The Championship is the second-tier league in English football and, for many fans, is equally entertaining as the Premier League. With many more clubs on the same level, it is also incredibly competitive. The stakes for the top teams are high because promotion to the Premier League is worth millions in TV and sponsorship rights.
Three teams go to the Premier League from the Championship, and three fall in the other direction. Statistically, in 29 seasons since Premier League inception, at least one of the promoted teams got relegated.
Only once in the 1997-98 season did all three clubs leave the top-tier competition in the same year they earned a promotion. If you want to look at things with glass half full eyes, 75% of promoted teams survive in the league on average. Moreover, most promoted clubs remain in the league for up to three years.
Who got in?
An exciting finish for the Championship ended with Fulham earning the top spot, and Bournemouth came second after a crucial 1-0 win over rival Nottingham Forest. As a result, Fulham and Bournemouth went to the Premiership directly. At the same time, Nottingham Forest had to survive a playoff tournament where they went against Sheffield United and Huddersfield Town at Wembley.
What do bookmakers say?
Knowing that newly promoted teams usually struggle to stay competitive against top Premier League sides, here is what bookmakers say about the odds for relegation. Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest have the highest odds of almost 60% for being relegated. Fulham follows with 48$ and then Leeds United, Brentford, and Southampton. It will be interesting to involve these clubs in the soccer bet in South Africa because each fixture can be decisive for the tough fight to stay afloat in the Premiership.
The pros and cons of promoted clubs
Fulham had a convincing season in the Championship, and the most significant individual impact on first place came from 43 goals scored by Aleksandar Mitrović. The Serbian attacker broke the record for goals scored in a season. However, these numbers are expected to go down because of tougher competition and more competent defences. We’ll see if Mitrović can adapt to the Premier league and keep scoring at his pace.
After his departure to Liverpool, the Cottagers must find a replacement for their midfielder and playmaker Fabio Carvalho. In their previous stint in the Premier League, Fulham overspent after being promoted and then remained silent in the second offseason. Perhaps, a more balanced spending schedule can help them stay in the top flight of English football.
Former Fulham manager Scott Parker led second-place Bournemouth to promotion. However, in the end, Cherries were two points short of Fulham and didn’t have much stress in the last few fixtures. Dominating forward, Dominic Solanke played a similar role as Mitrović for Fulham and now faces an actual test of his abilities against top-flight teams.
Aside from Solanke, Bournemouth will rely on promising players like Jaidon Anthony, Jordan Zemura, Ryan Christie, and Kieffer Moore. The way-to-early goal for Bournemouth is securing the Premier League status and thinking about moving forward after that.
Nottingham Forest finished the season strongly with three consecutive wins and two points behind third-placed Huddersfield. These two sides met in the playoff final at Wembley, and Nottingham won 1-0, earning a promotion to Premier League.
Close season acquisitions will determine how they will compete in the new season. Can Nottingham hold on to their top stars, Joe Worral and Brennan Johnson? Another two key players for the Reds came on loan from Middlesbrough and Manchester United. Joe Garner is on the wishlist for the team, but United might want him back, and there are rumblings from a couple of other clubs.
History suggests one of the three promoted clubs will return to Championship, and two have good odds of securing their top-flight status.
Who got relegated
The Premier League saw an exciting fight for first place between Manchester City and Liverpool. Simultaneously, at the bottom of the standings, there was a fierce fight to avoid relegation. Norwich City and Watford lost all chances long before the final fixture. Avoiding 18th place and the third relegation spot came down to Burnley and Leeds United. Everton and Southampton also came close.
The last matchday of the season saw Leeds United win in an away game against Brentford and Burnley losing at home against Newcastle United. Burnley joined Norwich and Watford as new Championship-bound teams for the first time since 2015.
The odds of newly promoted teams remaining in the Premier League are not great. On the other hand, the chances of relegated teams returning are somewhat higher, although the competition level in Championship football is insane. Moreover, while promoted teams get a financial boost, the relegated teams must think about their funds more carefully after losing lucrative Premier League perks.