relegation in soccer

Relegation in soccer can be tough to understand, especially if you are an American. Most American sports, like Major League Soccer, do not include relegation in teams. However, the concept will not seem difficult to understand when you know the meaning of relegation in soccer.

Relegation in soccer implies that a team has been dropped from their recent league and joined a subordinate league. A team gets relegated when they end the league season at the bottom. Consequently, the relegated team begins the coming season in an inferior league. Sadly, the relegation also impacts the finances of the team. Besides, soccer jerseys are so expensive that the relegated teams find it difficult to afford them without proper finance and sponsors.

Relegation in soccer sports is considered a huge deal for the team as it can affect the future of the team in multiple ways in the long run. This article will dive deep into what relegation is in soccer, along with other relevant details. So, if you want to understand how it works, keep reading.

What is Relegation in Soccer?

Relegation in soccer is a system that allows the lowest-ranked teams at the end of every season to transfer to the lower division for the upcoming soccer season. This transfer of division between the leagues is made based on the teams’ performance in each soccer season. Hence, the lowest-ranked teams are soccer-relegated or relegated teams.

There is a prominent difference between the sports of North America and Europe, which is the concept of relegation and promotion in the race of leagues.

Most of the top leagues in the sports world of North America are either closed or static. This means the same teams get to play with each other every season. This rule can only change when the league invites a new team to play or a team leaves the competition. For instance, MLS, MLB, NFL, and NBA leagues exist. Each of these games operates in a closed structure consisting of top-ranked teams.

In European sports, the Federation of Sports conducts the system differently, where every team has to give their best to attain their position in the top league. It hardly matters who is on the team or who is the owner of the team. If the team is new, they must begin their journey from the bottom rank in the inferior league. The team has to work to move their way up to the elite league by ending each season of their current league at the top.

Once the team ranks at the top of the league in their season, they get a promotion and get a chance to play the next season in the top league. Hence, it may take several years for a new soccer team to attain the top position based on this promotion system.

Once the team makes it to the top league, there is no assurance that they will continue to survive in their position. This is where the system of relegation appears.

Relegation in soccer is the system of transferring the sports team at the bottom of the league board from their current league to the lowest league at the end of the season.

Relegation is a true probability for each team in the league. It pushes the teams to work hard to avoid being relegated team. The probability of being relegated helps motivate the teams to play their best until the final match of their season. Here is a need to look more into the details. So, let us shift our focus to the function of relegation in soccer.

How Does Relegation Work?

Relegation in soccer works by taking the teams ranking at the bottom of the season’s league board and sending them down to an inferior league. As a result, these teams can only play in the lower league for the next season.

So, every soccer team aims to play their best throughout the season to be the best team in the current league. Every player strives to end the season at the top.

However, many teams aspire to at least avoid ending the season at the lowest rank among the teams.

As MLS is a closed league, the teams ending the season at the lowest have to deal with a few consequences. The team finishing at the lowest comes back year after year and continues playing in the same league.

Contrary to this, the English Premier League is a league where the teams ranking at the bottom will get relegated after finishing the season in the lowest position.

What is the Relegation Zone?

The relegation zone indicates the bottom area of the league table consisting of the teams to be relegated if they end up in the same bottom position.

Advantages of Relegation in Soccer

The advantages of using relegation in soccer sports are vast.

Keep Up the Competition

Each team maintains its competitive spirit until the last match of the season. In North American sports, the teams often do not compete to their best ability at the season’s end. Since they have nothing different to play later, the teams fail to give an exciting and powerful game.

When a team has to compete to make a place in the elite league by avoiding relegation, there will be fantastic competition throughout the season.

Encourage to Improve

Avoiding relegation in soccer provides a stronger reason to improve their skill and abilities to play. It is no big deal for the teams to settle down as mediocre in the closed league. In these leagues, the teams know that they have nothing to lose, and their position will remain the same no matter how they perform.

However, a team that competes to avoid relegation gets a strong incentive to improve their game every season.

Entry of New Teams

Moreover, the process of promotion and relegation enables the entry of new teams into the league every season. It can become dull with no entry of new teams into the league. The entry of new teams brings a lot of freshness and excitement to the game.

Also, who doesn’t like the passion and excitement of smaller teams competing to make their place in the top league?

 Disadvantages of Relegation in Soccer

Besides listing the advantages of the relegation system in soccer, it is also vital to acknowledge the disadvantages of the system.

  • A team can get relegated for having only a bad year
  • Some team fails to bounce back
  • Relegated teams may go through a financial crunch


When a team fails to perform well in the league season, they are relegated and called a relegated team.

Conversely, the lowest-ranked teams also get a good chance to advance to the elite league. This is an exciting way to put together wonderful matches. Also, it encourages the players of the soccer teams to put their best to be on top.

M. Abdullah is a celebrity author with a keen interest in all things related to the rich and famous. He has built a reputation as a go-to source for the latest and trendy celebrity gossip and in-depth information and resources on the net worth of some of the world's most prominent celebrities, players, athletes, and politicians.