The Greatest League in the World is…

by admin

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

La Liga? Don’t make me laugh, every year it’s a two-horse race, the Spanish equivalent of the SPL. What about the goal-hungry Bundesliga? Not quite. Don’t get me wrong, Borussia Dortmund have impressed me this season with a +26 goal difference, but the rest of the league is poor. So it has to be the Premiership? All the money, all the trophies and watched around the world. A dead cert? Dead wrong.

The Championship is and always will be the greatest league in the world… And here’s why.

It’s true that for any football club the Premiership is the love affair you dream about. Finally, you’ve broken free from the shackles of the lower leagues and now you’re out there, hanging out with the big boys and punch-drunk on the buzz and excitement of it all. You lose yourself in an affair that will either be long, majestic and memorable… Or short, messy and regrettable.

One day, when it does all end, you’ll wake up thinking “Oh God, what have I done?”. But it’s okay, because the Championship will always be here, not waiting to judge you but waiting to nourish you with a hot mug of tea and a bacon sandwich. 

It’s like moving back home after a divorce and finding out your parents have kept your bedroom exactly the same. A little sad, but strangely comforting. I suppose the odd parachute payment or two doesn’t hurt either.

After a few weeks off during the Summer to lick your wounds (and possibly Sambuca off the chest of a local glamour model) the fans are waiting to cleanse your soul, you can feel your sins from the previous season washing away as they sing your name aloud. All you need is your first touch of the ball and you’re free to pick up where you left off.

New faces and old friends have been waiting to welcome you back to the home of real football. The home of short-sleeved shirts in the winter, the home of raggedy-looking mascots running up and down the touchline in the pouring rain even when their team is 4-0 down, the home of long-standing rivalries like Derby v Forest, Leeds v Millwall and Cardiff v Swansea. Oh and QPR are top of the league… QPR for goodness sake. I haven’t noticed them since the 80s.

Yes, there is a Suez Canal-sized gap between the Premiership and the Championship in terms of ability, but characters like Sven-Goran Eriksson, Robbie Savage and Craig Bellamy have ignited the media interest in our league.

Still think the Championship is made up of top-flight rejects and kids who can’t make their own first teams? Wrong. Take a look at the recent Npower ‘team of the week’. Names like Koren and Gerrard (not that one), McPake and McSheffrey, Brett Pitman and Liam Fontaine… Real footballing names, as if I were reading Dalgish, Keegan and Charlton.

I say enough of the league snobbery! The chants aimed at the officials are the same and the pies are always hot. At it’s most basic, there’s a football on the pitch and that’s all we need to have a good time.

The Premiership may be the love affair we all want, but true love is in the Championship.

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  • Mystical Mike

    Quality read there Charlie, a lot of what you say is true, the championship is real football, for real football fans!

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