Tales from not-the Top Flight

The regular Championship season is well and truly over and while we still have the chaos of the play offs to look forward to, let’s take stock of what happened at the weekend. Brighton have clearly been on the beach for a while (and obviously forever in a very literal sense) but their collapse in form since promotion, collecting one point out of nine has seen Newcastle snatch the Championship title. Rafa Benitez looked delighted, although whether that’s because he loves Newcastle or he has got another job lined up in the summer remains to be seen.

Down the bottom of the league there was plenty of drama. Harry Redknapp wheeled and dealed Birmingham City out of trouble, winning two of his three game in charge. This is especially impressive considering his predecessor Gianfranco Zola won two games in 24 attempts. Will ‘Arry stay on? Well if they could move the club down to Sandbanks that would be a start.

Nottingham Forest survived too although only on goal difference. Poor old Blackburn Rovers are the first Premier League winners to be relegated to the third tier despite their win at the weekend. This probably down to their clucking awful owners, Chicken company Venkys.

League One has of course wrapped up and the play off final has been confirmed as well. It will be Bradford City against the neutral’s favourite Millwall. Bradford actually have a West Ham youngster on loan so if he scores the winner I imagine he will already be a hero at the London Stadium.

League Two finished at the weekend as well as Portsmouth finally got some good fortune! Despite top spot being shared all season between Doncaster and Plymouth, Pompey sneaked in on the final day as they claimed top spot for the first time this season. Crucially though when Pompey claimed it, it mattered.

Down the bottom there was heart break for Hartlepool. While some readers may enjoy a grown man breaking down on live TV seeing Jeff Stelling being emotionally ruined was not pleasant. Pools won but as did Newport County, meaning Pools are heading to the fifth tier. Newport looked dead and buried just a couple of months ago but 22 points out of their last 36 saw them stay up.