THE regular fixtures programme in our EFL Championship has come to an end curtailing 10 months of relentless entertainment.

Burnley have been runaway champions, Sheffield United secured the second automatic promotion ranking and numerous other praiseworthy stories erupted along the way.

Without further ado, here is my 2022/23 Championship review


Everyone agrees Burnley are fantastic trailblazers. Actually, they were described as “the best Championship team I’ve seen in 25 years” by Huddersfield Town’s vastly experienced boss Neil Warnock.

However we should remember the Clarets underwent major changes last year. Long-serving manager Sean Dyche was sacked in April 2022 and replaced with caretaker Mike Jackson. But he couldn’t prevent relegation from the Premier League.

On 14th June, former Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany took up the hot seat. Kompany won 1-0 at Huddersfield Town on the opening weekend and his side merely lost three times all campaign.

The Belgian tactician gloriously achieved promotion despite seven matches remaining courtesy of a 2-1 Good Friday road trip win over Middlesbrough. Then on Tuesday 25th April, Burnley clinched the title triumphing 1-0 away to Blackburn Rovers.

Moreover, an admirable 101 points was grasped in the final day’s 3-0 home cruise past Cardiff City. Saluting our first Championship outfit to break 100 points since Leicester City in 2013/14.

Kompany is now deservedly declared Championship Manager of the Season and has signed a new five year contract.


Sheffield United thoroughly merited second spot. Automatic promotion was sealed by defeating West Bromwich Albion 2-0 before 30,000 jubilant fans at Bramall Lane on Wednesday 26th April.

Their home performances certainly shone through comprising 16 wins and three draws. The highlight came hammering visitors Burnley 5-2 in top of the table action on Saturday 5th November.

Even so, everything was played out amongst off-field uncertainty. The Blades were placed under transfer embargo in January (subsequently lifted last month) due to reported missed payments to another club.

Furthermore, takeover negotiations involving Nigerian businessman Dozy Mmobuosi didn’t come to fruition. A great accomplishment then for boss Paul Heckingbottom’s deep thinking approach.

Also worth recalling Sheffield United reached the FA Cup Semi-Finals eventually succumbing 3-0 to Manchester City.


Chuba Akpom was the second tier’s leading scorer on 28 goals finishing seven ahead of nearest challenger Viktor Gyokeres.

In addition, Akpom set a new divisional milestone when he netted across nine consecutive home matches between Saturday 28th January and Wednesday 19th April.

Akpom definitely blossomed following head coach Michael Carrick’s Riverside Stadium appointment in October. “I think he’s the manager I’ve dreamt of my whole career,” said an appreciative Akpom.

“I give 110 per cent because I want to fight for someone showing so much trust and confidence in me allowing freedom to express myself in the number 10 role.”

Akpom has been named Championship Player of the Season. His frontline prowess will be vital as Boro face two legged Play-Off Semi-Final battles versus Coventry City.


The biggest overall shock arrived on Saturday 22nd April. Already promoted, Burnley hosted fourth bottom Queens Park Rangers seemingly assured of claiming three points required at that juncture to confirm the title.

Indeed, Clarets celebrity fan Alastair Campbell tweeted on kick-off: “Here we go. Champions by 5 and home for tea!!”

A bizarrely one-sided contest unfolded which saw Burnley clock up 81% possession plus 21 attempts on goal including two desperately cleared off the line.

Defying all the odds though, veteran substitute Chris Martin deftly nodded QPR’s decider on 87 minutes cementing the totally unanticipated 2-1 victory. It was just their third conquest in 29 League and Cup games beyond late October.

Meanwhile, Burnley tasted defeat for the first time amid 23 matches dating to 5th November as the division’s only surviving unbeaten home record ended. You can’t predict anything in the topsy-turvy Championship!


We enjoyed unbelievable tension on the closing day where Sunderland purloined the last Play-Off berth in remarkable circumstances.

Throughout much of the afternoon, it appeared Millwall in sixth position were on course to extend their season - confidently starting the home engagement against ninth placed fellow contenders Blackburn Rovers sitting two points below.

The Lions simply needed to win and accordingly raced into a 3-1 half-time lead. Yet incredibly, Rovers valiantly fought back mustering three second half goals to edge matters 4-3.

That left the gate open for Sunderland who had to overturn a two point pre-match deficit in travelling to Preston North End.

Although scoreless at the break, Amad Diallo, Alex Pritchard and Jack Clarke notched vital second half strikes in the Black Cats’ 3-0 cruise. Sunderland thereby nicked the priceless sixth rung edging out Blackburn (on goal difference) and Millwall (by one point).


Tony is an experienced football broadcaster who has worked for Clubcall, Capital Gold, IRN Sport, talkSPORT Radio and Sky TV. 

His devotion to Queens Park Rangers saw him reach 50 years without missing a home game in April 2023.

Tony is also a Non-League football expert having visited more than 2,500 different football grounds in his matchday groundhopping.

You can follow Tony on Twitter at @TonyIncenzo.