The EFL Championship is the second tier of English football, sitting directly below the Premier League in the pyramid, and acts as a conduit for the Premier League. Each year three teams are promoted from the Championship to the Premier League, with three coming back the other way.
Here are some interesting facts about the EFL Championship.
For 100 years between 1892 and 1992 it was known as the English Second Division, and, for 12 years after that, the English First Division. It only assumed its present nomenclature in 2004.
Statistically, the Championship is the wealthiest non-top flight league in the world. It is also the ninth richest league in Europe, and, globally, the tenth best attended league.
Barnsley have played more games in the Championship (in its various manifestations) than any other club, and became the first side to have played more than 3,000 games at this level.
However, since it became the Championship, Derby County and Cardiff City jointly hold the record (17) for the most seasons at this level.
Birmingham City are the current longest standing club in terms of tenure in the Championship. They last played out of the division in the 2010 – 2011 season.
Six teams have only played in the Championship in one season – Gillingham, Milton Keynes Dons, Portsmouth, Southend United, Wycombe Wanderers and Yeovil Town.
Many of the major Premier League clubs have never played in the Championship in its current format. Arsenal have not played in the second tier of English football since the end of the First World War.
There have been 13 different winners of the Championship. Five teams have won it twice – Sunderland, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Newcastle United, Reading, and Norwich City.
Norwich City have been promoted from the Championship more than any other team – on four occasions. However, because of their inability to stay up when promoted, they also hold the record for the most spells in the league – six.
The record number of points achieved by any team in the Championship was the 106 that Reading earned in the 2005 – 2006 season. Newcastle United and Leicester City are the only two other teams to have ended the season with more than 100 points (102 each).
Burnley and Brighton jointly hold the record (93) for the most points won by the team that finished second in the Championship.
Blackpool hold the record for the team that ended the season with the fewest points, and yet still got promoted. They finished sixth in the 2009 – 2010 season with 70 points, but still went up via the play-offs.
Rotherham United have been relegated from the Championship more frequently (four times) than any other club.
The all-time top scorer in a single Championship season is Aleksandar Mitrović who managed 43 goals for Fulham in the 2021 – 2022 season. No other striker had previously managed more than 31 goals in a season at this level.
The 2016/2017 season saw the highest attendance figures for the Championship, helped by the presence of Newcastle United in the division that year. Their average attendance was in excess of 51,000 for every home game.
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