The Daily Telegraph - Business : 2020-07-22

Sport : 24 : 16

Sport

16 The Daily Telegraph Wednesday 22 July 2020 *** Sport Final whistle a mere morsel compared to the relegation fight. Blessed carnage everywhere. Even when there is something as sickening as the Wigan scenario you, Mr Championsh­ip, somehow mould the prospect of a positive storyline. If Wigan beat Fulham – oh, so many layers – then they might stay up, despite their 12-point penalty for going into administra­tion. It would be a strike for the cashstrapp­ed, a huge blow for the neglected and abused. It is irresistib­le and barmy. But that is what you are, Mr Championsh­ip – completely bonkers. Let us face it, since the restart, the Premier League has been a borefest. Staid and corporate, the absence of crowds has actually appeared grimly appropriat­e. In contrast, the Championsh­ip has mixed its own overwhelmi­ng soundtrack and drowned out the silence with its frenetic fascinatio­n. It always is this way if we would only take a scythe through that marketing codswallop. There you are, Mr Championsh­ip, in that disco having a riotous time, with everyone allowed on the dance floor, everyone permitted a boogie under the glitterbal­l, everyone bouncing into each other and wondering where they might end up when the last banger stops. They all yearn to be among the chosen few invited upstairs to the VIP section, but when those grand elevator doors swing open, only the megastars are handed the Champagne and only those in the most fashionabl­e garb are asked up to that fancy stage with their exquisitel­y choreograp­hed moves. “Aren’t we soooo pretty?” The rest might have their own delusions, but essentiall­y they are nothing more than extras, there to make the beautiful people look good. Then, in about March, when, if you are lucky, you are still in there scrapping, you stop and think, “Where exactly is the fun in this?” This is no longer a de-stress at the weekend, but a re-stress. What is so great about hosting Liverpool and Manchester City and receiving a walloping? Where is the enchantmen­t in pondering: “Chelsea away: could we scratch a 0-0?” And, so, eventually, you are shown back to the glorious din downstairs and, with a mind on the dead teams stalking in the grimy cellars below, you start peering upwards again while not noticing that you have the most enjoyable of seasons. Mr Championsh­ip, you deserve more than this fickle fool. You really do. James Corrigan Why I am crazy for the Championsh­ip Dear Mr Championsh­ip fault for all those supporters crying in euphoria when they finally manage to escape your adorable clutches? How ungrateful can we get? You put on the best show in town and all we crave is the exit door ASAP. Well, the one marked Premier League, anyway. Tonight will be a head case in point, an evening of unrestrain­ed tension that will prove again that Thrill-a-minute: Patrick Schmidt celebrates his shock late winner for Barnsley against Nottingham Forest with manager Gerhard Struber A s a Cardiff City fan, I pray this turns out to be a Dear John letter, but if it does and the Bluebirds are promoted, you must know it is most definitely me and not you. I mean, how could it be you, right? How could you be at you, Mr Championsh­ip, are the best league in England and Wales, if not the entire world. It is the promised land where the riches lie and, yes, if you refer to the mountains of millions then there is no argument. Yet in terms of pure sport and its greatest resource – unpredicta­bility – then you, Mr Championsh­ip, are without rival. Of course, those Premier League fundamenta­lists will point to the miracle of Leicester City and to this season’s feel-good tale of Sheffield United and declare everybody can beat everyone. And that is true. But in the Championsh­ip everybody beat everyone and that is what makes this final round of fixtures so intoxicati­ng. Who will join Leeds United as the other automatica­lly promoted club? West Brom or Brentford, or even Fulham? West Brom, the majority will figure and sound impressive­ly sure. After all, Brentford had their chance to move into the top two at Stoke on Saturday and blew it. And Fulham would have to win and West Brom lose and Brentford no better than draw. And that ain’t happening. Are you 100 per cent convinced? You are not, are you? Because Barnsley were never going to defeat Nottingham Forest on Sunday, but they did and now have the unlikelies­t sniff of survival. Meanwhile, Forest require a point to ensure a play-off spot, in an any-two-from-three finale with Cardiff and Swansea. Delicious, but Please send us your views does Our reader letters and emails column is returning. We would love to hear from you. Please send us your views on sport and our coverage to the Sports Editor, The Daily Telegraph, 111 Buckingham Palace Rd, SW1W 0DT. Or email sportlette­rs@ telegraph.co.uk. Please include your postal address. We will publish the best each week. Yours, Delusional Bluebird

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