Wednesday, May 16, 2012

English Football

Below is an article on West Ham United securing their spot in the 2012 English Championship Playoff Final.  The winner of the English Championship Playoff Final will be promoted into the English Premier League. 

The English Premier League is the highest level of competition in England, but if you finish in one of the bottom three spots you get relegated to the English Championship.  The English Championship is the second level of competition in England. 

To get promoted back into the English Premier League, you must finish in one of the top three spots.  The first and second spot automatically get promoted, and the third spot earns promotion through a playoff.  The playoffs consist of 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th positions.

In 2011, West Ham United were relegated from the Premier League.  When a club gets relegated from the English Premier League it is devastating in many ways.  Not only do they lose the majority of their best players to other Premier League Clubs, but financially the loses are huge.  Players salaries get cut, the transfer budget to buy new players is less, and ticket sales for games take a dramatic dip.

The importance of being in the English Premier League has never meant so much to the survival of football clubs in England.

Lets hope they can get back in this season!!

West Ham Beats Cardiff to Reach Playoff Final for Premier League
By Dex McLuskey on May 07, 2012
West Ham United defeated Cardiff City to reach the Championship playoff final, where it will seek an immediate return to English soccer’s Premier League.

West Ham won 3-0 yesterday after securing a 2-0 victory at Cardiff in the opening game of the two-match semifinal. The Hammers will play Birmingham or Blackpool at Wembley on May 19 for a spot in the top flight. It will be West Ham’s first visit to the national stadium since the 1981 League Cup final.

The playoff final is the richest soccer match in the world. Winning it is worth at least 90 million pounds ($143 million), accountant Deloitte LLP estimates. Promoted teams benefit from at least 40 million pounds in additional revenue and minimum guaranteed payments of 48 million pounds in the following four seasons if they drop straight back down.

“We’ve got a massive opportunity over 90 minutes to get back into the golden league, where it all happens,” West Ham manager Sam Allardyce told reporters. “Hopefully we can hold it together.”

Kevin Nolan opened the scoring for West Ham with a header after 15 minutes at Upton Park in east London. Ricardo Vaz Te’s shot five minutes before halftime made it 2-0 and Nicky Maynard completed the scoring in the final minute of the game with a shot into the top corner of the net.

West Ham was relegated from the Premier League last season after finishing last in the 20-team standings. This year it missed out on the two automatic promotion spots from the second- tier Championship, finishing third behind Southampton and Reading.

Fifty-four percent of all promoted teams retained their Premier League status the next season, according to Infostrada Sports. The percentage rises to 63 percent for teams who finish first in the Championship.

Birmingham hosts Blackpool in the second leg of their semifinal tomorrow. Blackpool won the first game 1-0. 

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