By Ali Iveson
There may not have been any Championship football since May 19th, when West Ham beat Blackpool 2-1 to secure a place in the Premier League, but there’s still been plenty of activity.
Boardrooms are one place where there have been changes — as well as in the dugouts. First were Watford, who were taken over by the Pozzo family in June.. Lead by businessman Giampaolo, they now own the Hornets as well as Udinese and Granada. Given the success that they’ve brought to their two other clubs things look good Watford, but the new owners did anger some fans after sacking manager Sean Dyche. After leading them to a top-half finish last season most people thought he’d done a good job — and possibly the new owners did too, but it seems they wanted to further their Italian revolution and brought in Gianfranco Zola.
Nottingham Forest have also been purchased this summer. There had been uncertainty at the County Ground following Nigel Doughty’s death in February but the Al-Hasawi family purchased the club earlier this month and they too changed manager. Steve Cotterill was swiftly replaced by Sean O’Driscoll in a move that’s gone down well with fans, as did celebrating the takeover with a giant cake. The Kuwaiti owners have money to spend but they needn’t look any further than neighbours Leicester for a reminder about how money don’t guarantee success in this league.
There will be some drastic changes on the pitch too, and none more so than when watching Cardiff. In a bid to attract more followers in Asia, the Bluebirds have changed their home strip from blue to red, a more prosperous colour in many Asian cultures. Their badge has also been edited, with the bluebird now a measly figure at the bottom and a red dragon taking centre stage. A new, carefully though out motto of “Fire and Passion” has also been adopted. Needless to say that this shocking disregard for history and tradition has not gone down well.
Another change will be the reintroduction of seven substitutes, while the clubs have of course changed. Huddersfield Town, Charlton Athletic, Blackburn Rovers, Sheffield Wednesday, Bolton Wanderers & Wolverhampton all join the Championship.