Promotion to the highly coveted Premier League is a lucrative accomplishment for teams competing in the Championship, England’s second-tier football league. The top two finishers in the Championship secure automatic promotion, while the next four teams battle it out in a playoff knockout bracket for the final promotion spot.
Following their relegation from the Premier League last season, Burnley, Watford, and Norwich City pursued different paths in their quest for an immediate return to the top flight. Burnley successfully clinched the Championship title, securing their promotion back to the Premier League. However, Norwich and Watford fell short of the playoff positions.
Joining Burnley in the Premier League are Sheffield United, who finished in second place in the Championship. The third team earning promotion is Luton Town, emerging victorious in the EFL Championship playoff promotion final through a penalty shootout.
Let’s take a closer look at each promoted team.
Just a year after being relegated from the Premier League, Burnley made a triumphant return by securing automatic promotion on April 7. Under the guidance of Belgian manager Vincent Kompany, the club accomplished this feat with seven matches remaining. Despite a slow start to the season, Burnley showcased their attacking prowess and defensive solidity, boasting the best goal difference in the Championship.
After suffering relegation in the 2020/21 Premier League season, Sheffield United sealed their return by defeating West Brom on April 26. Led by manager Paul Heckingbottom, the Blades rejuvenated their squad and leaned on familiar faces to secure promotion. Additionally, the contribution of promising loan players from Manchester City bolstered their midfield. Anel Ahmedhodzic, a 24-year-old Bosnian center-back, proved instrumental in defense and even scored crucial goals.
The final promotion spot was determined in the Championship playoff final, which saw Luton Town emerge victorious over Coventry City in a penalty shootout on May 27. As the third-place finisher in the table, Luton Town entered the playoffs as favorites. Their journey included eliminating Sunderland in the semifinals. This promotion marks Luton Town’s return to the Premier League since the restructuring of English football in 1992/93, reflecting their remarkable ascent from the fifth-tier.
Everton managed to secure their position in the English Premier League with a crucial 1-0 victory over Bournemouth on the final day of the season. Under the guidance of manager Sean Dyche, who may not have been the most glamorous appointment, the Toffees showed resilience and determination to avoid relegation. Dyche’s decision to reinstate Abdoulaye Doucoure to the starting lineup proved instrumental as the midfielder scored the winning goal. Everton’s survival holds great significance considering their financial challenges and ongoing calls for change at the board level. While the club faces a critical summer and a Premier League investigation, their Premier League status provides some solace and potentially a more manageable path forward in resolving their off-field issues.