over the years and many changes have also occurred and the League One name came about in the year 2004 after it was previously known as the Football League Second Division.
It is important to point out that League 1 is not as prestigious as the other leagues like the Championship and the Premier League because the league does not receive the type of funding enjoyed by the Championship or the Premier League. The infrastructure in terms of stadiums is not that great but there are a few exceptional cases like when Sunderland were relegated to this league.
The quality of football and players is also not great as the league is full of players who would have failed to make the grade in the tiers above the League 1, the other reason is that most Championship teams recruit most of their players from this league. It is however unfair to look at this league in comparison with the other leagues.
The Football League 1 division consists of a total of 24 clubs who each play a total of 46 matches in a round robin format where each team plays each other once at home and once at the other club’s home. A total of 552 league matches are played in a regular season but teams from this division also participate in the FA Cup. Three points are awarded if a team wins their game and a point is awarded to each team if they draw. If a team loses they will get nothing.
The team which finishes with the most points will be crowned league 1 champions and will be automatically promoted to the league together with the second placed team. The clubs that finished between the third and sixth position will have to participate in play-offs to determine the third team to be promoted. The four bottom placed clubs at the end of the season are relegated to League Two.
League one standings at the end of the season are determined based on a set criteria, firstly they look at points obtained,then goal difference, then goals scored and then they also look at the aggregate of the results between clubs until a winner has been found.
The 2018/19 saw Luton Town, Barnsley, Charlton Athletic being promoted to the Championship, Luton Town was crowned champions and was automatically promoted with Barnsley who finished agonisingly second with just a three point deficit. Third placed Charlton Athletic had to do it the hard way and they only got promoted after a play-off with Portsmouth, Sunderland and Doncaster Rovers. Plymouth, Walsall, Scunthorpe and Bradford City were relegated to England League 2.