Two EFL clubs could face having to be renamed from next season as the battle for city status begins with 39 towns named in the list.
A new competition has been launched with the capitals of the Falkland Islands, Cayman Islands and Gibraltar among the places vying to win in June 2022.
The first-time applicants join regular contenders for the title in a contest held to mark the Queen’s 70-year reign next year.
It is the first time towns in British overseas territories and crown dependencies have been able to apply, and it could mean that League Two sides Crawley and Northampton will have to change ‘Town’ from their team name and do what Swansea did some years back and replace it with ‘City’ – or alternatively go for something different altogether.
Same could be done for teams in non league such as Alcester Town, Dorchester Town, Dudley Town and Warrington Town, while there are already teams of cities, who feature in this new city status list that have ‘City’ in their name such as Guildford City and Reading City.
Charles Commins, one quarter of popular Northampton Town Football Club podcast ‘It’s All Cobblers To Me’, said he is convinced fans of the club would not stomach a change of name to Northampton City FC.
Back in 1969, Swansea City changed its name from Swansea Town when the area got city status but Mr Commins does not see a similar thing happening in Northampton.
“The supporters wouldn’t allow it,” he says. “I’d expect scenes like the European Super League idea.
“I just don’t see it really, even if it became a city. It wouldn’t polarise the fan base – nobody is going to walk into Sixfields after city status and start changing all the words of our songs.
“It would separate the fans from the club.”
Many of the songs beloved by Cobblers fans celebrate the area’s town status, not least the “Big city lights don’t bother me” line of the celebrated “The Fields Are Green”.
Mr Commins, who runs the podcast alongside Chessie Coleman, Danny Brothers and Neile Egerton-Scott, says there is too much history behind the town name of the club to change it.
He cheekily added that such names as Northampton Pumas, Olympic Northampton and Dynamo Northampton would be better than having ‘City’ added to the name.
Back in October, it was announced that Southend would become a city after the death of Sir David Amess, one of the town’s MPs, who often vigorously supported its campaign for the status.
It would seem that there are no set rules or minimum population for city status, which is officially awarded by the Queen on the advice of government ministers.
This year’s places includes a wide range of differently sized settlements, including the Falkland Islands capital Stanley, with a population of under 3,000.
Along with the 40,000-population Caymans Islands capital of George Town, it is taking advantage of the new rules permitting entries from British overseas territories.
Northampton – which has a population of over 225,000 – is among larger towns, such as Reading and Middlesbrough, to be going for their second bid at gaining the status.
Making its latest, and fourth, bid earlier this month, Milton Keynes sent its application.
Smaller places throwing their hat into the ring include Marazion, which has St Michael’s Mount, in Cornwall, Alcester in Warwickshire, and Peel on the Isle of Man.
Marazion – had a population of about 1,500 – and could displace St Davids in Wales as the UK’s smallest city if its bid is successful.
Town councillor Richard Stokoe has described the town as a “David in a field of Goliaths”, but argued “size is not important”.
For the first time, contenders for 2022’s Platinum Jubilee competition will have their applications reviewed by a panel of eight officials representing cultural bodies around the United Kingdom.
Although there is no set limit as to the number of winners, two previous contests produced four and three new cities respectively.
Those who win will join 69 current cities in the UK – with 51 in England, six in Wales, seven in Scotland and five in Northern Ireland.
Applicants have been asked to showcase their cultural heritage, traditions and identity, along with links to royalty and famous local residents.
Cabinet Office Minister Steve Barclay said city status could contribute towards “levelling up” – the government’s stated ambition to equalise opportunities between regions.
However, Paul Swinney, research director at Centre for Cities, told the BBC that, while city status may well be important for civic pride, it was important not to overstate its impact.
“While Reading is a town in the Queen’s eyes, from an economy perspective it is very much a city already,” he added.
Which places have applied for city status?
Ballymena, County Antrim
Bangor, County Down
Coleraine, County Londonderry
Crawley, West Sussex
Doncaster, South Yorkshire
Douglas, Isle of Man
Dudley, West Midlands
Dumfries, Dumfries and Galloway
George Town, Cayman Islands
Goole, East Yorkshire
Livingston, West Lothian
Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire
Newport and Carisbrooke, Isle of Wight
Oban, Argyll and Bute
Peel, Isle of Man
St Andrews, Fife
South Ayrshire, Ayrshire and Arran
Stanley, Falkland Islands
Wrexham, North Wales
Which places currently have city status?
Brighton and Hove
Kingston upon Hull
City of London
Newcastle upon Tyne
City of Westminster