The English Football League Championship, which is more commonly known as the Championship, is something that is available to wager on at BetAnySports. It is England’s second tier of competition, which means it is superior to the first division in any number of countries. Indeed, it is the most well-attended (on a per-match basis) of any secondary league in the world.
The tentative date for the return of the league is June 20, but it is not necessarily coming smoothly. In point of fact, as we sit here, there are some teams that are not happy at all that they were not consulted about “Project Restart,” and that left them a little flat-footed when it came to bringing their players into the first phase of the comeback.
Not that all the players even want to come back. Many of them are considering the possibilities for their respective futures; one of them Lyle Turner, who is arguably Charlton’s best player. He is going to have offers, and doesn’t want to get himself hurt in what amounts to a slate of meaningless games, inasmuch as the Charlton club looks headed to the relegation pile. He is one of three players from Charlton who are not coming back when the schedule resumes.
There is discord all around. Queens Park Rangers say that they find that they have to rush their players into fitness. Hull’s owner, Ehab Allem, doesn’t even want to play the games. Barnsley, the last place squad, are not very keen on it either, mentioning phrases like “lack of integrity” when describing the competition when it is scheduled to get underway again. And one of the reasons is that player contracts are about to expire.
This is not to say that there aren’t teams that are roundly enthusiastic about returning to the pitch. Leeds and West Brom, for instance, look very much like they will be promoted to the English Premier League. So they are obviously anxious to try the season to the very end.
But this reminds us of another concern that perhaps BetAnySports patrons should be aware of. There has been growing sentiment among Premier League clubs to eliminate relegation altogether for this season, citing the COVID-19 hiatus. There are three teams that would get the axe under normal circumstances if the season ended today – Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Norwich City. It is said that ten of the 20 clubs are pushing for relegation to be put off. But they need the votes of 14 owners to make that resolution a reality.
This movement panicked Rick Parry, the chairman of the English Football League, who is “outraged” and has threatened a lawsuit if such a thing happened. He’s been talking about “survival” more than anything else, as his clubs stand to lose some money, and the product might be worth less if there was no incentive for a higher placement for the top clubs. Remember that four teams – the #3 through #6 – will enter a tournament to determine the third team that gets promoted to the EPL.
Ultimately it should work out, at least to some extent. And it would have to – Sky is the name sponsor of the Championship, and they have broadcast rights, along with ESPN Plus domestically in the U.S. The league is also televised into 40 other countries.
Norwich City won last year’s title, but they’ll likely be heading back down next season, as they are currently last in the EPL. They are literally an “up-and-down” team, as they were the first ones relegated to, relegated from, promoted to and promoted from the English Football League Championship.
Barnsley has spent more time at this level than any other English side. As an interesting side note, Billy Beane of “Moneyball” fame, vice-president and general manager of baseball’s Oakland Athletics, is one of their part-owners. Shahid Khan, who owns the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, is also the owner of Fulham FC. And Jason Levien, who owns DC United in Major League Soccer, is a partner with Swansea City.
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