The Sky Bet Championship is perhaps one of the most underrated leagues in football, and there are plenty of reasons why it’s the best league in the world.
Everyone says the Premier League is the greatest competition in the world, or La Liga, maybe Serie A, but there’s a real case to be made for the Championship – the league that many across the country right off, despite the intriguing randomness of the entire spectacle.
So, what reasons are there that the Championship is the best division in the world?
The Variety of the Quality of Teams
The Championship welcomes six new teams into the division each year, from two leagues varying in quality in League One and the Premier League, meaning we see teams like Hull City and MK Dons bought into the same league.
This makes for great watching, when we see teams like Rotherham United beat the odds and escape relegation, or upsets when big clubs fall to a defeat to those less fancied.
It’s also rather amusing to see relegated teams such as Cardiff City or Fulham struggle back in the second tier, which is an indication of the quality of the division, when teams playing Premier League football just a few months earlier struggle to adapt to life in the second tier.
It makes for plenty of twists and turns as well as shocks, when teams like Brentford storm into the play offs, despite being one of the relegation favourites. It makes for awesome watching.
The Derby Games
There are plenty of derby fixtures across the board in the Championship, which makes match days ever more intriguing.
Some of the thickest derby fixtures include the East Midlands battle between Nottingham Forest and Derby County, West London derbies between Fulham, Brentford, and QPR, and the East Lancashire derby between Blackburn Rovers and Burnley. They all combine to generate huge entertainment.
Everyone loves a local derby game, all the fans turn up, and the stadium is rocking.
It makes matches ever more enjoyable to watch, wins ever more satisfactory, and defeats ever more galling.
It’s not just fans of the two sides whose imaginations are captured by these games, other football fans are fascinated by these fixtures, which makes the football incredibly exciting.
There are Plenty of Big Clubs
The Championship could actually be laced with more enormous clubs than the Premier League, clubs with rich, rich histories that just can’t seem to get out of the division.
There are some huge clubs, such as Leeds United, Nottingham Forest, Derby County, and Ipswich Town, as well as teams who have spent a number of years in the top flight in recent years, like Middlesbrough, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers and Fulham. Derby County were one of the top clubs back in the 1970s, and Birmingham City won the League Cup just four years ago.
Leeds are three-times First Division Champions, and were an enormous European threat in times gone by. Forest have got two European Cups, a First Division title and a European Super Cup. Derby won two First Division titles under Brian Clough in the 1970s, meaning there are some enormous clubs with huge honours, hoping to make it back to the big time.
Because of the enormous variety of teams in the league, it means there are teams all over the country competing in the Championship.
From Brighton to Burnley, and Bristol to Middlesbrough, the Championship sees dedicated fans across the country travelling hundreds of miles to watch and support their beloved team.
But that isn’t where it stops, as fans sing and chant their hearts out home and away to create a formidable atmosphere to send a shiver down the spines of away teams and fans alike, such as Leeds United’s Elland Road, and the brilliant Middlesbrough away support.
This makes for excellent atmospheres in the vast majority of fixtures, which always adds to the game, and makes it far more enjoyable for those watching.
The Drama and Unpredictability
There’s no doubt that the Championship is the most unpredictable league in the world.
We see newly-promoted teams like Brentford making the play offs, and Wolves coming very close. In recent years, Norwich City and Southampton secured back-to-back promotions from League One to the Premier League, spending one season in the second tier, and triumphing. But that does not mean that this division is easy.
Anyone can do anything in this league, no matter how well you played the season before, no matter which league it was in.
You can’t guarantee anything. Except drama and unpredictability.
As well as that, on the final day of every season there’s always some sort of drama, whether it be a team fighting to win the title, promotion, a play off place, or fighting for their Championship status.
It’s a wonderful thing for the neutral.
For the supporter however, it takes you through the emotions.
Championship fans… do you agree? Is the Championship the best league in the world? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!