English Championship Preview Part III M-W
English Championship Preview Part II M-W
MK Dons : Last season finish 2nd in League 1. 2014 income £4.2m – Payout - Wages £5.3m Debt £5.4m. Major deals in: Church, Benavente, Cropper and Jennings – Major deals out: Alli and Green. MK Dons had a tremendous season in League 1 and finished like a train to pip Preston to the automatic 2nd place. They have a good group of players but will have to do without defender Delle Alli but will make good use of the £5m he cost to Spurs. Dons brought in four so far and Peru international Benavente could be good if he settles. They have a great young manager in Karl Jenkinson but I think this year will be consolidation and then they can kick on the year after.
Prediction: 17th in Championship.
Nottingham Forest: Last season finish 14th with 59 points. 2014 income £14m – Payout – Wages £21m Debt £33m. Major deals in: Mills, Ward and Hamer– Major deals out: Collins, Mackie and Halford. Nothing much has changed at Nottm Forest and I cant see much room for major improvement either. Dougie Freedman is a coach I like but he sometimes gets stuck in a rut and his teams are very streaky – winning a few but then losing in equal measure. They had onfire striker Assambalonga and he had them flying with 15 goals in 20+ games until he reptured ligaments and is not expected back until February at the least. Without him they still have a decent squad but I cant see anything more than midtable again.
Prediction: 12th in Championship.
Preston: Last season finish 3rd in League 1. 2014 Income £5m – Payout – Wages £11m Debt £20M. Major deals in: Beckford and Keane – Major outs: Keith Keane, King and Stuckman. Preston moved to secure the permanent services of striker Beckford and that was a wise move. With 12 in 23 last year he is Championship quality for sure. They have a manager in Simon Grayson who knows the league well but I think their overall squad level is not good enough to survive relegation. I don’t see MK or Bristol really challenging the top half and Preston are below them two for sure.
Prediction: 22nd in Championship.
QPR: Last season finish 20th in Premiership. 2014 income £38, – Payout – Wages £75m Debt, £130m. Major ins: Gladwin, Luongo and Mackie. Major outs: Taarabt, Barton, Mutch and McCarthy. QPR shed some of their totally ridiculous wage bill by losing 3 of the top earners off the books. They brought a few million into the coffers but the debt outstanding is ridiculous. If they don’t make it back to the prem straight away they could do a Portsmouth and drop down the league. Harry Redknapp strikes again it seems. QPR have signed some low key players, there are big bids awaiting striker Charlie Austin and for me he is the key to their success if they can keep him. Hes scored 35 in 66 for QPR and was quality in the Prem. He could easily bag them 25+ in the Champs. Keep him and they could be automatic, lose him (which seems more likely ) and I see them in playoffs.
Prediction: 3rd in Championship.
Reading: Last season finish 19th with 50 points. 2014 income £14.4m – Payout – Wages £13m Debt £65m. Major deals in: Bond, Al Habsi, Quinn, and Sa Major outs: Anderson, Federici, Guthrie, Pearce and Travner. Reading had a poor season but I think they are more than capable of major improvement this season. They have moved for a few quality players with Premiership experiance. They have shipped a few out too to chop the wage bill. They have an excellent manager in Steve Clarke and I think they can move up 5 or 6 places for sure. They have a compact squad at present but I expect more faces in the next few weeks. The squad is packed with international quality and I see no reason why they shouldn’t be midtable at the least. With some good additions they could be one of the big improvers.
Prediction: 13th in Championship.
Rotherham: Last season finish 21st with 46 points. 2014 income £5m – Payout – Wages £5.4m Debt £0m. Major deals in: Collins, Ledesma, Maguire, Mattock – Major deals out: Arneson, Bradley, Hall and Newton. Rotherham have signed a few and released more. They struggled massively last term and survived by the skin of their teeth. I am no fan of their manager Steve Evans. I don’t see how they can avoid relegation and have them down as rock bottom. Every other team has a superior squad and even the promoted sides have better all-round quality.
Prediction: 24th in Championship.
Sheff Wed: Last season 13h with 60 points. 2014 Income £14m – Payout – Wages £11.9m Debt £11m. Major deals in: Bus, Havilland, Hunt, Lachman, Melo, Price and Sasso. – Major deals out: Zayette, Madine, Maghoma, Maguire, Mattock, Buxton, Coke, Corry. Sheff Wed have decided to just change the entire playing squad. They have released over 12 players and brought in a few from overseas. For me that’s never a good sign as the Championship is very difficult league to adapt quickly too. Add to that a new foreign manager in Carlos Carvahal and you have a recipe for disaster. A relegation battle awaits the Owls for sure.
Prediction: 23rd in Championship.
Wolverhampton: Last season finish 4th with 85 points. 2014 income £32.5m – Payout – Wages £34m Debt N/A. Major ins: Coady. Major outs: Cassidy, Johnson and Ricketts. As I type this Middlesbrough have tabled a £12m big for Blackburn striker Jordan Rhodes. Wolves had a great season on the pitch but were still reeling from dropping to League 1 after being in the Prem only 2 seasons prior. Still carrying players on Premiership wages was a massive problem and only parachute payments kept them going. That Wolves romped League 1 at there 1st chance was a relief and last year they surprised everyone with 7th and only missing out on the playoffs by goal difference. Kenny Jackett is a great coach at this level and Wolves should be in and around the same places.
Prediction: 8th in Championship.