A HISTORY OF ADMISSION TO THE FOOTBALL LEAGUE

Until the mid-1980s, admission to the Football League was by
election.  At the end of each season clubs at the bottom of the 
Football League were obliged to seek re-election. The bottom 
clubs had to go 'cap-in-hand' to the AGM of the Football League 
and endure a vote by their League colleagues who also considered the 
applications of ambitious non-Football League clubs eager to join the 
elite.  The 'non-leaguers' were often scathing of this method of 
joining the elite and they generally regarded the Football League as 
a 'closed shop' and the election procedure as an 'old pals act' since 
more often than not, the clubs seeking re-election got back into the 
League without any problem at all. 

Below is a brief season-by-season history of how all clubs gained admission
to the Football League with all known results of the annual vote for places
in the Football League.  The method of voting varied, but from the advent of 
the Third Division in the early 1920s the Full Members (clubs in Division 
One and Two) had one vote per available place, whilst the Associate 
Members (those in Division Three - and Division Four from 1958) 
shared a very small number of votes.

Abbreviations used for Leagues FL Football League BC Birmingham Combination (now Midland Combination) BD Birmingham & District League (now West Midlands League) CE Central League CL Cheshire League FA Football Alliance FC Football Conference LC Lancashire Combination LL Lancashie League MA Manchester League ML Midland League NA Northern Alliance NC Northern Counties League NE North Eastern League NL Northern League NP Northern Premier League NR North Regional League SL Southern League TC The Combination WE Welsh National League (South) WL Wearside League WM West Midland League WN Welsh National League (North) WS Western League WY West Yorkshire League YL Yorkshire League -- not a member of a League ?? unknown Clubs in bold were elected (or more usually re-elected) to the League. The League of which each club was a member at the time of the election is shown after the club's name.
1888 The Football League came into being for the 1888-89 season. The League was created largely at the instigation of Scotsman, William McGregor, the secretary of Aston Villa. He wanted to introduce more competitive and regular matches to replace the existing calendar of friendly matches susceptible to cancellation at the last minute. After several meetings the following twelve clubs were selected to form the Football League ('Football' League was selected in preference to 'English' League because McGregor had hopes of inviting Scottish clubs into the League). These twelve original clubs were probably not the twelve strongest teams in the country: Original members in order of placing at the end of the first season Preston North End founder member of the Football League Aston Villa founder member of the Football League Wolverhampton Wanderers founder member of the Football League Blackburn Rovers founder member of the Football League Bolton Wanderers founder member of the Football League West Bromwich Albion founder member of the Football League Accrington founder member of the Football League Everton founder member of the Football League Burnley founder member of the Football League Derby County founder member of the Football League Notts County founder member of the Football League Stoke founder member of the Football League
1889 The League rules stated that the bottom four clubs were obliged to retire and seek re-election at the AGM along with any other clubs wishing to become League members. Votes were cast as follows: Stoke FL 10 re-elected to the Football League Burnley FL 9 re-elected to the Football League Derby County FL 8 re-elected to the Football League Notts County FL 7 re-elected to the Football League Birmingham St George's -- 5 Sheffield Wednesday -- 4 Sunderland -- 2 Bootle -- 2 Newton Heath -- 1 South Shore -- 0 Sunderland Albion -- 0 Grimsby Town -- 0 Walsall Town Swifts -- 0
1890 Although the rules stated that the bottom four clubs had to apply for re-election, the League abandoned standing orders at the AGM. Aston Villa and Bolton Wanderers finished level on points and were separated by goal average - Villa 0.84314, Bolton 0.84375. Bolton would therefore have escaped having to seek re-election, but Villa would not (an embarrassment to William McGregor). It was decided that both clubs should be regarded as being level in eighth place and therefore would not need to retire (interestingly, later calculations showed that Bolton's goal tally was not 54-64, as had been thought at the AGM, but 54-65 - this placed Bolton below Villa!). Burnley FL ) re-elected to the Football League Notts County FL ) re-elected to the Football League Sunderland -- ) elected to the Football League Stoke FA ) not re-elected Bootle FA ) Grimsby Town FA ) The voting figures are not recorded in Sunderland Albion FA ) the Football League's minutes. Newton Heath FA ) Darwen FA )
1891 The AGM agreed to extend League membership from 12 to 14 clubs. The bottom four clubs competed with new applicants for six places. Aston Villa FL 8 re-elected to the Football League Acrington FL 8 re-elected to the Football League Derby County FL 8 re-elected to the Football League West Bromwich Albion FL 8 re-elected to the Football League Stoke FA 7 elected to the Football League Darwen FA 7 elected to the Football League Newton Heath FA ) Nottingham Forest FA ) Sunderland Albion FA ) 2 votes shared by the four clubs Ardwick -- )
1892 The Football League decided to increase the number of clubs in the First Division from 14 to 16 and to create a Second Division. First it held elections for the extra places in the First Division. West Bromwich Albion were excused having to seek re-election because they had just won the FA Cup which meant the three clubs seeking re-election competed with new applicants for five places in the First Division. Sheffield Wednesday FA 10 elected to Division One Nottingham Forest FA 9 elected to Division One Accrington FL 7 re-elected to Division One Stoke FL 7 re-elected to Division One Newton Heath(1) FA 6 elected to Division One Darwen FL 4 not re-elected Newcastle East End NL ) Middlesbrough/Middlesbrough Ironopolis(2)NL ) votes not recorded Liverpool -- rejected because "they did not comply with regulations" Note: (1) Now Manchester United (2) The two Middlesbrough clubs put in a joint bid and agreed to amalgamate if their application was successful. Then elections for the new Second Division took place. Darwen, having failed to be re-elected, joined other applicants. The Middlesbrough clubs did not apply for membership. There is no record of the names of any other teams which applied for membership or of the number of votes received by each club. Darwen FL elected to Division Two Burton Swifts FA elected to Division Two Grimsby Town FA elected to Division Two Bootle FA elected to Division Two Walsall Town Swifts FA elected to Division Two Small Heath Alliance(1) FA elected to Division Two Crewe Alexandra FA elected to Division Two Lincoln City FA elected to Division Two Ardwick(2) FA elected to Division Two Burslem Port Vale ML elected to Division Two Sheffield United ML elected to Division Two Northwich Victoria TC elected to Division Two Note: (1) Now Birmingham City (2) Now Manchester City
1893 Division Two was expanded from 12 to 14 clubs. No voting figures available. Lincoln City FL re-elected to Division Two Crewe Alexandra FL re-elected to Division Two Burslem Port Vale FL re-elected to Division Two Walsall Town Swifts FL re-elected to Division Two Rotherham Town ML elected to Division Two Newcastle United NL elected to Division Two It was agreed to advertise for two more clubs so that both the First and Second Divisions would have 16 clubs - with the successful Applicants to be chosen by the Management Committee 'on the following Wednesday". Woolwich Arsenal -- elected to Division Two Liverpool LL elected to Division Two Middlesbrough Ironopolis NL Doncaster Rovers ML Loughborough Town ML In August 1893 Accrington submitted their resignation from the Football League. They were replaced by: Middlesbrough Ironopolis NL elected to Division Two Shortly afterwards Bootle also resigned from the Football League but they were not replaced. Until (Woolwich) Arsenal's admission to the Football League, all member clubs had been located in the North and Midlands. Southern clubs remained strictly amateur. There were no leagues in the South, just Cup competitions and friendlies. In 1892 Arsenal attempted to form a league in the south, with clubs employing professionals - the Southern League - and twelve clubs wweere elected, including Arsenal, Reading, Swindon Town and Luton Town. However, they did not ratify their decision through fear of incurring the displeasure of the London FA (the Southern League finally began in 1894-5). For season 1892-3 Arsenal operated as a professional club which meant they were banished from all Southern competitions: they participated in the FA Cup and played friendlies against professional clubs from the North and Midlands. Liverpool were formed in 1892 after a split within Everton FC. Everton moved out of Anfield but a few directors remained and formed Liverpool FC. In 1892-3 the club recruited a team of Scots and played in the Lancashire League.
1894 The vacancy created by Bootle's resignation at the start of 1893-4 plus Northwich Victoria's decision not to apply for re-election meant that four places were available for the remaining two clubs seeking re-election plus the other hopefuls. Manchester City FL 20 re-elected to Division Two Leicester Fosse ML 20 elected to Division Two Bury LL 17 elected to Division Two Burton Wanderers ML 17 re-elected to Division Two Rotherham Town FL 15 not re-elected* Blackpool LL 8 Loughborough ML 8 Rossendale United LL 0 Northwich Victoria FL did not seek re-election *In June 1894 Middlesbrough Ironopolis resigned from the League and Rotherham Town were invited to rejoin Division Two.
1895 Lincoln City FL 22 re-elected to Division Two Burslem Port Vale FL 22 re-elected to Division Two Crewe Alexandra FL 18 re-elected to Division Two Loughborough Town ML 18 elected to Division Two Walsall Town Swifts FL ) not re-elected Blackpool LL ) votes not recorded Fairfield LL )
1896 It was agreed to reduce, from four to three, the number of clubs having to seek re-election. Rotherham Town did not seek re-election.. Blackpool LL 19 elected to Division Two Walsall Town Swifts ML 16 elected to Division Two Gainsborough Trinity ML 15 elected to Division Two Burslem Port Vale FL 10 not re-elected Luton Town SL 10 Crewe Alexandra FL 4 not re-elected Fairfield LL 3 Glossop North End TC 3 Tottenham Hotspur SL 2 Macclesfield TC 2 Rotherham Town FL - did not seek re-election
1897 Lincoln City FL 21 re-elected to Division Two Burton Swifts FL 15 re-elected to Division Two Luton Town SL 13 elected to Division Two Burslem Port Vale ML 11 Burton Wanderers FL 9 not re-elected Nelson LL 7 Glossop North End TC 5 Fairfield LL 3 Crewe Alexandra TC 2 Millwall Athletic SL 1
1898 Lincoln City FL 21 re-elected to Division Two Burslem Port Vale ML 18 elected to Division Two Loughborough Town FL 16 re-elected to Division Two Darwen FL 16 not re-elected New Brighton Tower LL ) Nelson LL ) votes not recorded Bristol City SL ) The AGM gave consideration to changes to the composition of the Football League. The Arsenal representative proposed forming two Second Divisions - North and South - with 16 teams in each.. The Aston Villa rep suggested a First Division of 18 and two regional Second Divisions of 12. It was finally decided to expand both First and Second Divisions from 16 to 18 clubs. No clubs were to be relegated from the First to the Second Division which meant that four vacancies were created in Division Two. One place was filled immediately: Darwen -- elected to Division Two The remaining three places were filled eight days later - apparently uncontested. New Brighton Tower LL elected to Division Two Glossop North End TC elected to Division Two Barnsley ML elected to Division Two
1899 Loughborough Town FL 28 re-elected to Division Two Chesterfield Town ML 17 elected to Division Two Middlesbrough NL 17 elected to Division Two Blackpool FL 15 not re-elected Coventry City BD ) Chorley LL ) Stockport County LL ) votes not recorded Ashton North End LL ) Wigan County LL ) Darwen FL did not seek re-election
1900 Barnsley FL re-elected to Division Two Blackpool LL elected to Division Two Stockport County LL elected to Division Two Loughborough Town FL not re-elected Doncaster Rovers ML Kettering ML Stalybridge Rovers LL Luton Town FL did not seek re-election
1901 Burton Swifts FL 23 re-elected to Division Two Bristol City SL 23 elected to Division Two Stockport County FL 16 Second vote 21 re-elected to Division Two Doncaster Rovers ML 16 Second vote 13 Walsall Town Swifts FL 7 not re-elected Crewe Alexandra LL ) Darwen LL ) votes not recorded Stalybridge Rovers LL ) Southport Central LL ) At the start of the following season New Brighton Tower resigned from the League and Doncaster Rovers were elected to the League Doncaster Rovers ML elected to Division Two
1902 Chesterfield Town FL re-elected to Division Two Stockport County FL re-elected to Division Two Gainsborough Trinity FL re-elected to Division Two Walsall Town Swifts ML
1903 Bradford City -- 30 elected to Division Two Stockport County FL 20 re-elected to Division Two Burnley FL 19 re-elected to Division Two Doncaster Rovers FL ) not re-elected Crewe Alexandra TC ) Southport Central LL ) votes not recorded West Hartlepool NL ) Willington Athletic NA ) Bradford City were elected to the Football League without having played a competitive match. West Yorkshire remained a strongly Rugby League area and it is assumed that City's election was an attempt by the Football League to establish a foothold in this area.
1904 Leicester Fosse FL 33 re-elected to Division Two Glossop North End FL 27 re-elected to Division Two Doncaster Rovers ML 21 elected to Division Two Stockport County FL 11 not re-elected Crewe Alexandra BD 10
1905 Leeds City WY 25 elected to Division Two Port Vale FL 21 re-elected to Division Two Chelsea -- 20 elected to Division Two Hull City -- 18 Burton United FL ?? not re-elected Doncaster Rovers FL ?? not re-elected Stockport County ML 3 Clapton Orient SL 1 Chelsea had a ground, but had played no games and had no signed players when they were elected. Leeds City were formed in 1904, joined the West Yorkshire League for 1904-05 but seemed to treat the West Yorks League with scant respect; preferring to cancel games in order to play prestigious friendlies against top Football League teams. After the re-election procedures had been completed it was agreed to expand the Football League from 36 to 40 clubs. All the previously unsuccessful candidates were elected with the exception of Doncaster Rovers. Hull City -- elected to Division Two Burton United -- elected to Division Two Stockport County LC elected to Division Two Clapton Orient (1) SL elected to Division Two Hull had been formed in 1904 and played only friendly matches in 1904-05 Stockport ran a 'first team' in both the Lancashire Combination and Midland League in 1904-05! Note: (1) Now Leyton Orient
1906 Chesterfield Town FL ?? re-elected to Division Two Burton United FL ?? re-elected to Division Two Clapton Orient FL 21 re-elected to Division Two Oldham Athletic LC 20 Wigan Town TC 5
1907 Fulham SL ?? elected to Division Two Lincoln City FL 28 re-elected to Division Two Chesterfield Town FL 23 re-elected to Division Two Oldham Athletic LC 17 Bradford Park Ave -- 11 Burton United FL 7 not re-elected Rotherham Town ML 0 Wigan Town TC 0 Salford United MA 0 Like Chelsea and Clapton Orient before them, Fulham offered Midlands clubs an extra 15 and Northern clubs an extra 20 in travel expenses when visiting London. Soon after the AGM, Burslem Port Vale resigned from the Football League. Oldham Athletic and Burton United both applied to fill the vacancy. The Management Committee voted 6-0 in favour of Oldham Athletic who were therefore Elected to the Football League. It was revealed in the minutes of Oldham Athletic FC that they offered Port Vale 1,000 and two players provided that Port Vale resigned from the League and Oldham took their place! Oldham Athletic LC elected to Division Two In May 1907 clubs agreed to form a Third Division. Advertisements were placed in 'Athletics News' but only 10 clubs expressed an interest and the idea was dropped.
1908 Grimsby Town FL 32 re-elected to Division Two Chesterfield Town FL 23 re-elected to Division Two Bradford Park Ave SL 20 elected to Division Two Lincoln City FL 18 not re-elected Tottenham Hotspur SL 14 Burton United BD 1 Rotherham County ML withdrew application Queens Park Rangers SL withdrew application A few days after the AGM, Stoke announced they could not continue in the Football League due to lack of support. Their resignation was accepted. A Special Meeting was arranged to elect a new member, but before the Meeting took place Stoke announced they wished to continue in the League. Stoke, along with Tottenham, Lincoln, Rotherham and Southport stood for Election and in the ballot Tottenham and Lincoln tied, 20 votes each. The Management Committee then voted 5-3 in favour of Tottenham Hotspur. It was rumoured that Stoke's original resignation had been encouraged by Tottenham, who offered financial inducements to Stoke to resign Tottenham Hotspur SL elected to Division Two Lincoln City -- Stoke -- Rotherham County ML Southport Central LC
1909 The number of clubs having to seek re-election was reduced from three to two Blackpool FL 27 re-elected to Division Two Lincoln City ML 24 elected to Division Two Chesterfield Town FL ?? not re-elected Stoke BD 6 Rotherham County ML did not attend meeting
1910 Birmingham City FL 30 re-elected to Division Two Huddersfield Town ML 26 elected to Division Two Grimsby Town FL 12 not re-elected Chesterfield Town ML 6 Stoke SL 3 Hartlepools United NE 2
1911 Barnsley FL 28 re-elected to Division Two Grimsby Town ML 18 elected to Division Two Lincoln City FL 17 not re-elected Darlington NE ) Chesterfield Town ML ) "15 votes between them" Hartlepools United NE ) Rochdale LC ) After the AGM, the five unsuccesful clubs met and decided to ask the Football League to reconsider the idea of a Third Division. This was backed by 34 of the 40 League clubs. The Football League advertised for new clubs stating that there would need to be a minimum of sixteen teams and that these clubs would not be given a vote at AGMs, except in the election of new clubs. Applications were received from twenty clubs - the five previously mentioned plus Port Vale, Rotherham Town, Crewe Alexandra, Walsall, Burton Town, Macclesfield, St Helen's Town, South Liverpool, Southport Central, South Shields Adelaide, Croydon Common, Portsmouth, Southend United, Cardiff City and Merthyr Town. When the proposal to form a Third Division with these Clubs was put to the League members, they rejected it 26-11 (!)
1912 Leeds City FL 33 re-elected to Division Two Lincoln City CE 27 elected to Division Two Gainsborough Trinity FL 9 not re-elected Chesterfield Town ML 6 Newcastle City NE 1 Cardiff City SL 1 Doncaster Rovers ML 0
1913 Blackpool FL 32 re-elected to Division Two Stockport County FL 22 re-elected to Division Two Chesterfield Town ML 10 Stalybridge Celtic CE 6 Darlington NE 4 Gainsbrough Trinity ML 4 South Shields NE 0 Nelson LC withdrew before vote
1914 Nottingham Forest FL 34 re-elected to Division Two Lincoln City FL 24 re-elected to Division Two Stoke SL 16 Darlington NE 2 Chesterfield Town ML 1 South Shields NE ) Gainsborough Trinity ML ) Vote not recorded South Liverpool LC )
1915 Leicester Fosse FL 33 re-elected to Division Two Stoke SL 21 elected to Division Two South Shields NE 11 Chesterfield ML 8 Darlington NE 4 Glossop North End FL 1 not re-elected The Football League officially suspended operations after the 1915 AGM
1919 For the first full season after the end of the First World War the Football League decided to increase its memmbership from 40 clubs (two divisions of 20) to 44 clubs (two divisions of 22). Consequently no Football League clubs were obliged to seek re-election and four new places in Division Two were available for applicants: Coventry City SL 35 elected to Division Two West Ham United SL 32 elected to Division Two South Shields NE 28 elected to Division Two Rotherham County ML 28 elected to Division Two Port Vale CE 27 Southport CE 7 Rochdale LC 7 Chesterfield Town ML 0
1920 Leeds City were expelled from the Football League in October 1919. Port Vale (CE) took over Leeds City's fixtures in Division Two (presumably because Port Vale had just failed to be elected in 1919). Leeds City became defunct and a new club, Leeds United, was formed almost immediately and took over the fixtures of Leeds City reserves in the Midland League(!) Leeds United ML 31 elected to Division Two Cardiff City SL 23 elected to Division Two Grimsby Town FL 20 not re-elected Lincoln City FL 7 not re-elected Walsall BD 3 After this vote, a debate concerning the creation of a Third Division took place. The original proposal was that the 22 members of the Southern League be elected en bloc. Some argued that it was unfair that Grimsby and Lincoln had just lost their places and would not be able to regain their places. It was then remembered that one of the Southern League's members (Cardiff) had just been elected to the League leaving another vacancy! Grimsby, having gained more votes than Lincoln, were then elected into the new Third Division along with the 21 Southern League clubs. There was also a promise that Lincoln would be treated sympathetically if a Northern Section of the Third Division was created Clubs elected to the Third Division Grimsby Town -- elected to Division Three Swansea Town SL elected to Division Three Merthyr Town SL elected to Division Three Newport County SL elected to Division Three Crystal Palace SL elected to Division Three Queens Park Rangers SL elected to Division Three Millwall SL elected to Division Three Watford SL elected to Division Three Brentford SL elected to Division Three Luton Town SL elected to Division Three Swindon Town SL elected to Division Three Bristol Rovers SL elected to Division Three Exeter City SL elected to Division Three Plymouth Argyle SL elected to Division Three Southampton SL elected to Division Three Portsmouth SL elected to Division Three Brighton & Hove Alb SL elected to Division Three Southend United SL elected to Division Three Reading SL elected to Division Three Gillingham SL elected to Division Three Northampton Town SL elected to Division Three Norwich City SL elected to Division Three
1921 North It was decided to create a Division Three (North) to complement what would now be called Division Three (South) formed the previous year. The Management Committee vetted all applicants and proposed 14 clubs for consideration en bloc. The 14 attended a meeting in March 1921, were called to state their case and were then all elected to Division Three (North). The 14 were Lincoln City ML elected to Division Three (North) Accrington Stanley LC elected to Division Three (North) Rochdale CE elected to Division Three (North) Walsall BD elected to Division Three (North) Chesterfield Town ML elected to Division Three (North) Crewe Alexandra CE elected to Division Three (North) Nelson CE elected to Division Three (North) Tranmere Rovers CE elected to Division Three (North) Ashington NE elected to Division Three (North) Hartlepools United NE elected to Division Three (North) Darlington NE elected to Division Three (North) Durham City NE elected to Division Three (North) Barrow LC elected to Division Three (North) Wrexham BD elected to Division Three (North) The division was to have a complement of twenty clubs. At the AGM, Grimsby were transferred to the northern section, and a relegated club (Stockport County) took another place, leaving four places available for applicants: Wigan Borough LC 34 elected to Division Three (North) Halifax Town ML 25 elected to Division Three (North) Southport CE 25 elected to Division Three (North) Stalybridge Celtic CE 25 elected to Division Three (North) Castleford Town ML 18 Rotherham Town ML 13 Blyth Spartans NE 9 Gainsborough Trinity ML 8 Doncaster Rovers ML 6 West Stanley NE 6 Wakefield City YL 4 Lancaster Town LC 3 Scunthorpe & L Utd ML 3 South Liverpool LC 1 South In the South, the Arsenal representative proposed that the bottom two, Brentford and Gillingham, be re-elected automatically and this was carried with only one dissenter. With the transfer of Grimsby to the northern section, the promotion of Crystal Palace to Divison Two and no club relegated to Division Three (South) there were two vacancies: Aberdare Athletic SL 38 elected to Division Three (South) Charlton Athletic SL 30 elected to Division Three (South) Bath City WS ) Abertillery Town SL ) Barry SL ) Bridgend Town WE ) Votes not recorded Pontypridd SL ) Aberaman Athletic SL withdrew before vote The League Secretary reminded clubs that they should alway refer to the League by its correct title - the 'Football League', rather than the 'English League' - since there were now six Welsh clubs in it!
1922 North Halifax Town FL 42 re-elected to Division Three (North) Rochdale FL 31 re-elected to Division Three (North) Doncaster Rovers ML 9 New Brighton LC 7 York City ?? 1 ?? York City were founded in 1922, so presumably made an application to join the Football League from scratch. They eventually joined the Midland League in season 1922-23 South Southend United FL 36 re-elected to Division Three (South) Exeter City FL 32 re-elected to Division Three (South) Pontypridd SL 21 Bath City SL 1 Llanelly WE 0
1923 It was agreed to increase the Northern section from 20 to 22 clubs. Stalybridge Celtic resigned from the Northern section, but since the two clubs relegated from Division Two were northern it was agreed to accept two new clubs in the northern section and one in the south. North Ashington FL 45 re-elected to Division Three (North) Durham City FL 45 re-elected to Division Three (North) Doncaster Rovers ML 45 elected to Division Three (North) New Brighton LC 45 elected to Division Three (North) Nuneaton Town BD 0 Wallasey United ?? 0 South Aberdare Athletic FL 45 re-elected to Division Three (South) Newport County FL 45 re-elected to Division Three (South) Boscombe SL 28 elected to Division Three (South) Llanelly WE 9 Pontypridd SL 8 Torquay United SL 0 On election Boscombe decided to change their name to Bournemouth United. A few weeks later they adopted the name Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic.
1924 No applications were received from outside the Football League, so the four retiring clubs were re-elected automatically. North Barrow FL re-elected to Division Three (North) Hartlepools United FL re-elected to Division Three (North) South Bournemouth & Ath FL re-elected to Division Three (South) Queens Park Rangers FL re-elected to Division Three (South)
1925 North Rotherham County FL 42 re-elected to Division Three (North) Tranmere Rovers FL 32 re-elected to Division Three (North) Mansfield Town ML 13 Blyth Spartans NE 3 South Brentford FL 44 re-elected to Division Three (South) Merthyr Town FL 44 re-elected to Division Three (South) Mid Rhondda SL 0
1926 North Walsall FL 33 re-elected to Division Three (North) Barrow FL 25 re-elected to Division Three (North) Carlisle United NE 12 Blyth Spartans NE 10 Mansfield Town ML 10 South Charlton Athletic FL re-elected to Division Three (South) Queens Park Rangers FL re-elected to Division Three (South) Both Southern teams applying for re-election were unopposed.
1927 North Accrington Stanley FL 36 re-elected to Division Three (North) Barrow FL 30 re-elected to Division Three (North) Mansfield Town ML 8 York City ML 6 Carlisle United NE 5 Blyth Spartans NE 3 South Watford FL 44 re-elected to Division Three (South) Torquay United SL 21 Second vote 26 elected to D3 (South) Aberdare Athletic FL 21 " " 19 not re-elected Kettering Town SL 1 Yeovil & Petters U SL 1 Ebbw Vale SL 0 Aberdare's loss of their Football League place was controversial. There was one spoilt ballot paper (for Aberdare?) in the first ballot when Aberdare and Torquay tied. Aberdare's secretary claimed that one of the scrutineers was 'an interested party'. Aberdare lost the second ballot.
1928 North Nelson FL 37 re-elected to Division Three (North) Carlisle United NE 33 elected to Division Three (North) Durham City FL 11 not re-elected York City ML 7 Chester CL 2 South Merthyr Town FL 47 re-elected to Division Three (South) Torquay United FL 42 re-elected to Division Three (South) Argonauts -- 16 Kettering Town SL 3 Peterboro & Flet'n U ML 2 Argonauts were formed as an amateur club along the lines of Queen's Park (Glasgow) and Corinthians. They had not played any matches when they made their application to join the Football League(!).
1929 North Hartlepools FL 33 re-elected to Division Three (North) York City ML 24 elected to Division Three (North) Ashington FL 14 not re-elected Mansfield Town ML 14 Manchester Central LC ) Prescot Cables LC ) Workington NE ) '3 votes between them' Chester CL ) Rhyl WN ) Connah's Quay & S WN withdrew before vote South Exeter City FL 42 re-elected to Division Three (South) Gillingham FL 35 re-elected to Division Three (South) Argonauts -- 6 Aldershot Town SL 5 Thames Association SL 1 Kettering Town SL 1 Llanelly WS 0
1930 North Halifax Town FL 40 re-elected to Division Three (North) Barrow FL 22 re-elected to Division Three (North) Mansfield Town ML 15 Manchester Central LC 13 Prescot Cables LC 0 South Gillingham FL 33 re-elected to Division Three (South) Thames Association SL 20 elected to Division Three (South) Aldershot Town SL 19 Merthyr Town FL 14 not re-elected Llanelly WS 4 Argonauts -- 0
1931 North Rochdale FL 40 re-elected to Division Three (North) Chester CL 27 Second vote 28 elected to D3N Nelson FL 27 " " 20 not re-elected Manchester Central LC 4 Merthyr Town SL 0 South Norwich City FL 38 re-elected to Division Three (South) Mansfield Town ML 25 elected to Division Three (South) Newport County FL 19 not-re-elected Aldershot Town SL 14 Merthyr Town SL 2 Merthyr Town showed their eagerness to return to the Football League by applying to join both the Northern and the Southern sections of the Third Division!
1932 Wigan Borough resigned from the Football League in September 1931 (Wigan Athletic were quickly formed and were amongst the applicants for Football League status at the end of the season). Thames Association disbanded at the end of the season. Mansfield Town were transferred to the North section which meant that the two vacancies created were both in the Southern section. North Rochdale FL 47 re-elected to Division Three (North) Rhyl WN 2 Wigan Athletic -- 0 South Gillingham FL 41 re-elected to Division Three (South) Newport County SL 36 elected to Division Three (South) Aldershot Town SL 35 elected to Division Three (South) Llanelly SL 25 Guildford City SL 8 Merthyr Town SL 2
1933 North Darlington FL 47 re-elected to Division Three (North) New Brighton FL 47 re-elected to Division Three (North) Scarborough ML 4 South Swindon Town FL 45 re-elected to Division Three (South) Newport County FL 26 re-elected to Division Three (South) Llanelly SL 20 Folkestone SL 5 Merthyr Town SL 1 Nuneaton Town BD 1
1934 North Rochdale FL re-elected to Division Three (North) Rotherham United FL re-elected to Division Three (North) Rochdale and Rotherham were re-elected, unopposed. South Bournemouth & B Ath FL 48 re-elected to Division Three (South) Cardiff City FL 48 re-elected to Division Three (South) Folkestone SL 0
1935 North Carlisle United FL 46 re-elected to Division Three (North) Southport FL 46 re-elected to Division Three (North) Shrewsbury Town BD 6 South Southend United FL 48 re-elected to Division Three (South) Newport County FL 43 re-elected to Division Three (South) Bath City SL 6 Folkestone SL 1
1936 North Southport FL 47 re-elected to Division Three (North) New Brighton FL 38 re-elected to Division Three (North) Shrewsbury Town BD 7 Wigan Athletic CL 6 South Exeter City FL 48 re-elected to Division Three (South) Newport County FL 40 re-elected to Division Three (South) Bath City SL 9 Dartford SL 1 Folkestone SL 0
1937 North Darlington FL 47 re-elected to Division Three (North) Gateshead FL 34 re-elected to Division Three (North) Shrewsbury Town BD 12 South Liverpool LC 4 Wigan Athletic CL 1 South Exeter City FL 40 re-elected to Division Three (South) Aldershot FL 34 re-elected to Division Three (South) Ipswich Town SL 24
1938 North Accrington Stanley FL 41 re-elected to Division Three (North) Barrow FL 35 re-elected to Division Three (North) Shrewsbury Town ML 15 South Liverpool LC 5 Scunthorpe & L Utd ML 1 Wigan Athletic CL 1 South Ipswich Town SL 36 elected to Division Three (South) Walsall FL 34 re-elected to Division Three (South) Gillingham FL 24 not re-elected
1939 North Hartlepools FL 38 re-elected to Division Three (North) Accrington Stanley FL 29 re-elected to Division Three (North) South Liverpool LC 5 Scunthorpe & L Utd ML 4 Burton Town ML 0 Wigan Athletic CL 0 South Bristol Rovers FL 45 re-elected to Division Three (South) Walsall FL 36 re-elected to Division Three (South) Gillingham SL 15 Chelmsford City SL 1 Colchester United SL 1
1947 27 clubs challenged the four clubs seeking re-election - but they were all disappointed. The Football League Secretary pointed out that the two clubs relegated from Division Two were both Southern clubs and that if geographically unsuitable clubs were elected this would cause an even greater imbalance in regionalised Division Three. He suggested that the four retiring clubs should be re-elected en bloc and without any voice of dissent this is what happened. No vote took place. Mansfield Town FL re-elected to Division Three (South) Norwich City FL re-elected to Division Three (South) Halifax Town FL re-elected to Division Three (North) Southport FL re-elected to Division Three (North) Ashington NE Gillingham SL Merthyr Tydfil SL Nelson LC Northwich Victoria CL Bath City SL Guildford City SL Llanelly WE Peterborough United ML Scunthorpe United ML Shrewsbury Town ML South Liverpool CL Wigan Athletic CL Annfield Plain WL Ashton United CL Bangor City LC Barry Town SL Chelmsford City SL Colchester United SL Consett NE Dudley Town BC Gravesend & N'fleet SL North Shields NE Stockton NE Worcester City SL Workington NE Yeovil Town SL
1948 Brighton & Hove A FL 47 re-elected to Division Three (South) Norwich City FL 47 re-elected to Division Three (South) Halifax Town FL 47 re-elected to Division Three (North) New Brighton FL 38 re-elected to Division Three (North) Shrewsbury Town ML 8 Colchester United SL 2 Scunthorpe United ML 2 Gillingham SL 1 Worcester City SL 1 South Liverpool CL 1 Bath City SL 0 Bridgend Town WE 0 Chelmsford City SL 0 Lovell's Athletic SL 0 Merthyr Tydfil SL 0 Peterborough United ML 0 Yeovil Town SL 0 Nelson LC 0 North Shields NE 0 Northwich Victoria CL 0 Wigan Athletic LC 0 Workington NE 0
1949 Bradford City FL 45 re-elected to Division Three (North) Southport FL 42 re-elected to Division Three (North) Aldershot FL 41 re-elected to Division Three (South) Crystal Palace FL 40 re-elected to Division Three (South) Worcester City SL 5 Gillingham SL 5 Shrewsbury Town ML 5 Scunthorpe United ML 5 Merthyr Tydfil SL 3 Yeovil Town SL 2 Peterborough United ML 0 Wigan Athletic LC 0 South Liverpool CL 0 North Shields NE 0 Nelson LC 0
1950 The Football League increased its numbers from 88 to 92 clubs. The bottom four clubs were re-elected without a ballot and a vote was then held to elect four new members. The ballot was regionalised with two clubs being elected to Division 3 North and two to Division 3 South North Shrewsbury Town ML 30 elected to Division Three (North) Scunthorpe United ML 17 Second Vote 15 Third Vote 30 elected to Division Three (North) Wigan Athletic LC 19 " " 15 " " 18 Workington NE 19 " " 14 Nelson LC 11 " " 5 Northwich Victoria CL 1 South Liverpool CL 1 Ashington NE 0 North Shields NE 0 Bangor City LC withdrew before vote South Gillingham SL 44 elected to Division Three (South) Colchester United SL 28 elected to Division Three (South) Worcester City SL 11 Chelmsford City SL 8 Peterborough United ML 5 Merthyr Tydfil SL 1 Yeovil Town SL 1 Llanelly WE 0 Cradley Heath BD 0 Nuneaton Borough BC 0
1951 Watford FL 48 re-elected to Division Three (South) Accrington Stanley FL 46 re-elected to Division Three (North) Crystal Palace FL 45 re-elected to Division Three (South) Workington NE 28 elected to Division Three (North) New Brighton FL 18 not re-elected Wigan Athletic LC 4 Nelson LC 1 North Shields NE 1 Worcester City SL 1 Merthyr Tydfil SL 1 Bath City SL 1 Northwich Victoria CL 0 South Liverpool CL 0 Chelmsford City SL 0 Hereford United SL 0 Peterborough United ML 0 Llanelly WE 0
1952 Darlington FL 49 re-elected to Division Three (North) Exeter City FL 47 re-elected to Division Three (South) Walsall FL 45 re-elected to Division Three (South) Workington FL 40 re-elected to Division Three (North) Wigan Athletic LC 9 Worcester City SL 3 Bath City SL 1 Merthyr Tydfil SL 1 Peterborough United ML 1 Nelson LC 0 North Shields NE 0 Headington United SL 0 Yeovil Town SL 0 New Brighton LC 0
1953 Shrewsbury Town FL 46 re-elected to Division Three (North) Accrington Stanley FL 45 re-elected to Division Three (North) Walsall FL 41 re-elected to Division Three (South) Workington FL 36 re-elected to Division Three (South) Wigan Athletic LC 17 Peterborough United ML 6 Yeovil Town SL 2 Bath City SL 2 Hereford United SL 1 Nelson LC 0 New Brighton LC 0 North Shields NE 0 Headington United SL 0 Worcester City SL 0
1954 Chester FL 48 re-elected to Division Three (North) Colchester United FL 45 re-elected to Division Three (South) Walsall FL 32 re-elected to Division Three (South) Halifax Town FL 28 re-elected to Division Three (North) Wigan Athletic LC 19 Peterborough United ML 18 Nelson LC 3 Worcester City SL 2 Merthyr Tydfil SL 1 North Shields NE 0 Yeovil Town SL 0 Bath City SL 0
1955 Grimsby Town FL 49 re-elected to Division Three (North) Chester FL 47 re-elected to Division Three (North) Colchester United FL 44 re-elected to Division Three (South) Walsall FL 33 re-elected to Division Three (South) Peterborough United ML 16 Worcester City SL 3 Headington United SL 2 Wigan Athletic LC 2 Burton Albion BD 0 Nelson LC 0 Bedford Town SL 0 Yeovil Town SL 0 North Shields NE 0
1956 Bradford Park Ave FL 47 re-elected to Division Three (North) Crewe Alexandra FL 45 re-elected to Division Three (North) Crystal Palace FL 44 re-elected to Division Three (South) Swindon Town FL 42 re-elected to Division Three (South) Peterborough United ML 8 Wigan Atheltic LC 2 Burton Albion BD 1 Nelson LC 1 Boston United ML 1 Gloucester City SL 1 Bedford Town SL 0 Chelmsford City SL 0 Hastings United SL 0 Headington United SL 0 King's Lynn ML 0 Worcester City SL 0 Yeovil Town SL 0
1957 Norwich City FL 48 re-elected to Division Three (South) Tranmere Rovers FL 48 re-elected to Division Three (North) Crewe Alexandra FL 47 re-elected to Division Three (North) Swindon Town FL 42 re-elected to Division Three (South) Peterborough United ML 7 Bedford Town SL 1 Burton Albion BD 1 Wigan Athletic LC 1 Headington United SL 0 Kettering Town SL 0 King's Lynn ML 0 Worcester City SL 0 Yeovil Town SL 0 Morecambe LC 0 Nelson LC 0 North Shields NE 0
1958 Divisions Three and Four were introduced for season 1958-59, replacing Divisions Three (North and South) Millwall FL 46 re-elected to Division Four Exeter City FL 43 re-elected to Division Four Southport FL 41 re-elected to Division Four Crewe Alexandra FL 35 re-elected to Division Four Peterborough United ML 15 Wigan Athletic LC 4 Hereford United SL 3 Bedford Town SL 2 Headington United SL 2 King's Lynn ML 2 Kettering Town SL 1 South Shields NE 1 Burton Albion BD 0 Gloucester City SL 0 Morecambe LC 0 Yeovil Town SL 0
1959 Oldham Athletic FL 46 re-elected to Division Four Southport FL 34 re-elected to Division Four Barrow FL 32 re-elected to Division Four Aldershot FL 31 re-elected to Division Four Peterborough United ML 26 Headington United SL 7 Worcester City SL 7 Wigan Athletic LC 3 Cambridge City SL 2 Gloucester City SL 2 Kettering Town SL 1 South Shields ML 1 Scarborough ML 1 Yeovil Town SL 0 Bedford Town SL 0 Hereford United SL 0 King's Lynn SL 0 Morecambe LC 0
1960 Oldham Athletic FL 39 re-elected to Division Four Peterborough United ML 35 elected to Division Four Hartlepools United FL 34 re-elected to Division Four Southport FL 29 re-elected to Division Four Gateshead FL 18 not re-elected Headington United SL 10 Chelmsford City SL 3 Bedford Town SL 2 Cambridge City SL 2 Guildford City SL 2 New Brighton LC 2 Romford SL 2 Scarborough ML 2 Worcester City SL 2 Ellesmere Port Town CL 1 Kettering Town SL 1 Morecambe LC 1 South Shields ML 1 Yeovil Town SL 0 Hereford United SL 0 King's Lynn SL 0
1961 Chester FL 45 re-elected to Division Four Exeter City FL 44 re-elected to Division Four Barrow FL 35 re-elected to Division Four Hartlepools FL 32 re-elected to Division Four Oxford United SL 19 Bedford Town SL 4 Wigan Athletic LC 4 Chelmsford City SL 3 Cambridge City SL 3 Gateshead NC 3 Hereford United SL 1 Kettering Town SL 1 Romford SL 1 Scarborough NC 1 South Shields NC 1 Bexleyheath & WellingSL 0 Gravesend & N'fleet SL 0 King's Lynn SL 0 Morecambe LC 0
1962 A vacancy was created during 1961-2 by the resignation of Accrington Stanley. Consequently only the bottom three clubs in the Football League sought re-election. Chester FL 46 re-elected to Division Four Doncaster Rovers FL 45 re-elected to Division Four Hartlepools FL 40 re-elected to Division Four Oxford United SL 39 elected to Division Four Wigan Athletic CL 5 Chelmsford City SL 4 Gateshead NC 4 Cambridge City SL 2 Worcester City SL 2 Bath City SL 1 Hereford United SL 1 King's Lynn SL 1 Morecambe LC 1 New Brighton LC 1 Bedford Town SL 0 Bexleyheath & WellingSL 0 Corby Town SL 0 Folkestone Twon SL 0 Gravesend & N'fleet SL 0 Guildford City SL 0 Kettering Town SL 0 North Shields NC 0 Poole Town SL 0 Romford SL 0 Scarborough NC 0 Sittingbourne SL 0 South Shields ML 0 Wellington Town SL 0 Yeovil Town SL 0
1963 Bradford City FL 47 re-elected to Division Four Lincoln City FL 47 re-elected to Division Four Chester FL 43 re-elected to Division Four Hartlepools FL 34 re-elected to Division Four Scarborough ML 5 Gateshead NR 4 Guildford City SL 3 Morecambe LC 2 Romford SL 2 New Brighton LC 1 South Shields NE 1 Wellington Town SL 1 Weymouth SL 1 Yeovil Town SL 1 Bexleyheath & WellingSL 0 Corby Town SL 0
1964 York City FL 48 re-elected to Division Four Southport FL 45 re-elected to Division Four Barrow FL 42 re-elected to Division Four Hartlepools FL 36 re-elected to Division Four Wigan Athletic CL 5 Gateshead NR 4 Romford SL 4 Yeovil Town SL 3 South Shields NE 3 New Brighton LC 2 Guildford City SL 2 Gloucester City SL 1 Morecambe LC 1 Weymouth SL 1 Bexley United SL 0 Poole Town SL 0 Scarborough ML 0 Eight clubs were removed from the ballot paper for signing Football League players without consent.
1965 Lincon City FL 48 re-elected to Division Four Stockport County FL 45 re-elected to Division Four Barrow FL 41 re-elected to Division Four Halifax Town FL 41 re-elected to Division Four Bedford Town SL 4 Gateshead NR 4 Guildford City SL 3 Hereford United SL 2 Wigan Athletic CL 2 Cambridge United SL 1 Morecambe LC 1 Romford SL 1 South Shields NR 1 Wellington Town SL 1 Wimbledon SL 1 Bexley United SL 0 Corby Town SL 0 New Brighton LC 0 Three clubs were removed from the ballot paper for signing Football League players without consent.
1966 Lincoln City FL 43 re-elected to Division Four Bradford City FL 42 re-elected to Division Four Wrexham FL 40 re-elected to Division Four Rochdale FL 40 re-elected to Division Four Wigan Athletic CL 5 Cambridge United SL 5 Hereford United SL 4 Bedford Town SL 3 Romford SL 2 Morecambe LC 2 Corby Town SL 1 Wellington Town SL 1 Wimbledon SL 0 Scarborough ML 0 Yeovil Town SL 0 Folkestone SL 0 Three clubs were removed from the ballot paper for signing Football League players without consent.
1967 Lincoln City FL 46 re-elected to Division Four Bradford Park Ave FL 45 re-elected to Division Four York City FL 45 re-elected to Division Four Rochdale FL 38 re-elected to Division Four Wigan Athletic CL 5 Romford SL 5 Hereford United SL 4 Bedford Town SL 2 Cambridge United SL 2 Chelmsford City SL 1 Wellington Town SL 1 Wimbledon SL 1 Yeovil Town SL 1 Cambridge City SL 0 Corby Town SL 0 Guildford City SL 0 Kettering Town SL 0 Scarborough ML 0
1968 York City FL 46 re-elected to Division Four Chester FL 44 re-elected to Division Four Bradford Park Ave FL 44 re-elected to Division Four Workington FL 38 re-elected to Division Four Cheltenham Town SL 3 Bedford Town SL 2 Cambridge City SL 2 Cambridge United SL 2 Chelmsford City SL 2 Runcorn CL 2 Wigan Athletic CL 2 Guildford City SL 1 Hereford United SL 1 New Brighton CL 1 Wellington Town SL 1 Wimbledon SL 1 Worcester City SL 1 Yeovil Town SL 0 Nuneaton Borough SL 0
1969 Grimsby Town FL 47 re-elected to Division Four York City FL 45 re-elected to Division Four Bradford Park Ave FL 38 re-elected to Division Four Newport County FL 27 re-elected to Division Four Cambridge United SL 16 Kettering Town SL 3 Cambridge City SL 2 Hereford United SL 2 Romford SL 2 Bedford Town SL 1 Chelmsford City SL 1 Worcester City SL 1 Nuneaton Borough SL 0 Wimbledon SL 0
1970 Darlington FL 47 re-elected to Division Four Hartlepool FL 42 re-elected to Division Four Newport County FL 31 re-elected to Division Four Cambridge United SL 31 elected to Division Four Wigan Athletic NP 18 Bradford Park Ave FL 17 not-re-elected Cambridge City SL 2 Yeovil Town SL 1 Bedford Town SL 1 Hereford United SL 1 Morecambe NP 1 Romford SL 1 Boston United NP 0 Chelmsford City SL 0 Hillingdon Borough SL 0 Telford United SL 0 Wimbledon SL 0
1971 Lincoln City FL 47 re-elected to Division Four Barrow FL 38 re-elected to Division Four Hartlepool FL 33 re-elected to Division Four Newport County FL 33 re-elected to Division Four Wigan Athletic NP 14 Cambridge City SL 2 Telford United SL 2 Yeovil Town SL 2 Boston United NP 1 Romford SL 1 Bradford Park Ave NP 1 Gateshead WL 1 Bedford Town SL 0 Chelmsford City SL 0 Hillingdon Borough SL 0 Kettering Town SL 0 yeovil
1972 Northampton Town FL 49 re-elected to Division Four Crewe Alexandra FL 46 re-elected to Division Four Stockport County FL 46 re-elected to Division Four Hereford United SL 26 (2nd vote 29) elected to Division Four Barrow FL 26 (2nd vote 20) not re-elected Bradford Park Ave NP 1 Cambridge City SL 1 Wimbledon SL 1 Bangor City NP 0 Bedford Town SL 0 Boston United NP 0 Hillingdon Borough SL 0 Romford SL 0 Telford United SL 0 Wigan Athletic NP 0 Yeovil Town SL 0
1973 Colchester United FL 48 re-elected to Division Four Northampton Town FL 43 re-elected to Division Four Crewe Alexandra FL 36 re-elected to Division Four Darlington FL 26 re-elected to Division Four Yeovil Town SL 14 Kettering Town SL 12 Wigan Athletic NP 10 Chelmsford City SL 4 Cambridge City SL 1 Nuneaton Borough SL 1 Telford United SL 1 Bedford Town SL 0 Boston United NP 0 Wimbledon SL 0
1974 Doncaster Rovers FL 46 re-elected to Division Four Stockport County FL 38 re-elected to Division Four Crewe Alexandra FL 37 re-elected to Division Four Workington FL 21 re-elected to Division Four Kettering Town SL 16 Yeovil Town SL 14 Wigan Athletic NP 10 Chelmsford City SL 8 Nuneaton Borough SL 1 Telford United SL 1 Cambridge City SL 0
1975 Swansea Town FL 43 re-elected to Division Four Scunthorpe United FL 41 re-elected to Division Four Darlington FL 32 re-elected to Division Four Workington FL 28 re-elected to Division Four Kettering Town SL 20 Yeovil Town SL 8 Wimbledon SL 4 Bedford Town SL 2 Goole Town NP 2 Scarborough NP 2 Gainsborough Trinity NP 1 Nuneaton Borough SL 1 Telford United SL 1 Weymouth SL 1 Boston United NP 0 Chelmsford City SL 0
1976 Stockport County FL 42 re-elected to Division Four Newport County FL 41 re-elected to Division Four Southport FL 38 re-elected to Division Four Workington FL 21 re-elected to Division Four Yeovil Town SL 18 Kettering Town SL 14 Wigan Athletic NP 6 Wimbledon SL 3 Chelmsford City SL 3 Nuneaton Borough SL 2 Telford United SL 2 Gainsborough Trinity NP 1 Scarborough NP 1
1977 From this season the Football League Management Committee examined the list of applicants and put forward just two clubs for election. Halifax Town FL 44 re-elected to Division Four Hartlepool FL 43 re-elected to Division Four Southport FL 37 re-elected to Division Four Wimbledon SL 27 elected to Division Four Workington FL 21 not re-elected Altrincham NP 12
1978 York City FL 49 re-elected to Division Four Rochdale FL 39 re-elected to Division Four Hartlepool FL 33 re-elected to Division Four Wigan Athletic NP 26 (2nd vote 29) elected to Division Four Southport FL 26 (2nd vote 20) not re-elected Bath City SL 23
1979 Doncaster Rovers FL 50 re-elected to Division Four Crewe Alexandra FL 49 re-elected to Division Four Darlington FL 43 re-elected to Division Four Halifax Town FL 37 re-elected to Division Four Altrincham NP 13 Kettering Town SL 12 yeovil
1980 What is now the Football Conference was formed. A single club was put forward for election. Darlington FL 49 re-elected to Division Four Crewe Alexandra FL 48 re-elected to Division Four Hereford United FL 28 re-elected to Division Four Rochdale FL 26 re-elected to Division Four Altrincham FC 25 This was an unfortunated ballot for Altrincham. Altrincham were sure of the votes of Grimsby and Luton but the Grimsby representative 'forgot' to vote and the Luton rep arrived from 'lunch' after the vote had taken place.
1981 Tranmere Rovers FL 48 re-elected to Division Four York City FL 46 re-elected to Division Four Hereford United FL 46 re-elected to Division Four Halifax Town FL 41 re-elected to Division Four Altrincham FC 15
1982 Northampton Town FL 53 re-elected to Division Four Crewe Alexandra FL 50 re-elected to Division Four Rochdale FL 48 re-elected to Division Four Scunthorpe United FL 48 re-elected to Division Four Telford United FC 13
1983 Blackpool FL 52 re-elected to Division Four Crewe Alexandra FL 49 re-elected to Division Four Hereford United FL 49 re-elected to Division Four Hartlepool FL 36 re-elected to Division Four Maidstone United FC 26
1984 Chester FL 52 re-elected to Division Four Halifax Town FL 52 re-elected to Division Four Rochdale FL 50 re-elected to Division Four Hartlepool FL 32 re-elected to Division Four Maidstone United FC 22
1985 Northampton Town FL 52 re-elected to Division Four Stockport County FL 50 re-elected to Division Four Torquay United FL 50 re-elected to Division Four Halifax Town FL 48 re-elected to Division Four Bath City FC 8
1986 Exeter City FL 64 re-elected to Division Four Preston North End FL 62.5 re-elected to Division Four Torquay United FL 61 re-elected to Division Four Cambridge United FL 61 re-elected to Division Four Enfield FC 7.5
From season 1986-87 onwards automatic promotion (subject to financial and ground requirements) was offered to the champion of the Football Conference, with the bottom club in the Football League being relegated to the Football Conference. From 2002-03 two clubs will be promoted and relegated. Promoted from Conference Relegated from Football League to Football League to Conference 1986-87 Scarborough Lincoln City 1987-88 Lincoln City Newport County 1988-89 Maidstone United Darlington 1989-90 Darlington Colchester United 1990-91 Barnet - 1991-92 Colchester United (Aldershot expelled from League and became defunct) 1992-93 Wycombe Wanderers Halifax Town (Maidstone United resigned at start of season) 1993-94 - - 1994-95 - - 1995-96 - - 1996-97 Macclesfield Town Hereford United 1997-98 Halifax Town Doncaster Rovers 1998-99 Cheltenham Town Scarborough 1999-00 Kidderminster Harriers Chester City 2000-01 Rushden & Diamonds Barnet 2001-02 Boston United Halifax Town home
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