Problems at Charlton, Hull and Blackburn as we enjoy promotion
The Championship season is all but over. Burnley are going up, the three going down are MK, Charlton and Bolton while Cardiff’s defeat left a closed shop for the play-offs with Derby, Hull and Sheffield Wednesday joining one of Middlesbrough or Brighton, the other joining us in winning automatic promotion.
Turf Moor was the place to be at around 6:40 on Monday evening. Apart from a small scattering of QPR fans it was pure joy as over 19,000 celebrated Burnley’s third promotion to the Premier League.
Pure joy – that’s something that’s in short supply at a number of Championship clubs right now. We’ll be visiting Charlton on Saturday and we’ll see just the opposite from what we are experiencing. They are down but more importantly are fighting against the Belgian owners and it is anyone’s guess what might happen.
The protest organisers have said they will not look to get the game abandoned but I suspect some will try to do just that and I’m certain there will be disruptions to the game, heightened by the fact it is now being televised. They’ve certainly made the most of it in recent high profile games against Middlesbrough and Brighton.
From a selfish viewpoint, I hope things run smoothly, Burnley win and we become Football League Champions. But I have a lot of sympathy for them. What’s happened at their club is a disgrace and proves once more how fortunate we are to have owners who actually care about the club.
You don’t have to be at the bottom of the league to have issues. Hull are in the play-offs but not too long ago their fans fought tooth and nail to keep their club’s name, now they are having to fight a membership scheme being brought in to replace season tickets. On the surface I couldn’t see much difference but it has since come to light that supporters were losing their seats and many would be paying significantly more, particularly juniors and seniors who have not been looked after at all.
Since my last review of the Championship there has been news of a managerial departure. He’s still there but Paul Lambert will be leaving Ewood Park after Saturday’s game and from what’s been said he’ll be leaving without ever having had the opportunity to meet any of the owners.
No manager, no chairman and only one director based in Lancashire. To add to that they’ll be losing two of their North West derbies next season, one where they fleece away fans for well over £30 per ticket, so I am delighted to report all is not well with Blackburn Rovers.
David Dunn was the favourite for the job initially but he’s dropped down the betting now and Paul Jewell has replaced him. I’d settle for that. Since leaving Wigan he’s had two management jobs, firstly a disastrous spell in charge of Derby followed by a not much better one at Ipswich before being replaced by Mick McCarthy.
Dunn has apparently distanced himself from the role, no surprise given his record at Oldham this season, and Blackburn have warned any prospective manager that he will be working without any parachute money and within in the FFP rules. How times have changed at Ewood.
Meanwhile, Gus Poyet, he of disgraceful teams, is odds on to become the next Nottingham Forest manager. He’ll be OK there, it is only a short term position for most people.
On the field it all started with Middlesbrough dropping points at Birmingham and ended with Brighton doing likewise at home to Derby before we won to clinch promotion. Brighton
Cardiff’s faint hopes of making the play-offs well and truly came off the rails. They needed to win at Sheffield Wednesday to put the Owls under pressure but crashed to a 3-0 defeat.
So it’s virtually done and dusted except right at the top.
Just to confirm, as if you didn’t know, that Burnley have won promotion to the Premier League and will be joined by either Middlesbrough or Brighton. They play each other in two days time with Brighton needing to win.
I’m past caring I suppose which of the two I want to go up with us but I really don’t like Aitor Karanka.
The losers will be in the play-offs and will face Sheffield Wednesday over two legs while Hull and Derby scrap for the other play-off final place. I always reckon the team going into the play-offs out of form with struggle so that suggests Hull might miss out. We’ll know soon enough.
As for us, we’re off to Charlton for what could well be a bizarre afternoon with more stoppages than a cricket match when rain’s around.
I’m looking forward to it.
The leading goalscorers in the Championship, the red and yellow card counts for each club, the highest and lowest attendances and the average attendances club by club can all be found in Goalscorers – Discipline – Attendances which can be found within 2015/16 Stats which is on the top menu.
THE FINAL DAY FIXTURES
Blackburn v Reading
Cardiff v Birmingham
Charlton v Burnley
Derby v Ipswich
Fulham v Bolton
Huddersfield v Brentford
Hull v Rotherham
Middlesbrough v Brighton
MK v Nottingham Forest
Preston v Leeds
QPR v Bristol City
Wolves v Sheffield Wednesday