1992–2004 (as Football League First Division)
1892–1992 (as Football League Second Division)
|Country||England (22 teams)|
|Other club(s) from||Wales (2 teams)|
|Number of teams||24|
|Level on pyramid||2|
|Promotion to||Premier League|
|Relegation to||League One|
|Domestic cup(s)|| FA Cup |
FA Community Shield
|League cup(s)|| EFL Cup |
|International cup(s)|| UEFA Europa League (via FA Cup)|
UEFA Europa Conference League (via EFL Cup)
|Current champions|| Norwich City |
|Most championships|| Newcastle United |
(2 titles each)
|TV partners||List of broadcasters|
|Current: 2021–22 EFL Championship|
The English Football League Championship (often referred to as the Championship for short or the Sky Bet Championship for sponsorship reasons, and known as the Football League Championship from 2004 until 2016)is the highest division of the English Football League (EFL) and second-highest overall in the English football league system after the Premier League. The league is contested by 24 clubs. Each season, the two top-finishing teams in the Championship are automatically promoted to the Premier League. The teams that finish the season in 3rd to 6th place enter a playoff tournament, with the winner also gaining promotion to the Premier League. The three lowest-finishing teams in the Championship are relegated to League One.
The Championship, which was introduced for the 2004–05 season, was previously known as the Football League First Division (1992–2004), and before that as the Football League Second Division (1892–1992). The winners of the Championship receive the EFL Championship trophy, the same trophy as the old First Division champions were handed prior to the Premier League's inception in 1992. Similar to other divisions of professional English football, Welsh clubs can be part of the division, making it a cross-border league.
The Championship is the wealthiest non-top flight football division in the world and the ninth richest division in Europe.With an average match attendance for the 2018–19 season of 20,181, the Championship had the highest per-match attendance of any secondary league in the world, with only nine top-flight leagues known to have higher attendance figures.
Barnsley have spent more seasons at the second level of English football than any other team and on 3 January 2011 became the first club to achieve 1,000 wins in the second level of English football with a 2–1 home victory over Coventry City. Barnsley are also the first club to play 3,000 games in second-level league football (W1028, D747, L1224).Currently, Nottingham Forest and Derby County hold the longest tenure in the Championship, last being out of the division in the 2007–08 season.
In its inaugural season of 2004–05, the Football League Championship announced a total attendance (including postseason) of 9.8 million, which it said was the fourth highest total attendance for a European football division, behind the FA Premier League (12.88m), Spain's La Liga (11.57m) and Germany's Bundesliga (10.92m), but beating Italy's Serie A (9.77m) and France's Ligue 1 (8.17m).
Sunderland won the league in the first season since re-branding, with Wigan Athletic finishing second to win promotion to the top flight of English football for the first time in their history. They had only been elected to the Football League twenty-seven years previously; playing in the fourth tier as recently as eleven years prior to their promotion. West Ham United won the first Championship play-off final that season, following a 1–0 victory over Preston North End at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. In the 2005–06 season, Reading broke the Football League points record for a season, finishing on 106 points, exceeding the record set by Sunderland in 1999.
Sunderland won their second Championship title in three seasons in the 2006–07 season. On 4 May 2007, Leeds United became the first side since the re-branding of the division to enter administration; they were deducted 10 points and were relegated as a result.On 28 May 2007, Derby County won the first Championship play-off final at the new Wembley Stadium, beating West Bromwich Albion 1–0 in front of nearly 75,000 spectators. West Brom would go on to win the Championship in the following season.
On 30 September 2009, Coca-Cola announced they would end their sponsorship deal with The Football League (now English Football League) at the end of the 2009–10 season.On 16 March 2010, npower were announced as the new title sponsors of the Football League, and from the start of the 2010–11 Football League season until the end of the 2012–13 season, the Football League Championship was known as the Npower Championship.
On 18 July 2013, UK bookmaker Sky Bet announced that they signed a five-year agreement to sponsor the league.
On 24 May 2014, the Championship play-off final between Derby County and Queens Park Rangers saw the highest crowd for any Championship fixture – 87,348 witnessed a Bobby Zamora stoppage time winner for QPR to win promotion for the London club.
For the 2016–17 season, the Football League was re-branded as the English Football League. The league had an cumulative attendance of more than eleven million – excluding play-off matches – with more than two million watching Newcastle United and Aston Villa home fixtures alone; both of whom had been relegated from the Premier League in the previous season. This was included in the highest crowds for the second to fourth tier in England since the 1958–59 season.
The league comprises 24 teams. Over the course of a season, which runs annually from August to the following May, each team plays twice against the others in the league, once at 'home' and once 'away', resulting in each team competing in 46 games in total. Three points are awarded for a win, one for a draw and zero for a loss. The teams are ranked in the league table by points gained, then goal difference, then goals scored and then their head-to-head record for that season. In the event that two or more teams finish the season equal in all these respects, teams are separated by alphabetical order, unless a promotion, relegation or play-off place (see below) is at stake, when the teams are separated by a play-off game, though this improbable situation has never arisen in all the years the rule has existed.
At the end of the season, the top two teams and the winner of the Championship play-offs are promoted to the Premier League and the bottom three teams are relegated to Football League One. The Football League Championship play-offs is a knock-out competition for the teams finishing the season in third to sixth place with the winner being promoted to the Premier League. In the play-offs, the third-placed team plays against the sixth-placed team and the fourth-placed team plays against the fifth-placed team in two-legged semi-finals (home and away). The winners of each semi-final then compete in a single match at Wembley stadium with the prize being promotion to the Premier League and the Championship play-off trophy.
The following 24 clubs will compete in the EFL Championship during the 2021–22 season.
|Club||Finishing position last season||Location||Stadium||Capacity|
|Birmingham City||18th||Birmingham||St Andrew's||29,409|
|Blackburn Rovers||15th||Blackburn||Ewood Park||31,367|
|Blackpool||3rd in League One (promoted via play-offs)||Blackpool||Bloomfield Road||17,338|
|Bristol City||19th||Bristol||Ashton Gate||27,000|
|Cardiff City||8th||Cardiff||Cardiff City Stadium||33,316|
|Coventry City||16th||Coventry||Coventry Building Society Arena||32,609|
|Derby County||21st||Derby||Pride Park Stadium||33,597|
|Fulham||18th in Premier League (relegated)||London (Fulham)||Craven Cottage||19,359|
|Huddersfield Town||20th||Huddersfield||Kirklees Stadium||24,121|
|Hull City||1st in League One |
|Kingston upon Hull||KCOM Stadium||25,400|
|Luton Town||12th||Luton||Kenilworth Road||10,356|
|Millwall||11th||London (South Bermondsey)||The Den||20,146|
|Nottingham Forest||17th||Nottingham||City Ground||30,576|
|Peterborough United||2nd in League One (promoted)||Peterborough||Weston Homes Stadium||15,314|
|Preston North End||13th||Preston||Deepdale||23,408|
|Queens Park Rangers||9th||London (Shepherd's Bush)||Loftus Road||18,360|
|Sheffield United||20th in Premier League (relegated)||Sheffield||Bramall Lane||32,050|
|Stoke City||14th||Stoke-on-Trent||bet365 Stadium||30,089|
|Swansea City||4th||Swansea||Liberty Stadium||21,088|
|West Bromwich Albion||19th in Premier League (relegated)||West Bromwich||The Hawthorns||26,688|
|Season||Champions||Runner-up||Play-off winner||score||Play-off runner-up|
|2004–05||Sunderland 94||Wigan Athletic 87||West Ham United 73 (6th)||1–0||Preston North End 75 (5th)|
|2005–06||Reading 106||Sheffield United 90||Watford 81 (3rd)||3–0||Leeds United 78 (5th)|
|2006–07||Sunderland (2nd title) 88||Birmingham City 86||Derby County 84 (3rd)||1–0||West Bromwich Albion 76 (4th)|
|2007–08||West Bromwich Albion 81||Stoke City 79||Hull City 75 (3rd)||1–0||Bristol City 74 (4th)|
|2008–09||Wolverhampton Wanderers 90||Birmingham City 83||Burnley 76 (5th)||1–0||Sheffield United 80 (3rd)|
|2009–10||Newcastle United 102||West Bromwich Albion 91||Blackpool 70 (6th)||3–2||Cardiff City 76 (4th)|
|2010–11||Queens Park Rangers 88||Norwich City 1 84||Swansea City 80 (3rd)||4–2||Reading 77 (5th)|
|2011–12||Reading (2nd title) 89||Southampton 88||West Ham United 86 (3rd)||2–1||Blackpool 75 (5th)|
|2012–13||Cardiff City 87||Hull City 79||Crystal Palace 72 (5th)||1–0 ( a.e.t. )||Watford 77 (3rd)|
|2013–14||Leicester City 102||Burnley 2 93||Queens Park Rangers 80 (4th)||1–0||Derby County 85 (3rd)|
|2014–15||Bournemouth 90||Watford 89||Norwich City 86 (3rd)||2–0||Middlesbrough 85 (4th)|
|2015–16||Burnley 93||Middlesbrough 89||Hull City 83 (4th)||1–0||Sheffield Wednesday 74 (6th)|
|2016–17||Newcastle United (2nd title) 94||Brighton & Hove Albion 2 93||Huddersfield Town 81 (5th)||0–0 (4–3 pen.)||Reading 85 (3rd)|
|2017–18||Wolverhampton Wanderers (2nd title) 99||Cardiff City 90||Fulham 88 (3rd)||1–0||Aston Villa 83 (4th)|
|2018–19||Norwich City 94||Sheffield United 89||Aston Villa 76 (5th)||2–1||Derby County 74 (6th)|
|2019–20||Leeds United 93||West Bromwich Albion 83||Fulham 81 (4th)||2–1 ( a.e.t. )||Brentford 81 (3rd)|
|2020–21||Norwich City (2nd title) 97||Watford 91||Brentford 87 (3rd)||2–0||Swansea City 80 (4th)|
1 When Norwich City gained promotion to the Premier League they were the first team to be relegated to, relegated from, promoted to and promoted from the Championship.
2 When Burnley were promoted with 93 points they set a record for the most points for a second-placed team; this was matched by Brighton & Hove Albion three years later.
For past winners at this level before 2004, see List of winners of English Football League Championship and predecessors
|2004–05||Gillingham (50), Nottingham Forest (44), Rotherham United (29)|
|2005–06||Crewe Alexandra (42), Millwall (40), Brighton & Hove Albion (38)|
|2006–07||Southend United (42), Luton Town (40), Leeds United (36)|
|2007–08||Leicester City (52), Scunthorpe United (46), Colchester United (38)|
|2008–09||Norwich City (46), Southampton (45), Charlton Athletic (39)|
|2009–10||Sheffield Wednesday (47), Plymouth Argyle (41), Peterborough United (34)|
|2010–11||Preston North End (42), Sheffield United (42), Scunthorpe United (42)|
|2011–12||Portsmouth (40), Coventry City (40), Doncaster Rovers (36)|
|2012–13||Peterborough United (54), Wolverhampton Wanderers (51), Bristol City (41)|
|2013–14||Doncaster Rovers (44), Barnsley (39), Yeovil Town (37)|
|2014–15||Millwall (41), Wigan Athletic (39), Blackpool (26)|
|2015–16||Charlton Athletic (40), Milton Keynes Dons (39), Bolton Wanderers (30)|
|2016–17||Blackburn Rovers (51), Wigan Athletic (42), Rotherham United (23)|
|2017–18||Barnsley (41), Burton Albion (41), Sunderland (37)|
|2018–19||Rotherham United (40), Bolton Wanderers (32), Ipswich Town (31)|
|2019–20||Charlton Athletic (48), Wigan Athletic (47), Hull City (45)|
|2020–21||Wycombe Wanderers (43), Rotherham United (42), Sheffield Wednesday (41)|
|2004–05||Crystal Palace (33), Norwich City (33), Southampton (32)|
|2005–06||Birmingham City (34), West Bromwich Albion (30), Sunderland (15)|
|2006–07||Sheffield United (38), Charlton Athletic (34), Watford (29)|
|2007–08||Reading (36), Birmingham City (35), Derby County (11)|
|2008–09||Newcastle United (34), Middlesbrough (32), West Bromwich Albion (32)|
|2009–10||Burnley (30), Hull City (30), Portsmouth (19)|
|2010–11||Birmingham City (39), Blackpool (39), West Ham United (33)|
|2011–12||Bolton Wanderers (36), Blackburn Rovers (31), Wolverhampton Wanderers (25)|
|2012–13||Wigan Athletic (36), Reading (28), Queens Park Rangers (25)|
|2013–14||Norwich City (33), Fulham (32), Cardiff City (30)|
|2014–15||Hull City (35), Burnley (33), Queens Park Rangers (30)|
|2015–16||Newcastle United (37), Norwich City (34), Aston Villa (17)|
|2016–17||Hull City (34), Middlesbrough (28), Sunderland (24)|
|2017–18||Swansea City (33), Stoke City (33), West Bromwich Albion (31)|
|2018–19||Cardiff City (34), Fulham (26), Huddersfield Town (16)|
|2019–20||Bournemouth (34), Watford (34), Norwich City (21)|
|2020–21||Sheffield United (23), West Bromwich Albion (26), Fulham (28)|
|2004–05||Luton Town (98), Hull City (86), Sheffield Wednesday (Play-off winners) (72)|
|2005–06||Southend United (82), Colchester United (79), Barnsley (Play-off winners) (72)|
|2006–07||Scunthorpe United (91), Bristol City (85), Blackpool (Play-off winners) (83)|
|2007–08||Swansea City (91), Nottingham Forest (82), Doncaster Rovers (Play-off winners) (80)|
|2008–09||Leicester City (96), Peterborough United (89), Scunthorpe United (Play-off winners) (76)|
|2009–10||Norwich City (95), Leeds United (86), Millwall (Play-off winners) (85)|
|2010–11||Brighton & Hove Albion (95), Southampton (92), Peterborough United (Play-off winners) (79)|
|2011–12||Charlton Athletic (101), Sheffield Wednesday (93), Huddersfield Town (Play-off winners) (81)|
|2012–13||Doncaster Rovers (84), Bournemouth (83), Yeovil Town (Play-off winners) (77)|
|2013–14||Wolverhampton Wanderers (103), Brentford (94), Rotherham United (Play-off winners) (86)|
|2014–15||Bristol City (99), Milton Keynes Dons (91), Preston North End (Play-off winners) (89)|
|2015–16||Wigan Athletic (87), Burton Albion (85), Barnsley (Play-off winners) (74)|
|2016–17||Sheffield United (100), Bolton Wanderers (87), Millwall (Play-off winners) (73)|
|2017–18||Wigan Athletic (98), Blackburn Rovers (96), Rotherham United (Play-off winners) (79)|
|2018–19||Luton Town (94), Barnsley (91), Charlton Athletic (Play-off winners) (88)|
|2019–20||Coventry City (88.71), Rotherham United (77.94), Wycombe Wanderers (Play-off winners) (76.35)|
|2020–21||Hull City (89), Peterborough United (87), Blackpool (Play-off winners) (80)|
|2004–05||Nathan Ellington||Wigan Athletic||24|
|2006–07||Jamie Cureton||Colchester United||23|
|2007–08||Sylvan Ebanks-Blake|| Plymouth Argyle |
|2008–09||Sylvan Ebanks-Blake||Wolverhampton Wanderers||25|
|2009–10||Peter Whittingham||Cardiff City||20|
|Nicky Maynard||Bristol City|
|2012–13||Glenn Murray||Crystal Palace||30|
|2013–14||Ross McCormack||Leeds United||28|
|2014–15||Daryl Murphy||Ipswich Town||27|
|2016–17||Chris Wood||Leeds United||27|
|2017–18||Matěj Vydra||Derby County||21|
|2018–19||Teemu Pukki||Norwich City||29|
Barnsley Football Club is a professional association football club in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England, which plays in the Championship, the second tier of English football. Nicknamed ’the Tykes’, they were founded in 1887 by Reverend Tiverton Preedy. The club's colours were originally blue, but were changed to red and white in 1904. Their home ground since 1888 has been Oakwell.
Rotherham United Football Club, nicknamed The Millers, is a professional association football club based in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England. The team will compete in League One, the third tier of the English football league system, in the 2021-22 season after finishing 23rd in the 2020-21 Championship.
Rochdale Association Football Club is a professional football club based in the town of Rochdale, Greater Manchester, England. The team compete in League One, the third tier of the English football league system. Nicknamed 'the Dale', they have played home matches at Spotland Stadium since 1920 and contest derby matches with nearby Oldham Athletic.
Swansea City Association Football Club is a professional football club based in Swansea, Wales that plays in the Championship, the second tier of English football. Swansea have played their home matches at the Liberty Stadium since 2005, having previously played at the Vetch Field since the club was founded.
Burton Albion Football Club is a professional association football club in the town of Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, England. The team compete in League One, the third tier of the English football league system. The club's home ground is the Pirelli Stadium, having moved from Eton Park in 2005. The club's nickname is The Brewers, stemming from the town's brewing heritage.
Darren Mark Moore is a professional football manager and former player who played as a centre-back. He is the manager of Championship club Sheffield Wednesday.
The English Football League play-offs are an annual series of association football matches to determine the final promotion places within each division of the English Football League (EFL). In each division it involves the four teams that finish directly below the automatic promotion places. These teams meet in a series of play-off matches to determine the final team that will be promoted.
The English Football League Championship play-offs are a series of play-off matches contested by the association football teams finishing from third to sixth in the EFL Championship table and are part of the English Football League play-offs. As of 2021, the play-offs comprise two semi-finals, where the team finishing third plays the team finishing sixth, and the team finishing fourth plays the team finishing fifth, each conducted as a two-legged tie. The winners of the semi-finals progress to the final which is contested at Wembley Stadium. The Championship play-off final is considered the most valuable single football match in the world as a result of the increase in revenue to the winning club from sponsorship and media agreements.
The Black Country derby is most commonly the local derby between the English association football teams West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers, who are located eleven miles (18 km) apart in the Black Country region of the West Midlands.
The EFL League One play-offs are a series of play-off matches contested by the association football teams finishing from third to sixth in the EFL League One table and are part of the English Football League play-offs. As of 2021, the play-offs comprise two semi-finals, where the team finishing third plays the team finishing sixth, and the team finishing fourth plays the team finishing fifth, each conducted as a two-legged tie. The winners of the semi-finals progress to the final which is contested at Wembley Stadium.
The English Football League (EFL) is a league competition featuring professional association football clubs from England and Wales. Founded in 1888 as the Football League, the league is the oldest such competition in world football. It was the top-level football league in England from its foundation until 1992, when the top 22 clubs split away to form the Premier League.
The 2006–07 Football League Championship was the third season of the league under its current title and fifteenth season under its current league division format.
The 2011–12 season was the 132nd season of competitive football in England.
The 2016–17 EFL Championship was the first season of the EFL Championship under its current name, and the twenty-fifth season under its current league structure. Newcastle United were crowned the champions and were promoted to Premier League after just one season in the Championship. Brighton & Hove Albion, alongside Huddersfield Town, both achieved their first ever Premier League promotions, via the second automatic promotion place and play-off route respectively.
The 2016 EFL League One play-off Final was an association football match which was played on 29 May 2016 at Wembley Stadium, London, between Barnsley and Millwall to determine the third and final team to gain promotion from EFL League One to the EFL Championship. The top two teams of the 2015–16 Football League One season gained automatic promotion to the Championship, while the teams placed from third to sixth place in the table partook in play-off semi-finals; the winners of these semi-finals competed for the final place for the 2016–17 season in the Championship.
The 2018–19 season was the 139th season of competitive association football in England.
The 2020–21 EFL Championship was the 17th season of the Football League Championship under its current title and the 29th season under its current league division format.
The 2021 EFL Championship play-off Final was an association football match which was played on 29 May 2021 at Wembley Stadium, London, to determine the third and final team to gain promotion from the EFL Championship, the second tier of English football, to the Premier League. The top two teams of the 2020–21 EFL Championship, Norwich City and Watford, gained automatic promotion to the Premier League, while the clubs placed from third to sixth place in the table took part in 2021 English Football League play-offs. Brentford and Swansea City competed for the final place for the 2021–22 season in the Premier League.
Media related to EFL Championship at Wikimedia Commons