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NL | What an EFL League Two North and South could look like

With calls for the fifth tier to form part of the English Football League, we explored what a regionalised League Two would look like, including the current teams in the National League.

By Amos Murphy

Johnson believes fifth tier should become Football League

In an exclusive interview with, Torquay United manager Gary Johnson admitted he believed the National League should be rebranded as the EFL League Three.

The move would see what is currently the fifth tier absorbed by the Football League, thus no longer making part of the non-league pyramid.

Both the National League North and South would therefore become Step One in non-league, with the following divisions all being moved up a step.

gary johnston torquay

Credit: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

Johnson’s proposals split fans’ opinions

Johnson’s claims split opinions online, with some supporters welcoming the move, whilst others believed it would be damaging to the game:

“It would make getting promoted to the football league easier”

- @nick_french

“Decreases the prestige of the EFL. So no.”

- @vinny5_J

“Already lost some great clubs from EFL Darlington Wrexham Stockport York Halifax Notts county to name a few and replaced by Salford, Stevenage, Morecambe, Crawley diluting it.”

- @AndyP01968

“I don’t disagree with Gary’s Johnson’s view, but what would happen to National League North and it’s Southern counterpart? Would they become EFL 4 - North and EFL4 - South?”

- @jeffpovey

Structural reform wanted by fans

The proposal from Johnson may throw up more questions than it does answers, supporters did pose some interesting structural points about what the new-fangled League Three might look like:

“Should be 3 up 3 down across all leagues and divisions”.

- @blathers67

“It needs to 3 up 3 down.  Why not top 2 promoted, bottom 2 relegated, 3rd from bottom in play offs with top 3,4,5”

- @payneardo

However, perhaps one of the most interesting propositions was that the fourth and fifth tiers should merge to create a joint fourth tier, with leagues regionalised between the North and South.

Regionalised fourth tier?

Whilst unlikely to ever come to fruition, it does pose the question, which sides would fall into the North or South leagues?

Based on rough geographical estimates, League Two North and South could look something like this:

League Two North:

Altrincham (NL)

Barrow (L2)

Bradford City (L2)

Carlisle United (L2)

Chesterfield (NL)

FC Halifax Town (NL)

Grimsby Town (NL)

Harrogate Town (L2)

Hartlepool United (L2)

King's Lynn Town (NL)

Mansfield Town (L2)

Northampton Town (L2)

Notts County (NL)

Oldham Athletic (L2)

Port Vale (L2)

Rochdale (L2)

Salford City (L2)

Scunthorpe United (L2)

Solihull Moors (L2)

Stockport County (NL)

Tranmere Rovers (L2)

Walsall (L2)

Wrexham (NL)


League Two South:

Aldershot Town (NL)

Barnet (NL)

Boreham Wood (NL)

Bristol Rovers (L2)

Bromley (NL)

Colchester United (L2)

Crawley Town (L2)

Dagenham & Redbridge (NL)

Dover Athletic (NL)

Eastleigh (NL)

Exeter City (L2)

Forest Green Rovers (L2)

Leyton Orient (L2)

Maidenhead United (NL)

Newport County (L2)

Southend United (NL)

Stevenage (L2)

Sutton United (L2)

Swindon Town (L2)

Torquay United (NL)

Wealdstone (NL)

Weymouth (NL)

Woking (NL)

Yeovil Town (NL)

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