Of the 24 teams that currently make up the Championship, 19 have – at one point or another – graced a Premier League stage. That, in a nutshell, sums up why English football is so competitive.
It also casts a light on how difficult it can be to climb back up the ladder once a tumble from the top rung is endured. There are a further seven former top-flight sides in League One, and three more in League Two.
Of those in the second tier, dreams of life rubbing shoulders with the elite can be formed – the Promised Land is almost within touching distance. Getting over that line is tricky, though, with a 46-game marathon not for the faint-hearted – with there the potential for an additional three games beyond that for those buying tickets for the play-off lottery.
Experience can count for plenty, with Bournemouth (1.4), Fulham (1.44) and West Brom (1.57) heading football betting markets at Betfair when it comes to securing promotion out of the Championship.
Those that follow established Premier League outfits home and away will already be aware of what trips to the Vitality Stadium, Craven Cottage and The Hawthorns entail.
Could there, though, be a new destination added to the itinerary for 2022-23? Will next season’s fixture list include a venue that has never before played host to Premier League football?
The venues in the running
As mentioned, there are five clubs in the Championship at present that have not competed in the top tier since the Premier League was formed in 1992-93. They all have their eyes on that prize, with some closer to grabbing it than others.
Kenilworth Road – Luton Town
The Hatters, who were once famed for their plastic pitch, have not graced the top tier since 1991-92 and slipped out of the Football League at one stage before clawing their way back up the divisions.
A visit to Kenilworth Road would be a bit of a throwback for some supporters, with entrances hidden between terrace houses, while a capacity of just 10,356 would make it the smallest Premier League ground.
The Den – Millwall
🤫 Sneak peak…
— Millwall FC (@MillwallFC) October 23, 2021
Not since the days of Teddy Sheringham and Tony Cascarino leading the line in the late 1980s have the Lions been a top-flight outfit. They are showing signs of becoming play-off contenders again in the current campaign.
The Den can welcome 20,146 fans through its doors and would bring a famously fierce atmosphere to the Premier League.
Deepdale – Preston North End
Inaugural winners of the league and FA Cup, with two First Division titles to their name, but a side that has sat outside of English football’s elite since 1961.
They have knocked on a Premier League door before, and may do so again as Deepdale – with its rich history and 23,404 capacity – waits on another day in the sun.
Ashton Gate – Bristol City
Out of the top-flight since 1980, the Robins fell as far as the fourth tier before bouncing back.
Ashton Gate has undergone a serious facelift in recent years, meaning that it now holds 27,000 people, but Nigel Pearson has a lot of work to do if promotion dreams are to be formed any time soon.
Weston Homes Stadium – Peterborough United
— Peterborough United (@theposh) October 23, 2021
Punching above their weight? Maybe. The Posh have become something of a yo-yo club in recent times, taking in seven promotions and relegations since 2004-05.
London Road can play host to 15,314 supporters, but it has never been a top tier venue and may require more investment on and off the field in order to eventually become one.