Championship 2011-12: Club by club
Manager: Kenny Jackett
Position last season: 9th
Players in: Ryan Allsop (West Brom, £80k), Therry Racon (Charlton, free), Hameur Bouazza (AC Arles-Avignon, £175k), Darius Henderson (Sheff Utd, undisclosed), Jordan Stewart (Skoda Xanthi, free)
Players out: Patrick O'Connor, Kiernon Hughes-Mason (both released), Marc Laird (Leyton Orient, free), John Sullivan (Charlton, free), Steve Morison (Norwich, £2.5m), Theo Robinson (Derby, undisclosed), Neil Harris (Southend, free), Ashley Grimes (Rochdale, free), Andy Frampton (Gillingham, free), Danny Schofield (Rotherham, free)
It was a remarkably successful return to the Championship for Millwall, who almost earned a play-off place with a squad of players assembled in League One.
Now it is being broken up. Steve Morison's 17-goal year earned him a move to Norwich and leaves a vacancy for a goalscorer. Less prolific last year, but the club's record marksman, Neil Harris, is another departure.
Morison's move has allowed the quietly accomplished Kenny Jackett to bring in more Championship experience, but it will be hard for Millwall to improve upon their achievements last year.
Key Man: Darius Henderson - The uncompromising target man is charged with replacing Morison. If less likely to score, he can trouble defenders in other ways.
One to Watch: Josh McQuoid - The Northern Ireland international made a slow start after swapping Bournemouth for Millwall, but a first full year at the New Den should produce more.
Manager: Steve McClaren
Position last season: 6th
Players in: Andy Reid (Blackpool, free), George Boateng (Skoda Xanthi, free), Jonathan Greening (Fulham, £600,000)
Players out: Nathan Tyson (Derby, free), Mark Byrne (Barnet, free), Kelvin Wilson (Celtic, free), Dele Adebola (Hull, free), Paul McKenna (Hull, free), Julian Bennett (Sheff Weds, free), Robert Earnshaw (Cardiff, free)
Exit Billy Davies, who reached the play-offs almost as often as he fell out with directors, and enter Steve McClaren, a manager who can polarise opinions in other ways.
With Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink on the coaching staff and George Boateng and Jonathan Greening in midfield, McClaren's Middlesbrough reunion is proceeding while some of Davies' buys find new clubs.
That only midfielder Lewis McGugan, in a terrific year, reached ten goals shows the importance of one of David McGoldrick, Marcus Tudgay and Robbie Findley cementing himself as McClaren's first-choice striker as Dexter Blackstock continues his recovery from injury. If the former England manager's new charges can remain hard to beat at the City Ground, the play-offs could beckon again.
Key Man: Andy Reid - The last 18 months have been a frustrating period for a midfielder with the talent to unlock defences but in his second spell at Forest, Reid has the talent to resurrect his career.
One to Watch: Brendan Moloney - The Irish full-back started to feature at the end of last season, attacking enthusiastically and showing promise.
Manager: Darren Ferguson
Position last season: 4th in League One (promoted)
Players in: Paul Jones (Exeter, free), Ryan Tunnicliffe (Manchester United, loan), Scott Wootton (Manchester United, loan), Nicky Ajose (Manchester United, undisclosed)
Players out: James McKeown (released), Seth Nana Ofori-Twumasi (Northampton, free), Chris Whelpdale (Gillingham, free), Craig Mackail-Smith (Brighton, £3.25m)
Promotion, promotion, relegation, promotion: Peterborough's last four seasons show they rarely stand still. The worry now will be that they will change division for a fifth successive year.
Craig Mackail-Smith's 34 goals fired them out of League One but with the striker following Aaron Mclean out of London Road, Posh's greatest asset - their forward line - now looks rather less intimidating.
They scored a remarkable 106 league goals last year. The concern is they conceded 75 in League One, which bodes badly at a higher level. So, too, does part of Darren Ferguson's record: the teams he managed at the equivalent stage of the last two years were both relegated from the Championship.
Key Man: Ryan Tunnicliffe - The powerful, accomplished England Under-19 midfielder is tipped for a fine future. His loan signing would have represented more of a coup but for the suspicion of nepotism.
One to Watch: Nicky Ajose - Another arrival from Old Trafford, the striker helped Bury to promotion from League Two last season and has to compensate for Mackail-Smith's exit.
Manager: Steve Cotterill
Position last season: 16th
Players in: David Norris (Ipswich, free), Jason Pearce (Bournemouth, undisclosed), Luke Varney (Derby, undisclosed), Stephen Henderson (Bristol City, free), Greg Halford (Wolves, undisclosed)
Players out: Michael Brown, Richard Hughes, Danny Webber (all released), Marlon Pack (Cheltenham, free), Nadir Cifti (Kayserispor, free), Darryl Flahavan (Bournemouth, free), David Nugent (Leicester, free)
After yet another takeover and still more players leaving, Portsmouth's squad is so thin that it is positively anorexic.
Consolation can be derived from the way that Steve Cotterill often works best in adversity and the knowledge that, in David Norris and Luke Varney, Pompey have brought in players of quality. Quantity, of course, is another matter.
Last season showed that, with their full-strength side, Portsmouth could beat almost anyone, but were prone to slumps when injuries told. This season may be a repeat, with mid-table again the likely destination.
Key Man: Liam Lawrence - One of the division's premier set-piece specialists, he should offer both goals and assists from the right wing.
One to Watch: Joel Ward - The versatile youngster has been a rare homegrown player to establish himself in the first team.
Manager: Brian McDermott
Position last season: 5th
Players in: Mikele Leigertwood (QPR, free), Bongani Khumalo (Tottenham, loan)
Players out: Ben Hamer, Ethan Cage, Abdulai Bell-Baggie, David Mooney, Danny Joyce (all released), Scott Davies (Crawley Town, free), Julian Kelly (Notts County, free), Ivar Ingimarsson (Ipswich Town, free), Matt Mills (Leicester, undisclosed), Jake Taylor (Aldershot, loan)
The beaten play-off finalists, Reading's task is to sustain the momentum which took them from mid-table to the brink of the Premier League in the final four months of last season.
It will be all the harder in the absence of Matt Mills, the outstanding figure in their defence, while Brian McDermott is facing a battle to keep hold of Shane Long, whose 25-goal year turned him into hot property.
But the Reading manager has been quiet in the transfer market, with Mikele Leigertwood the only permanent signing, and even he was on loan at the Madejski Stadium last season. With further additions, their chances would be stronger, and another top-six berth is possible if Long stays.
Key Man: Shane Long - The Irishman made the transition from squad player to star man in a superlative season. Quick, direct and deadly, he is a potential top scorer in the division.
One to Watch: Alex Pearce - Handed the No.5 shirt that used to belong to Mills, the 22-year-old centre-back also has the job of replacing the sold captain.
Manager: Nigel Adkins
Position last season: 2nd in League One (promoted)
Players in: Jack Cork (Chelsea, undisclosed), Steve de Ridder (De Graafschap, undisclosed) Players out: Anthony Pulis, Tony Garrod, Callum McNish (all released), Oscar Gobern (Huddersfield, tribunal)
Odds-on favourites to win League One, Southampton eventually secured promotion with a season of two halves, first stuttering and then superb.
It helped the early-season appointment Nigel Adkins that he had attack-minded players, in Rickie Lambert, Lee Barnard and Adam Lallana, who already looked equipped for the Championship.
The precocious Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been joined by another youthful, if more experienced, midfield talent in Jack Cork and Southampton have the ability to survive comfortably. A second successive promotion, however, should be beyond them.
Key Man: Adam Lallana - Few players contribute more goals from the flanks. Lallana's finishing takes some of the pressure off Rickie Lambert.
One to Watch: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - The 17-year-old has been linked with many of the major Premier League clubs. Like Gareth Bale and Theo Walcott before him, he could produce a tidy profit for Saints.
Manager: Sean Dyche
Position last season: 14th
Players in: Craig Forsyth (Dundee, undisclosed), David Mirfin (Scunthorpe, free), Mark Yeates (Sheff Utd, undisclosed), Prince Buaben (Dundee United, free), Chris Iwelumo (Burnley, undisclosed), Carl Dickinson (Stoke, undisclosed)
Players out: Danny Graham (Swansea, £3.5million), Will Buckley (Brighton, £1m), Liam Henderson (York, free), Mat Sadler (Walsall, free), Nathan Ellington (Ipswich, free), Don Cowie (Cardiff, free)
Watford's success came at a cost with manager Malky Mackay and top scorer Danny Graham both lured elsewhere. As is their habit, the Hornets have turned to a young manager and cheap signings.
Promoted from within, the untried Sean Dyche has an awkward mission: to overachieve again, but without the architect, in the prolific Graham.
Three of the signings, David Mirfin, Mark Yeates and Chris Iwelumo, bring Championship experience to a young squad. It should be enough to keep them up.
Key Man: Marvin Sordell - Half of a prolific partnership with Graham, the surviving member has the task of ensuring the goals continue to flow.
One to Watch: Prince Buaben - The exotically-named midfielder has come from Dundee United, but used to be on the books at Ajax.
Manager: Sam Allardyce
Position last season: 20th in Premier League (relegated)
Players in: Abdoulaye Faye (Stoke, free), Kevin Nolan (Newcastle, undisclosed), Matt Taylor (Bolton, £2.2 million), Joey O'Brien (Bolton, free)
Players out: Danny Gabbidon (QPR, free), Matthew Upson, Jonathon Spector, Lars Jacobsen, Zavon Hines (all released), Manuel Da Costa (Lokomotiv Moscow, £1.3m), Radoslav Kovac (FC Basel, £500k), Demba Ba (Newcastle, free), Kieron Dyer (QPR, free), Anthony Edgar (Yeovil, free)
Had West Ham appointed Sam Allardyce in January, the chances are they would still be in the Premier League. Instead, Allardyce's duty is to restore the Hammers to the top flight.
It is a job that entails radically reshaping the squad in very little time. The £4 million signing of Kevin Nolan was a statement of intent and, with Abdoulaye Faye and Matt Taylor also joining, it gives West Ham a Boltonian flavour and is likely to make them set-piece specialists.
Allardyce is likely to add organisation to a chaotic defence, but finding a goalscorer in attack must be a priority. With more sales expected, it may be hard to predict the team, but it is likely West Ham will be in contention.
Key Man: Kevin Nolan - Named the Championship's best player when he helped Newcastle to promotion two seasons ago and scorer of 12 Premier League goals last season, Nolan will be pivotal if he can make it a hat-trick of fruitful seasons.
One to Watch: James Tomkins - The probable partner for the more experienced Faye in defence and a genuine prospect. Allardyce's fondness for organisation could bring the best out of him.