Do Relegated Premier League Teams Make Championship More Competitive?

It is well known that the Championship is one of the toughest leagues in the world, although the standard is not the same as a top division in footballing countries.

There are no easy three points, but is that down to the relegated sides making it more competitive, though?

When a Premier League team is relegated, they are expected to come straight back up. They always enter the following season as one of the favourites to win promotion; however, it is not always that simple.

This season only one of the sides relegated will be promoted back to Premier League, two sides achieved this in the 2015/16 season, but QPR only managed a 12th place finish.

Compare this with the 2014/15 season, and again only one side went straight back up, and Fulham finished in the bottom half of the league.

As you can see it is not always the case for teams to bounce back up easily. Some teams may go into the league with the mindset that it will be easy and teams are not in their calibre, as they have battled it out with the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal the previous season.

However, it is a tough league to escape from. For example, well-established clubs have not been able to return to the top flight so easily.

Wolverhampton Wanderers have not been in the Premier League since 2012, Derby County were last there in 2002, and more shockingly Nottingham Forest have not been in England’s top division since 1999.

Three English stalwarts and even they have found it difficult. Surprisingly Wolves and Forest even slipped into the third tier of English football.

When it does come to the three who have been relegated the previous season, those games are always the ones the fans look for. The other teams in the division want to “knock them off their perch” as some of the players are former Premier League stars and still on big wages.

Fans embrace this feeling as well, for example, rock bottom side Rotherham United took 3,229 fans to Newcastle United; one-third of their average home crowd.

This competitive edge can be a real learning curve for players of all ages but in particular for players coming through the academy. This league is physically tough and can make or break players. It can bring on a player’s development tenfold, as they are playing in a competitive league compared to the Under 23’s development squad.

When the “big boys” drop a league they usually spend quite big and this year was no exception. Aston Villa, Norwich and Newcastle all spent vast amounts of money to achieve promotion. However, this has a knock on effect and forces smaller clubs like Burton Albion and Rotherham to smash their club records.

On the whole, the three teams who are relegated do make the league more competitive because they provide a “big game” mentality for other teams in the division.

But they cannot take anything for granted in this division as it is already a highly competitive league. If you take the Championship lightly, you can get swallowed up by the teams who have a bigger desire to play in the elite league.


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