Originally Posted by RedFanAlways1966
Thanks, bucksfan! I was always curious about the structure of the leagues in England and this presented the opportunity to ask. What's Google?!? Did you notice if the "ale" prices were steep in their stadium like it is here for beer? :gac:
Glad to here about the family trip. I hope all goes well.
Lower division teams in England (and all of Europe) are totally separate entities and (as far as I know) are not allowed to have formal ties to Premier League clubs.
As the previous poster stated, all European leagues have a complex system of relegation and promotion. For example, at the end of each season the three worst teams in the Premiership are replaced by three teams from the First Division (the two best teams plus the winner of a playoff between teams 3-6). In England, there are innumerable classifications below the Premiership, but the main ones are the First Division (now called The Championship), the Second, the Third, and the Conference (which is mostly semi-pro).
Almost every club, regardless of size, has its own 'youth academy', including U-12, U-15, etc. teams. These would be the equivalent of the minor leagues. In addition, clubs often will loan out players to other clubs (usually, but not always, in a lower division) to get them playing time.