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    English League/Cup Guide by tranmerefan

    Version: 1.06 | Updated: 02/03/07 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

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                    *Say goodbye to your social life*
    
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                               ~~IMPORTANT NOTICE~~
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    This guide is copyright to me, Peter (tranmerefan) Sale. You cannot use it 
    without my permission.
    
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    Guide Updates
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    Version 1.0 (17/7/2005)
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    Started the main layout of the guide, and started to input the information 
    about the english leagues and cup.
    
    
    Version 1.05 (31/08/2005)
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    Added www.dlh.net to the allowed list.
    
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    Contents
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    1. Contact Information
    
    2. Introduction
    
    3. League Information
    A. Premiership
    B. Coca-Cola Championship
    C. Coca-Cola League 1
    D. Coca-Cola League 2
    E. Nationwide Conference National
    F1. Nationwide Conference North
    F2. Nationwide Conference South
    
    4. Cup Guide
    A. FA Cup
    B. League Cup
    C. LDV Vans
    D. FA Trophy
    E. Community Sheild
    
    5. Credits
    
    
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    1. Contact Information
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    This guide is copyrighted 2005 to me, Peter Sale. You may not host this guide
    without my permission. If you have any queries regarding this guide then please
    contact me at:
    
    tranmerefan@gmail.com
    
    When e-mailing me please you a sensible subject line, such as "Re: Football 
    Manager" or anything along those lines. A subject line of "help" means that 
    your e-mail is unlikely to be read.
    
    The only sites at the moment that can host this are www.gamefaqs.com,
    www.neoseeker.com, www.dlh.net and www.mogelgott.de
    
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    2. Introduction
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    This is a basic guide regarding the english football leagues. In this you can
    expect to find how the leagues and the cups all work and who plays in them. I 
    will also give any additional information regarding the leagues and some star 
    tips, should you want to choose a good team in each league. This is not a full
    FAQ, so tips on players will not be posted here. If you want to unearth a gem
    without doing all the hard work then read the other FAQs that list the players
    you want.
    
    
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    3. League Information
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    Here I will list all the major and need-to-know rules of all the divisions that
    are playable in England. Interesting as it is, the North West Counties league
    isn't playable so it's no use me telling you about the exploits of footballing
    heavyweights such as Cammel Laird FC, especially as the lower down you go, the
    criteria for promotions changes. It stops being the usual "win the league" and
    becomes "you're going up because you are the only team in League X that has 
    floodlights installed and League Y requires floodlights". It would be a great
    challenge, hopefully SI will implement at least the Unibond/Dr Martins/Ryman 
    leagues next year.
    
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    3A. The Premiership
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    Background: The premiership is widely regarded as "the best league in the 
    world". This is untrue, League 1 (soon to be the Championship if we (Tranmere)
    ever get our arse in gear) is the best league in the world and the title race
    in League 2 wasn't decided until the last day whilst the Premiership was 
    wrapped up so long beforehand teams like Manchester United had taken their ball
    home and stopped playing. 
    
    The Premiership features 20 teams, 16 of them having no chance at winning any
    Silverwear (unless you manange someone other than the top 3 + Liverpool). So, 
    once you choose your team other than Chelsea (you _do_ want a challenge) you 
    need to do a number a things. Number 1 you need to panic buy whilst making sure
    that relegation won't cripple you. Alternativly you can panic buy and leave 
    before you go down and leave some poor bugger (usually Allerdyce because Notlob
    sensibly get rid of him) to sort it out. Secondly, you need put 11 men behind 
    the ball and play 451. It does seem to the trend nowadays for teams like Fulham
    and Everton.
    
    
    Teams:
    
    Arsenal  
    Aston Villa 	
    Birmingham City
    Blackburn Rovers
    Charlton Athletic
    Chelsea
    Crystal Palace 	
    Everton 	
    Fulham 	 	
    Liverpool 	
    Manchester City 	
    Manchester Utd 	
    Middlesbrough 	
    Newcastle United
    Norwich City
    Notlob	
    Portsmouth
    Southampton
    Tottenham Hotspur
    West Bromich Albion
    	
    Games: 38 (20 teams all play each other twice)
    
    European Competition: Top 4 go to Champions League, 5th to the UEFA Cup, 6th
    and 7th to the Intertoto Cup (Depending on the winners of the FA Cup and the
    League Cup)
    
    Relegation Slots: 3. Bottom 3 go down Automatically. (They don't return too...)
    
    Star Tip: Chelsea have all the money, Arsenal can do well, Man Utd bribe 
    referees and Newcastle/Man City can all implode. Try and get the underachievers
    from Merseyside (not Everton :P) to finally win a trophy. And yes, I am aware 
    they won some European trophy so don't bother e-mailing. I live on Merseyside 
    and it's only just safe to open a newspaper.
    
    
    
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    3B. The Coca-Cola Championship
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    Background: The promised land (unless you happen to be a Leeds fan). The coca
    cola championship offers plenty of excitment, with close promotion races, nerve
    wracking play-off campaigns and Rotherham finishing bottom. That may be too 
    harsh on them but anything can happen. One game they stayed up one year!. This 
    is a decent competitive league. A few good signings and you can really excel 
    and the competition to have 12 months in the Premiership is always fierce. 
    
    There are 24 teams in this league, making 46 league games (48 minimum including
    the cups) so a small squad isn't going to get you far. I found my Bristol 
    Rovers team to tire in the latter stages before throwing away promotion to 
    teams that are clearly worse than me in the play-offs. Still, hard work (and 
    decent replacements) soon stopped that as I scooped the title one year. It is
    eventually easy to get promotion from. Patience is the key (and the ability to
    manage someone other than Rotherham).
    
    Teams:
    
    Brighton & Hove Albion
    Burnley	
    Cardiff City	
    Coventry City	
    Crewe Alexandra
    Derby County	
    Gillingham
    Ipswich Town	
    Leeds United	
    Leicester City	
    Millwall
    Nottingham Forest	
    Plymouth Argyle	
    Preston	North End
    Rotherham United
    QPR	
    Sheffield United
    Stoke City	
    Sunderland
    Watford	
    West Ham United
    Wigan Athletic
    Wolverhampton Wanderas
    
    Games: 46 (24 teams all play each other twice)
    
    Promotion Slots: 3. Top 2 go up automatically. Places 3-6 play-off for the 
    final spot. Usually 3v6 and 4v5 in the two legged semi-final and the two 
    winners meet in the final at Cardiff/Wembley. If it gets built.
    
    Relegation Slots: 3. Bottom 3 go down automatically unless its a "big team" in
    which case they can whine and moan about it until they get promoted again. 
    Someone say Sheffield Wednesday? 
    
    Star Tip: Wigan have more money than most, Leeds have the history and 
    Gillingham gives you the real challenge.
    
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    3C. The Coca-Cola League 1
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    Background: Worlds. Best. League. That is, until Tranmere get promoted then it
    becomes the hell-hole that it really is. How many crap teams can one league 
    have? Bad question, it could be league 2. Always could be worse. This league
    takes the familiar shape of being the same as the one above, but with more 
    going down to the league forminally known as Division 4. It has just as good
    as title race, but the relegation spots are easier to avoid, because Wrexham,
    Oldham, Peterborough, MK Dons and Stockport are all so useless that its 
    impossible to go down.
    
    Again, with a minimum of 50 games (there is now the LDV Vans trophy to play 
    for. Aren't you lucky?) you will need a good size squad. Don't have too many
    players otherwise you'll go bankrupt and lose 10 points. Always watch out for
    Tranmere and Hull. Hull have more money then sense (IE, they have a penny) and
    Tranmere's crap squad always puts them in the top 6 in the first season. 
    
    Teams:
    
    Bournemouth
    Barnsley	
    Blackpool	
    Bradford City	
    Brentford	
    Bristol City	
    Chesterfield	
    Colchester United
    Doncaster Rovers
    Hartlepool United
    Huddersfield Town
    Hull City
    Luton Town
    MK Dons	
    Oldham Athletic
    Peterborough
    Port Vale
    Sheffield Wednesday	
    Stockport County
    Swindle Town
    Torquay United
    Tranmere Rovers
    Walsall	
    Wrexham
    
    Games: 46 (24 teams all play each other twice)
    
    Promotion Slots: 3. Top 2 go up automatically. Places 3-6 play-off for the 
    final spot. Usually 3v6 and 4v5 in the two legged semi-final and the two 
    winners meet in the final at Cardiff/Wembley.
    
    Relegation Slots: 4. Bottom 4 go down automatically. Bet you one includes the
    MK Dons.
    
    Star Tip: Tranmere and Tranmere Reserves are the two best teams here, with
    Hull in third.
    
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    3D. The Coca-Cola league 2
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    Background: Good Old divison 4, or the Rochdale division as it's more lovingly 
    known. In it's old life as the Division 3 N/Division 3 South it gave Tranmere
    fans their only league title. All the way back in the 1930's. (We then had to 
    wait until 1990 to win another trophy, so Man Utd fans shouldn't whine at a 
    trophyless season). Here you need to avoid relegation even more so. Going out
    the league is unforgivable and if anyone here has been relegated from League 2 
    they should feel throughly ashamed of themselves. Shame on you, how do you
    think the fans feel?
    
    This division features 4 different types of teams. The "also-rans" (Rochdale),
    the "Newbies" (Kidderminster, Yeovil), The "HELP, we need more money again!!!! 
    (Bury, Notts County) and the "We're so **** it's unbelievable" brigrade 
    (Chester). Choosing your team can be very difficult. There is no money and no
    talent. At Chester you have an alleged crook as the chairman too. Ah well, this
    is football, are any chairmen not greedy bastards trying to asset strip their
    latest fodder?
    
    
    Teams:
    
    Boston United	
    Bristol Rovers	
    Bury
    Cambridge United
    Cheltenham Town
    Chester City	
    Darlington	
    Grimsby Town
    Kidderminster Harriers
    Leyton Orient	
    Lincoln City	
    Macclesfield Town
    Mansfield Town	
    Northampton Town
    Notts County	
    Oxford United	
    Rochdale	
    Rushden & Diamonds
    Scunthorpe United
    Southend United
    Shrewsbury Town
    Swansea City
    Wycombe	Wanderas
    Yeovil Town
    
    Games: 46 (24 teams all play each other twice)
    
    
    Promotion Slots: 4. Top 3 go up automatically. Places 4-7 play-off for the 
    final spot. Usually 4v7 and 5v6 in the two legged semi-final and the two 
    winners meet in the final at Cardiff/Wembley.
    
    Relegation Slots: 2. Bottom 2 go out the football league altogether. Talk
    about Cruel.
     
    Star Tip: Bristol Rovers have the arrogance for the journey upwards.
    
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    3E. Nationwide Conference National
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    Background: Ah, the start of the football league pyramid. This gets called "The
    unofficial 5th division" by those who have been relegated into it and 
    desperatly want to have their credibility remaining. It isn't the 5th division,
    it's non-league hell and it's a bloody tough division to gain promotion from.
    
    Only 2 promotion slots to get your team into the football league and there are
    around 8 or 9 semi decent (in regards to the division) all wanting to go up. It
    does offer a great challenge for you and you do really feel like you achieve
    something. This is the start division in non-league football and whilst it
    may seem bad for some teams, it can be a great joy to manage it, especially
    when you are a really small club like Leigh RMI and you can punch above your
    weight for a few years.
    
    Teams:
    
    Accrington Stanley
    Aldershot Town
    Altrincham
    Barnet
    Burton Albion
    Carlisle United
    Canvey Island
    Crawley Town
    Dagenham & Redbridge
    Exeter City 
    Farnborough
    Forest Green Rovers
    Gravesend & Northfleet
    Halifax Town
    Hereford United
    Leigh RMI
    Morecambe
    Northwich Victoria
    Scarborough
    Stevenage Borough 
    Tamworth
    Woking
    York City
    
    Games: 42 (22 teams play each other twice)
    
    Promotion Slots: 2. 1st place goes up automatically, places 2-5 face a play-off
    with the winner going up.
    
    Relegation Slots: 3. Bottom 3 go down automatically in theory and in the game.
    Real life is different with Margate being kicked out because of their ground,
    Northwich down on a technicality etc.
    
    Star Tip: Barnet have a good side, Carlisle are usually pretty strong and
    Hereford are a good team. Try them.
    
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    3F1. Nationwide Conference North
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    Background: A new division, formed at the start of the 2004-2005 season (the 
    one you are about to play) after the pyramid reshuffle. It's not complicated at
    all and is great to play in, after all there are no southern ponces visiting 
    your backstreet northern slum. Most teams are fairly strong and the size of the
    town does matter here and small clubs with everyone nearby gloryhunting won't
    survive.
    
    There is 1 definate promotion place, followed by a normal play-off. However, 
    the winner of the play-off here will face the winner of the southern play-off 
    and the winner from that game is the one that goes up. Relegation is pretty
    normal, however teams become unplayable after going down so should you finish
    in the bottom 3, it's Bye Bye job, hello giro time.
    
    Teams:
    
    Alfreton Town
    Altrincham
    Ashton United	
    Barrow	
    Bradford P.A.	
    Droylsden
    Gainsborough Trinity	
    Harrogate Town	
    Hinckley United	
    Hucknall Town	
    Kettering Town	
    Lancaster City	
    Moor Green	
    Nuneaton Borough
    Redditch United	
    Runcorn FC Halton
    Southport	
    Stafford Rangers
    Stalybridge Celtic	
    Vauxhall Motors	
    Worcester City	
    Worksop Town	
    
    Games:  42 (22 teams play each other twice)
    
    Promotion Slots:  2. First place goes up automatically, places 2-5 face a 
    play-off. The winner places the play-off winner from the south in a one off
    game and that winner goes up.
    
    Relegation Slots: 3. Bottom 3 go down automatically.
    
    Star Tip: Southport
    
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    3F2. Nationwide Conference South
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    Background: A league for all the people from the South. Great for all of you
    from the South, you can play a league without facing northerners. Anyway, this
    is exactly the same as the other regional division you'll be pleased to here,
    just more toffs in the stand rather than wife-beaters. (I'm from the north too,
    get used to sterotyping, this is football).
    
    No complications, but for the lazy I'll copy and paste for you the format from
    the Conference North section;
    
    "There is 1 definate promotion place, followed by a normal play-off. However, 
    the winner of the play-off here will face the winner of the southern play-off 
    and the winner from that game is the one that goes up. Relegation is pretty
    normal, however teams become unplayable after going down so should you finish
    in the bottom 3, it's Bye Bye job, hello giro time."
    
    Poor Joke again. I'll work on them later.
    
    Teams:
    
    Basingstoke Town
    Bishops Stortford
    Bognor Regis Town
    Cambridge City	
    Carshalton Athletic	
    Dorchester Town
    Eastbourne Borough	
    Grays Athletic	
    Havant & W
    Hayes	
    Hornchurch	
    Lewes	
    Maidenhead United	
    Margate	
    Newport County	
    Redbridge
    St Albans City	
    Sutton United
    Thurrock	
    Welling United	
    Weymouth	
    
    
    Games:  42 (22 teams play each other twice)
    
    Promotion Slots:  2. First place goes up automatically, places 2-5 face a 
    play-off. The winner places the play-off winner from the south in a one off
    game and that winner goes up.
    
    Relegation Slots: 3. Bottom 3 go down automatically.
    
    Star Tip: Hornchurch, Grays Athletic
    
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    4. Cup Information
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    Theres nothing like a cup competition to get in the way and ruin your promotion
    plans is there? Then again it can rescue your season and the two main ones
    can provide entry into Europe. Here is all the background for the cup, the main
    rules (ie, knockout, when PL teams decide to send their reserves in etc). I'll 
    also list the leagues that participate as well, so you know what to expect.
    
    
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    4A. FA Cup
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    Background: The oldest cup competition in the world I believe, and one the best
    domestic cup competitions going. The FA Cup is famous for it's giantkilling
    shocks (Hereford V Newcastle, Sutton v Coventry, Tranmere V Southampton). These
    acts are what makes the competition great and should you be in charge of a 
    lower league team you should always play your strongest side in the hope of a 
    shock.
    
    The prize money in the FA Cup is always worth it too.
    
    Format: Straight knockout, Conference North/South enter at Second qualifying 
    round, Conference National at 4th qualifying round, Leagues 1/2 in the first
    round proper and the Championship and Premiership enter at Round 3.
    
    Participating Leagues: All
    
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    4B. League Cup
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    Background: This started around the 1960's and is a cup for the football and 
    the premier league. However, no-one takes this seriously except for the 
    premiership teams who have no chance at finishing high enough for a European 
    place and aren't good enough to win the FA Cup.
    
    Still, it's always worth a go for anyone in my opinion. If you are a lower 
    league team then winning it will mean a lot to the fans. Fans of chelsea are 
    spoilt and won't care though.
    
    Format: Straight knockout, Championship/League 1/League 2 enter at round 1,
    Premiership teams not in europe enter in round 2, the rest in round 3.
    
    Participating Leagues: Premiership, Championship, League 1, League 2.
    
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    4C. LDV Vans
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    Background: This used to be known as the associate members cup and is now for 
    the lower league teams. I personally like this trophy because Tranmere won it
    in 1990 beating Bristol Rovers in the final. It is split into north/south 
    sections and features leagues 1 and 2 and the top 8 from the conference. A 
    couple of teams get a bye from the first round, to make it a straight knockout
    from there. It is always worth trying to win it at least once, however do not
    let it get in the way of promotion because there isn't much prize money from it
    unless you go all the way and win.
    
    Format: Straight knockout. Two sections - North/South. Northern Area final 
    winner faces the southern area final winner (Regional finals are two legs) in a
    one-off game at Cardiff or Wembley depending on what season you are in.
    
    Participating Leagues: League 1, League 2, Top 8 of conference national.
    
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    4D. FA Trophy
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    Background: This is a major trophy for all the non-league teams. I have to 
    admit I don't know how they treat it in real life because I don't follow a non
    league club. In this game, it's always worthwile winning once, because it's 
    nice to get a trophy in the bag and it's a good day out for your supporters.
    The prize money isn't great, but a win will boost your players morale and your
    reputation. Just do _not_ let it get in the way with promotion to the football 
    league, which is far better financially for your club. As with the LDV, it's
    always a bonus not a must have.
    
    Format: Straight knockout, unsure of when all the teams enter. I'll have to 
    research it.
    
    Participating Leagues: Conference National, Conference North/South
    
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    4E. Community Sheid
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    Background: This is a traditional game played between the Premiership champions
    and the FA Cup winners. Nowadays it isn't treated seriously by anyone but the
    charities it supports. Winning it doesn't give you much bonus bar a nice start
    to your campaign. I haven't actually won it so I do not know about prize money.
    I am guessing that there isn't anything.
    
    If you're Man Utd then you must try your best here, it'll be the only thing
    you win. :P
    
    Format: One off game at Cardiff/Wembley
    
    Participating Teams: Winners of Premiership V Winners of the FA Cup
    
    
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    5. Credits:
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    Thanks to SI for making the best management sim, CJayC for putting this guide
    on GameFAQs and thanks to you for reading through and putting up with attempts
    at jokes. I can only apoligize for them.
    
    
    Sorry.
    
    
    
    Could be worse, I could be Ricky Gervais, then they wouldn't even raise a groan.
    
    
    
    Sorry again.
    
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                    Copyright 2005 - Peter Sale

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