In this football language post we explain the football expression ‘yo-yo club’ which is used to describe a club that is both promoted and relegated on a fairly regular basis. Don’t forget we have hundreds more explanations of football language in our football glossary and we also have a page full of football cliches. If you have questions or comments about this or any other phrase then email us at:

Football Language: Yo-yo club

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A yo-yo is a traditional toy, one that a child can play on their own by moving the yo-yo up and down a piece of string. If a team is known as a yo-yo club it means that they continuously move up and down between different divisions, for example, between the Premier League and the Championship. Recently, the English side West Brom have been known as a yo-yo club after four promotions and three relegations in recent times. Currently, they are in second place in the Championship so they may well return to the Premier League once again when the season resumes.

The Premier League pays relegated clubs something known as ‘parachute payments’ which means that the relegated club receives money from the Premier League for up to three years. This means that these clubs can have more money than clubs already in the Championship and therefore they are stronger and have a better chance of promotion. This idea of a yo-yo club  means that a club may be too good for the Championship but not quite good enough for the Premier League. Which clubs in your region are known as yo-yo clubs?

  • Example: Padeborn are somewhat of a yo-yo club. Now, in 2015 they were promoted to the top tier only to go down immediately and then be relegated again to the third tier. They then won successive promotions and are back in the Bundesliga this season.

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Learn English Through FootballWelcome to the website that helps students interested in football improve their English language skills. Football fans can practise with lots of free language resources, including football-language podcasts and our huge football-language glossary.

Football GlossaryEpisode 915