Ask anyone which football league is the best to watch and they will no doubt say the Premier League. This is backed up by global viewing figures, so this article is not going to disagree with the fact. However, the article will argue that the Championship, the league below the English Premier League, is the most competitive.
The Championship might not get broadcast on the scale of the EPL or as a result, attract as many viewers but there is no doubt in our minds that it is the world’s toughest league for football teams to compete in.
But why is it so competitive? We have listed a number of reasons! By the time you have read them, you will want to go and see the Championship for yourself!
The Stakes are Huge
Everybody in the Championship wants to make it to the Premier League. Players, owners, and clubs alike are desperate to get to the promised land and increase their earnings and value. Clubs earn a huge increase in revenues due to global television broadcasting rights. Television companies pay a lot of money to have the rights to broadcast matches in the Premier League and most of this filters down to the clubs and then the players.
Players increase their profiles and as a result, can command bigger contracts worth multiples of what they could earn in the Championship. Just playing in the PL for a season or two increases the worth of a player as it means they were deemed worthy to play in the best league in the world.
This just breeds competitiveness throughout the division. If you want an example of how competitive the league can be, just look back to the 2019/20 season. With three games left to play, not one single club was guaranteed to be in the division the next season. Clubs still had a chance to fight for promotion or were in a relegation fight at the other end of the table. That will never happen in the Premier League.
Money Doesn’t Guarantee Success
Surely any team relegated from the Premier League will straight back up after a season in the Championship? Yes, it happens, but it is far from easy. They even have parachute payments for a few seasons to help with the dramatic drop in revenue a club receives. This allows them to pay their PL players higher salaries.
However, despite those additional riches that standard Championship clubs do not receive, clubs that fall from the PL usually struggle. That is due to the competitiveness of the league, having to tighten their belts, sell off a few players, and adapt to lower-income streams.
Sometimes a relegated team will dominate and go back up, but this is not the norm. With the top two teams getting promoted and then a playoff to determine who of the remaining top 6 go up, each season there is usually at least one or two new teams making the Premier League.
What are the Current Odds for the Championship?
Again, this season the Championship is just over halfway through and there are no teams that you could say are guaranteed to get promoted or relegated. You can get some great odds with the bookies due to the league being so wide open. Any team can beat any team on its day, so there is great scope to make money on the underdog in this division.
101greatgoals.com specializes in providing upcoming odds and tips for Championship matches, and these are a great place to pick up predictions on upcoming matches, odds, and Championship betting tips. You can get advice on how to bet on as an outright winner, the odds on the matches finishing with more than three goals, and so much more.
FFP Forces Championship Clubs to Play Fair
Financial Fair Play are rules set out by the EFL which force Championship clubs to keep their finances in check. Before they brought in these rules, clubs would get into trouble by spending money they couldn’t afford, whether on transfer fees or wages. Relegated clubs would also struggle to offload their high earners and would get into financial trouble.
FFP was set up to ensure clubs can no longer spend more than they can afford and thereby protect them. It also ensures that smaller clubs have a fair chance to compete. Within a three-year cycle, they do not allow clubs to suffer losses of more than 35 million. Any club that breaches this rule through no fault of their own could have points deducted or earn instant relegation.
Clubs can no longer just throw money around in the hope of getting promoted, although certain loopholes have been exposed. Clubs operate sensibly for two seasons and then throw 30 million in losses at the squad in an attempt to go up. Also, some clubs have used loopholes such as selling their stadium to the clubs’ owners for ridiculous amounts of money to cover losses. That loophole has since been closed.
Why Not Try Watching the Championship?
The Championship is actually a pretty decent spectacle too. Sure, the best players in the world play in the Premier League, but the level of football in the Championship is good too. Where it stands out is the grit and determination shown by players. These are players that want to test themselves against the best and will try their hardest to get there.
Sometimes in the Premier League, you get the feeling many players are just going through the motions, earning their huge salaries, and going home. As long as they survive and stay in the Premier League, they are happy. It is no wonder the league is known for being home to some of the most controversial football players in world football.
This is why we recommend that everybody watch a Championship game from time to time. You could pick up on a few players who will one day grace the Premier League, find a team that plays attractive attacking football, and generally appreciate the effort that clubs and players make.