In England, football is a source of national identity, a reflection of the country and its position in the world, and a constant topic of discussion, disappointment, and general hysteria for Englishmen. Here is a short history of the origins of this sport and how football became a national sport in England.
The founders of the first soccer league on the planet created the English League in 1888. Despite the fact that the FA CUP, the oldest registered tournament which dates back to 1871, already existed, the 12 clubs thought of playing a competition without knockouts. One against all. This is how the league was born, the so-called Football League.
This league was merged in 1892 with the Football Alliance giving rise to the Football League First Division with a system of divisions that served as a model for other competitions such as the Spanish one (which would appear in 1928). Today we remember the origin of this pioneering league on the planet—the roots of football, the founders of the English league championship.
In the surroundings of Villa Park, the legendary stadium of Aston Villa (in Birmingham, an English city that by size can be compared to Valencia or Seville), there is a statue in honor of William McGregor.
The Scotsman was on the board of the city club in 1877, just three years after its founding. His interest in being part of the team is marked by two facts. The first was the large number of Scots that the Birmingham squad had, and the second the attractive offensive style that Villa displayed.
McGregor was president of the English League (1888), renamed in 1992 as the Premier League. At Aston Villa, he held numerous positions from treasurer to president and manager.
First 12 Founding teams of the English league are: Accrington FC, Everton FC, Aston Villa FC, Notts County FC, Blackburn Rovers FC, Preston North End FC, Bolton Wanderers FC, Stoke City FC, Burnley FC, West Bromwich Albion FC, Derby County FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC. These clubs decided, under the management and leadership of McGregor, the point system on which the competition would be based: 2 points for a victory and one for a tie. From this League model, very similar national championships would be born shortly after in other countries.
In 1992, the English First Division was reborn with a new name: the Premier League, now considered by many to be the best league in the world. The English Championship is an extraordinary business model in terms of income, which gives rise to great squads and, therefore a great show every weekend.
The National League is a football association in England consisting of three divisions, the National League, positioned at the fifth level of the English pyramid system; one notch below are the National League North and National League South, both on the sixth level. As part of a sponsorship agreement with the car rental company Vanarama, the league is known as the Vanarama National League.
The National League was founded in 1979 under the name of the Alliance Premier League until 1986. Between 1986 and 2015, it was known as the Football Conference. In 2004, after a deep restructuring of the National League System, two additional divisions were added: the National League North and the National League South. This same year, the Football Conference is transformed into a league and since then manages the national divisions, North and South, from 2016 it is renamed the National League.
The National League is at the top of the National League System (NLS). This structure, under the auspices of the English Football Federation, regroups more than 50 leagues. The National League corresponds to the first echelon, the National League North and the National League South to the second. Above the National League are the 92 clubs representing the four highest levels of English football: the Premier League and the Football League. Since the 2006/2007 season, the National League has been made up of 24 teams, the National League North and the National League South with 22 teams each. Each team faces the rest of the teams twice a season. A victory equals 3 points, a draw 1, and a defeat 0 points.
This year some of the best teams in the National League are Sutton United, Dagenham & Redbrige, Leyton Orient, and Wrexham, sharing the first top 4 places.