Updated: Jun 10, 2020
Away from Richard Scudamore’s £5 million goodbye present and Manchester United’s mattress sponsorship, England’s second division is taking up the reigns as the nation’s best league – here are eight reasons why.
8) Big clubs, big clubs everywhere
Some will see the Championship as a cemetery for some of England’s biggest clubs, those who haven’t seen success since the days of black and white. But in an era where clubs like Bournemouth and Brighton are establishing themselves as Premier League stalwarts, the Championship is where you’ll find some of England’s richest footballing history.
Whether it’s the might of the two Sheffield clubs, the heritage of Aston Villa, the intrigue of Leeds or the forgotten glory of Brian Clough’s back-to-back European Cup winning Nottingham Forrest side, the Championship is littered with big clubs.
7) Big clubs means big matches
All of these big clubs can only mean one thing… big matches. When the big clubs meet each other in the Premier League, the matches are cagey, scrappy and often used as a remedy for insomnia. When the big clubs come head-to-head in the Championship, they’re high-octane, electric and always guarantee goals.
There were five, yes five goals each when Forrest travelled to Villa in November and Derby scored two in the last five minutes to come from behind and beat high-flyers Norwich over the Christmas period. Unfiltered breathtakingly exciting drama, you don’t get that when watching Burnley vs Huddersfield, do you?
Aston Villa 5-5 Nottingham Forest FT: 3': ⚽️ Grabban 6’: ⚽️ Carvalho 11’: ⚽️ Abraham 14’: ⚽️ Abraham 22’: ⚽️ Cash 36’: ⚽️ Abraham 51’: ⚽️ Lolley 68’: 🔴 Figueiredo 71’: ⚽️ Abraham 75’: ⚽️ El Ghazi 82’: ⚽️ Grabban What. A. Game. 😱 pic.twitter.com/Ksz9uVEl5Q — Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) November 28, 2018
On top of this, the Championship has seen teams come back to win matches from losing positions more times than any other league in England (Opta). Is there anything better than seeing a team 3-0 down at half-time go on and win the match? We don’t think so.
6) 3pm unless stated
Remember in the olden days when football matches kicked off at 3pm and would finish around quarter to five? A nice lie in on a Saturday morning and just enough time to make it back to the pub for a drink or three after that match. Seems ages ago, right? Well, buried in the dark depths of English football’s footballing pyramid, they still do.
Bar the odd one, most of the matches will kick-off at 3pm on a Saturdayin the Championship; that means no frantic rushing about to make the early kick-off on time and it means no getting home in the early hours of Monday morning, after travelling half-way across the country for those dreaded Sunday tea-time clashes.
5) Marcelo Bielsa
Crazy? Yes. Bonkers? Yes. Genius? Yes. PowerPoint extraordinaire? Most definitely, yes.
Leeds’s very own bucket loving footballing royalty caught English football fans’ imagination when he announced his shock arrival at Elland Road and hasn’t stopped hitting the headlines since.