Following yesterday's results, Charlton are 14th yet only three points above the last relegation place. 19th to 22nd are all on 47 points and three points cover eight teams. Moreover, the spread between the top team just below the play off places and the relegation zone is just 12 points.
At the end of March 2012 there were four teams with less than 40 points with Doncaster Rovers on 32. 47 points would have given you 17th place (occupied by Peterborough United). The spread from the relegation places to 7th was 25 points. It's clearly a very evenly balanced competition this season.
Writing in the last Voice of the Valley Rick Everitt commented, 'Although 50 points is often quoted as the benchmark for safety from relegation, the average points score of the third from bottom Championship team over the last 20 years has been 47, making 48 the minimun safe tally for survival in a typical season. Admittedly that is slightly distorted by Portsmouth, who had 10 points deducted last season, but even if that had not happend Barnsley would have gone down on 48, and the average isn't significantly affected.'
The Rickster continued, 'No side in the last two decades has gone down with more than 52 points, although Leicester City and Millwall had the misfortune to be relegated with precisely that haul in 2008 and 1996 respectively.' Among the teams that have gone down in 22nd place since 1992 are Birmingham City, Leicester City and Manchester City. It was a massive shock to discover that Sheffield Wednesday had gone down twice.
It is probably worth noting that there are ten teams below us and it is unlikely that they will go on winning every game. My original prediction on CAFC Picks for this season was 57 points. That is achievable and should see us safe. Indeed, another win and another draw would probably do it.
As it so happens, in League 2 17th to 24th is covered by four points and the bottom team already has more points than the teams relegated last year.