Should the championship be rated more highly?
By Owen McMahon
When talking about the 'best leagues in the world', you can expect the same response from almost every football fan around the globe. La Liga, Bundesliga, Premier League, will all make an appearance in conversation, for obvious reasons, but do other leagues offer the same levels?
The main English, German and Spanish leagues speak for themselves in terms of quality and entertainment, all you have to do is watch a game to understand where I am coming from, but are they really the most entertaining?
In the past few weeks, we have seen the absolute best of the NPower Championship, which is the second division in English football. For me, this is one of the most exciting leagues in world football, even if the quality is not up to the standards of the others.
For example, on Saturday 4th May 2013 was the final day of the 2012/13 season for the Championship, and it's fair to say it was one of the most exciting days for football i've ever witnessed.
With Cardiff City having already secured a promotion spot to the Premier League, the second place was up for grabs. The two teams in contention for an automatic promotion spot were Hull City and Watford. Hull City needed a win to guarantee top-flight football next season, however Watford needed to better their result.
Champions Cardiff took on promotion chasing Hull City, in a thrilling tie which seen the East-Yorkshire side 2-1 up right until the last moments of the game. As the game went into stoppage time, Hull were awarded a penalty. A goal from the penalty and they would have been well on the way to the Premier League, however Proschwitz missed the penalty, and the game carried on.
Controversially, in the 94th minute, another penalty was awarded at the other end of the field and Hull City netteed home. As the final whistle blew, they were still unsure whether they had finished in a promotion spot or not. Minutes later, the news came through that third place Watford had lost 2-1 to Leeds United, and a flock of fans invaded the pitch instantly.
There was also drama at the bottom of the league, as Peterborough conceded in the 95th minute which meant they were relegated to League One. The relegation spots in the Championship changed several times throughout the day, adding to the intense drama that we had witnessed all day.
Because the Championship is not one of the main leagues, and is not at the ability level of the top European football leagues, many undermine the pure entertainment in which it offers, and the excitment in following your team throughout the campaign.
Last minute drama, high scoring games, quality goals, for me the Championship offers everything and I would highly reccomend anybody to follow this league.
When considering entertainment value, the lower leagues, not just the Championship can give you by far the best entertainment. As a Leeds fan I am happy in a way to have gone down to the depths of League One and the Championship, simply because it is so entertaining. If Leeds ever do get promoted I will be more respectful of the lower leagues because now I have a better respect for the teams competing amongst it.
Owen it should get more respect across the globe. Some great games and derby days go on and its overlooked. The relegation battle and promotion playoff and automatic promotion spots should attract a lot of people with the excitement. I am a huge fan of this league.
Kelli The Great
Championship is getting more recognition around the globe each week, with the level of team dropping down like QPR, and also the drama of promotion and relegation battles. There are some quality teams and players in the championship, and the level of play is far superior to most other league around the world.