Enjoy a complete fixtures list of all streamed and televised Championship matches for the season 2019/2020. Last round of the season is played in May, the season starts in August. New teams for this season will be Wigan Athletic, Blackburn Rovers, Rotherham United, West Bromwich Albion, Swansea City and Stoke City.
- 21 Feb
The English Football League Championship is the highest division in English Football after the Premier League, and the highest of all in the English Football League. A current sponsorship deal with Sky Bet means that the division is also known as the Sky Bet Championship, although football fans just as often refer to it as the EFL Championship or simply as the Championship.
Each year, participating teams compete to see which of them can perform the best over the course of a whole season, which runs from August to the following May. The best-performing teams win themselves promotion to the Premier League whilst the worst-performing teams are relegated to the second-highest EFL division, which is presently known as League One.
The EFL Championship has existed in its current form since 2004, but the division itself has been around for much longer. As the second-tier of English Football, it was founded in 1892 as Division Two of the Football League, and it continued to be known under that name until 1992, when teams from the First Division resigned and formed the Premier League.
With the First Division now redundant, Division Two became the highest division in the Football League, First Division and was therefore rebranded as Division One, with lower divisions also being promoted in name.
In 2004, the Football League First Division was rebranded as the Football League Championship, and Division One was rebranded as the Championship. At the same time, Division Two became known as League One and Division Three as League Two, and so on.
The Football League itself was rebranded as the English Football League in 2016, and divisions within the league have since been prefixed by the letters EFL.
Structure of the League
Each season, the English Football League Championship is contested by 24 teams, including the three teams that were promoted from League One and the three teams that were relegated from the Premier League in the previous season.
During the course of the season, every team in the EFL Championship plays every other team twice – once at home and once away. Teams earn points according to their performance in each match, with a win being worth three points, a draw being worth one point and a loss being worth zero points. The number of points earned, along with other factors such as goal difference and the number of goals scored, determine the position of the teams in the EFL Championship league table.
The two teams which finish at the top of the league table are automatically promoted to the Premier League for the following season. However, a third team is also promoted, and to determine which team it will be, the teams which finish in third, fourth, fifth and sixth place league table compete in a play-off competition. The ultimate winner of the play-offs is the team that is promoted to the Premier League in addition to the two that earned automatic promotion.
Similarly, the three teams which finish the season at the bottom of the EFL Championship league table are relegated to League One for the following season.
Matches from the second tier of English football have always been part of the radio and television schedules, and attract significant audiences. For that reason, television companies have long been very keen to acquire the rights to broadcast such matches, not only in the United Kingdom, but around the world.
The rights to broadcast Championship matches on television in the UK have been held by Sky Sports since 2009, but since 2012 it is predominantly live play-off matches that are broadcast. The rights to broadcast radio coverage of Championship matches in the UK are currently held by talkSPORT, but the BBC can also provide commentary on live games which involve teams that are based in their area of coverage.
International broadcast rights are held by different companies in different jurisdictions, and rights-holders currently include DAZN, TV3 Sport, beIN Sports, FOX Sports and ESPN.
Those who enjoy watching EFL Championship football live streams are also well-catered for by Bet365 and Betfair.
As explained previously, the teams which finish the season at the top or bottom of the EFL Championship league table are promoted or relegated, as appropriate. For this reason, the list of teams that participate in the EFL Championship varies from season to season. The list of teams which are currently playing in this league for the season is as follows:
- Aston Villa
- Birmingham City
- Blackburn Rovers
- Bolton Wanderers
- Bristol City
- Derby County
- Hull City
- Ipswich Town
- Leeds United
- Norwich City
- Nottingham Forest
- Preston North End
- Queens Park Rangers
- Rotherham United
- Sheffield United
- Sheffield Wednesday
- Stoke City
- Swansea City
- West Bromwich Albion
- Wigan Athletic
Football at any level is all about the ability to put the ball into the back of the net, and the EFL Championship certainly delivers in that respect, with hundreds of goals being scored each and every season. Of course, the big question each season is: which player will earn the accolade of being the top scorer?
The top scorer in any given season since 2004, when the EFL Championship adopted its current form, is Glenn Murray, who scored an incredible 30 goals for Crystal Palace in 2012/13.
Ross McCormack is next best in the top scorer hall of fame, with a total of 28 goals for Leeds United in 2013/14. Three players are then tied on 27 goals each, and they are Rickie Lambert, who achieved the feat in 2011/12 for Southampton, Daryl Murphy, who did the same in 2014/15 for Ipswich Town, and Chris Wood, who matched the performance in 2016/17 for Leeds United.
It is interesting to note that three teams have produced the top scorer on more than one occasion since 2004. Watford produced the top scorer in 2005/06 and 2010/11, Wolverhampton Wanderers produced the joint-top scorer in 2007/08 and the clear top scorer in 2008/09, and Leeds United produced the top scorer in 2013/14 and 2016/17.