Forget the glitz and glamour of the Premier League, the Championship is an exhilarating rollercoaster ride from start to finish. In true Pippa Middleton style I’ll do my best to upstage the bride and give you 10 reasons why the Championship is so much better.
1. Anyone can beat anyone
It may be a cliché but it’s true. The number of defeats for top Championship teams far outweighs their Premier League counterparts. Whilst Chelsea look set to build an unassailable lead, picking a winner in the Championship is a lottery.
2. Fierce rivals
Forget the Manchester and Merseyside Derby. If you try telling a Sheffield Wednesday fan that a win against Leeds United is just another three points you’ll receive a stern history lesson!
3. Reasonable kick-off times
3pm on a Saturday; simples. Unlike the Premier League, games usually kick off at the same time on a Saturday making for an exciting afternoon as league positions change by the minute.
4. The play-offs
After 48 gruelling games, it all comes down to 90 minutes in the play-off final, often dubbed the most expensive game in world because of the lucrative reward. It can literally come down to one kick and last season was no exception as Bobby Zamora blasted QPR to the Premier League with an injury time winner at the expense of Derby County.
5. Most competitive league
You are never safe in the Championship; the competitiveness of the league means that mid-table teams can make a late push for the play-offs whilst at the same time looking over their shoulder to avoid being dragged into the relegation zone. There’s always something to play for.
6. The fans
Loyal, passionate fans travelling in vast numbers every weekend. This may happen in the Premier League, but you don’t have to fight corporate sponsors to get your ticket.
7. Fallen giants
There are 15 teams who have been in the Premier League over the past ten years and it’s that fight to get back that makes this league so exciting. The Championship also boasts a former double European Cup winning team in Nottingham Forest, the archetypal fallen giant.
8. You don’t have to play Arsenal!
Although ticket prices are no doubt expensive, at least fans don’t have to pay the extortionate prices at the Emirates. I’d sooner take a trip to London and watch Brentford; you’d probably see a better game and not leave penniless.
Ex-players trying to make a name for themselves, ex-England managers trying to recover the name they once had, and young managers just trying to get their name on the map. This all adds up to a wonderful array of personalities on the touchline.
10. The Premier League!
It’s the battle to get back to the top flight of English football that drives players, managers and fans alike. However, as Burnley are finding, getting there is better than being there!