All the ups and downs of the English Football League

By Jac Lauren

With the last piece of domestic silverware for the 2022-2023 football season now
handed out, it is time to reflect upon a season of football that ended somewhat
predictably at the top, with Manchester City claiming the Premier League/FA Cup
double, but delivered plenty of drama elsewhere.


Three of the four places in the Champions League have been booked by the traditional
Big Six of the Premier League: Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal. The last
place was claimed by Newcastle United, who return to the Champions League for the
first time in 20 years. NUFC’s qualification caps a spectacular return to the top echelon
of English football following their controversial takeover by a consortium headed by the
Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund in October 2021.

Liverpool have to settle for playing the Europa League next season, following their fifth
place finish in the Premier League. They will be joined by Brighton & Hove Albion who
will be competing in European competition for the first time in their 121-year history.
Aston Villa have claimed a place in the Europa Conference League following their seventh
place EPL finish.

Finally, West Ham finished 14th in the EPL but can still qualify for the Europa League if
they win the Europa Conference League final against Italian side Fiorentina on June 7.

EPL Relegation and Promotion

Everton managed to avoid relegation on the last day of the season, securing a 70th
consecutive season in the top flight and extending their record as the team with most
seasons in the top flight overall to 121.

Less fortunate were Leicester City, who were relegated to The Championship eight years
after their unexpected EPL triumph in 2015-2016 and two years after their first FA Cup
win. They are joined by Leeds United, who go down after three years in the EPL, and
Southampton, who spent a decade in the top flight.

Burnley FC won The Championship and have been promoted back to the EPL after a
season away. The Clarets dominated the Championship under a new manager, former
Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany, securing promotion with seven games to
spare. Sheffield United gained promotion after finishing second. The playoffs for the
final EPL promotion slot produced one of the stories of the season with Luton Town
winning the playoffs and becoming the first non-league side to climb through the ranks
of the football league and qualify for the EPL.

The Rest

In another fairytale finish, Wrexham FC, the subject of the Disney+ docuseries Welcome
to Wrexham, which chronicles the fortunes of the club following its purchase by
Hollywood actors Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds, secured promotion to the
Football League.

In far less positive news, Rochdale have been relegated from the Football league after
102 years.

Featured image: Manchester City finished the season as league and FA Cup champions. Picture: Ratchet8865/CC/Wikipedia

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