Football in Bracknell
In Depth

How the English Football Pyramid system works

From the bottom to the top, the English football league system explained

How the English Football Pyramid system works

The English Football Pyramid system is the structure of football divisions within the Football Associations remit and allows promotion and relegation from a County League right up to the Premier League.

The system effectively covers at least 11 levels and the more commonly referred to ‘steps’ of which there are at least seven.

For example, the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division is a level 9 league but step 5 overall while the Thames Valley Premier League is a step 7 league.

The system works as follows from the bottom to the top:

Level 1, Step 1: FA Premier League

Level 2, Step 2: EFL Championship

Level 3, Step 2: EFL League One

Level 4, Step 2: EFL League Two

Level 5, Step 3: National League

Level 6, Step 3: National League North, National League South

Level 7, Step 4: Northern Premier League Premier Division, Southern League Premier Division, Isthmian League Premier Division

Level 8, Step 4:

  • Northern Premier League Division One North
  • Northern Premier League Division One South
  • Southern League Division One East
  • Southern League Division One South & West
  • Isthmian League Division One North
  • Isthmian League Division One South

Level 9, Step 5: (All divisions run in parallel)

  • Combined Counties League Premier Division
  • Eastern Counties League Premier Division
  • Essex Senior League
  • Hellenic League Premier Division
  • Midland Football League Premier Division
  • North West Counties League Premier Division
  • Northern Counties East League Premier Division
  • Northern League Division One
  • Southern Combination Football League Premier Division
  • Southern Counties East League Premier Division
  • Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division
  • United Counties League Premier Division
  • Wessex League Premier Division
  • Western League Premier Division

Level 10, Step 6: (All divisions run in parallel)

  • Combined Counties League Division One
  • East Midlands Counties League
  • Eastern Counties League Division One
  • Hellenic League Division One East
  • Hellenic League Division One West
  • Midland Football League Division One
  • North West Counties League First Division
  • Northern Counties East League Division One
  • Northern League Division Two
  • South West Peninsula League Premier Division
  • Southern Combination Football League Division One
  • Southern Counties East League Division One
  • Spartan South Midlands League Division One
  • United Counties League Division One
  • Wessex League Division One
  • West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division
  • Western League Division One

Level 11, Step 7: (All divisions run in parallel)

  • Anglian Combination Premier Division
  • Bedfordshire County Football League Premier Division
  • Cambridgeshire Football Association County League Premier Division
  • Central Midlands League North Division
  • Central Midlands League South Division
  • Cheshire Football League Premier Division
  • Dorset Premier League
  • Essex and Suffolk Border League Premier Division
  • Essex Olympian League Premier Division
  • Gloucestershire County League
  • Hampshire Premier League Senior Division
  • Hertfordshire Senior County League Premier Division
  • Humber Premier League Premier Division
  • Kent County League Premier Division
  • Leicestershire Senior League Premier Division
  • Lincolnshire League
  • Liverpool County Premier League Premier Division
  • Manchester League Premier Division
  • Middlesex County Football League Premier Division
  • Midland Football League Division Two
  • Northamptonshire Combination Football League Premier Division
  • Northern Football Alliance Premier Division
  • Nottinghamshire Senior League Senior Division
  • Oxfordshire Senior League Premier Division
  • Peterborough and District Football League Premier Division
  • Sheffield & Hallamshire County Senior Football League Premier Division
  • Somerset County League Premier Division
  • South West Peninsula League Division One East
  • South West Peninsula League Division One West
  • Southern Combination Football League Division Two
  • Spartan South Midlands League Division Two
  • Staffordshire County Senior League Premier Division
  • Suffolk and Ipswich League Senior Division
  • Surrey Elite Intermediate Football League Intermediate Division
  • North Riding Football League Premier Division
  • Thames Valley Premier Football League Premier Division
  • Wearside League
  • West Cheshire League Division One
  • West Lancashire Football League Premier Division
  • West Midlands (Regional) League Division One
  • West Riding County Amateur League Premier Division
  • West Yorkshire League Premier Division
  • Wiltshire League Premier Division
  • York League Premier Division
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Tom Canning

Tom is the co-editor of FootballinBracknell. He has played at the lowest possible level of football. In real life Tom works for Trinity Mirror. Manager of Binfield Ladies in the Thames Valley Women's League.

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