The History of the Alternate Reality Football League
For every reality, there is an alternate reality playing out elsewhere in another dimension.
In one dimension in particular, Englsih football has a completely different feel altogether...
My name is Dave and, in 2017, I created what was then called Fantasy Football League. Admittedly, this isn't a very original name but, as it was just something that I did on my own laptop without this website, it didn't seem to matter much! This consisted, and still does, of just excel spreasheets of leagues and cups that I created, featuring teams that are all real, but the divisions they play in, the cups the compete in, and ultimately the results they have, are all decided by myself. From 2017 until approximately a month ago, this little football world only existed on my laptop and the cloud.
However, in August 2019, after having given it a good deal of thought,
I decided that I wanted to share the results of my football universe with
everyone. At the time of writing this (September 2019), I have completed 6
seasons of The Alternate Reality Football League (Seasons 2017-2022) and
am currently working on the results for 2023. So far (again, September 2019), I have uploaded the first 6 rounds of the leagues so far, with all cup competitions results still to follow. It's a slow process, as sadly I'm just a normal guy with a full-time job
(and a lovely, understanding wife!) to focus on, so this is just a passion of mine that I indulge in, whenever I can.
The name Alternate Reality Football League came about when I wanted to convey the thought that this football world existed alongside the real one, just in separate dimensions (yes, that's how my pretty little mind works)! Of course, I understand that this kind of project can never replace real football; it's just not feasible to expect anyone (except myself maybe!) to get more excited about fake results on a website than going to a match and watching the real thing. But, if this site can achieve one thing, I hope it's this... that even if your team is struggling in real life, or even in a worst-case scenario (like the legendary team that is Bury FC) their very existence is on the line, then this may offer you another version of your team who may be more sucessful.
Also, what I personally like about something like this, is that it's a piece of documented history. If you take something comparable, like FIFA or Football Manager, you can create a career and go for as many seasons as you like. However, the only person who sees that history is you; there will be thousands of other versions of your team's careers on other people's computers and gaming consoles. Also, these games are annual, so you'll end up buying the latest version of the game each year, and starting all over again.
So what happens to those previous histories you created? They either go in the bin or they just sit gathering dust, never to be looked at again. The Alternate Reality Football League is a place that will never be re-started or a latest version on offer. It's simply a football universe where once results are uploaded, they are set in stone, like historical fact. Obviously not as important as things like the Magna Carta, Henry VIII, or the World Wars though!
More than anything else though, what The Alternate Reality Football League really is, is just a project that I happen to be very proud of, and would like to share with you. If you ever have any questions about the league, or any comments on what I can do to involve you, the fans, in any way, I would love to hear from you, so please feel free to contact me either by direct email on the Contact Us page, or by clicking on the Twitter, Facebook or Instagram buttons at the tope of the page. Thank you very much for reading and keep checking the site to check on your favourite team!
The Beginning of Professional Football:
When I first came up with the idea, I focused on the leagues first. I knew that I wanted to maintain the main professional leagues already in existence (Premier League and EFL divisions). However, given that so many former league teams are now down in non-league football these days, I felt that for The Alternate Reality Football League, a larger number of leagues (and clubs) should comprise the professional divisions. Therefore, I went with the top 6 tiers in real-life and turned them into 7 (the two divisions right underneath the National League are in the same tier, which was something I wanted to avoid). So, The Professional Leagues were born:
- Premier League (identical to real-life)
- EFL Championship (identical to real-life)
- EFL League One (identical to real-life)
- EFL League Two (identical to real-life)
- National League Premier Division (new division for The Alternate Reality Football League)
- National League Championship (new division for The Alternate Reality Football League)
- National League League One (new division for The Alternate Reality Football League)
The results for each of these leagues are generated and uploaded onto the site. The divisions underneath this are called The Amateur Leagues, for which no results are generated and nothing is uploaded. Although I have a database of these sides (which I use to determine the 3 clubs to promote to the Professional Leagues, replacing the 3 relegated from the 7th-tier National League One), this isn't shown online currently. The main reason for this is time; I have approx 30+ different amateur leagues under The Professional Leagues and would never be able to get through everything! The one thing that all leagues, Professional or Amateur, share is the promotions and relegations; in this universe it is strictly a 3-up, 3-down system. The only Amateur sides who appear during any given season, are those sides who were former members of The Professional Leagues and only appear in the Qualifying Round of The FA Cup.Speaking of cup competitions, these are the competitions that exist in The Alternate Reality Football League:
- The FA Cup (identical to real-life) Only current or former professional clubs can take part. This is the only cup where all 160 professional clubs over the seven professional divisions are guaranteed to get at least 1 game. The opening set of fixtures is the qualifying round, before the 1st Round proper begins. In this round, the entrants are determined by their current league positions in a combined table across all seven divisions after 21 rounds of each division. Additionally, any former professional clubs who have since been relegated to the Amateur Leagues but had previously competed in an FA Cup competition, receive a lifetime invitation to each subsequent season's competition.
- The League Cup (identical to real-life) Only teams from The Premier League and the three tiers of the EFL can compete. Unlike the FA Cup, there is no qualifying round; only the 64 top ranked clubs from that season (after 19 rounds of league fixtures) will compete in the 1st Round proper.
- The EFL Trophy (identical to real-life) Only teams from the three divisions of the EFL (Championship, League One and League Two) can compete. There is no qualifying round; only the 64 top ranked clubs from that season (after 17 rounds of league fixtures) will compete in the 1st Round proper.
- The National League Trophy (new competition for The Alternate Reality Football League) Only teams from the three divisions of the National League (Premier Division, Championship and League One) can compete. There is no qualifying round; only the 64 top ranked clubs from that season (after 15 rounds of league fixtures) will compete in the 1st Round proper.
- The European Cup (Season 2018 onwards) (replacement for The Champions League in real-life) 128 clubs from around Europe compete in a knock-out competition.
- The UEFA Cup (Season 2018 onwards) (replacement for The Europa League in real-life) 128 clubs from around Europe compete in a knock-out competition.
- The Community Shield (Season 2018 onwards) (identical to real-life) As in real-life, The Premier League Champions take on The FA Cup Winners in this season-opener.
- The European Super Cup (Season 2019 onwards) (identical to real-life) As in real-life, The European Cup Winners take on The UEFA Cup Winners in this season-opener.
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