Cheltenham Town were the first team to earn promotion to League One this season as they continue their push for the League Two title. Whilst their eyes may be focused on this season for now there is no doubt the boardroom will be well underway with making their plans for life in the third tier. Here’s a look at this season’s League One new boys, how they fared and what grade we gave them:
- Swindon Town: F
Crowned League Two champions in 2020 by having the highest points per game after the season was abruptly ended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, life in League One has proved to be turbulent for the Wiltshire club. Following on from the pandemic the club faced intense financial difficulties. The club admitting being close to bankruptcy in February 2021 and then being charged by the FA two months later for breaching FA regulations concerning the ownership of the club. The bad fortunes off the pitch followed the team as they have been relegated back to League Two.
2. Crewe Alexandra: B+
League Two runners up in 2020 Crewe Alexandra actually sat top of the table when the season ended. Manager David Artell won League Two manager of the year, the award picked up by Cheltenham manager Michael Duff this year, and he was able to carry his team’s success into League One, with the help of some savvy recruiting Artell’s side sit comfortably in mid-table having fared the best of the newly promoted sides.
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3. Plymouth Argyle: C
Clinching the third and final automatic promotion spot Plymouth Argyle can class this season a success. Similarly to Swindon the Pilgrim’s struggled financially as the club went through a big restructure behind the scenes which involved multiple staff redundancies. Unlike Swindon however, Plymouth were fortunate enough to perform well enough on the pitch to secure their place in the league for another season.
4. Northampton Town: F
Thank you for your support this season. The season is not ending how we hoped or wanted, but we are determined to bounce back stronger than ever and plans are already under way. For those who missed it, this is what Jon Brady had to say on Saturday: https://t.co/ewhXjxxDHW— Northampton Town (@ntfc) May 4, 2021
Having come from behind to beat Cheltenham Town in the play-off final, Northampton Town were the fourth and final team to be promoted to League One. Going through the play-offs left Northampton with a very short window to recruit and with the loss of some key men The Cobbler’s were up against it from the off. Manager Keith Curle was sacked after a disappointing start to the season, but the managerial change wasn’t enough to save the club as they were relegated back to League Two after a 3-0 defeat to Blackpool.