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Bouncing Back from Relegation - How Many Have Done It?

Posted on May 18th, 2013 by Araz Heydariyehzadeh

After their defeat at Arsenal, Wigan became the first club ever to win the FA Cup and be relegated in the same season. But it's not all doom and gloom, relegated teams bounce back from the Championship far more often than is usually thought.

Doom Mongers
Every relegated side goes down with huge cloud over their heads and cautionary tales about the likes of Portsmouth, who suffered massively when relegation followed some spectacular highs. The reality though is that only 1 club, Swindon Town, have ever been relegated in successive seasons after falling from the Premier League. The far more common outcome is an extended stay in the Championship.

Bouncing Straight Back
There is good news for Wigan, QPR and Reading. Bouncing straight back up after relegation is far more common than you might think.

Of the 61 teams that have been relegated from the Premier League in the last 20 seasons, 15 have managed to come straight back up the following season. That would suggest, that roughly speaking your team has about a 25% chance of coming straight back up. Not fantastic chances, but not nearly as bad as some would have you believe.

Getting More Difficult
It is worth noting though, that the task is becoming progressively more difficult as The Championship has become a much tougher league in recent years.

During the first 10 years a total of 9 teams bounced straight back up, however during the last 10 seasons that number has dropped to 6, with West Ham being the only team to come straight back up in the last 3 seasons and that number will now be extended to 4 seasons once the Play Off final has been concluded.

Danger Signs
The three teams that went down last season all did fairly poorly, with Wolves now becoming the second side to suffer successive relegations. There are definitely danger signs that coming back up isn't as easy as it used to be.

This season just 68 points were needed to secure a play off place in The Championship, the lowest tally ever. This might seem like good news for those attempting to climb back up to the top flight but when you look at the fact that Peterborough were relegated with a tally of 54 points the news becomes far more ominous.

Peterborough's tally of 54 was the highest ever with which a team has been relegated from The Championship and with just 14 points separating a team that went down and one which made the play offs this suggests that the league is now a much tougher one to escape from, with much less separating those at the top and at the bottom. All of this increases the chances that a relegated side could spend years in the Championship if this season's numbers are an indication of a trend in the Championship.

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