Congrats Wolves, but Premier League promotion isn’t always so fun

England’s top tier may be where all the money is in the modern game, but there are pitfalls for the midlands club now that they’ve returned to the highest level…

There’s joy, elation, and jubilation; every glimmering spark from the wide spectrum of a human’s emotional capacity.

Fathers embrace sons and friends clasp one another’s shoulders, the sheer relief and rush of promotion engulfing their senses.

Skip forward ten months and you’ll see a completely different picture. Stomachs have tightened and backsides grown ever squeakier as tension ominously hangs in the air.

For fans of Wolverhampton Wanderers, this will seem like a depressing foreboding following their recent emphatic winning of the Championship title. Whilst their success should go with no derision or undermining, promotion to the top tier of English football isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

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The buzz from making the jump lasts a while as big name players excitingly start to roll in. But not everyone’s suited to the Premier League and things typically get a little hairy early on.

Should a newly promoted side manage to stay up – something we’re seeing ever more these days – the best they can hope to achieve later is the tedium of West Bromming: mid-table larks until things fall apart for a monumental plummet down a league.

Just look at Villa, Sunderland and Fulham. Worse still, take your Cardiffs, Middlesboroughs and Norwiches; perennially bouncing like a Duracell powered yo-yo between the leagues.

The thrill of promotion is largely illusory and the act itself more often than not simply establishes a club at the bottom of a pack in a league designed to maintain its inflexible order.

Whilst promotion from League One to the Championship can sometimes result in a second jump or at least a top six challenge (Swansea, Bournemouth and this year, Millwall), promotion to the Premier League typically peaks at around 13th place.

It may be a cynical view, but the joy of a high placed finish in the uppermost tier is superficial.

The top six are fixed, the bottom six usually are as well. That leaves the tepid menagerie in the middle to squabble over the spoils of nearly flirting with Europe. Should the unthinkable happen – Burnley, Fulham, Southampton – and a spell abroad is earned, the lucky beneficiaries will usually end up spectacularly f**ked the next season as the packed schedule takes its damning toll on a side not wealthy enough to be three strong per role.

Of course, football fans don’t watch the game for its long-term statistical successes and it’s the European runs and those endorphin firing finishes at nosebleed levels that make the game what it is.

But, whatever level you’re at, there’s joy to be found from achievement; it’s a relative sensation in this sport. Should the likes of the now relegated Bolton hypothetically draw a low level Premier League team in a cup run, winning would be a jubilant highlight to the season.

Had they (again, hypothetically) been promoted and won such a game, however, it would simply be marching along with the status quo. Equally, a club’s bi-annual giant killing of a top six side provides a colossal buzz, but it’s of a similar nature to pulling a game back in its final throes to snatch three points. The feeling is relative.

Football, as one of the many beauties of the game, provides elation at all levels and in dozens of ways. The smoke and mirrors surrounding the Premier League tends to rally the troops into promotion only to become cannon fodder and convenient supports for the big boys of the table.

Success may be relative, but the tedium of the same teams winning the same trophies is most prominently evident in the Premier League. With no jump up from the top, the table has become a fairly rigid list of predictability.

It’s the Championship whereby being both a fan and a neutral is most exciting.

The corporate soullessness of the Prem is mercifully absent and football feels just that little bit closer to what it originated as. It may not be pretty and it may not be as glamorous, but the Championship has to be England’s greatest league.

There’s joy in escaping it, but we can’t see why. Long rule the second tier.

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