Introduction

The English Football League (EFL) Championship is the second tier of professional football in England, sitting below the English Premier League (EPL) in the football pyramid. It consists of 24 teams who play each other twice, once at home and once away, over the course of a season.

History

The EFL Championship was founded in 2004, replacing the old First Division. Prior to this, the First Division had been the second tier of English football since the formation of the EPL in 1992.

Format

The EFL Championship is a league format, with each team playing each other twice, once at home and once away, for a total of 46 games per season. The team that finishes in the first place has crowned the champion and is promoted to the EPL. The teams that finish in second, third, and fourth place enter the playoffs, where they compete for the final promotion spot to the EPL.

Qualification:

The 24 teams that make up the EFL Championship League are determined through a combination of promotion and relegation from the previous season, as well as through a playoff tournament involving the top teams from the EFL League One.

Group Stage:

There is no traditional group stage in the EFL Championship League. Instead, each team plays every other team in the league twice, resulting in a total of 46 matches per team over the course of a season.

Knockout Stage

The knockout stage of the EFL Championship is the playoffs, where the teams that finish in second, third, and fourth place compete for the final promotion spot to the EPL. The teams play each other in a two-legged semi-final, with the winners progressing to a one-off final at Wembley Stadium.

EFL Championship Broadcaster

Sky Sports

Sky Sports is one of the most popular sports channels in the UK and it broadcasts the majority of the EFL Championship matches live. Fans can watch the matches on the Sky Sports Football channel, which is available to Sky TV customers. In addition, to live matches, Sky Sports also provides extensive coverage of the league, including match highlights, analysis, and interviews.

EFL iFollow

EFL iFollow is an official streaming service that allows fans to watch EFL Championship matches live online. This service is available to fans in the UK and overseas, and it offers a great way to keep up with the league even if you don’t have access to traditional TV channels. The service is available on desktop and mobile devices, and fans can purchase a season pass or pay per match to access the matches.

Quest

Quest is a free-to-air TV channel in the UK, and it broadcasts select EFL Championship matches live. The channel also provides highlights and analysis of the matches, making it a great option for fans who don’t have access to Sky Sports or other premium channels.

ESPN+

ESPN+ is a popular sports streaming service in the US, and it broadcasts select EFL Championship matches live. The service is available on desktop and mobile devices, and fans can also access match highlights and analysis.

DAZN

DAZN is a sports streaming service that is available in several countries, including Canada and Japan. The service broadcasts select EFL Championship matches live, and fans can also access match highlights and analysis.

Impact:

The EFL Championship League has a significant impact on both the financial and sporting aspects of English football.

Financial Impact

The EFL Championship is a major contributor to the financial landscape of English football, generating significant revenue through ticket sales, sponsorships, and broadcasting rights. However, the financial gulf between the EPL and the EFL Championship is significant, with EPL clubs benefiting from much larger broadcasting revenues.

Sporting Impact

The EFL Championship is a highly competitive league, with many talented players and teams vying for promotion to the EPL. It is also known for its physicality and intensity, with many matches featuring thrilling comebacks and dramatic finishes.

Famous Moments and Memorable Matches

Some of the most famous moments and memorable matches in EFL Championship history include:

  • Leeds United’s promotion back to the EPL in 2020, after a 16-year absence from the top flight
  • Hull City’s dramatic 4-2 victory over Bristol City in the 2008 Championship Playoff Final, saw them promoted to the EPL for the first time in their history
  • Blackpool’s stunning 3-2 victory over Cardiff City in the 2010 Championship Playoff Final, saw them promoted to the EPL for the first time in nearly 40 years

Controversies and Criticisms

One of the biggest controversies in the EFL Championship has been the introduction of Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations, which have been criticized for their complexity and inconsistency in the application. The EFL has also faced criticism for its handling of clubs in financial difficulties, with several high-profile cases of clubs going into administration or facing financial ruin.

Future

The future of the EFL Championship is uncertain, with many clubs facing financial difficulties in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the league remains highly competitive and is likely to continue to provide fans with thrilling matches and exciting moments in the years to come.

Conclusion:

The EFL Championship League may not have the same level of international recognition as the Premier League, but it remains an important part of English football. With its unique format and competitive matches, the league provides an opportunity for teams to compete at a high level and potentially earn a promotion to the Premier League. Despite facing some challenges in recent years, the EFL Championship League remains a beloved part of English football culture.