2020-21 Sky Bet Championship Clubs

Last season just ended, but here at SportMuse, we’re not taking any breaks! We want to make sure that you are ready for next season’s clubs. There has been some turnover in the Sky Bet Championship thanks to the magic of the English promotion and relegation system, and we’ll highlight those clubs here. Be sure to check out the rest of our Championship content throughout the upcoming season!

EFL Sky Bet Championship Clubs

AFC Bournemouth

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Nickname: The Cherries
Founded: 1899 (as Boscombe)
Location: Bournemouth, Dorset
Team Colors: Red and Black
Kit Manufacturer:  Umbro (2017-present)
Kit Sponsor: Vitality
Ground: Vitality Stadium (Dean Court) (1910-present)
Manager: Jason Tindall (sacked 3 February 2021 – current caretaker Jonathan Woodgate)
Website: www.afcb.co.uk
19/20 season: 18th (Premier League, relegated)

The Cherries return to the Championship after a five season run in the Premier League. The last time they played in tier 2, they walked away as champions, their second promotion in three seasons. Playing in the smallest stadium in the Premier League impacted their ability to compete at the top level, however, and though their lot is not much improved in that regard (they have the third-smallest stadium in the Championship), parachute payments from their time in the Premier League should aid them in getting back to the top before too long.

Count Bournemouth among the clubs that struggled after the season restarted in June, dropping their first four matches and six of nine to end the season. They needed a win on Matchday 38 (and some help) to avoid relegation for the season, and they came through, but the other pieces didn’t quite fall into place, and a draw in the Aston Villa-West Ham United match sealed their fate. Still, I don’t expect the Cherries to be down for long, and while I don’t expect an immediate bounce back, it shouldn’t be long for my Cherries to be playing Premier League football again.


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Nickname: The Tykes, The Colliers, The Reds
Founded: 1887
Location: Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England
Team Colors: Red/White
Kit Manufacturer:  Puma (2015-present)
Kit Sponsor: The Investment Room
Ground: Oakwell (1887-present)
Manager: Valérien Ismaël
Website: barnsleyfc.co.uk
19/20 season: 21st

Barnsley was saved from relegation thanks to a 12-point deduction suffered by Wigan Athletic, otherwise they would be returning to League One for the 2020-21 season. They struggled the entirety of the season, falling into the relegation zone after a 15 September loss to Leeds United, and remained there until the last day of the season and the adjudication of Wigan’s punishment.

They are not far removed from League One, having just regained position in the Championship after a 2nd place finish during the 2018-19 season. The Tykes have played only one season in the Premier League (1997-98), and have spent most of their history in what is now known as the Championship. However, failing a strong offseason, it would be expected that they’ll hang close to the relegation zone again next season and could possibly be looking forward to a season or two in League One in the near future.

Birmingham City

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Nickname: Blues
Founded: 1875 (as Small Health Alliance)
Location: Birmingham
Team Colors: Blue
Kit Manufacturer:  Adidas (2016-present)
Kit Sponsor: BoyleSports
Ground: St Andrew’s (1906-present)
Manager: Aitor Karanka (2020-present)
Website: bcfc.com
19/20 season: 20th

Birmingham City also had a disappointing 2019-20 season, especially after the restart after the suspension for coronavirus. They last won a match on 11 February 2020, a 1-0 win at Barnsley. They then proceeded to go 0-7-7 down the stretch, including a 0-3-6 finish after action resumed on 20 June.

The 2020-21 season will be Birmingham City’s 10th consecutive season in the Championship after having been relegated following an 18th place finish in the Premier League during the 2010-11 season. That season was unique, as the Blues won the League Cup, earning a trip to Europa League the following season, which they participated in as members of the Championship, the last such club to do so. Nevertheless, the club has not finished above 10th the past nine season, with their best result (4th place) during that stretch coming in that 2011-12 season.

Blackburn Rovers

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Nickname: Rovers
Founded: 1875
Location: Blackburn, Lancashire
Team Colors: Blue and White
Kit Manufacturer:  Umbro (2016-present)
Kit Sponsor: 10Bet
Ground: Ewood Park (1881, 1890-present)
Manager: Tony Mowbray
Website: rovers.co.uk
19/20 season:11th

Blackburn Rovers were an initial member when the Premier League split away from the EFL in 1992. They also join Leicester City (2015-16) as the only clubs outside the “Big 6” to have won a Premier League title, a feat they accomplished during the 1994-95 season.  However, they have not played in the top tier since a 19th-place finish during the 2011-12 season returned them to the Championship, and spent one season (2017-18) in League One during that stretch.

Their 11th-place finish this season was the first time in the top half of the table since a 9th-place finish during the 2014-15 season. They finished the season with a positive goal differential (+3) and, if not for some struggles (3-1-5) after play resumed, they were likely to have competed for a playoff spot this season. However, I feel Rovers are likely closer to a return to the Premier League than to League One, and a solid offseason could help them shore up that potential.


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Nickname: The Bees
Founded: 1889
Location: Brentford, United Kingdom
Team Colors: Red/White/Black
Kit Manufacturer: Umbro
Kit Sponsor: Utilita Energy
Ground: Brentford Community Stadium (2020-present)
Manager: Thomas Frank
Website: https://www.brentfordfc.com/
19-20 season: 3rd

It was Brentford’s sixth consecutive season in the Championship, and they secured third place, which was quite an advancement considering they were in eleventh place in the last season. The top goal scorer for them was Ollie Watkins, with 26 goals in all competitions. They came up just short of promotion, falling to Fulham in the Championship Playoff Final.

Brentford faced relegation into the fourth tier in 1998 and then got promoted as champions in 1998/1999. Brentford has a great experience in the group stages, but the problem is in the play-offs, where they have a disastrous record. The Bees hope that a new ground could help propel them back to the Premier League, but in the meantime, at least it will make the viewing experience a bit more pleasurable for supporters.

Bristol City

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Nickname: The Robins
Founded: 1894
Location: Bristol
Team Colors: Red and White
Kit Manufacturer:  Bristol Sport (2014-present)
Kit Sponsor: Dunder
Ground: Ashton Gate (1904-present)
Manager: Dean Holden
Website: bcfc.co.uk
19/20 season: 12th

Bristol City spent most of the past season in the top half of the table, reaching as high as fourth in the table in December. A four match losing streak in December knocked them out of the playoff picture, but the Robins remained in position to compete for a spot, especially after winning four in five matches through 12 February. But another winless streak (0-2-3) heading into what became the coronavirus break, and four straight losses when play resumed, all but eliminated them from the race.

This followed last season, which saw a similar tumble down the stretch and an 8th-place finish, four points out of the playoffs and an attempt to return to the top tier for the first time since the 1979-80 season. The club has recovered from a sour spell earlier this decade, and has been solidly mid-table the past three seasons in the Championship, but the question remains whether the club can take the next step and truly compete for a playoff spot next season.

Cardiff City

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Nickname: The Bluebirds
Founded: 1899 (as Riverside AFC)
Location: Cardiff, Wales
Team Colors: Blue and White
Kit Manufacturer:  Adidas (2015-present)
Kit Sponsor: Malaysia tourist board and BBC Cymru
Ground: Cardiff City Stadium
Manager: Neil Harris (sacked 21 January 2021) Mick McCarthy
Website: cardiffcityfc.co.uk
19/20 season: 5th (lost in promotion playoff)

Finally a club that improved their standing after play resumed in June. The Bluebirds entered the break in 9th position after a win against Barnsley, within striking distance of a playoff berth. After going unbeaten in the first four matches (3-1-0), the club moved into 6th place, then held on down the stretch to clinch a spot in the promotion playoff. And though they won the second leg of the playoff against Fulham, a 2-0 loss in leg one doomed their fate to a return to the Championship for next season.

Cardiff City is one of two Welsh clubs in the Championship (Swansea City is the other). Though they haven’t quite had the success in the Premier League as their Welsh compatriots (only two, single season appearances), they were the Welsh club more recently in the Premier League, having been relegated after an 18th-place finish during the 2018-19 season. As a playoff participant this season, they will likely enter next season as among the top five clubs expected to compete for promotion yet again.

Coventry City

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Nickname: The Sky Blues
Founded: 1883 (as Singers FC)
Location: Coventry (temporarily located in Birmingham)
Team Colors: Sky Blue
Kit Manufacturer:  Hummel (2019-present)
Kit Sponsor: Allsopp & Allsopp
Ground: St Andrew’s (groundshare with Birmingham City since 2019)
Manager: Mark Robins
Website: ccfc.co.uk
19/20 season: 1st (League One, promoted)

The champions of the truncated League One season, the Sky Blues make a return to the Championship for the first time since a 23rd-place finish during the 2011-12 season. And they’ll do it playing their “home” games in Birmingham City due to issues with Ricoh Arena, their “nominal” home stadium. The club hopes that the groundshare will only extend through this season, as they have a commitment from the University of Warwick to provide land for a new stadium.

Coventry City was an inaugural member of the Premier League back in 1992, and spent nine seasons competing against the best clubs in England. The two decades since have been spent mostly in the Championship, though the prior eight seasons were in League One (7 seasons) and League Two (1 season). The Sky Blues have the history to find success in the Championship; time will tell if the success from last season will carry over upon their return.

Derby County

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Nickname: The Rams
Founded: 1884
Location: Derby, Derbyshire
Team Colors: Black and white
Kit Manufacturer:  Umbro (2014-present)
Kit Sponsor: 32Red
Ground: Pride Park Stadium (1997-present)
Manager: Wayne Rooney
Website: dcfc.co.uk
19/20 season: 10th

Another club that struggled in July football (I’m sensing a theme here), Derby County had a promising return after the COVID-19 break, but four straight losses in July – albeit against four of the top six clubs in the league – prevented a return to the playoffs. Derby County has been frustratingly consistent over the past eight seasons, with four seasons in the playoffs and the remainder in the top 10. Over 53 total seasons in tier 2 – as well as over all 12 seasons of this recent stretch in the Championship – they’ve averaged right about a 10th-place finish.

Will we see a similar result from them next year? I’m penciling them in for 10th next season because I’m likely to be correct more often than not, but with a return to “normalcy” expected next season (after a late start), maybe they can make a return to the playoffs at a minimum and return to the Premier League for the first time since a one-off campaign in 2007-08… which happened to be the lowest point total in Premier League history. Maybe they’re better off just finishing tenth?

Huddersfield Town

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Nickname: The Terriers
Founded: 1908
Location: Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Team Colors: Striped blue and white
Kit Manufacturer:  Umbro (2018-present)
Kit Sponsor: Paddy Power (unbranded)
Ground: John Smith’s Stadium (Kirklees Stadium) (1994-present)
Manager: Carlos Corberán
Website: www.htafc.com
19/20 season: 18th

Huddersfield Town’s return to the Championship did not start out as expected. After one of the worst seasons ever in the Premier League during the 2018-19 season – they managed only 16 points and were relegated at the earliest date ever (30 March) – they spent much of the first three months perched in the relegation zone. Winless in their first nine matches (0-2-7), they looked like the club that struggled so mightily in that last Premier League season.

They found a bit of consistency after that point. They won their first match on the 1st of October, and won four of their next six (4-2-0) while climbing out of the cellar. Though they wouldn’t climb any higher than 17th the rest of the season, they also only returned to the relegation zone once over the remainder of the season, holding on to stave off relegation. Though the club appears closer to relegation than promotion at this point, improving away from John Smith’s Stadium next season (5-6-12, -14 goal differential this season) would help ensure their safety next season and beyond.

Luton Town

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Nickname: The Hatters
Founded: 1885
Location: Luton, Bedfordshire
Team Colors: Orange, navy, and white
Kit Manufacturer:  Umbro (2020-present)
Kit Sponsor: JB Developments (home); Star Platforms (away); Ryebridge (third)
Ground: Kenilworth Road (1905-present)
Manager: Nathan Jones
Website: www.lutontown.co.uk
19/20 season: 19th

After winning League One during the 2018-19 season, the Hatters first season in the Championship in over a decade was moderately successful, all things considered. When the league went on hiatus due to coronavirus, the club was in 23rd place and in danger of returning to League One. They then proceeded to only lose once in the final nine matches (4-4-1) after the restart – and last 12 matches overall (5-6-1) – to climb their way to safety.

Still, they entered the final match of the season in 22nd place, needing points to secure another season in the Championship. They managed to win 3-2 against Blackburn Rovers, securing a place in the league for the second consecutive season. Had they failed to win the match, their near league-worst goal differential (-29) would have likely doomed them to a spot back in League One. Instead, they’ll have another season to prove they belong in the Championship.


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Nickname: The Boro
Founded: 1876
Location: Middlesbrough, United Kingdom
Team Colors: Red/White
Kit Manufacturer: Hummel (2018-present)
Kit Sponsor: 32 Red
Ground: Riverside Stadium (1995-present)
Manager: Neil Warnock
Website: https://www.mfc.co.uk/
19-20 season: 17th

Middlesbrough also had a rough season of 2019-2020 as they stood at 17th place in the league and could only reach the third round of FA Cup and the first round of EFL. It was 3rd consecutive season for Middlesbrough in the Championship. The top goalscorer for them was Ashley Fletcher, with 13 goals in all competitions. Season 20-21 is crucial for them to prove that the previous season was not good for them.

Middlesbrough was one of the founding clubs of the premier league. Middlesbrough won the first league cup in 2004 and reached the UEFA cup final in 2006. They had to play in the third division in 1986 but got their position back in the premier league in 1996. They also took third place in the first division in 1914.


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Nickname: The Lions
Founded: 1885
Location: Millwall, London, England
Team Colors: White/Blue
Kit Manufacturer: Macron (2018-present)
Kit Sponsor: Huski Chocolate
Ground: The Den (1993-present)
Manager: Gary Rowett
Website: https://www.millwallfc.co.uk/
19/20 season: 8th

It was the 93rd consecutive season for Millwall FC in the football league. They came up a bit short at the end of the season, finishing 8th in the Championship and could only reach the fourth round of FA cup and Second Round of EFL cup before getting knocked out by Oxford United. The top goal scorer for them was Matt Smith, with 14 goals in all competitions.

Millwall FC played their first Football League match on 28 August 1920. They won the Football League five times while they had to face relegation nine times. They have only played two years of football in the Premier League.

Norwich City

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Nickname: The Canaries; Yellows
Founded: 1902
Location: Norwich, United Kingdom
Team Colors: Green/Yellow
Kit Manufacturer: Errea
Kit Sponsor: Dafabet
Ground: Carrow Road (1935-present)
Manager: Daniel Farke
Website: https://www.canaries.co.uk/
19/20 season: 20th in Premier League (relegated)

Norwich City had an unsatisfactory season as they finished last in the Premier League and had to face relegation. Teemu Pukki was their top goalscorer with 11 goals. They return to the Championship, hoping to return to the top of the league as they did during the 2018-19 season, which initially led to their promotion to the Premier League.

Norwich City won their first League Cup in 1962. They got promoted to the top tier for the first time in 1972 and then played in the top league for 25 seasons. They have also found minimal success in European competition, including beating Bayern Munich in the 1993-94 UEFA Cup.

Nottingham Forest

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Nickname: Forest, The Reds, Tricky Trees
Founded: 1865
Location: West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom
Team Colors: White/Red
Kit Manufacturer: Macron
Kit Sponsor: Football Index
Ground: City Ground (1898-present)
Manager: Chris Hughton
Website: https://www.nottinghamforest.co.uk/
19/20 season: 7th

Nottingham Forest finished 7th in the Championship in season 19/20 that is not good for them as the aim would have been the top four. They were able to reach the third round of both the FA Cup and the EFL cup. Lewis Grabban scored the maximum goals for Nottingham Forest with 20 goals in all competitions.

Nottingham is considered one of the oldest clubs in the league. They have won two FA Cups, four League Cups, two European Cups, and one UEFA Super Cup. Nottingham has been part of the English football system’s top two tiers from when they came in the league except five times when they were part of the third tier.

Preston North End

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Nickname: The Lilywhites
Founded: 1880
Location: Preston, Lancashire, England
Team Colors: White/Navy
Kit Manufacturer: Nike
Kit Sponsor: PAR Group
Ground: Deepdale (1878-present)
Manager: Alex Neil
website: https://www.pnefc.net/
19-20 season: 9th

Preston north end could not make a mark in season 19/20 as they stood at 9th place. They also got to play the FA Cup and EFL Cup in which they were only able to reach the third round each. Daniel Johnson scored 12 goals for them and became their top goalscorer in all competitions.

The first Football League match took place in 1888, and Preston North End was one of its founding members. They became famous as ” The Invincibles” because they were unbeaten in all the matches and became the first English team to double. The FA Cup win in 1938 is one of their significant achievement until now.

Queens Park Rangers

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Nickname: The Superhoops, The Rs, Rangers, QPR
Founded: 1882
Location: White City, London, England
Team Colors: White/Blue
Kit Manufacturer: Errea
Kit Sponsor: Football Index
Ground: Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium (formerly Loftus Road, 1963-present)
Manager: Mark Warburton
Website: https://www.qpr.co.uk/
19-20 season: 13th

Queens Park Rangers are a London-based club, who finished 13th last season. Jordan Hugill and Nahki Wells both scored 15 goals to become the top goalscorers for QPR in all competitions.

Queens Park Rangers won the Southern Football League in 1907-1908. They joined the Football League in 1920. QPR won the third division in season 1966-1967 and became the first third division club to win the league cup. They have reached the top tier only one time and got relegated that very season back to the second division.


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Nickname: The Royals
Founded: 1871
Location: Reading, Berkshire, England
Team Colors: White/Blue
Kit Manufacturer: Macron
Kit Sponsor: Casumo
Ground: Madejski Stadium (1998-present)
Manager: Veljko Paunovic
Website: https://www.readingfc.co.uk/
19-20 season: 14th

Reading had a disappointing season as they could not even enter the top 10 in the Championship, and they could only reach the fifth round of FA Cup and Third round of the EFL Cup. Yoko Meite, with 17 goals in all competitions, was their top goal scorer. They had to change manager mid-season, which also affected their performance.

They reached the Football League for the first time in1920 despite being one of the oldest clubs in England. Reading played in the top tier of English football in the season 2006-2007. They also got to play in the Premier League for one season of 2012-2013 before facing relegation just after playing one season.

Rotherham United

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Nickname: The Millers
Founded: 1925
Location: Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England
Team Colors: Red/White
Kit Manufacturer: Puma
Kit Sponsor: Embark Group (home); Mears (away)
Ground: New York Stadium (2012-present)
Manager: Paul Warne
Website: https://www.themillers.co.uk/
19-20 season: 2nd of 23 in League One (promoted)

After being relegated after the 2018-19 season, Rotherham played its way back to the Championship after a solid season in League One last season. They also reached the third round of the FA Cup, Second round of EFL Cup, and Group Stage of EFL Trophy. Freddie ladapo was their most vital player who could score 17 goals in all competitions.

Rotherham United won the third division (now League One) for the second time in 1981. They also won the fourth division (now League Two) in 1989. They have never, however, played in the Premier League, as their best finish in the Championship has only been 21st (2014-15 and 2015-16).

Sheffield Wednesday

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Nickname: The Owls
Founded: 1867
Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England
Team Colors: White/Blue
Kit Manufacturer: Elev8
Kit Sponsor: Chansiri
Ground: Hillsborough Stadium (1899-present)
Manager: Tony Pulis (sacked 28 December 2020 – current caretaker Neil Thompson)
Website: https://www.swfc.co.uk/
19-20 season: 16th

Sheffield Wednesday finished the the season 16th, just narrowly escaping relegation. However, they were “rewarded by avoiding relegation by being assessed a 12-point penalty going into this season, which was later reduced to six points on appeal. They also were able to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup and Third Round of the EFL Cup. Steven Fletcher netted 13 goals to becomes their highest goalscorer in all competitions.

They won the Cromwell Cup in 1868. Sheffield Wednesday also was the founding member of the Football Alliance and then became a Football League member in 1892. Their major titles include three FA Cups, Four League Titles, and One League Cup, with one FA Community Shield win. They were part of the top tier most of the time before 2000.

Stoke City

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Nickname: The Potters
Founded: 1863
Location: Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Team Colors: White/Red
Kit Manufacturer: Macron
Kit Sponsor: bet365
Ground: bet365 Stadium (1997-present)
Manager: Michael O’Neill
Website: https://www.stokecityfc.com/
19-20 season: 15th

Stoke City had very hopes for the season 19/20 as they brought in ten new players to fight for the top spot. Due to the weak performance at the start of the season, they let go of their ex-manager Nathan Jones, and the responsibility was on the shoulders of Michael O’Neill, who did quite well. They went on to win some crucial games against tough oppositions like Barnsley and Wigan Athletic. Sam Clucas scored 11 goals for them to become the top goalscorer. They were able to reach only the third round of both the FA Cup and the EFL Cup.

Stoke City was also one of the twelve founding members of the Football League in 1888. They could only win one major title to date that is the League Cup in 1972. They were able to finish fourth in the top tier twice in seasons 1935-1946 and 1946-1947. Some of the great players of Stoke City are Freddie Steele, Denis Smith, and Stanley Matthews.

Swansea City

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Nickname: The Swans
Founded: 1912 (as Swansea Town)
Location: Swansea, Wales
Team Colors: White/Black
Kit Manufacturer: Joma
Kit Sponsor: Swansea University
Ground: Liberty Stadium (2005-present)
Manager: Steve Cooper
Website: https://www.swanseacity.com/
19-20 season: 6th

The Swans did well in reaching the promotion playoffs last season, but did not perform well in their semifinal against Brentford.  They won the first of two legs at home, but surrendered three goals on the road to lose on aggregate and return to the Championship for third consecutive season.

Swansea City had a fairly long run in the Premier League, gaining promotion after winning the Championship playoff in 2010-11 and only seeing relegation after an 18th place finish in the 2017-18 season. That run also featured an appearance in Europa League during the 2013-14 season after winning the League Cup the year prior, but the Swans remain far from that period of glory.


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Nickname: The Golden Boys, Yellow Army, The Hornets
Founded: 1881
Location: Watford, Hertfordshire, England
Team Colors: Black/Yellow/Blue/Red
Kit Manufacturer: Kelme
Kit Sponsor: Sportsbet.io
Ground: Vicarage Road (1922-present)
Manager: Vladimir Ivić (sacked 19 December 2020) – Xisco Muñoz
website: https://www.watfordfc.com/
19-20 season: 19th in Premier League (Relegated)

Watford got to play their fifth consecutive Premier League season, but after a poor start to the season, they had to sack their ex-manager, Javi Gracia. When Hayden Mullins took charge of the job, Watford was only three points above the relegation zone. After that, they went on to lose their remaining matches and had to face relegation. Their top goal scorer was Troy Deeney.

Watford became a member of the Football League in 1920. They went from the fourth tier to the first tier when they decided to appoint Graham Taylor as their manager, who was their manager from 1977 to 1987. Their top accomplishments include second finish in the first division, reaching the FA Cup final twice in 1984 and 2019, and playing a UEFA Cup in 1983/84. The period of decline for Watford was between 1987 and 1997, something they are hoping to avoid again.

Wycombe Wanderers

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Nickname: The Chairboys, The Blues
Founded: 1887
Location: High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England
Team Colors: Blue/Navy Blue
Kit Manufacturer: O’Neills
Kit Sponsor: Dreams; Cherry Red Records
Ground: Adams Park (1990-present)
Manager: Gareth Ainsworth
website: https://www.wycombewanderers.co.uk/
19-20 season: 3rd in League One (won playoff – promoted)

Wycombe Wanderers had to play two consecutive seasons in League One before finishing third in 19/20 and earning their debut in the Championship through the playoff, defeating Oxford United 2-1. They also could only reach the first round of both the FA Cup and the EFL Cup. They also got evicted in the EFL Trophy Group Stage. Joe Jacobs score 12 goals in all competitions to become their top goalscorer.

They became part of the Southern League in 1896. They got to play the Isthmian League for 64 years. They won eight league titles. Wycombe Wanderers spent ten years in the third tier. Their most prominent accomplishments include reaching the FA Cup semis in 2001, playing the League Cup semi-finals in 2007. Gareth Ainsworth did what no other manager could do and took the Wycombe Wanderers to the Championship for their first time in their history. Time will tell if they will stick around beyond one season.