Tag Archives: Charlton Athletic

The Championship: In a league of it’s own?

The gulf between the Premier League and the rest of the EFL has been well documented, and in recent seasons it has only continued to grow. However, it seems as though the jump from League 1 to the Championship is almost in the same ballpark now. I’m going to take a look at the finances and see how the newly promoted League 1 clubs (Luton, Barnsley and Charlton) could fair in the battleground that is the English Championship.

Let’s take wages as an example. The average basic wage in the Championship is around £330,000 a year, working out at about £6,300 a week. While this is nowhere near the dizzying heights of Premier League wages, it makes the £70,000 a year average for League 1 look rather small. That works out at £1,346 a week: a significant gulf is starting to emerge. The same can be said for agents’ fees. Last season, League 1 clubs paid a total of £2,611,647 to agents in a bid to sign players. That sounds like a lot money doesn’t it? So, what if I told you Aston Villa alone spent £5,510,180. That’s more than double the League 1 figure. So how can clubs be expected to thrive in the Championship on a League 1 Budget? I’m going to have a look at some past examples to see how clubs have fared making that jump.

In 2015-16, Wigan Athletic won League 1 to secure promotion to the Championship. By the end of the next season, they had regained their League 1 status, finishing 9 points adrift of safety. Then the next season, they were back up again. What does this yoyo tell us about the difficulty clubs have in maintaining themselves at Championship level?

It is obviously not impossible though. Some teams promoted from League 1 in recent memory include Wolves (Premier League), Bournemouth (Premier League), Huddersfield (Championship) and Brighton (Premier League). So it can be done. The newly promoted teams will face a level of competition and finances that they are not used to, so how will they get on?

Luton Town

Luton’s story has been quite remarkable. From the infamous -30 points season of 08/09, to near bankruptcy and then to 3 promotions in 6 years (going up from League 2 and League 1 in successive campaigns). They came into League 1 with a decent budget, but there were limited expectations. The budget and spending placed them around the playoffs, so to go on and win the league was a massive achievement. They are a prime example of how important good ownership is to a football club, and so my predicted finish for The Hatters in the Championship is 15th.

Barnsley

Barnsley have Championship experience as recently as 2017-18, being relegated after some ownership problems led to the selling of 80% of the club and the sacking of Assistant Manager Tommy Wright. New ownership gave the club momentum, as did the appointing of manager Daniel Stendel. Given the calibre of player that Barnsley have (some were retained from the Championship), my prediction for the Tykes is 13th.

Charlton

Charlton’s promotion was thanks to a unified group of players and management, and in spite of their owners. Protests continue against the owners off the pitch, but on it they were one of the best footballing sides in the league. The troubles with the owners may well make it difficult to make quality signings and investments, so a lot of trust will have to be put in the players that got them into the Championships to keep them there. My predicted finish for the Addicks is 18th.

Karl Robinson must make this man his number one signing this summer

Karl Robinson has only been in charge of Oxford United for one game but he will have been assessing his squad and where he needs to improve ahead of next season. The new manager has already expressed an interest in having a U-23 side next season, showing he wants to make changes around ‘The Kassam’ stadium in order to give the club every opportunity of promotion to the Championship next campaign.

Having already had success at League One level with Milton Keynes Dons, Robinson knows exactly what is needed to get a team out of the division and in the summer will no doubt like any new manager going into a football club want to bring in his own players.

With that in mind, the new manager to should look to reunite himself with fullback Dean Lewington.

Dean Lewington – Having made over 500 appearances for MK Dons, the experienced fullback would be the perfect fit for Oxford United. The ‘Us’ have conceded 57 goals so far this season and Lewington’s experience could prove crucial to the club keeping more clean sheets next season and also helping them to promotion out of League One.

Lewington has a promotion on his CV as he was at Stadium MK at the same time as Robinson when they won promotion to the Championship and has already been reunited with Robinson as he was training with Charlton Athletic earlier this season.

It’s clear that both parties know each other well and have had success working together in the past and both of these factors could provide a foundation in helping Oxford United becoming a Championship team.

Oxford fans would you like to see Dean Lewington at the Kassam Stadium next season? Do you believe that his experience will help your team keep more clean sheets and gain promotion to the Championship? Let us know in the comments section…

 

 

2017/2018 best League One XI?

With the summer transfer window officially closed, we now know all the official squads in League One, before the clubs go through it all again in January. With that in mind we take a look at what we think is the best League One XI right now.

Alex Cairns – Goalkeeper

The 24 year old shot stopper had an incredible season last term, helping Fleetwood Town get to the Play-Off semi finals. The season so far he has had 3 clean sheets in all competitions and it looks like he is definitely going to be a useful asset for the ‘Cod Army’.

Luke Leahey – Right fullback

The Walsall fullback has settled right into League One football after making the move from Falkirk. Having found the net on 2 occasions already and provided 3 assists for his team, the fullback is proving to be a very useful addition to the Walsall squad.

Dan Burn – Central defender

The Wigan centre half has been ever present in the league for the ‘Latics’ so far this season. With the club only conceding 2 goals in that time and the fact that Burn has been at the heart of the defence, he looks to be a solid player for Wigan and they are going to take some breaking down at the back when he plays.

Rory McArdle – Central defender (C)

Having only signed for Scunthorpe in the summer, Rory McArdle has become a huge player for the club as they have managed to keep 3 straight clean sheets. Given the captains armband upon his arrival to Glanford Park, McArdle has bought some key experience to the back four and looks to have been a terrific signing by Graham Alexander.

Charlie Mulgrew – Left fullback

The fullback that can be utilised in midfield as well, has had a terrific start the League One campaign as he has found the back of the net on 3 occasions. Having to fend off interest for the Scottish international in the summer from Sheffield Wednesday, Blackburn look to have kept a key player in their ranks.

Jake Forster-Caskey – Central midfielder

The Charlton midfielder has started the season off well as he has got 2 goals and 2 assists in his opening 5 matches. Having played every minute of every game in the league also, shows just how highly rated he is by manager Karl Robinson.

Sean Longstaff – Central midfielder

Could definitely be a player to watch out for in the future! Having joined Blackpool on loan from Newcastle, Longstaff has hit the ground running straight away as he has scored 4 goals and provided 1 assist for the Tangerines, which has seen them to 7th place in the league.

Nick Powell – Central midfielder

A key player in the Wigan midfield, Powell has scored 3 goals and got 1 assist already this season and looks like his tally will continue to rise all season. Having opened his account against MK Dons, Powell added a brace against Bury showing that he could be a real gem this season.

Erhun Oztumer – Attacking midfielder (Right)

By far Walsall’s best player last season! Erhun Oztumer found the back of the net 15 times last season and provided 7 assists in all competitions. Oztumer also leads the clubs goal scoring charts again this season with 3 goals, and looks like he is going to be in terrific form again this season.

Josh Morris – Attacking midfielder (Left)

This man is a goal machine! Having found the back of the net on 20 occasions last season and providing 19 assists in all competitions, its hard to believe he didn’t move to a club in a higher division over the summer. Starting this season off in fine form, Morris has already scored 4 goals and looks like he’s going to be a real handful again.

Jack Marriott – Striker

Having joined Peterborough from Luton over the summer, I don’t think anybody quiet believed that Marriott would start the season in the fashion that he has done. Scoring 6 goals in 5 League One matches has fired ‘Posh’ to the top of the table. If Marriott carries on scoring goals week in week out he certainly gives Peterborough every chance of being in the promotion picture come May.

Manager: Uwe Rosler 

The Fleetwood manager worked wonders last season with a young squad and a small budget, and with the ‘Cod Army’ just outside the play-offs currently and having played a game less than most of those around them, they look like they could have a terrific season again this time around.

What are your thoughts on our best League One XI? Let us know in the comments section…