League Championship

Editions

Year Host nation(s) Winner Runner-up
2015 England AFC Bournemouth Watford
2016 England Burnley Middlesbrough
2017
2018

History

The Football League Championship is the second level of the English league system and the highest tier of the Football League.


It was re-named the Championship from the start of the 2004-05 season having been previously known as League Division 1 (from 1992 with the introduction of the Premier League) and League Division Two (1892-1992).


The winners of the Championship receive the Football League Championship trophy, the same trophy as the First Division champions were presented with prior to the Premier League.


It is recognised as the world's wealthiest non-top flight football division with the end of season Play-off Final now widely labelled the richest game in the world.


The Championship vies with Germany's 2 Bundesliga as the best attended second level league in global football.


The division is comprised 24 teams who play a total of 46 games on a home-and-away basis.


The two clubs that finish first and second gain automatic promotion to the Premier League.
A third club is promoted as winners of the Play-Off Final.


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. The winners of each Semi-final then face each other in the Final.


The bottom three teams are relegated to League One.


Coca-Cola sponsored the Championship from 2004 until 2010. They were succeeded by npower until Sky Bet became the third sponsor in 2013.


Ipswich Town remain as the only ever-presents in the Championship having been relegated from the Premier in 2002.


From 2004-05 to 2015-16, 53 different clubs had competed in the League Championship with Ipswich, along with Derby County and Cardiff City, being one of three clubs to play over 500 games.
Reading and Sunderland are the only two clubs to win the title more than once (both twice).
The Football League is to be re-named the English Football League from the start of the 2016-17 season as part of a corporate and competition re-branding process.