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The English Premier League Promotion and Relegation System

The concept of promotion and relegation in English soccer is a difficult one for most American sports fans to grasp immediately. In major American sport leagues, if for instance the Washington Nationals have an awful year where they only win 40 games, they’ll be right back next year playing the likes of the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies. That is not the case in the English soccer ‘pyramid’, where the different levels of soccer are directly connected through a series of promotions and relegations.

To talk specifically about the English Premier League, at the end of each season the bottom three teams are relegated down to the next tier of English soccer, which is called the Championship. The EPL is a 20-team league, so each team plays the other 19 teams twice. At the end of that 38 game schedule, the teams in places 18, 19 and 20 are automatically sent down to the Championship for the next season. That means a team like Portsmouth, who is likely to be relegated this 2009-2010 season, could go from playing Arsenal, Manchester United, and Chelsea one season to playing Watford, Bristol City and Blackpool the next. That’s quite a huge difference and it’s one of the main reasons why the relegation battle is often more compelling than the battle for the Premier League Champion. These teams are in some cases fighting for the survival of their club as well, as the Premier League television compensation is vastly superior to that of the Championship.

Promotion from the Championship is quite similar in concept. In the 24-team Championship, each team plays the others twice, and at the end of those 46 games, the top two teams are automatically promoted to the Premier League. Teams in places 3-6 then contest a playoff where the winner is awarded the third promotion place to the Premier League. So it’s simply three teams relegated and three teams promoted each season. With some slight variation, this type of promotion and relegation exists throughout the entire English soccer pyramid, many levels below the Premier League. It really adds to the allure of the sport that a team can literally rise from a local club to one day play against Manchester United at Old Trafford in the Premier League.

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Czech Gifts – Top Ten List of Czech Themed Gifts

If you’re of Czech heritage or if you know someone who would appreciate a great Czech themed gift, we’ve got a Top 10 List for you. Best of all, most of these gifts are inexpensive, with many under $20. Here are the top ten gifts for the Czech in your life…

Czech T-Shirt: There are literally dozens of great designs for t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, tank tops, and more. Some of the most popular are Czech sayings, the country’s flag, and an outline of the Czech Republic.

Hockey And Soccer Jerseys: These two sports are the most popular in the country, and many great hockey and soccer players began their careers in the Republic. Specialty online retailers can personalize a jersey of the national teams. A great way to show off some nationalistic pride!

Garnet Jewelry: Many visitors to Prague seek out jewelry adorned with fiery red garnets mined in Bohemia. You can find them in pendants, rings, and necklaces.

Czech Republic Flag: What better way to honor your heritage than with a flag? Or, if a flag won’t fit your decor, get a flag design on any type of apparel.

Bohemian Crystal Glassware: Bohemia, an area of the Czech Republic, is world famous for specialty glass production. Glass making is one of the country’s most time honored traditions, and numerous intricate designs are a trademark of these craftsmen. Wine glasses and drinking glasses are the most popular.

Czech Republic Vacation Package: For a bigger splurge, there are numerous specialty vacation packages available for those wanting to explore the Czech Republic. Among the most popular are the Prague Christmas tour and a special genealogy tour of the country.

Bohemian Crystal Vase: Just as with glassware, crystal production is well known as being a Bohemian specialty. A beautiful decorative vase is the perfect housewarming or wedding gift.

Easter Eggs: Easter is an important holiday in the Czech Republic. It is much anticipated, with many special Easter traditions being carried out for generations. One such tradition is hand painted Easter eggs made out of wood, porcelain, or other suitable material.

Puppets And Marionettes: The art of puppetry is a wonderful tradition, and nowhere is it more revered than in the Czech Republic. A puppet or marionette is a perfect gift for a youngster, as it will spark their creativity and artistic talents.

Fire Polished Beads: A perfect idea for the arts and crafts lover in your life. Fire polished beads can be used to adorn artwork, jewelry, and ladies garments. Beading is one of the most popular crafting hobbies in the world, and these beads are known as the very best.

So there you go, the top ten Czech gift list. Enjoy!

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