Wolves lead the way as Charlton, Southampton and Norwich head for relegation
13 December ~ Mick McCarthy's Wolves led the Championship for almost the entire season, keeping their place despite a run of only one win in ten games from Boxing Day onwards. They won the title by seven points from Birmingham City. Wolves' Sylvan Ebanks-Blake was the division's top scorer with 25 goals, four ahead of Cardiff's' Ross McCormack and Jason Scotland of Swansea.
Charlton were bottom for the final five months and finished 12 points adrift of safety. Sean O'Driscoll's Doncaster were the form team after Christmas when a run of nine wins in 11 games lifted them out of the bottom three; they finished 14th.
The Southampton team beaten at Burnley included Adam Lallana, Morgan Schneiderlin and Jack Cork. A 2-2 draw in the return fixture, on the penultimate weekend of the season, sent Saints down to the third tier where they hadn't played in 49 years. Dutch manager Jan Poortvliet was sacked in January 2009 after eight months in charge. His compatriot Mark Wotte was only in the job until the summer when Alan Pardew took over.
In finishing 22nd, Norwich also returned to the third tier for the first time since they had come up with Southampton in 1959-60. Norwich had a managerial change in mid-season with Bryan Gunn replacing Glen Roeder. Gunn was dismissed in August 2009 shortly after an opening day 7-1 home defeat by Colchester, whose manager Paul Lambert then joined Norwich.
Some notable names on the scoresheet this week include Shane Long (Reading), Shefki Kuqi (Crystal Palace), Clinton Morrison (Coventry), Heidar Helguson (QPR) and Jay Bothroyd for Cardiff – he was to become their first England international when capped once in 2010.
Birmingham clinched the second promotion place on the final day, a 2-1 win at Reading leaving them three points clear of Sheffield United. The latter beat Preston in their play-off semi-final, then faced Burnley, who had defeated Reading. At Wembley a goal from midfielder Wade Elliott took Burnley, managed by Owen Coyle, into the Premier League.