Championship Managers

Eyes down for a full house. Ignoring for a moment the circus of the Premiership, the football season proper starts tomorrow. Out of deference to this, I’m sticking my neck on the line again with a complete set of predictions for this season’s Football League. God help me. Going into the new season, there are reasons to be cheerful and reasons to be depressed about the state of English league football. On the upside, the apocalyptic predictions of twenty or thirty League clubs going bust hasn’t come to pass. Crowds across the three divisions of the league have risen year-on-year, as Premiership crowds have tailed off. There are many possible reasons for this: more competition, lower prices, an increasing feeling of alienation towards the bigger clubs, who seem more interested in chasing the mythical foreign dorrar than maintaining their community links at home. Even the supposedly unbridgeable gap between Division One and the Premiership isn’t as big as people might think. All three of the teams relegated two years ago failed to get back up last season, and only one of the teams promoted into the Premiership went straight back down (although what team, Sunderland, did do it style). On the downside, the gulf between the top clubs and the rest has never been greater. The likes of Manchester United and Chelsea care little for anything other than the...

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