Two Teams Are About To Fight It Out On The Pitch For 120M Quid
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Promotion and relegation is a major part of European soccer, and how teams move up through the leagues can become a bit confusing when sorting through the top eight levels in England.
Simply put, the top three clubs in The Championship become promoted to the Premier League, and the bottom three clubs in the Premier League are relegated to The Championship. Watford and Bournemouth have already secured the first two spots because of their total amassed points, but the final third spot is left to fate in the playoffs.
The Championship playoffs consist of four games and one final after the 46 game season finishes, pitting sixth place against third, and fourth place against fifth. Similar to the structure of the Champions League semi-finals, there are two legs at both clubs' home stadium. After the two legs, the winner of 6th vs. 3rd and 4th vs. 5th will play a single game at Wembley stadium to determine who will secure the final spot to be promoted to the Premier League. A lot of time and effort goes into determining who will rise and who will fall, but the chance to play in top league football comes with many perks. Hull City were expected to generate an extra £120 million from broadcast income and the league upon their promotion in 2013. Essentially, that can be seen as the current market price of Ronaldo. It’s a pretty big deal!
Ipswich Town(6) and Norwich City(3) kicked off the playoffs on May 8th, shortly followed by Middlesbrough(4) and Brentford(5) the next day. Boro were the only team to walk away with a win in the first leg, as the Norfolk and Suffolk long-time rivals ended in a 1-1 draw. Norwich hope to make it back to the Premiership after being relegated last season.
The East-Anglian Derby between Ipswich and Norwich is a match that fans and players dream of. Ignoring the possibility of promotion and the financial boost to the club, local pride is a huge factor for the two sides only separated by a forty minute train ride. “A 2008 study suggested the East Anglia derby was second only to West Bromwich Albion v Wolves as the fiercest rivalry in English football”. The two sides are just far enough to where no one has split pride between the two clubs, “They really do despise each other” said author Rob Hadgraft when questioned about last week's draw.
Having lived in Norwich for a period of time, the rivalry between Ipswich is very present come derby day. The city comes to life. Green and yellow is everywhere you look, Gary Hooper kits and scarves are thrown over jackets, and the pubs are filled with anxiously awaiting fans. It truly is an amazing local sight to be a part of while cheering on your local team.
After the Middlesbrough and Brentford match today, Norwich will host their Suffolk rivals at Carrow Road to determine who will make the journey to London for the final playoff match. The final will take place on May 25th, 2015 at 3pm GMT.