When we talk about English football the majority of sport enthusiast will immediately think the Premier League, perhaps the most popular and certainly the richest league in the world, but English football also means English Football League (EFL), the second professional league of English football, divided in turn into three levels. The second division of English football is the Football League Championship, which for sponsorship reasons is also known as the Sky Bet Championship. The other two EFL levels are called Football League One and Football League Two.
EFL: a deeply embedded story
The second English professional league was born in 1892 and116 editions of the championship have been held since. The current name of England’s second professional league was introduced in 2004, when it became the Sky Bet Championship.
The current regulations of the Football League Championship draws 24 teams to take part, in an Italian style 2 round matches per group. At the end of each seasons playoffs discriminate for the third formation admitted to the Premier League of the following season, whilst the first two classification were mathematically admitted to the Premier. The ranking also determines the three relegations downgrading the last three formations to Football League One in the following season.
The Championships were only interrupted due to each World Wars over the years and 105 English football clubs took part in total, some of which are very famous and winners of both the Premier League and international cups. The last line-up to have played in the Football League Championship by winning the championship and subsequently the Premier League was Leicester City, led by the Italian Claudio Ranieri. Liverpool, top of the Premier League currently have taken part in 11 editions of the Football League Championship, like the two Manchester rival clubs and many London teams including Chelsea, Arsenal and Aston Villa.
Leicester City and Manchester City are on par topping each 7 victories. The championship was won by Norwich City last season. However, the club is likely to be relegated to Premier given that it stands at the bottom with 21 points and only 5 victories in the 29 games played.
The current season of the Football League Championship
Like all other European football leagues, the Football League Championship is currently suspended due to COVID-19.
The current positions just before the interruption saw Leeds United in the lead with 71 points, ahead of West Bronwich with 70 points. The third position is held by Fulham (with 64 points) which was relegated to Premier league like Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town in the previous season. At the bottom of the rankings, candidates to be downgraded to the lower category, we find, Luton with 39 points, Charlton with 35 and Barnsley in last place with 34 points.
At present, promotions and relegations have not yet been finalised by the European Football institutions. As for the scorers, Serbian Mittovic was at the top of the list standings, Fulham’s top, with 23 goals scored for Fulham, only one more than the Englishman Watkins of Brentford in second place. In third place another Englishman, Bowen, scored 17 goals for Hull City.
Football League One
This championship, third in order of merit in English football, uses the same format as the Football League Championship. The most successful team in Football League One is Plymouth. Last season we saw Luton Town, Barsnley and Charlton being promoted to second runner-up and winner of the playoffs.
Before the interruption of the 2019-2020 season, only 23 teams were standing due to the exclusion of Bury for financial problems and Coventry City was in the lead with 67 points, followed by Rotherham United with 62 points . At the bottom Tranmere 32 points, Southend 19 points and last place Bolton with 14 points. The top scorer Englishman, Toney, for Peterborough United, with 23 goals, ahead of Ivorian Gnandulliet of Blackpool and the Irish Madden of Fleetwood Town with 15 each.