At least one team relegated from the Championship has earned promotion back to the second tier at the first attempt in four of the last five seasons so it’s little surprise to see the sides demoted in 2012/13 head the League One promotion betting.
That Wolves (6/5), Peterborough (5/2) and Bristol City (3/1) all have leading chances in this season’s race for promotion from League One is underlined not only by the fact that many of their players were plying their trades at a higher level last season, but by the managers they have leading their respective charges.
Kenny Jackett, Darren Ferguson and Sean O’Driscoll have overseen League One promotions in the past, with the latter pair boasting three promotions apiece in their managerial portfolios.
Wolves are the shortest-priced of the trio, but face arguably the toughest task in reshaping their squad for life at this level.
Many of the ex-top flight players who came up so short of the mark in the Championship last term will need to be shifted and Karl Henry, Jamie O’Hara, Stephen Ward and Roger Johnson have already been transfer listed, with Bakary Sako and Kevin Doyle also likely to be moved on.
Bristol City will be largely unable to reshape their squad, with the 14 players they have under contract taking up the vast majority of the 60 per cent of club turnover they are allowed to spend on player wages under financial fair play regulations.
Despite picking up briefly when O’Driscoll took over the reins in January 2013, this is largely the same group of players who surrendered their Championship status on a tame run of one win during their final 12 games. With this in mind it’s difficult to envisage a queue of potential buyers arriving to facilitate the necessary squad reshuffle.
Peterborough will enter the new campaign with neither the post Premier League baggage of Wolves, nor the failure-bludgeoned squad of the Robins.
It was a downright awful autumn/winter 2012 that did for them last term, but after beating champions-elect Cardiff City away on the December 15th they lost only six of their remaining 25 fixtures.
Posh have earned promotion from the third tier in both seasons in which they competed in it under Ferguson and news that key men Tommy Rowe and Dwight Gayle look likely to start next season at the club will be a big boost to their chances of repeating the dose.
The latter’s continuing commitment in particular bodes well for the season ahead, after the 22-year-old authored 13 goals in just 29 appearances follwing a mid-season move from Dagenham and Redbridge last term.
Yeovil’s October acquisition of 23-goal League One top scorer Paddy Madden proved just what a difference a potent striker can make in such a tightly contested division last season and Gayle’s goals are another reason why Posh look the best bet of the three relegated sides to return to the Championship at the first time of asking at 5/2.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.