During the past decade, the second tier of English professional football has built the strongest following of any second division in world football. Support for the Football Championship is so strong that it is able to boast the fourth highest cumulative seasonal attendance figures of any football league in Europe.
The primary reason for the success of the Football Championship’s success is the fact that Championship clubs provide a platform for home grown football talent in England and Wales, and therefore draw strong, passionate support from amongst the populations of the towns and cities they represent.
It is therefore no surprise that the derbies between Championship sides are amongst the most keenly anticipated fixtures on the English football and English Football betting calendar.
Swansea vs. Cardiff
Both of Wales’ two biggest and best-supported clubs participate in the Football Championship, and clashes between the two are volatile affairs. Supporters of both sides are liable to subject one another to torrents of verbal abuse, and scenes of physical violence are not unusual.
A significant police presence is required for the South Wales Derby to ensure that tension during the matches does not boil over. Fans of each club therefore have to content themselves with provoking one another by means of chants and songs ridiculing one another’s teams. Cardiff has thus far dominated encounters between the two clubs and has also been the more successful in both league and cup competition.
Blackpool vs. Preston North End
The rivalry between the above two clubs at the West Lancashire Derby, also known as the M55 Derby due to the location of both towns next to this highway, has been conscientiously cultivated by the supporters of both clubs for over a century. The origins of this rivalry are uncertain, but are most likely based on the close proximity of the two clubs.
Tension between supporters of the two clubs is so severe that there have been serious clashes, even without supporters having first faced- off in matches between Blackpool and Preston North End. One such incident occurred after an England match in 2006, when verbal provocation between two groups of supporters resulted in a riot at Preston Railway Station.
Ipswich vs. Norwich
Matches between Ipswich and Norwich are described as the Old Farm Derby, in reference to the famous Scottish rivalry between Celtic and Rangers. Also known as the East Anglian Derby, clashes between Norwich and Ipswich are unusually frequent, as the two clubs have displayed a knack for finding themselves in the same league.
While neither club boasts an especially impressive record in terms of league performances, their rivalry ensures that neither set of supporters lose interest in their clubs’ exploits. Matches between the two clubs are always a sell-out, and a strong police presence is required to prevent the two sets of protestors from clashing.
West Bromwich Albion vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers
The Black Country Derby is the oldest major rivalry in English football. Dating back to 1886, this rivalry, between two of the founding members of the English Football League, is so rancorous that match organisers are careful to avoid scheduling fixtures at times that encourage pre-match drinking sessions by supporters.
It is not unusual to find pubs closed, or their sales closely monitored and restricted, by police on match days to prevent outbreaks of violence. On the pitch, Albion has a slight advantage over Wolves, and leads them in the win count after over 150 matches between the two clubs.