The Championship IS better than the Premier League
It may seem obvious, or absurd, but the quantity of coverage the Premier League receives compared to the Championship is incomparable. But why is that?
Is it money attracting big stars? Is it the amount of televised matches? Are Premier League teams global brands? Well, yes it's all of those.
But let's not get hasty, the Championship deserves maximum respect and to be quite honest, is a much more satisfying watch than the Premier League.
Why the Championship is better than the Premier League
Before I start reeling of all the usual cliches associated with the Championship, it's competitive, unpredictable and a 'anyone can win it' league, it's important to highlight other factors.
Getting the record straight, the Championship is unashamedly all of those, and so much more. Considering that at this very moment in time, teams right down to 12th have a realistic chance of promotion, speaking volumes for the quality and competitiveness of this league.
You just do not get that in the Premier League, where the top four dominate and one or two are knocking on their Champions League door. Teams in the Championship do not settle for 'oh we'll settle for 14th, we've avoided relegation, we'll take the money'. Too many teams settle for that, possibly the sides from 20th to 9th. That is not the case in the Championship.
Now you could argue that fair balance is dead wrong, that teams have an unfair advantage with parachute payments etc, and there is a fair argument for that. But all you need to do there is highlight promoted teams that have poured money into their squads and failed, and teams that have been shrewd and have been relatively successful.
Spending doesn't guarantee success in the Championship; Derby County, Reading, Birmingham City, Middlesbrough. All teams that have tried to spend their way out, failed and are now paying heavy consequences.
Brentford, Preston North End and recently Millwall are proving to the rest that you don't need to break the bank to vie for promotion.
Small teams can be the big teams
Looking at the list of clubs in the Championship, you can list some pretty big sides. Nottingham Forest, Leeds United, Sheffield Wednesday and Derby County are just a number of teams that are lauded as big sides, but it doesn't guarantee success. The small teams have evolved.
Brentford are a prime example here, a small ground in comparison to Hillsborough, yet the quality and devastating style of football strikes fear into those 'big clubs'. This just highlights the quality throughout the league, where success is built in long term planning, not for the TV money, but to be a successful club competing with the best sides.
More to fight for
To paint a picture, the money that Premier League teams generate through TV income is a landslide amount compared to English Football League clubs. Championship sides just do not generate enough. The motivation for Premier League sides is to just exist in a league where this money is a guarantee when you survive.
The key driver for Championship sides is to get to that level. Some clubs turn it into long term success. Leicester City, Southampton (with a caveat there), Wolves and recently Sheffield United.
But that makes the Championship so much more exciting, there's no playing for draws, there's no settling. If you can't finish in the automatic spots, there's the play offs. There's so much more to compete for that even the mid table sides are thinking 'hang on a minute, we're only 16 points off with 12 games to go, we've got a chance'.
Also, those mid table Premier League sides are reluctant to finish in the European spots. It's seen as a burden rather than an opportunity, which is a mentality that has killed the FA Cup.
If you have ambition, you will succeed and so many Championship teams have that drive, making it so much more interesting, competitive and easier to stomach than the Premier League.