Championship News

The Latest Championship News, Views and general gossip for 2017 – 2018

  • Mon, 03 Oct 2022 08:59:11 +0000: Middlesbrough sack Chris Wilder after ‘breakdown in relationship’ with owner Steve Gibson and with Boro in bottom-three after disastrous start in Championship - EFL Championship News, Features, Opinion - talkSPORT

    Middlesbrough have terminated manager Chris Wilder’s contract with immediate effect, the club has announced.

    talkSPORT understands former Huddersfield boss Carlos Corberan and ex-Watford head coach Rob Edwards are among the early contenders to replace Wilder.

    Middlesbrough have played hard ball but look set to reap the rewards with a deal to Spurs moving closer

    A brief statement from the Championship side confirmed the Englishman’s departure from the Riverside Stadium after 11 months at the helm

    Wilder, who impressed during his spell in charge at Sheffield United by taking them to the Premier League and a ninth-placed finish, joined Boro last season and narrowly missed out on the play-offs.

    However, despite a decent debut campaign in the dugout the north Yorkshire side have struggled massively this season.

    Boro have taking ten points from their opening 11 games to sit in the bottom-three.

    A 1-0 loss to Coventry at the weekend left Wilder with a record of two wins, four draws and five defeats this season, and the club has now acted.

    As well as their poor form on the pitch, it is understood a breakdown in his relationship with Boro owner Steve Gibson was also behind his departure.

    Wilder has left the Riverside Stadium after his Middlesbrough side’s poor start to the season
    Getty

    A statement on mfc.co.uk read: “Middlesbrough Football Club have terminated the contract of manager Chris Wilder with immediate effect.

    “Leo Percovich will take over first team affairs in the interim basis, assisted by Craig Liddle, Mark Tinkler and Lee Cattermole.

    “The club would like to place on record its thanks to Chris and his staff for all their hard work over the past 11 months.”

    talkSPORT reporter Alex Crook join the Breakfast show to react to the news, and said the ‘brutally’ short statement from the club shows the breakdown of Wilder’s relationship with his bosses.

    “The vibes coming out the last few weeks haven’t been positive with regards to their relationship with Chris Wilder,” he said.

    “I think you can read a lot into the nature of the departure by the statement, this is a very brutal statement from Boro. It’s only two paragraphs long, and because it’s so short and maybe not very sweet that tells you all you need to know about Wilder’s relationship with the hierarchy above him.

    “I’ve been hearing whispers for some time now that him and Steve Gibson the owner haven’t seen eye-to-eye.

    “I think there were some issues over the distribution of transfer funds particularly when Djed Spence was sold to Tottenham. I think Wilder was hoping to get that deal done earlier in the summer and was definitely hoping for more of those transfer profits to spend.

    “I think the story was similar with Marcus Tavernier and when that relationship starts to break down between manager and owner there’s only one winner.”

  • Sat, 01 Oct 2022 08:14:00 +0000: Ex-Arsenal midfielder Henri Lansbury does grass cutting celebration for Luton and credits fertiliser company for wonder goal before giving reporter gardening advice - EFL Championship News, Features, Opinion - talkSPORT

    Former Arsenal youngster Henri Lansbury bizarrely credited a grass fertiliser company for his first goal in a Luton Town shirt.

    Lansbury netted an absolute beauty as he ended an 81-game scoreless run, before miming mowing the lawn in a celebration that had his teammates in hysterics during a 2-0 win over Hull.

    Lansbury thwacked in a stunner
    Getty
    And then left his teammates laughing with a hilarious celebration
    sky sports

    The midfielder, who graduated from the Gunners’ academy under Arsene Wenger in 2007, has become a star in the Championship with both Luton and Nottingham Forest.

    Despite his position, the 31-year-old had been kept off the scoresheet since signing for the Hatters in 2021, but you wouldn’t have been able to tell by watching his first goal for the club.

    At the end of the first half the ball dropped to Lansbury outside of the box, and with time to set up a play, he instead ran onto it and smacked it into the bottom corner displaying some outrageous technique.

    He then went and got the ball, before starting an imaginary lawnmower and cutting the grass.

    In his post-match interview Lansbury was asked about the celebration, and if gardening is a big thing for him.

    “Yeah massive,” he replied. “It keeps me away from the training ground with the lads.

    Lansbury yanked the motor
    sky sports
    And then went for a stroll
    sky sports

    “But shout out to the boys at Grass Gains, they’re crucial to this. The big man [Carlton Morris] did a celebration for us last time and makes his grass nice and green.”

    Morris added: “Little tech[nical] volley shows what he’s capable of but he scores a lot better goals than that in training.

    The interviewer then continued: “We understand the groundsman has given him his own bit of grass at the training ground, how good is he at looking after it?

    Lansbury gave the reporter some gardening advice
    sky sports
    And his player page on the club website gives a clue for the shout-out
    lutontown.co.uk

    “Honestly it’s like a bowls pitch,” Morris replied. “He knows his way around the garden that’s for sure.”

    The interviewer then got out his phone and said: “Henry can I just have a word with you about my lawn at home?

    “As you can see we’ve got a lot of green and there’s these little brown patches that are worrying me, what would you do?

    “Re-seed it,” Lansbury replied.

    “Lovely, gonna do that,” the Sky reporter said.

    Chances are we’re not going to see a stranger post-match exchange this season…

    Watch the World Cup with talkSPORT

    At talkSPORT we are powered by fans, so come and join us for the ultimate World Cup fan experience this winter – at the talkSPORT Fan Zone.

    In a huge indoor venue under the arches at Waterloo in London, we’ll bring you live screenings of every World Cup game.

    There will be Q&As with talkSPORT talent, you’ll be part of our live broadcasts, and there will be plenty of food and drink on offer too.

    Come and enjoy the best World Cup fan experience in London – and enjoy a pint on us – with tickets for England and Wales’ group stage games on sale now HERE!

  • Wed, 28 Sep 2022 13:56:47 +0000: Simon Jordan says buying Coventry City has proven ‘a difficult nut to crack’ as former Crystal Palace chairman questions if he wants to become ‘villain number one’ by returning to football club ownership - EFL Championship News, Features, Opinion - talkSPORT

    talkSPORT host Simon Jordan has said buying Coventry City is proving a ‘difficult nut to crack’ and is now questioning if he wants to return to ownership.

    Jordan owned Crystal Palace between 2000 and 2010, becoming the youngest chairman of a club in the Football League aged just 31.

    Johnny Vaughan is joined on today's show by former Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan
    Jordan is best known for his time at Palace
    But Coventry have attracted interest
    Getty

    Since leaving Selhurst Park and beginning a career in media, most prominently with talkSPORT, Jordan hasn’t delved back into football ownership until links to Coventry recently appeared.

    The 55-year-old previously confirmed on White and Jordan that he was considering a bid for the Championship side, but has now appears to have poured cold water on his chances of a takeover.

    The talkSPORT pundit explained: “It’s a very difficult nut to crack because you have a stadium that may need to be moved or a stadium that may need to be redeveloped.

    “You’ve got a property developer in the mix, you’ve got people who own the football club who have a slightly inflated idea of what it’s worth.

    “So it’s a hard yard situation because you can take advantage of reconfiguring the stadium because of the decline of Wasps [RFC] and all that’s going on there, or you can take advantage of the fact that the council might want it back to redevelop to move it across and build another stadium.

    “All of it makes it a more convoluted and complicated process and, to be honest with you, it’s too much like hard yards.”

    Former Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan says he’s not sure about a return to ownership
    talksport

    Discussing his thoughts on returning to ownership, Jordan also opened up on his motivation, and why any takeover would be very different to purchasing boyhood club Palace.

    “I’ve done it, it’s not that great,” he said.

    “There’s part of me that thinks it’s unfinished business. I lost a lot of money in football but I’ve lost a lot of money in lots of things and made a lot of money in lots of things.

    “I had ten years with the football club that my father played for, that I grew up supporting, so anything else has to be a really good reason and it would be a commercial reason.

    “My ownership of Crystal Palace was based on ambition but also affection, and my affection and passion overrode my commercial pragmatism at times, so I hurt myself.

    “Going into a different transaction I would be like anybody else buying a football club that’s not connected to it, it would be a commercial proposition. It would be viewed in a very different way.

    “I look at it and go, ‘I’ve done it, I did it when I was 31, why would I go back in my mid 50s and within two weeks at a football club of people loving you being there you become villain number one again?’”

    Watch the World Cup with talkSPORT

    At talkSPORT we are powered by fans, so come and join us for the ultimate World Cup fan experience this winter – at the talkSPORT Fan Zone.

    In a huge indoor venue under the arches at Waterloo in London, we’ll bring you live screenings of every World Cup game.

    There will be Q&As with talkSPORT talent, you’ll be part of our live broadcasts, and there will be plenty of food and drink on offer too.

    Come and enjoy the best World Cup fan experience in London – and enjoy a pint on us – with tickets for England and Wales’ group stage games on sale now HERE!

  • Mon, 26 Sep 2022 12:04:00 +0000: Watford sack Rob Edwards and appoint ex-West Ham and Croatia boss Slaven Bilic as next manager – their fifth boss in just 12 months - EFL Championship News, Features, Opinion - talkSPORT

    Watford have sacked Rob Edwards as their manager after just 10 games and replaced him with Slaven Bilic.

    Edwards was only appointed by the Championship club in the summer after leaving Forest Green Rovers, where he got them promoted to League One last season.

    Edwards has been axed as Watford boss after just 10 games
    Getty
    Bilic has been out of work since leaving Beijing Guoan in January but now returns to lead Watford
    Getty Images

    The Hornets are 10th in the Championship after just 10 games of the 2022/23 season, and are just six points off the automatic play-off places.

    But Watford’s ruthless owner Gino Pozzo decided Edwards was not the right fit and has brought an early end to his reign.

    Bilic, the former West Ham, West Brom and Croatia boss, has been installed as his replacement – with the club announcing his appointment just 15 minutes after confirming Edwards’ exit.

    “As with all decisions taken by the Board, I believe this change to be in the best interests of the club,” said Pozzo.

    “We felt Rob had enough time to show us the identity of his team, however performances haven’t reflected our hopes and ambitions.

    “Now we must move forward, and, in Slaven Bilic, we have secured the services of an experienced coach who has recent experience of promotion to the Premier League.”

    It should come as no surprise that Watford have made another swift managerial change.

    Bilic becomes their eighth permanent manager since Quique Sanchez Flores was hired in September 2019 – just three years ago.

    He is the fifth manager they have appointed in the last 12 months.

    Bilic, 54, has previous experience in English football, as a player and manager.

    He spent two-and-a-half years as West Ham boss – finishing seventh and 11th in the Premier League in his two full seasons in charge – and led West Brom to promotion from the Championship in 2019/20.

    Bilic led West Ham to seventh in the Premier League 2015/16
    GETTY

    Reacting to Edwards’ sacking by Watford, former Crystal Palace owner Simon Jordan was not overly critical of the hiring and firing model of the Hornets as it seems to work for them.

    He told talkSPORT: “It works for Watford in terms of they get up and down into the Premier League pretty regularly.

    “It depends what you think their aspirations are and what they are prepared to spend, and what their model is.

    “If you think it is a football decision and you don’t stay in the Premier League by policies they are taking… I don’t know.

    “From a Watford point of view, what would you expect them to achieve. They don’t spend huge amounts of money in the transfer market.

    Edwards helped Forest Green Rovers get promoted last season
    Getty

    “They don’t spend a huge amount of investment in the football club. They don’t muck about, if they don’t fancy someone they get rid of them.

    “I’m not saying it’s ideal. The only person who will be particularly smiling at this is Dale Vince. I don’t think he was particularly impressed when he decided to leave Forest Green.

    “It is ironic how the bottle spins. You think the grass is greener elsewhere and it’s not.

    “I saw him the other day talking about how it has not started how he anticipated it and things were not going the way he wanted them to.

    “But 10 games in, 14 points on the table, with an ownership who wants to compete to get up. It’s not a disaster.”

  • Sun, 25 Sep 2022 16:14:15 +0000: Sunderland’s average home attendance jumps to five-year high after promotion to the Championship – and is even higher than Serie A giants Juventus - EFL Championship News, Features, Opinion - talkSPORT

    Sunderland‘s return to the Championship has seen a huge boost in their average attendance, which has even eclipsed Juventus.

    The Black Cats returned to the second tier last season after tasting play-off success in May and this term fans have flocked to the 49,000 capacity Stadium of Light in their droves.

    Over 40,000 fans were in attendance at the Stadium Of Light for Sunderland’s opening weekend win against Coventry
    @skysports
    Tony Mowbray has led Sunderland to fifth position in the Championship after taking the reins in late August

    Tony Mowbray’s side have made a good start to life in the Championship and currently sit fifth in the table, eight points adrift of leaders Sheffield United.

    Sunderland have played three home league games so far this season and boast an average attendance of 38,392.

    That is an increase of 7,545 on last season’s average and their highest since the club’s final season in the Premier League in 2016/17 when figures hit 41,287.

    The impressive numbers generated by Sunderland supporters puts them ahead of two-time Champions League winners Juventus.

    The Old Lady have made a stuttering start to the season and have an average attendance of 37,634.

    Juventus have only sold out the 41,507 seat Allianz Stadium once this term which perhaps owes to their patchy form which has seen them drop to eighth in Serie A and without a point in their opening two Champions League games.

    Juventus’ Allianz Stadium has only been sold out once this season
    2. Stadium of Light (Sunderland)
    Sunderland’s 49,000 stadium boasts better average attendances than the likes of Juventus and Napoli

    It’s not just Juventus that Sunderland are ahead of with Champions League regulars Napoli boasting averages of 35,657 despite the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona capable of holding 54,726 spectators.

    Sevilla’s Estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium holds 43,883 people but their average at is 37,158.

    Other notable clubs behind Sunderland this season include Leeds, Ligue 1 side Lille and Serie A outfit Fiorentina.

    The Stadium of Light will be back under the spotlight next weekend when Preston North End travel to Wearside on Saturday, while Juve entertain Bologna the following day.

    Watch the World Cup with talkSPORT

    At talkSPORT we are powered by fans, so come and join us for the ultimate World Cup fan experience this winter – at the talkSPORT Fan Zone.

    In a huge indoor venue under the arches at Waterloo in London, we’ll bring you live screenings of every World Cup game.

    There will be Q&As with talkSPORT talent, you’ll be part of our live broadcasts, and there will be plenty of food and drink on offer too.

    Come and enjoy the best World Cup fan experience in London – and enjoy a pint on us – with tickets for England and Wales’ group stage games on sale now HERE!

A Basic list of recent teams in the Championship

Barnsley
Birmingham
Blackpool
Bristol City
Brighton
Burnley
Cardiff City
Coventry City
Crystal Palace
Derby
Doncaster
Hull City
Ipswich Town
Leeds United
Leicester City
Middlesborough
Millwall
Nottingham Forest
Peterborough
Portsmouth
Reading
Southampton
Watford
West Ham

More Information on each Football Team will be duly added shortly, along with Daily Motion details on the latest Videos.