Is the Championship better than League One?
PUBLISHED: 17:11 11 February 2011
©Archant Photographic 2010
Last season I wrote an article about the benefits of League One football. At the time City had only played a dozen or so games, but were starting to show some signs of the form that was to carry them though the season to the League One title.
But it would not be an exaggeration to say that it was written with yellow and green tinted specs and had City not been promoted at the first attempt I’m sure that this season’s comparison between League One and the Championship would have been a very depressing read.
So – as City are back in the Championship, what are the benefits of Championship Football over League One football?
For the anoraks amongst us and there are even a few of these in the Capital Canaries, the ground hopping potential in the Championship is very limited. There are no quaint outposts to visit such as Exeter, Yeovil or Hartlepool; this season these have been replaced with a bunch of soulless bowls located on the outskirts of towns next to industrial parks and “Frankie & Bennys”. Coventry, Doncaster, Middlesbrough, Hull and my personal un-favourite of the lot, the Madjad at Reading all fall into this category. And as regards a new ground to visit – there just aren’t any.
Tim’s Championship ground hopping verdict? Come back League One all is forgiven.
Twice in the autumn and twice in the spring we have our Saturday pilgrimage to see the boys in yellow and green postponed so we can revel in the wonder that is Big Fat Frank, JT, Stevie Me and Shrek playing for England. But unlike last season where it was a Sky-tastic England game, now it’s on ITV. Not only do we have to watch the overpaid luvvies kissing the England badge, but we have to have it described by either Peter Dreary or Clive Tedious. What’s more our players are starting to get noticed and even selected for their countries. This week I watched Ireland vs Wales “Dr Who Stylee”, scared and eyes peeping out from behind a cushion hoping that Andrew Crofts wouldn’t get crocked.
On the plus side to this we get back some our City midweek home games and my daughter gets to play golf on her Saturdays off.
Tim’s Championship International break verdict? I’m doing my best to take the positives out of it.
Now City are back in the Championship we’re no longer the small clubs’ big game anymore. Good news. No more reduced allocations, having to get tickets in the home end or clubs desperate to risk our players on a frozen pitch for the sole reason that the away allocation is sold out and a postponement would cost them £25,000+. No more queues outside the away end at ten past three as they don’t have enough gates open. And no more club’s supporters failing to understand there is a limited away allocation at Carrow Road and complaining that they didn’t read their own website to find out.
Tim’s we are a big club verdict? One season of being a big fish in a small pond was enough for me, and loving it back in the Championship.
It doesn’t matter if you love it or hate it; Sky TV is here to stay. In League One they didn’t give us any money but left us mostly well alone which I liked. The Norwich City Board didn’t like it though as all that lovely cash Sky gives City as a Championship club each season helps to pay for things like players and the ground. Would we have been able to keep Wessi and The Horse for a second season in League One? Er, no.
So now we’re back in the Championship and doing rather well, our fickle friend, Sky Sports suddenly want to known us again. How do you fancy a hot date with Billy Davies on Friday night in April purrs Mr Murdoch’s henchmen as he makes us an offer we can’t refuse. Oh, did I forget to tell you? We also need you to start your game at Swansea so late it will be impossible to get a train back to London he cackles; 5.20pm should do the trick.
Tim’s Championship Sky TV verdict? Football should be played at 3pm on Saturday or 7.45pm on Tuesday, but there are now over four million reasons why it’s not. At least the bank is manager is happy.
Wemberley , Wemberley we’re the famous Norwich City and....we’ve been drawn away at Blackburn in the third round of the Carling Cup so that’s it for the season. We also managed to lose at home to Orient thanks to a goal from an ex-loan player; who is only remembered by me for helping set up our winning goal at Scunthorpe three years ago. Now we’re “Concentrating on the League” and in sight of the Twin Towers there’s a decent chance we could feature in the play off for the biggest prize in world football. Provided of course City don’t do something really silly and get in the top two and earn automatic promotion. My hands are shaking as I type this so if we get as far as the play-offs God only knows what my nerves and sphincter will be like at come the end of the season.
Tim’s Championship Wemberley appearance potential? Who cares about the Carling Cup or even remembers trudging out of St Mary’s after we lost on penalties in the JPT. The Championship playoff final is the big one. Premiership here we come!