Despite being second fiddle to the glitz and glamour of the Premier League, recent years has seen the rise of the Championship with new record fees being shattered almost every window.
Regardless of the new found inflation of transfer fees, it is simply incredible to see just the sheer size of deals coming from the clubs who don’t even receive the reported “100 million” from Premier League TV money. Obviously barring the three relegated clubs each year. Nevertheless the newly broken record comes from Wolves – a club who have been absent from the “promised land” for 4 years. They shelled out an astonishing reported £15.8 million on ex Porto star Ruben Neves. A player who had attracted interest from some of the worlds elite.
Only this week the record was almost matched, this time at the expense of Nottingham Forest. Britt Assombalonga’s £15 million pound transfer to Middlesbrough on Monday night came as a slight surprise to some neutrals. When considering the serious interest from Burnley boss Sean Dyche, as well as Watford’s new man Marco Silva. Understandably Boro were able to flex their market muscle due to last seasons exploits in the Premier League but the question is why are players now choosing the English second tier to it’s top division?
Perhaps Championship fans may argue it’s only a handpicked number of clubs who are able to continuously spend big and attract these players however it’s becoming frequent that clubs who previously were cautious with their spending are now more willing to splash their cash. For instance before the 2015/16 season Burnley spent around 10 million pound on then Brentford striker Andre Gray. A club who had never before spent big. So why is it, in recent years the Championship has developed so much?
The simple answer may be investment, but what most second tier fans would argue is the quality of the league has vastly improved. When fans of the division say “anyone can beat anyone” they mean it. Up to 10 teams in the division would all feel that the two automatic promotion spots are a serious possibility, not forgetting the other clubs in the division fighting for a place in the play offs. So potentially the draw of a Saturday-Tuesday league in which is filled with clubs of a huge stature is the reason.
One thing is for certain, the Championship continues it’s rise as one of the most competitive and entertaining leagues in the world. Not only this but with fees carrying on to increase, we may even see the first 20 million pound transfer in a league regarded as a second string to it’s very wealthy neighbours.
Ultimately to what was a league lacking in interest and money, the second tier of English is ready to make it’s climb and rival many top leagues around the globe. For not only players but viewers from around the world.
AOF readers & Championship fans, do you believe the Championship is one of the most competitive leagues in the world? Leave a comment below!