The English Football League comprises professional football clubs from England and Wales. It was established in 1888 as The Football League and in 1892 the Second Division was formed, with the existing division being renamed the First Division. The First World War caused the League to be postponed from 1915 to 1919 and two seasons following its resumption a Third Division was introduced for one season, before being regionalised as North and South. The 1958–59 season saw the introduction of a Fourth Division, with the top 12 clubs from the Third Division North and South from the previous season starting in a national Third Division, and the bottom 12 starting in the Fourth Division. The introduction of the Premier League, which superseded the First Division as the top-flight of English football, caused a reorganisation of the English football league system in 1992, with the Fourth Division being disbanded. The First Division, Second Division and Third Division were rebranded as the Championship, League One and League Two respectively ahead of the 2004–05 season, which came as part of a then-sponsorship with Coca-Cola.
From the 1986–87 season, the club finishing bottom of the Football League’s basement division was relegated to the Conference National (now National League), the highest level of non-League football, depending on the ability of the Conference champions to meet FA requirements. Before this, clubs would lose their League status by failing to gain re-election after finishing in the bottom four of the bottom division. Since the 2002–03 season, the bottom two clubs of League Two face relegation to the Conference/National League.
The list includes clubs that are current members of the Premier League, who lost their Football League status upon promotion, and those which lost their status by other means. This includes clubs which have become defunct, merged with another club or have been relegated to a lower position in the pyramid. Where a defunct club has been succeeded by a phoenix club, the new club is listed.