The sides relegated from the Premier League last term - Derby, Birmingham and Reading – will bounce back at the first attempt.

Is this owed in part to the parachute payments; which are paid to those clubs relegated from the Premiership? These sums have recently risen from £6.5m, paid over two seasons, to their current level of around £11.2m for those clubs that were relegated in 2007 – 2008. The average Football League Championship club only receives around £1m.

Does a manager’s pedigree matter?

At this level, Paul Jewell has previously won promotions for Bradford City & Wigan. He also retained their Premiership status once this had been achieved.

Right from his early managerial career at Motherwell and Hibernian, Alex McLeish has always shown himself to be a shrewd operator. His record at Rangers is impressive too, winning five trophies in five years for the Scottish giants.

Steve Coppell has gained promotions before from the Championship. With Crystal Palace, he has gained two promotions in 1989 and 1997. At Reading he has a formidable track record. Gaining promotion in 2006, he achieved a top eight finish in the first year in the Premiership.

Why should any player bother lacing-up their boots at all?

Of the 22 inaugural members of the Premier League, only ten still remain there. Of the rest, there have been consistent meanderings season upon season. Clubs including Oldham Athletic and Leeds United do not even feature in the Championship this season and Wimbledon are now defunct.

Ian Dowie coined the word “bouncebackability”. In the past five seasons, the only teams that have demonstrated this, at the first time of asking, have been Sunderland and Birmingham in the 2006 – 2007 season. Even after one season in the Championship, only West Brom, West Ham and Sunderland have achieved promotion within the life of the parachute payments.

Last year’s Championship proved to be unpredictable.

This year, everyone will be chasing the Premier League scalps and this year’s pretenders to the “Big League” crown, Queens Park Rangers.

Nothing in football is won, without it being earned first.
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