League One play-offs 2024: Fixtures, dates and teams in contention

  • 2024 League One play-offs to take place in May
  • Host of teams battling for promotion to Championship
  • Portsmouth have been crowned the champions

Who will win promotion to the Championship this year?
Who will win promotion to the Championship this year? / Marc Atkins/GettyImages
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We're approaching crunch time in the 2023/24 season and the League One table is beginning to take shape.

There are a host of clubs vying for the automatic promotion spots in the third tier of English football as they dream of a fairy tale rise through the divisions, or in the case of some teams, a return to former glory.

However, there is the safety net of the play-offs in League One, a mini knockout tournament that sees four sides fight it out for one last shot at a spot in the Championship.

Here is everything you need to know about the 2023/24 League One play-offs, including dates, prize money and the teams in contention.



Which teams are in contention for the 2023/24 League One play-offs?

Paddy Lane
Portsmouth have sealed a return to the second tier / Robin Jones/GettyImages

The beauty of the English Football League is just how quickly things can change, with teams often making late surges into the play-offs after a mediocre start to the campaign. However, with only a few games to play, time is running out for some sides.

Portsmouth have now secured a return to the Championship for the first time since 2011/12 by winning the League One title, but they're the only team to have ensured promotion thus far. Derby County currently sit second and are being closely pursued by third-placed Bolton Wanderers.

Peterborough United are the only other side that can manage automatic promotion, while Barnsley and Oxford United sit in the two remaining play-off spots. Lincoln City and Blackpool are the two teams outside the top six that are within striking distance of the play-off places.


2023/24 League One table

Pos

Team

Played

GD

Points

C

Portsmouth

44

+36

94

2.

Derby County

44

+38

86

3.

Bolton Wanderers

44

+33

83

4.

Peterborough United

43

+28

80

5.

Barnsley

44

+19

75

6.

Oxford United

44

+22

73

7.

Lincoln

44

+26

71

8.

Blackpool

44

+17

70

9.

Stevenage

44

+10

67


How does promotion and relegation work in League One?

As per usual, three teams will be promoted from League One during the 2023/24 season. The sides placed first and second in the table will automatically move up to the Championship, with the final promotion spot decided by the play-offs.

The four teams placed from third to sixth will compete against one another, with two-legged semi-finals followed by a lucrative final at Wembley Stadium. The winner of that showpiece event in the capital will join the two automatically promoted sides in the Championship.

In terms of relegation, things are much simpler, with the four sides at the bottom of the table dropping into the fourth tier. They will be replaced by four clubs promoted from League Two.


When are the 2023/24 League One play-offs?

The League One season will draw to a close in late April, with the play-offs taking place after the 46-game campaign has come to an end.

While not all teams have been confirmed in the play-offs at present, both legs of the semi-finals will take place between 3-8 May. The final will then take place on Saturday 18 May 2024 at 15:00 (BST).

The League Two play-off final will be played at Wembley the day after, with the Championship play-off final being held the following weekend.


How much do teams earn by winning the League One play-off final?

Getting promoted is one of the few guaranteed ways of raising a club's financial stature, with League One clubs earning big money for sealing promotion to the Championship.

When combining basic awards with solidarity payments from the Premier League, League One sides receive around £1.4m at the start of a season, a figure that rises to £6-7m in the Championship. However, clubs who win the play-off final don't receive any extra payments.

Second-tier clubs also bring in far more through TV deals and ticket sales, the reason why promotion can be so transformative for a football club.


READ MORE ON THE 2023/24 PLAY-OFF HUNT THROUGHOUT THE EFL

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