Football League Championship play-offs


Football League Championship play-offs

The Football League Championship play-offs are a series of playoff matches contested by the teams finishing from 3rd to 6th in the Football League Championship table. The semi-finals are played over two legs, with 6th playing 3rd and 5th playing 4th, with the return fixtures following. The final is played at Wembley Stadium, although from 2001 to 2006, it was played at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff while Wembley was being rebuilt.

There is no sporting event in the world more valuable to the winners, [cite web |title=£40m to the winner |publisher=The Independent Online Edition |url=http://sport.independent.co.uk/football/coca_cola/article548927.ece |accessdate=2007-07-29 ] who end up approximately £60,000,000 better off than the losers, mainly due to the increased commercial television revenue from being promoted to the Premier League. Cuff, Andrew. [http://football.guardian.co.uk/News_Story/0,,2071109,00.html "Promotion worth £60m"] , "The Guardian", 3 May 2007, viewed 3 May 2007 ] However, by convention the two finalists agree that the loser will keep all the gate receipts from the game, so as to slightly soften the financial blow of missing out. [cite web |title=Losers in line for final windfall |publisher=BBC Sport |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_div_1/4773307.stm |accessdate=2008-05-18 |date=2006-05-15 ]

The most recent final was played on 24 May 2008, with Hull City beating Bristol City 1-0 at the newly-renovated Wembley.

Ipswich Town have been in more play-offs than any other team, qualifying seven times. These were in 1987, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2004 & 2005, although they have only made the final once, in 2000, which they won 4–2 against Barnsley F.C.

Format

Aside from the branding changes which affected English football in 1992 and 2004, the Championship play-offs have also changed in format.

When they were introduced for the 1986-87 season, the play-offs originally featured a top flight team as well as the three second tier clubs. This format was continued for the 1987-88, but discontinued afterwards to inclue only the four teams who finished behind the team or teams winning automatic promotion. As before, the semi-final and final were both two-legged.

Since 1989-90, the final has been a single game (contested between the winners of the semi-finals, which remain two-legged) has been held either at Wembley or the Millennium Stadium, apart from 1987, when Charlton Athletic and Leeds United could not be separated over two legs and took the tie to a third match at St. Andrews, Birmingham.

Results

1987

;Semi-finals* Leeds win on away goals;Final"Main article:1987 Football League Second Division playoff final";Replayfootballbox
date =
team1 = Charlton Athletic
score = 2 – 1 (a.e.t.)
report=
team2 = Leeds United
goals1 =
goals2 =
stadium = St. Andrews, Birmingham
attendance = 18,000
referee=

1988

;Semi-finals;Final

1989

;Semi-finals*Blackburn win on away goals.:Final

1990

;Semi-finals;Finalfootballbox
date = 1990-05-28
team1 = Swindon Town
score = 1 – 0
report=
team2 = Sunderland
goals1 = McLoughlin
goals2 =
stadium = Wembley Stadium, London
attendance = 72,873
referee =

Following successful prosecutions against Swindon Town and the club chairman, Brian Hillier, after they admitted 36 breaches of League rules - 35 of which are related to illegal payments, Swindon remained in the Second Division and Sunderland took their promotion place (see )

1991

;Semi-finals;Finalfootballbox
date = 1991-06-02
team1 = Notts County
score = 3 – 1
report=
team2 = Brighton and Hove Albion
goals1 = Johnson (2)
Regis
goals2 = Wilkins
stadium = Wembley Stadium, London
attendance = 59,940
referee =

1992

;Semi-finals;Finalfootballbox
date = 1992-05-25
team1 = Blackburn Rovers
score =1 – 0
report=
team2 = Leicester City
goals1 = Newell (pen)
goals2 =
stadium = Wembley Stadium, London
attendance = 68,147
referee =

1993

;Semi-finals;Finalfootballbox
date = 1993-05-31
team1 = Swindon Town
score = 4–3
report=
team2 = Leicester City
goals1 = Hoddle goal|43
Maskell goal|47
Taylor goal|54
Bodin goal|85|pen.
goals2 = Joachim goal|59
Walsh goal|69
Thompson goal|70
stadium = Wembley Stadium, London
attendance = 73,802
referee = David Elleray

1994

;Semi-finals;Finalfootballbox
date =1994-05-30
team1 = Leicester City
score = 2 – 1
report=
team2 = Derby County
goals1 = Walsh (2)
goals2 = Johnson
stadium = Wembley Stadium, London
attendance = 73,671
referee=

1995

The play-offs in 1995 featured the teams finishing in positions 2-5; during this season the Premiership was reduced from 22 to 20 clubs, with four relegated to Division 1 and only two promoted, the champions (Middlesbrough) automatically and one other through the play-offs. ;Semi-finals;Finalfootballbox
date = 29 May1995
team1 = Bolton Wanderers
score = 4 – 3 (a.e.t.)
report= [http://www.soccerbase.com/results3.sd?gameid=389881 (Details)]
team2 = Reading
goals1 = Coyle goal|75
de Freitas goal|86 goal|118
Paatelainen goal|105
goals2 = Nogan goal|4
Williams goal|12
Quinn goal|119
stadium = Wembley Stadium, London
attendance = 64,107
referee =

1996

;Semi-finals;Finalfootballbox
date = 1996-05-27
team1 = Leicester City
score = 2 – 1 (a.e.t.)
report= [http://www.soccerbase.com/results3.sd?gameid=351502 (Details)]
team2 = Crystal Palace
goals1 = Parker goal|76|pen. Claridge goal|120
goals2 = Roberts goal|14
stadium = Wembley Stadium, London
attendance = 73,573
referee =

1997

;Semi-finals*Sheffield United win on away goals;Finalfootballbox
date = 1997-05-26
team1 = Crystal Palace
score = 1 – 0
report= [http://www.soccerbase.com/results3.sd?gameid=303994 (Details)]
team2 = Sheffield United
goals1 =Hopkin goal|90
goals2 =
stadium = Wembley Stadium, London
attendance = 64,383
referee = Neale Barry

1998

;Semi-finals;Finalfootballbox
date = 25 May1998
team1 = Charlton Athletic
score = 4 – 4 (a.e.t.)
(7 – 6 pen.)
report= [http://www.soccerbase.com/results3.sd?gameid=303989 (Details)]
team2 = Sunderland
goals1 = Mendonca goal|23 goal|71 goal|103
Rufus goal|85
goals2 = Quinn goal|50 goal|73 Phillips goal|58 Summerbee goal|99
stadium = Wembley Stadium, London
attendance = 77,739
referee = Eddie Wolstenholme

1999

;Semi-finals* Bolton win on away goals;Finalfootballbox
date = 1999-05-31
team1 = Bolton Wanderers
score = 0 – 2
report= [http://www.soccerbase.com/results3.sd?gameid=303984 (Details)]
team2 = Watford
goals1 =
goals2 = Wright goal|38 Smart goal|89
stadium = Wembley Stadium, London
attendance = 70,343
referee = Terry Heilbron

2000

;Semi-finals;Finalfootballbox
date = 2000-05-29
team1 = Barnsley
score = 2 – 4
report= [http://www.soccerbase.com/results3.sd?gameid=303979 (Details)]
team2 = Ipswich Town
goals1 = Wright goal|6|o.g.
Hignett goal|78|pen.
goals2 = Mowbray goal|28
Naylor goal|52
Stewart goal|58
Reuser goal|90
stadium = Wembley Stadium, London
attendance = 73,427
referee = Terry Heilbron

2001

;Semi-finals;Finalfootballbox
date = 2001-05-28
team1 = Bolton Wanderers
score = 3 – 0
report= [http://www.soccerbase.com/results3.sd?gameid=308258 (Details)]
team2 = Preston North End
goals1 = Farrelly goal|17
Ricketts goal|89
Gardner goal|90
goals2 =
stadium = Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
attendance = 54,328
referee = Uriah Rennie

2002

;Semi-finals;Finalfootballbox
date = 2002-05-12
team1 = Birmingham City
score = 1 – 1 (a.e.t.)
(4 – 2 pen.)
report= [http://www.soccerbase.com/results3.sd?gameid=362435 (Details)]
team2 = Norwich City
goals1 = Horsfield goal|102
goals2 = Roberts goal|91
stadium = Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
attendance = 71,597
referee = Graham Barber

2003

;Semi-finals;Finalfootballbox
date = 2003-05-26
team1 = Sheffield United
score = 0 – 3
report= [http://www.soccerbase.com/results3.sd?gameid=390568 (Details)]
team2 = Wolverhampton Wanderers
goals1 =
goals2 = Kennedy goal|6 Blake goal|22 Miller goal|45
stadium = Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
attendance = 69,473
referee = Steve Bennett

2004

;Semi-finals;Finalfootballbox
date = 2004-05-29
team1 = Crystal Palace
score = 1 – 0
report= [http://www.soccerbase.com/results3.sd?gameid=427727 (Details)]
team2 = West Ham United
goals1 = Shipperley goal|62
goals2 =
stadium = Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
attendance = 72,523
referee = Graham Poll

2005

;Semi-finals;Finalfootballbox
date = 2005-05-30
team1 = West Ham United
score = 1 – 0
report= [http://www.soccerbase.com/results3.sd?gameid=485945 (Details)]
team2 = Preston North End
goals1 = Zamora goal|57
goals2 =
stadium = Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
attendance = 70,275
referee = Mike Riley

2006

;Semi-finals;Finalfootballbox
date = 2006-05-21
team1 = Leeds United
score = 0 – 3
report= [http://www.soccerbase.com/results3.sd?gameid=485945 (Details)]
team2 = Watford
goals1 =
goals2 = DeMerit goal|25
Sullivan goal|57|o.g. Henderson goal|84|pen.
stadium = Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
attendance = 64,736
referee = Mike Dean

2007

;Semi-finals;Finalfootballbox
date = 2007-05-28
team1 = Derby County
score = 1 – 0
report= [http://www.soccerbase.com/results3.sd?gameid=516148 (Details)]
team2 = West Bromwich Albion
goals1 = Pearson goal|61
goals2 =
stadium = Wembley Stadium, London
attendance = 74,993
referee = Graham Poll

2008

;Semi-finals;Finalfootballbox
date = 2008-05-24
team1 = Bristol City
score = 0 – 1
team2 = Hull City
goals1 =
goals2 = Windass goal|38
stadium = Wembley Stadium, London
attendance = 86,703
referee = Alan Wiley

=References=
* [http://www.football-league.premiumtv.co.uk/page/PlayOffsDetail/0,,10794~523140,00.html Semi-finals results]
* [http://www.football-league.premiumtv.co.uk/page/PlayOffsDetail/0,,10794~475418,00.html Finals results]
* [http://www.soccerbase.com/cup2.sd?competitionid=147 Results and match facts]


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