Is this the best domestic season in recent years?

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Genuine three way title race in the Premier League, genuine Top 4 tussle between Man Utd, Arsenal and Chelsea, a mad scramble for a Europa League spot (if 7th does indeed get a spot), genuine relegation battle involving 6 teams (Palace, Brighton, Newcastle, Burnley, Cardiff, Southampton) which will go down to the wire for 18th place.

Championship promotion and playoff race is also very exciting. Could make a case of any of the Top 7 going up automatically with the rest of the top half and Blackburn having realistic playoff credentials too. Not as much excitement with the relegation battle but still looking nervy at the bottom too between Bolton, Reading, Rotherham and Millwall.

League One promotion race looks very close to call too with the games in hand set to decide the fates of Barnsley, Portsmouth and Sunderland, with the latter making a pigs ear of what should be an immediate promotion back. Charlton, Doncaster, Peterborough and Blackpool scrapping it out for the two remaining playoff spots and maybe someone below them may go on a mad run to get involved too and that insane relegation battle could see 3 of about 14 clubs realistically go down with Wimbledon if they were to lose form over the remaining third of the season.

League Two has a bit of a chasm between 3rd and 4th but I can see one of the Top 3 bottling promotion and can see one of the playoff teams going on a run to get a Top 3 spot. The playoff race looks incredibly competitive too and that relegation battle is gonna go down to the wire too with about 6 or 7 teams sweating out their league status.

Even the National League promotion race looks impossible to call. Any of the current Top 9 (with Ebbsfleet in 10th still being a potential playoff candidate) could realistically be playing in the Football League next season.

FA Cup has seen so many shocks and there are more FL teams than PL teams at the 5th round stage.

So has this been the best domestic season so far in recent years? Lots of excitement, lots of talking points and some very competitive battles. Granted Luton and the Top 3 in League Two look like they're running away with it at the moment and Huddersfield, Fulham, Ipswich and AFC Wimbledon look nailed on for relegation with a third of the season left, but I've never seen so much competition for promotion/playoffs/survival across all the Top 5 leagues at this stage of the season before.
 
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Club loyalties aside though. I mean the 15-16 season produced the best modern day football story of them all but that was also my worst season watching us play by a fair distance...
 

Frealaf

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No, money is the winner as usual, don't really follow the premiership but the current top 6 are always there apart from one recent season, so no change there.

Championship haven't got a clue, but usually whoever got relegated from the Premier league is going back up. See West brom, Norwich were only there 2 seasons ago and about time Leeds sorted themselves out.

Lge 1 same with Sunderland and Barnsley, and Luton and Portsmouth going back were they belong after sorting themselves out and spending again.

Lge 2 top 3 of 4 budgets at top.

Agents and the players are the real winners!
 
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No, money is the winner as usual, don't really follow the premiership but the current top 6 are always there apart from one recent season, so no change there.

Championship haven't got a clue, but usually whoever got relegated from the Premier league is going back up. See West brom, Norwich were only there 2 seasons ago and about time Leeds sorted themselves out.

Lge 1 same with Sunderland and Barnsley, and Luton and Portsmouth going back were they belong after sorting themselves out and spending again.

Lge 2 top 3 of 4 budgets at top.

Agents and the players are the real winners!
To be fair, it's been three seasons since we were last in the Prem so we don't have parachute payments this season. So, compared to a lot of our rivals in the promotion race, we've spent very very little money improving the squad even with all the money from the sales of James Maddison and Josh Murphy. Most of our signings were either free agents (such as the fantastic acquisition of Teemu Pukki), very cheap signings (such as Emi Buendia for £1.5 million) or loans.
 

Buxton Vale

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Dont really follow the Prem, but the Championship is very good this season. League 2 top 3 is settled I think, with the play-off places to be fought between MK, Colchester, Carlisle, FGR and Exeter. Any of the current bottom 7 could drop.
 

Devon_Lad

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Dont really follow the Prem, but the Championship is very good this season. League 2 top 3 is settled I think, with the play-off places to be fought between MK, Colchester, Carlisle, FGR and Exeter. Any of the current bottom 7 could drop.
Don't think you can say the top 3 is settled in our league. We have Bury on Saturday at home. Win that and we are just 3 points behind with a game in hand. Lincoln also have only won twice in their last 6 matches.
 

Chris FGR

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To be fair, it's been three seasons since we were last in the Prem so we don't have parachute payments this season. So, compared to a lot of our rivals in the promotion race, we've spent very very little money improving the squad even with all the money from the sales of James Maddison and Josh Murphy. Most of our signings were either free agents (such as the fantastic acquisition of Teemu Pukki), very cheap signings (such as Emi Buendia for £1.5 million) or loans.
The Championship is one of those leagues where it’s possible to build a team for virtually fuck all picking up unknown foreign lads and lower league talent and still challenge for the title. Just need good team spirit and a squad fully committed to the managers style of play. Wish the same applied to the Prem. Makes the Champ way more interesting imo. Also less prima donna c*** who try and get managers sacked as soon as their arses aren’t being kissed.
 
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The only problem with the Championship is there are an awful lot of teams spending money that's borrowed. Which basically means if TV deals were to start to decrease (and the domestic PL one has decreased from next season, albeit only slightly) the whole business model will come crashing in and a lot of teams will be left in an ITV Digital style scenario.

An exciting league no doubt, and one I very much enjoy watching, but financially it's an absolute nightmare.
 

valefan16

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#16
Championship is great as there usually are many teams going for things right until the last day, its fairly even as a league and is arguably better than most top flights in Europe bar the big 3 or 4, certainly in attendance figures.

League One looks mental in terms of the relegation battle, literally 10-12 teams in it.

League Two, no surprise the money men are top (Notts County aside who have been this years basket case). The Quality seems very meh apart from a few teams, Lincoln, Bury, Mansfield, MK and Colchester have all looked a level above anyone else I have seen, compared to Carlisle who are up there and Stevenage those looked a totally different class.

League Two has changed for me since our last spell at this level. Now you've got smaller clubs such as Mansfield and Lincoln spunking loads of cash at it, whereas last time you had some more bigger clubs at this level such as Bradford, Gillingham, Rotherham, Brentford, Bournemouth etc. The quality now is in these smaller clubs willing to spend massively to get out of it.
 

LordJord

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#17
Club loyalties aside though. I mean the 15-16 season produced the best modern day football story of them all but that was also my worst season watching us play by a fair distance...
Completely agree, the mighty Cobblers romping to a league title whilst nearly going bust earlier in the season was the stuff of legend.
 
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Championship is great as there usually are many teams going for things right until the last day, its fairly even as a league and is arguably better than most top flights in Europe bar the big 3 or 4, certainly in attendance figures.

League One looks mental in terms of the relegation battle, literally 10-12 teams in it.

League Two, no surprise the money men are top (Notts County aside who have been this years basket case). The Quality seems very meh apart from a few teams, Lincoln, Bury, Mansfield, MK and Colchester have all looked a level above anyone else I have seen, compared to Carlisle who are up there and Stevenage those looked a totally different class.

League Two has changed for me since our last spell at this level. Now you've got smaller clubs such as Mansfield and Lincoln spunking loads of cash at it, whereas last time you had some more bigger clubs at this level such as Bradford, Gillingham, Rotherham, Brentford, Bournemouth etc. The quality now is in these smaller clubs willing to spend massively to get out of it.
I was thinking this. But then I'm also thinking these clubs who haven't been in League One for a long time (Lincoln 1999, Mansfield 2003) or have never been there (Forest Green) will be in for an almighty shock when they realise what a bottleneck League One can be. Fleetwood had dreams of going up all the divisions and now they're stuck in some sort of League One purgatory. The more clubs that do that, the harder those clubs will fall, as last season's big spending bottom four in League One found out...
 

valefan16

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Completely agree, the mighty Cobblers romping to a league title whilst nearly going bust earlier in the season was the stuff of legend.
I enjoyed 15-16 in terms of Vale... expected to go down after losing Pope and we started that season with Enoch Andoh and Uche Ikpeazu and they were mint together, Gillingham resorted to kicking the hell out of Andoh, I recall panning Doncaster and their defender slipping grabbing Uche's leg to stop him breaking into the box only for him to literally drag him along as he burst foward!

Beat Burnley who went on to win the Championship and took WBA all the way....

Away form cost us and Andoh busting his ACL at Colchester was a massive blow but was enjoyable and had an outside play off chance until the penultimate day...

Decided to travel up from Vale for the Crewe game at home as we could and did send them down... Wife virtually on her due date so mega dog house time... and her waters went hours after getting home! Good times.

Living in Leicestershire that place was buzzing too (although i generally dislike them!)

The last decent season we had and tomorrow we will begin the protests against what has happened since the Summer of 16.
 
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#20
I was thinking this. But then I'm also thinking these clubs who haven't been in League One for a long time (Lincoln 1999, Mansfield 2003) or have never been there (Forest Green) will be in for an almighty shock when they realise what a bottleneck League One can be. Fleetwood had dreams of going up all the divisions and now they're stuck in some sort of League One purgatory. The more clubs that do that, the harder those clubs will fall, as last season's big spending bottom four in League One found out...
We will smash that tinpot league
 

valefan16

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I was thinking this. But then I'm also thinking these clubs who haven't been in League One for a long time (Lincoln 1999, Mansfield 2003) or have never been there (Forest Green) will be in for an almighty shock when they realise what a bottleneck League One can be. Fleetwood had dreams of going up all the divisions and now they're stuck in some sort of League One purgatory. The more clubs that do that, the harder those clubs will fall, as last season's big spending bottom four in League One found out...
The issue with League One as they will maybe find out is teams like Sunderland and Peterborough can blow them out the water financially. You have to hope you do a Burton, Luton or Yeovil and it just happens. Mansfield may struggle in that they've loaned a fair few of their bigger players so may have a rebuild to do if they can't secure them permanently.

Its a 50-50 as to how it will go for them I guess. Lincoln is interesting as will they keep the fans who have been on a 2-3 year crest of a wave if in mid table for example?
 
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The issue with League One as they will maybe find out is teams like Sunderland and Peterborough can blow them out the water financially. You have to hope you do a Burton, Luton or Yeovil and it just happens. Mansfield may struggle in that they've loaned a fair few of their bigger players so may have a rebuild to do if they can't secure them permanently.

Its a 50-50 as to how it will go for them I guess. Lincoln is interesting as will they keep the fans who have been on a 2-3 year crest of a wave if in mid table for example?
I'd discount Luton from that as they've spent considerable sums of money since their Conference days. They were operating on a solid league budget in non league when other former league clubs couldn't do so and now the extra income means they're surging their way up to their natural level. So fair play to them in that case.

Burton was solid momentum, 2 playoff failures were followed by back to back promotions with a strong core of players who, crucially, were given the chance to impress at the higher level and that's helped them grow considerably as a club. Yeovil I feel was the result of it just clicking. They weren't an entertaining side to watch but they knew how to win games 1-0 (as their two wins against us proved in their promotion season). Sadly for them, they lacked the finances and quality to survive in the Championship but they gave a good go at trying to stay up. But they've been in a never ending decline ever since that first season back in League One.

Lincoln have rebuilt the vast majority of their non league title winning squad already, and will more than likely add extra quality if they're to be promoted. So you'd think if they got a League One calibre striker in they'd stay up if Cowley stays there. The likes of Bury and MK Dons have already been there at that level too so you'd back them to survive at the very least. But as you say, Mansfield would need to rebuild if they can't keep the loanees and that's where the momentum suddenly dies and you get a lot of teams coming straight back down when they lose their best players irrespective of having a big budget or not. Seem to remember Chesterfield pissing this league in 2010-11 but once they lost Craig Davies to Barnsley they were down and out.
 

Posh Harry

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#23
I was thinking this. But then I'm also thinking these clubs who haven't been in League One for a long time (Lincoln 1999, Mansfield 2003) or have never been there (Forest Green) will be in for an almighty shock when they realise what a bottleneck League One can be. Fleetwood had dreams of going up all the divisions and now they're stuck in some sort of League One purgatory. The more clubs that do that, the harder those clubs will fall, as last season's big spending bottom four in League One found out...
Some of us dream of league 1 purgatory!
 

Luke Imp

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I was thinking this. But then I'm also thinking these clubs who haven't been in League One for a long time (Lincoln 1999, Mansfield 2003) or have never been there (Forest Green) will be in for an almighty shock when they realise what a bottleneck League One can be. Fleetwood had dreams of going up all the divisions and now they're stuck in some sort of League One purgatory. The more clubs that do that, the harder those clubs will fall, as last season's big spending bottom four in League One found out...
Anyone with an ounce of common sense can see what L1 is, so I don't think it'll be a shock at all and I doubt Lincoln, Mansfield, Bury, MK, FGR or whoever goes up will be thinking of back-to-back promotions or competing at the top end.

You always get a couple of Charlton, Bolton, Portsmouth, Barnsley, Wigan, Sheffield United, Leeds, Southampton type of Clubs and if that's what Fleetwood thought about going up through the divisions, then they were being fanciful because L1 is about the ceiling for most Club's from L2.
 

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#25
Pretty sure we could sustain championship football again in the future.

As for this season, it’s the best for at least 6 years and we don’t have to play tinpot teams like FG...oh.
 

pontoonlew

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#27
I know it’s popular for lower league fans to hate the Premier League but it really has taken a step up the past two seasons. Very rarely see a bad game lately and regularly exciting.

The championship is arguably the most competitive in the world and we’re lucky to have such a standard in League 1/2.

Even our national side are exciting for the first time in years, English football is in a good place.
 

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