With a week left in the season, the Championship's two automatic promotion spots have been settled with Queens Park Rangers and Norwich City clinching spots in the league's top two and with it, a spot in the English Premier League for 2011-2012. QPR have led the Championship from the beginning of the season and were only kept from running away from the league because of Norwich's dogged pursuit. It doesn't matter now though as the Super Hoops are champions and the Canaries will join them in the top division.
QPR entered the weekend in need of a win over Watford to clinch the league title and that's what they got. Adel Taarabt continued his sensational season with a goal and Tommy Smith added one of his own to push the Super Hoops on to a 2-0 victory. The win and clinching of the league title sparked celebration from the team and the roughly 2,000 supporters in the away stand at Vicarage Road, but their celebrations might be muted later this week.
It is expected that the Football Association will rule on the charges that QPR violated rules when they signed Alejandro Faurlin. The Argentine is alleged to have had his contract owned by a third party and in addition to a fine, it is possible that the FA could impose a points deduction that drops QPR into the playoff or worse.
There are no such concerns for Norwich, who are undoubtedly moving to the Premiership next season in an amazing run that goes back to last season's opening day. The Canaries were relegated from the Premier League six years ago and on the first day of last season were sitting at the bottom of the League One table after being defeated 7-1. Their incredible run from that point reached new heights on Monday when Simeon Jackson's 50th minute goal against Portsmouth led the Canaries to a 1-0 win and clinched promotion for the club.
Norwich was only in position to clinch promotion on Monday because of Cardiff City's shock defeat to Middlesbrough. It was expected that Cardiff would have no trouble with Boro, but instead they dropped all three points and Norwich got to kick off against Pompey knowing that three points would clinch their promotion.
On the bottom end of the Championship table are Sheffield United and Scunthorpe, both of whom rounded out the relegation field over the weekend and will join Preston North End in the drop to League One next season.