Championship: Easier or harder next season?

23 May 2010 10:52
Only one place is left in next season's Championship After Blackpool topped their win against Nottingham Forest with a play-off final triumph against Cardiff, the last remaining issue is whether Millwall or Swindon get promoted from League One. Having finished the season in third place, the Reds are likely to be among the bookmakers' favourites to top the table next time around. With Newcastle and West Brom having gone up to the Premier League, to be replaced by cash-strapped Portsmouth and Hull as well as Burnley, opinion seems to be that the division will be wide open in 2010/11. "Just because Newcastle and West Brom have gone up it does not mean the Championship will be any more of a level playing field," new Bristol City boss Steve Coppell told the Bristol Evening Post. "Their absence will be offset by the strength of the clubs coming into the league. "Newcastle and West Brom may be out of the way but they are being replaced by other big clubs. "You only have to look at the quality of the sides in the Championship play-offs this season to see how tough it is going to be. Nottingham Forest and Leicester will be determined to challenge again." At the other end of the division, Peterborough, Plymouth and Sheffield Wednesday have departed and both Norwich City and Leeds United look like extremely strong replacements.