English clubs · English league · Records & statistics

Middle Divisions Mediocrity


Until their relegation this season, Bristol Rovers have been the only English club never to have played in either the top division (Premier League or old First Division) or bottom division (Third Divison or old Fourth Division) of the four divisions.

Bristol Rovers

Joined league in Div 2/Div 1 Div 3/Div 2 Div 3S
1920 1953 to 1962, 1974 to 1981, 1990 to 1993 1920 to 1921, 1962 to 1974, 1981 to 1990, 1993 to 2001 1921 to 1953 (W2)

Until they were relegated in 1995, Plymouth Argyle were the only other English club to have maintained such a record until then.

Plymouth Argyle

Joined league in Div 2/Div 1 Div 3/Div 2 Div 4/Div 3 Div 3S
1920 1930 to 1950 (W2), 1952 to 1956, 1959 to 1968, 1975 to 1977, 1986 to 1992 1920 to 1921, 1958 to 1959, 1968 to 1975, 1977 to 1986, 1992 to 1995, 1996 to 1998 1995 to 1996, 1998 to present 1921 to 1930, 1950 to 1952, 1956 to 1958

Likewise, Swindon Town had a history of middle tables mediocrity until they were relegated in 1982.  Swindon subsequently went on to play in the Premier League in 1993-94.

Swindon Town

Joined league in Div 1 / Premier League Div 2/Div 1 Div 3/Div 2 Div 4/Div 3 Div 3S
1920 1993 to 1994 1963 to 1965, 1969 to 1974, 1987 to 1993, 1994 to 1995, 1996 to 2000 1920 to 1921, 1958 to 1963, 1965 to 1969, 1974 to 1982, 1986 to 1987, 1995 to 1996, 2000 to present 1982 to 1986 1921 to 1958 (W2)

(First written for Totalworlds Football Writings)

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