Is the Championship the most exciting league in the world?
Not even the Premier League can rival the drama and excitement of the Championship
The Championship has become a very competitive league over the past few years. Although it is the second tier of English football it can be argued that it has much more drama, passion and unpredictability than the Premier League can offer.
The Premier League can only claim to have a few clubs who can challenge for honours and equally not many who are at serious risk of relegation. Yes, the lure of possible European competition and prize money can keep interest going until the end of the season but the Championship can offer the ultimate prize to perhaps three quarters of its league who are capable of achieving it.
England's second tier is littered with clubs who have tasted the riches of the Premier League and who are desperate to return, such as Leeds United, Bolton and Blackburn Rovers. There are also clubs who are striving to experience what the league has to offer for the first time, such as Cardiff City.
Clubs who have been promoted from League 1 to the Championship know that if they can maintain their form and togetherness from the previous season then they could perhaps achieve their dream of a double promotion, similar to what Southampton and Norwich have recently done.
Similarly, clubs who have been recently relegated from the Premier League do not want to suffer a second successive demotion. In fact, they want to bounce straight back before the parachute payments end, and also to stem the loss of key players eager to return to the top-flight.
Any Championship club is capable of beating another - every game is extremely competitive. Results prove that the opposition can never be taken lightly in any game. Most clubs are on a similar financial footing unlike the Premier League where the difference between the haves and have-nots is huge.
Clubs in the Championship know that even a mediocre season could turn into promotion, given the right run of results at the right time. Just sneaking into the play-offs in sixth place is often an ingredient for success.
Generally the team lying in sixth place has had to perform up until the last game of the league season and, as a result, are able to carry their good form into the play-offs. Clubs finishing higher are often forced to adjust to the disappointment of missing out on automatic promotion. And the play-off final is one of the most lucrative one-off matches in world sport.
Players are equally striving for success, perhaps more so than their counterparts in the Premier League who are already household names, with the wages to match. Many Championship players have a potential high-profile career ahead of them so their desire to succeed is constantly in evidence. Others, who have played in the Premier League, are equally desperate to return.
For all the glitz and glamour of the Premier League, and the undoubted skill, the Championship is able to offer every one of its players and clubs the chance to succeed. This drives on all those involved to achieve something that is well within everyone's grasp. For that I believe the Championship offers more excitement for supporters and players alike.
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