In terms of quality, the Championship is not the best league in the world, there are many others above it. However, in terms of one specific element, which is getting promotion from a league into a higher division, is the Championship the hardest league in the world for that?
We see competitive games take place every single week of the season and when those towards the bottom beat those near the top, it isn’t a huge surprise.
There is a funnel at the moment, many teams are good enough to get promotion, but we only have three places per season and that means that some very good clubs miss out. These then have to try their luck again next season, hoping they don’t lose any of their top players in the off season.
The Number of Promotion Contenders at the Start of the Season
When we begin a regular Championship season, a case can be made for around half of the league being genuine promotion contenders.
Some are stronger than others, but around 12 clubs will fancy a shot at the Premier League. This certainly gets the excitement building for fans, who will don their favourite football shirts at the start of the season in full support of reaching the promised land of the Premier League.
There are just three promotion places up for grabs, two automatic plus one in the playoffs, so assuming that 12 are in contention each season, nine clubs miss out every time.
These nine clubs will hope to compete a season later, and then we have three teams relegated from the Premier League to throw into the mix.
This season we are seeing a typical example of Premier League teams going into the Championship, all three were amongst the promotion favourites at the start of the season.
This gives us a never-ending scenario where we will always see a large number of teams vying for a small number of promotion spots.
Relegated Clubs Bouncing Back into the Premier League
If you want an indication as to how difficult it is to get out of the Championship then look at the record of clubs who are relegated from the Premier League.
A recent example of someone who did this was Fulham, winning the playoff final of 2020 to get straight back into the Premier League.
However, on the whole, these teams find it tough, and even if they do succeed, it is not easy.
The teams in this category have the advantage of the money from the Premier League, and parachute payments to help further, so are certainly in a positive position. Despite all of that, it is still very difficult for them to bounce back.
What do the Bookmakers Think?
Even those who don’t place any bets will know that the bookmakers very rarely get things wrong, so a guide on the Championship can always be found by looking at the odds on offer.
This is a league that many people wager on and the most popular Championship football betting free bets are always well received by those betting on the league.
We often see one or two teams at a very short price to win the Premier League but that isn’t the case in the second tier. Generally, the favourite for the Championship is around 5/1, and often a big club who came close last season, or one that has been relegated from the topflight.
There will be plenty of people who fancy a team priced up in double figures to win the league, showing the kind of value you can get. This also shows why many people believe that the Championship is the hardest league to gain promotion from.