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The professional football league in England (and Scotland) located below the First Division and above the Third Division. There are twenty-four clubs in the Second Division. The bottom three clubs of the First Division are relegated into the Second Division at the end of the season. The bottom four clubs of the Second Division are relegated into the Third Division. The top three clubs of the Third Division are automatically promoted to the Second Division. The clubs placed in fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh playoff to determine the last club to gain promotion to the Second Division. The top two clubs in the Second Division are automatically promoted to the First Division. The clubs placed in third, fourth, fifth and sixth playoff to determine the last club to gain promotion to the First Division.

The Second Division in England is actually the Third Division. What follows is a short history of the Second Division.

Professional football in England had been around for over 30 years when the Southern League was added to England's pyramid as the Old Third Division in 1920. Since there was no "Northern League" to added as the regional counterpart of the Southern League, it was decided to wait a year before adding the Northern Section. So various clubs from the North Eastern League, the Lancashire Combination, the Birmingham and District League, the Midland League and the Central League were gathered to form the Northern Section in 1921. At the time, there was only one club promoted from each Section into the Old Second Division and two clubs were relegated from the Old Second Division into the Old Third Division. Nothing structurally changed to the Old Third Division until after World War II.

World War II caused the Football League to stop for seven years, from 1939 to 1946, and the regional Third Division expanded to 24 clubs in each section in 1950. For the 1958-59 season, it was decided to replace the regional Old Third Division with a national Third and Fourth Division. So the top half of the Northern Section and the top half of the Southern Section was promoted to the national Old Third Division, while the rest of the clubs went down to the national Fourth Division. Promotion/relegation was set between the Old Third Division and the old Fourth Division at four clubs a piece. Above that, the Old Second Division switched two clubs with the Old Third Division after every season until 1973, when they two leagues agreed to three up/three down. When the Premier League broke away from the Football League in 1992, the Old Third Division was renamed to the Second Division.

The decision by the First Division clubs to rename their competition to the Championship paved the way for yet another name change for the Second Division, this time to League One. The 2004-2005 season would be the first season played after the name change.

Thanks to http://www.innotts.co.uk/soccer/fleg/flhist.htm for its valuable information.

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