Rochdale’s Continuous Spell In The Fourth Tier

Sun, 4 May 2008

There was some discussion at the start of the season as to whether Rochdale have spent the most number of seasons (continuous or not) in the lowest division of the Football League.

If Rochdale win promotion to the third tier this season via the play-offs, it will bring to an end what is by far the longest continuous spell in the fourth tier of the English league, or for that matter, in any of the second to fourth tiers.

It will also bring to an end the 14th longest all-time (since 1888 ) continuous spell in one tier in the English league and what is the 4th longest current continuous spell in one tier. Rochdale is just ahead of Manchester United and only behind Arsenal, Everton and Liverpool. It can’t be often that Rochdale are mentioned in the same sentence as those four clubs!

Good luck to Rochdale over the next fortnight, and then the week after.

(Article first posted on Tony Kempster’s Non-League Forum)

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  1. Now 35 continuous seasons in the fourth tier.

    In reply to

    … which clubs have spent the most seaons in the bottom tier of the football league. I have to say this is causing me some headache as i sit with pen and pencil trying to figure it oit without the help of rothmans years books, google and wikipedia!!!!

    As of next season, Darlington would have spent a total of 46 seasons in the fourth tier. Rochdale would have spent a total of 45 seasons, while Hartlepool have spent a total of 42, in the fourth tier. Torquay are next on 39.

    If you wish to include the old Third Divisions North and South as being the “bottom flight”, add column F to column G in the tables linked above. If you want to include the Third Division of 1920-21, add 1 for each club that played in that division in that season.

    If you want to include the Second Division from 1892 to 1920, it gets a bit more complicated. This might help you.

    Theoretically, the one division of the Football League from 1888 to 1892 was both the top flight and the bottom flight!

    (Merger of two posts on Tony Kempster’s Non-League Forum – 1st) and 2nd)

  2. […] Rochdale, looking to end 35 consecutive seasons in the fourth tier, are currently fourth. […]

  3. […] Rochdale will remain at the fourth level of English football for another season, their 36th consecutive season at that level, the longest any club has spent at any of the second to fourth levels, and the fourth longest current spell (after Arsenal, Everton and Liverpool). […]

  4. […] continuous spell for any club in the fourth tier – 36 years from 1974 to 2010, which was brought to an end by their promotion in 2010 followed by two seasons in the third […]

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