World War II Leagues

Emergency War Leagues

On the outbreak of the Second World War the Football League was immediately suspended and replaced by a number of hurried-arranged regional leagues.

Champions Runners-up
1939-40 S-A Arsenal West Ham United
S-B Queens Park Rangers Bournemouth & BA
S-C Tottenham Hotspur West Ham United
S-D Crystal Palace Queens Park Rangers
SW Plymouth Argyle Torquay United
Mid Wolverhampton W West Bromwich A
W Stoke City Liverpool
E Chesterfield Barnsley
NW Bury Preston North End
NE Huddersfield Town Newcastle United

War League South

The emergency leagues were replaced by two unwieldly leagues – North and South – for the 1940-41 season. This lead to considerable dissatisfaction from teams in the South East who formed a rival London War League for the 1941-42. Following concessions, they were brought back into the fold for the 1942-43 and subsequent seasons.

Champions Runners-up
1940-41 S Crystal Palace West Ham United
S-2 Brighton & Hove A1 Watford
1941-42 Lon Arsenal Portsmouth
S Leicester City West Bromwich A
1942-43 S Arsenal Tottenham Hotspur
1943-44 S Tottenham Hotspur West Ham United
1944-45 S Tottenham Hotspur West Ham United
1945-46 S Birmingham City Aston Villa
1 Brighton beat Watford 4-1 in play-off

War League West

The emphasis of the War League South on London and the South East left teams from South Wales and the South West out on a limb. They were formed into a separate Western section and then joined the Northern section for their supplementary tournament. The most interesting affect on this is that teams like Bath City and Lovells Athletic (from Newport) were able to compete on level terms with their more illustrious opponents.

Champions Runners-up
1940-41 W Bath City Lovells Athletic
1941-42 W no competition
1942-43 W Lovells Athletic Bath City
1943-44 W Lovells Athletic Cardiff City
1944-45 W Cardiff City Bristol City

War League North

The War League North was organised as a primary competition (N) followed by a second, supplementary competition (N-2) in which teams from the War League West also competed.

Champions Runners-up
1940-41 N Preston North End Chesterfield
1941-42 N Blackpool Lincoln City
N-2 Manchester United Blackpool
1942-43 N Blackpool Liverpool
N-2 Liverpool Lovells Athletic
1943-44 N Blackpool Manchester United
N-2 Bath City Wrexham
1944-45 N Huddersfield Town Derby County
N-2 Derby County Everton
1945-46 N Sheffield United Everton

Division 3 Regional Leagues

At the end of the War it was initially proposed that Divisions 3 North and 3 South should restart for the 1945-46 season. However, in the face of strong opposition, the two leagues competed in regional sections together with an extended League Cup.

Champions Runners-up
1945-46 S-S Crystal Palace Cardiff City
S-N Queens Park Rangers Norwich City
N-E Rotherham United Darlington
N-W Accrington Stanley Rochdale