The English Football League Championship is the highest division of the English (EFL). It’s the second-highest overall league in England, after the Premier League. The League is also referred to as the Sky Bet Championship for sponsorship reasons, or the Football League Championship for short. It was known as the Football League Championship for 2004 until 2016. Prior to this, it was known as the Football League First Division when the Premier League was introduced in 1992. The league was originally formed in 1892 as the Football League Second Division.
There are 24 clubs in the league. The winners of the EFL Championship win the EFL Championship Trophy. This was the same trophy the First Division champions would receive prior to the inception of the Premier League in 1992. The top two finishing clubs gain automatic promotion to the Premier League. Teams that finish the season between 3rd and 6th place enter into a playoff tournament to decide who wins the last promotion place. The teams who finish in the three lowest places will be relegated to League One.
During the 2019-2020 season Leeds won the League with 93 points, followed by West Bromwich Albion with 83 points. Fulham won the play-off Final. It is known as the ‘richest game of football’ and with good reason. The winner gets promoted to the Premier League and they also make a great deal of money in the process. Each Premier League club gets approximately £100m per season. Liverpool received a whopping £175 million in 2020 after winning the League Title.
The league is the wealthiest second-tier football division in the world. It is also ranked as the ninth richest division in Europe. The Championship had the highest attendance of any secondary league in the world. The average attendance for the 2018-2019 season was an impressive 20,181.
Barnsley hold the record for spending the most number of seasons in the second division of English football. They are the first club to play 3,000 games in the league. Nottingham Forest and Derby County have both been the same division since 2007-2008. Ironically both teams are bitter local rivals!