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Will Bolton play in the "Domino's Pizza Championship" next season?

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Dean Mouhtaropoulos

As things stand, Bolton Wanderers are in the play-off places. They occupy sixth place in the table and are a point clear of seventh-place Leicester City. Assuming that the Trotters finish the season in that position, it leaves a good chance for promotion back to the Premier League. There would be three games between the Trotters and a return to the top flight. With that comes significant room for error and ultimately failure to be promoted.

If Bolton do not achieve their goal, it certainly isn't the end of the world. A stay in the Championship, while it would have its fair share of negatives, is not all bad for Bolton. It would offer a chance to blood the younger players while continuing the development of those that have already broken into the squad. If there's anyone that knows how to get results in this division, it's Dougie Freedman.

The division itself is about to undergo some changes. In the next few years, there will be (relatively) a lot more money dropping down to the clubs from the Premier League's new and incredibly lucrative TV deal. The league will also have a brand new sponsor.

We had just become used to calling it the "npower Championship" but after this season, that moniker will be no more. Three years ago, the Football League agreed a sponsorship deal with npower worth a reported £21 million (which is peanuts compared to the £27.5 million that the Premier League receives from Barclays every year). That deal ends this summer and, at the time of writing, there is no replacement.

Reports in recent weeks had been adamant that the Football League were in the deep stages of negotiation with B&Q (for those unaware, this is very much like Home Depot or Lowe's) for the sponsorship. A report from the Daily Mail has now said that those talks have fallen through. Per the Mail, B&Q had "suddenly pulled out of negotiations" after having been expected to ink a three-year sponsorship deal. Again, according to the Mail, that deal was worth £21 million over the course of three seasons.

The Football League is now forced to scramble and return to negotiations that with parties interested in the sponsorship before the League focused the whole of their attention on B&Q. One of those parties was pizza chain Domino's who were a front-runner to take the sponsorship. Domino's Pizza has some 770 locations in the UK and already sponsors a number of TV shows on English airwaves.

Like the npower sponsorship, the deal would cover the Championship, League One, and League Two.