English Football League Pyramid System – A Guide

March 30, 2020

The permit system is something which has been designed to give English football a sense of cohesion and order. However, understanding it from an outside perspective can be quite difficult because to be honest, there are a lot of different elements at work here which don’t necessarily make sense at glance.

But if you wanted to understand exactly how the English football league is structured, and the way that people begin to play, it is important to wrap your head around the pyramid system because it plays a core role in all of this. With that in mind, let’s examine it a little bit more closely here.


A Structure of Order

So, let’s begin by examining the permit system from a logical perspective. Imagine, for a second, a pyramid. It is obviously wider at the bottom than it is at the top, and this is how the football league is structured at the same time. The bottom levels represent the less impressive league tables. They have the largest concentration of football teams because not everyone can perform at the highest levels. Every time a team wins the match, they add points to their overall reputation. When they have won a certain number of games and performed well enough, they are in with a chance of being moved up to another league.

The fundamental principle which is at work here is that these teams are designed to move up the tables depending on their overall percentage of wins. So at the top of the league, the Premier League, only a handful of teams can make it there because only a handful of teams have the skills necessary to do so. Think of it as being like membership privileges. The more valuable a member you are, the more privileges you have access to, and at the same time the league tables operate with a level of exclusivity depending on how far up you go.


Does This Work?

A lot of people may well question how this works, with some pointing to the round robin system of play and the bracket system being a way to determine who gets to play at the higher levels and who doesn’t. However, there are many reasons why this type of play is the best for English football, especially when you consider the following factors.

There are literally thousands of football teams all across the country who want to play in the Premier League. Trying to give them all a chance to do this on public television would be a long, expensive, and drawn out process. It wouldn’t be feasible to create a system where everyone played everyone, because that would take too long. Therefore, grouping everyone into these different levels depending on skill and overall numbers of wins is the best way to ensure that people can watch what they want to watch and still have a relatively manageable season.

When it comes to British television, you can choose to watch the league that you want. All of the leagues are all covered on different sports channels, and so it is your choice what you watch. If you want to watch the Premier League, then you can do so, on specific channels and certain days. In much the same way, if you wanted to watch the team playing the lower leagues, you could do that as well. The element of choice is there, but this means that each season is much more manageable and easy to keep up with.

Obviously, these league tables are updated every year, or every season, so if a team doesn’t perform particularly well, they are in the bottom zones and thus are in danger of being relegated back down to the lower league. This then creates an opening for a new team to move up. It is the first system which gives the good teams a chance to climb to the top, and bad teams will be put down into a lower league where they are more professional and comfortable. It’s attempting to make sure that there is not a massive gap between skill levels either. There’s no point putting an amateur football team up against legends like Liverpool or Manchester United, because it would be a fairly one-sided and pointless competition. You want to have a fair and fun competition, so the best way to do this is to make sure that all of the teams with similar skill levels are grouped together. Not necessarily equal skill levels, but the closest approximations to each team.

In conclusion, this type of system can seem quite confusing to a lot of people. However, it is entirely feasible for these types of matches to be played every year. The pyramid system has been designed to give people the best options when it comes to advancing up the tables, and at the same time creates the element of opportunity for all teams. Anyone could rise from the bottom to the top if they were skilled enough. There is no exclusion, there is no preventing anyone from progressing. The system has been made to give as many people as possible the chance for a fair progression, and it is this inclusivity which makes everything so easy to understand and work with. It may well be a challenge to understand at first, but when you think about it, it does make a lot of sense.

You Might Also Like