Only after several years of discuss, the Football Association of England finally gave legal base of professionalism in 1885. Before 20 July 1885 many teams made illegitimate payments to players which were "professionals" to improve their team's competitiveness. Ultimately, this created the disdain of those teams abiding by the amateur Football Association laws and code. Because of the fact that more and more teams became to professional status the FA Cup ad-hoc fixture list, 'friendly' matches and international games was seen by many as an undependable revenue stream, and methods were supposed of ensuring a steady profits.
William McGregor, who was a draper and Aston Villa's director in Scotland, was the first man who was tried to establish some rules to that chaotic world where teams agreed their own matches and games. He reported to the leading teams and decided to organize the beginning meeting of the English Football League on March 22, 1888. The English Football League's first season started some months later in 1888 and dated on 8 September, there were 12 member clubs.
The first English Football League's rules had some similarities to modern rules. Each team played the other two matches, once away and once at home, and two points were as a reward for a win and at the same time one point for a draw. That system of points was not arranged upon till just after the beginning of the season; it's very interesting that the alternative suggestion was to reward one point only for a win. The first league title went to Preston, which didn't lose even one game, and taking the FA Cup Preston completed the first double of the league-cup.
Nowadays English Football League includes 72 clubs which are divided into three divisions (departments): Football League Two, Football League One and the Football League Championship. Each of three divisions consists of 24 clubs; and some of rules remain the same: in any regular season team faces each of the rivals in their division two times, once away and once at home. That system of regular season makes the total number of matches for each club 46 during each season.
Clubs thanks to the win get three points, in the case of draw each team gain one point, and in the case of loss clubs gain zero. At the season's end, teams that stay at their divisions top have the possibility to get the promotion to the next division, at the same time as those clubs at the bottom of the table could be relegated to the lower division. At the competition's top end, three clubs win the English Premier Football League promotion from the Football League, and at the same time three clubs from the bottom of the Premier League relegating to lower division. Thus, clubs from the bottom of English football league tables may at the end of the season lose their division's place, but clubs from the top of the tables may win promotion to the highest one.
There is two knockout cups organized by The Football League one of them is the Carling Cup (earlier it was called the Football League Cup) and LDV Vans Trophy (former Football League Trophy).