Premier League 2 is a competition that replaced the Under-21 Premier League from 2016/17, with a greater focus on technicality, physicality and intensity to bring players as close to first-team experience as possible.
The age limit for players is now Under-23.
The league is formed of two tiers, Division 1 and Division 2, with 12 teams in each, and the factor of promotion and relegation.
The 26 clubs who compete each applied for "Category One" status in the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP). There are 18 clubs from the Premier League, seven from the Championship and one from League One.
All players born after 1 January 1997 are eligible to play in the 2020/21 season. The format is as follows:
- There are 13 teams in Division 1 and 13 in Division 2, with every club playing each other once at home and once away
- In Division 1, the team who finish first are champions
- The bottom two teams in Division 1 are relegated to Division 2
- In Division 2, the league winners get automatic promotion to Division 1
- Teams ranked second to fifth go into a promotion playoff. Second plays fifth at home while the third-placed team host fourth in the semi-finals, both at the club’s main stadiums. The final takes place at the home ground of the team who finished highest in the league
- All playoff matches are one-off ties, decided by extra-time and then penalties if the match is level after 120 minutes
- There is no relegation from Division 2
Other rules include:
- Each team can field a goalkeeper over the age limit and up to three "over-age" outfield players in every match
- Each club must host at least three league matches at their main stadium during the course of the season. This helps to enhance the matchday experience for the players and fans.
- Member clubs' training grounds or Academy venues will be permitted for the staging of up to three home matches over the course of the league season.
Premier League 2 Division 1 winners
2015/16 Manchester United
2014/15 Manchester United
2012/13 Manchester United
Premier League Division 2 winners
2019/20 West Ham United
2018/19 Wolverhampton Wanderers
2017/18 Blackburn Rovers
2016/17 Swansea City
2015/16 Derby County