You read that headline correctly, LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP roundup. None of that lamestream Premier League brainwash you’ve been fed your entire life. There’s a whole world of professional footy out there that you’re not following enough. Granted, it’s never on TV (at least in the US), doesn’t make any other headlines, has zero fans (Wealdstone Raider! No idea why this guy is famous), and the quality of football is considerably lower than a handful of other pro leagues, but whatever. It’s still an exciting league with plenty of story lines and three of these teams will be playing up in your treasured Premier League next season, so pay some god damn attention.
Storyline Number 1: AFC Bournemouth
Have you seen this? Have you heard about this? (Alright before I get too far into my condescending rant on how you don’t watch the League Championship, I’ll admit I just checked the league table and had neither seen nor heard about this until yesterday.) Regardless! This is a fascinating story. AFC Bournemouth were in League One just two seasons ago and are on a meteoric rise to Premier League supremacy. They got promotion to the Championship in 2012/13 and currently sit on top of the table at just about halfway through the season. I don’t care if you have no idea what shape a football is (round, not oblong, for the record) this is impressive.
Backed by a Russian mogul, or sorts, this team has climbed the ranks of two league tables in just 3 seasons and are poised to set themselves up for serious contention for promotion come May. What a story! You can’t make this stuff up and this is reason #1 to follow the Championship.
But with every Cinderella story there comes a serious challenge (Does there? I’m actually not that familiar with the story of Cinderella). And the challenge that the Cherries (!) face is the aforementioned Russian mogul. Assuming you follow international news as closely as you follow the League Championship, I’ll fill you in – Russia ain’t doin so hot. The rubble is crumbling and inflation is through the roof. Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov and Chelski owner Roman Abramovich collectively lost £806 million the other week due to Putin’s gross incompetence and small penis. God knows what the hell AFC Bournemoth’s owner lost in that time but I’m guessing he can’t afford to lose quite that much. So the future of this south coast club is certainly in question, but I hope that at least no one cashes this guy’s checks for another 6 months and they gain promotion.
Storyline Number 2: Owners
Segway’ing nicely from AFC Bournemouth’s Russian owner comes a couple other story lines on Championship team owners.
First up, Dave Whelan –
Not touching this with a ten foot pole.
Second up, Vincent Tan –
Quietly skirting around the issue of us not updating this site in months, I forget exactly where we left off with this clown shoe. This guy is a colossal doofus and continues to alienate himself from his fans and club, swiftly removing a hundred years of tradition by refusing to change the team colors back to their historic blue because he’s got some fanatical and unfound obsession with red being more globally recognizable.
“After all, the red dragon is the symbol and national flag of Wales.” Oh! Well, all is forgotten then, go right ahead.
He does provide some pretty consistent entertainment though, so we don’t hope he goes anywhere any time soon. He will, however, continue to run the club into the ground and I feel bad for their supporters.
Storyline Number 3: Emile Heskey is back!
Once a savior and hero of English football, domestically and internationally, Emile Heskey has signed a short term deal with Bolton. New manager and former Celtic general Neil Lennon is off to a hot start at Bolton signing the 36 year old (bullshit, has to be at least 40) striker. Guarantee he suffers a career ending injury before March.
That’s all for now. We’ll check back here in a couple months to see just where AFC Bournemouth actually stand in the table and whether or not Russia is still a functioning country.