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Monday, May 09, 2005

EPL: Relegation Dogfight

Looks like things at the top of the EPL are pretty much settled, but at the foot of the table, there is a bitter dogfight going on. Four teams are fighting for premiership survival. Not surprisingly, 3 of them are the newly-promoted freshies – Norwich, Crystal Palace and West Brom – together with the aptly named Southampton. Portsmouth is at 16th place with 39 points, safe from relegation.

I thought at least two of the relegation spots would have been decided last weekend, but with 2 points separating the 4 teams now, it looks like it will only be decided on the last day of the league – this coming weekend.

As it stands, its will mean at least two of the freshie teams will be relegated. In my opinion, it looks like WBA and Palace (even with Andy Johnson) will be likeliest to be playing in Div One next season. These teams need not be reminded of the horrors of relegation – loss of TV money, loss of gate receipts, departure of star players, huge wage bills, etc.

I do not need to mention the difficulty of newly promoted teams to survive in the Premier League, they are up against other teams that far more financial power than them. I’m not just talking of big teams like Chelsea, MU, Liverpool and Arsenal, but teams like Spurs, Villa and Everton have benefited from decades of good TV money (and 13 seasons of EPL sponsorship).

But whichever of the freshie teams that drop down can take a little comfort from the fact that they alone. In the 13 seasons of the EPL, on once did all 3 of the freshies stay alive for more than 1 season – Fulham, Blackburn and Bolton survived their first season in 01/02 and are still in the Prem up until today. But twice (in 93/94 and 97/98) did all three freshie teams go up and down in one season. Hardly good news for Norwich fans. More startling is that for those who survive the first season are more likely to go down in the following campaign.

On the plus side, some teams like Charlton, Newcastle and Birmingham have survived a long time after being promoted.

After some research, I’ve listed below the teams that have only survived one season in the EPL. Further below I’ve listed the complete history of promotion and relegation since the EPL was launched.

One Night Stand (Survived Only One Season in EPL)
92/93- Boro
93/94- Swindon
94/95- Leicester, Crystal Palace
95/96- Bolton
96/97- Sunderland
97/98- Bolton, Barnsley, Palace
98/99- Forest, Charlton
99/00- Watford
00/01- Manchester City
01/02- none
02/03- WBA
03/04- Leicester, Wolves
04/05 - ???

Full history of promotion and relegation in the EPL:
Promoted From Div One
92/93 – Newcastle, Swindon, West Ham
93/94 – Leicester, Palace, Forest
94/95 – Bolton, Boro (only two teams were promoted to reduce EPL size)
95/96 – Sunderland, Derby, Leicester
96/97 – Bolton, Barnsley, Palace
97/98 – Forest, Boro, Charlton
98/99 – Sunderland, Bradford, Watford
99/00 – Charlton, Man City, Ipswich
00/01 - Fulham, Blackburn, Bolton
01/02 – Man City, WBA, Birmingham
02/03 – Portsmouth, Leicester, Wolves
03/04 – Palace, WBA, Norwich
04/05 - Sunderland, Wigan, ???

Relegated from Premiership
92/93 – Palace, Boro, Forest
93/94 – Sheffield United, Oldham, Swindon
94/95 – Palace, Norwich, Leicester, Ipswich (Four teams were relegated to reduce EPL size)
95/96 – Man City, QPR, Bolton
96/97 – Sunderland, Boro, Forest
97/98 – Bolton Barnsley, Palace
98/99 – Charlton, Blackburn, Forest
99/00 – Wimbledon, Wednesday, Watford
00/01 – Man City, Coventry, Bradford
01/02 – Ipswich, Derby, Leicester
02/03 – West Ham, WBA, Sunderland
03/04 – Leicester, Leeds, Wolves
04/05 - ???

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  • I'm impressed with Norwich's recent revival. They are the only team who have their destiny in their own hands now, and a win in their final match will guarantee them Premiership survival.

    A far cry from the team 'destined' to the drop just a few months ago...

    By Blogger sashi, at 5/09/2005 10:20:00 am  

  • sashi - i agree. but they could have avoided this situation, they were unlucky to lose a lot of points in the first half.

    looks like proton is getting some decent returns from their investment. hope they stay up...

    By Blogger Simon, at 5/09/2005 12:44:00 pm  

  • Norwich, towards the end of Feb, I found myself rooting for them. And when they defeated MU, my support grew even STRONGER, haha. I find Delia Smith's devotion and passion for her club both amusing and inspiring (her infamous half time rant during one of the games was one of the highlights of the season).

    The two teams I admire most this season is Norwich (for their heart) and Everton (for their resilience).


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/09/2005 07:12:00 pm  

  • looks like Norwich drew some attentions to Msian fans by wearing that jerseys... *giggle*

    Out of all these relegation teams, probably i miss Forest the most -- moving down to League One coming year, while i still recall their great competition with my fav Liverpool last decade.

    By Blogger keng 坑, at 5/10/2005 08:03:00 am  

  • keng - it has all gone horribly wrong for forest. i hope all those teams who are winning trophies can learn their lesson. who knows, they may be relegated one day (look at leeds...)

    By Blogger Simon, at 5/10/2005 10:01:00 am  

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