The English Football Championship, more commonly known as the Championship, is the second highest division in English football. It is comprised of 24 clubs, all just one step away from making it into the Premier League. It is considered to be the richest non-top-flight football league in the world but revenues are still dwarfed by the Premier League. The top two teams in the league at the end of the season are automatically promoted to the Premier League. Third to sixth then face each other in the play-offs with the Wembley winners being promoted. That play-off final is often referred to as the richest match in the world.
It's a long arduous season with 46 games played and possibly another three in the play-offs, two of which could go into extra-time. The three bottom teams end up being relegated to League One. The fierceness of the league combined with the financial incentive of promotion makes this league a bettor’s delight. Between the quality of the football, the atmosphere in the stands and the passion of the players - what more could you ask for! Throughout the season, our team of betting experts will analyze the forthcoming fixtures and give their well-researched opinions on who are going to be the winners and the losers.
Recent years have seen teams such as Fulham and Norwich City yo-yo between the Championship and the Premier League. Last season saw Norwich win the title and go back into the top flight. Fulham in the past four seasons have won promotion twice and been relegated twice. Back in the Championship they are likely to again be in contention for promotion. The same can be said about the two teams that were also relegated from the Premier League last season. West Bromwich Albion and Sheffield United will both be promotion challengers.
Bournemouth lost in the play-offs last season but now have Scott Parker as their boss. He was in charge of Fulham last season and will be all out to get Bournemouth back into the Premier League. Swansea, Cardiff, Reading and Blackburn may also be in contention.
Winner: Norwich City won the title last season and the other automatic promotion spot went to Watford. Both sides made immediate return to the Premier League after relegation in the previous season. Brentford finished third and beat Swansea City in the play-off final to take the third promotion spot.
Relegated: Rotherham United, Sheffield Wednesday and Wycombe Wanderers were relegated to League One. Sheffield Wednesday would have survived but for being deducted six points.
Promoted to the Championship: Hull City and Peterborough United won automatic promotion to the Championship. The play-offs were won by Blackpool who beat Lincoln City in the play-off final.