Congratulations to Cardiff City this week for confirming themselves as the champions of the npower Championship. I won't revisit what I said about Malky Mackay and his team in my last blog but after sitting top of the table since November, I think everyone would agree that they're worthy winners.
The Bluebirds' triumph is good news for Bolton Wanderers and Hull City. Wanderers play Cardiff at the City Stadium on Saturday and Hull play them at the KC Stadium on the last day and both will be more than happy that they've safely sewn up the title.
Steve Bruce in particular will be delighted. Hull can secure automatic promotion on Saturday if they can beat Barnsley at Oakwell but he knows now that should things not go according to plan, he's essentially got another bite of the cherry next month when Cardiff come to the KC.
At this stage of the season, league positions become largely irrelevant. A team battling against relegation is far more dangerous animal than a side already guaranteed a place in the Play-Offs, for example, and Steve knows that if he still needs three points on the final day, he'll face a Cardiff side that will probably be, let's say, a little more relaxed than usual.
Malky will be working hard to keep his players focused and want to finish the season in style but however professional you are, it's inevitable you take your foot off the gas when you essentially have nothing to play for. It's a subconscious rather than conscious reaction but it happens.
Saying that, current players cannot afford to be too complacent compared to say 10 years ago, even if their side is sitting safely in mid-table. Contracts tend to be shorter these days, there is less job security in the game and there's a higher turnover of players.
It was a decent weekend for my old club Ipswich Town. They drew 1-1 at Sheffield Wednesday and although mathematically they're not yet safe, it was a result that basically guaranteed Championship football at Portman Road next season and represented mission accomplished for Mick McCarthy.
The team were bottom when Mick succeeded Paul Jewell in November and it's difficult to overstate how good a job he's done for the club. Ipswich would be something like third or fourth in the division based on results under Mick and give or take a few additions, he's achieved that with the same group of players that were in place when he arrived.
I think his smartest move was bringing in Richard Stearman on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers in January, which allowed Carlos Edwards to move further forward and play his more natural game. Mick also shored up the defence and generated a team spirit that had been lacking and in the end, they got out of trouble with something to spare.
I'm quietly optimistic about next season. The club have been in the Championship for 11 seasons now but depending on what kind of budget is made available to Mick in the summer, a push for the Play-Offs could be realistic.
There's been a lot of debate this week about how much and the distribution of the money the Premier League filters down to The Football League clubs from its lucrative TV deal. The biggest bone of contention is the parachute payments for the teams coming down to the npower Championship, which goes up to £23million next season.
Obviously that's a huge amount of money and some have argued that it's not a level playing field in the Championship if the relegated sides are guaranteed such a disproportionate windfall.
I can see the logic in softening the fall for relegated clubs. If there was no payment at all we would definitely see teams going out of business, which nobody wants, but personally I do believe £23m is probably too much. It immediately puts the clubs who benefit in a different financial bracket to the vast majority of the other teams in the division.
For me, a redistribution of some of the parachute money throughout the Championship would be the way forward. I'm not an accountant, so I'm not going to put an exact figure on it, but it would help balance things out.
I think one of the problems is the payment is a very blunt instrument because not all clubs are equal. If Wigan Athletic came down to the Championship next season, they'd need the money more than others based on their modest gates. A club like Aston Villa would welcome the cash but they've got greater alternative revenue streams.
Interestingly, the Premier League insists that only a third of the sides to be promoted from the Championship in the last 15 years have in receipt of parachute payments, which suggests the money is far from a guarantee of success. That may be true but the fact remains the payment does increase the gap between the haves and have-nots.