Top 10 too good to go down teams
1. West Ham 2002-03
Most Hammers fans credit Glenn Roeder for leading a side containing David James, Joe Cole, Frédéric Kanouté, Jermain Defoe, Michael Carrick and Paolo Di Canio into the Championship. It all ended well in the end, but not before the old side had been broken up and flogged off.
2. Leeds United 2003-2004
Leeds had sold several big-name players to combat their crippling financial situation, but still had Alan Smith, Paul Robinson and Mark Viduka in their first team as they secured relegation. The dreaded drop came just three years after their Champions League semi-final appearance.
3. Charlton Athletic 2006-07
The Addicks were approaching a successful decade in the Premier League when Alan Curbishley left in 2006. The comfort of top-half finishes and chasing European places was replaced by the instability of three coaches in a season and subsequent relegation.
4. Sheffield Wednesday 1999-2000
They might have had a couple of mediocre seasons, but the Owls were a Premier League fixture and were never genuine relegation material. That changed in 1999 when an 8-0 defeat to Newcastle set the tone for a disastrous season.
5. Blackburn 1998-99
Just four years after being crowned Premier League champions and Rovers found themselves on the way to the Football League. Roy Hodgson might have turned Fulham’s fortunes around, but 10 years ago he lost his job for leading Blackburn towards relegation. Brian Kidd took over the sinking ship as Jack Walker’s millions stopped working their magic.
6. Juventus 2005-06
The Turin giants found themselves two Serie A titles lighter and in Serie B after Italian football’s match-fixing scandal. Unsurprisingly they won the Serie B title the following season.
7. Sheffield United 2006-07
While their squad might not have been the strongest, the Blades relegated squad are still taking legal advice because they believe that they literally were too good to be relegated and were cheated out of their Premier League place by West Ham.
8. Reading 2007-08
Talk about a difficult second season. The Royals were pipped to a Uefa Cup place during their debut Premier League season. The following year Steve Coppell’s men were a shadow of their former selves and paid the price.
9. QPR 1995-96
Founder members of the Premier League, QPR followed up three top-half finishes with… relegation. Despite a strong squad, the Hoops missed the goalscoring expertise of Sir Les Ferdinand after his move to Newcastle.
10. Middlesbrough 1996-97
Remember the photos of a disconsolate Juninho? Of course you do – you’ve just seen it above. Bryan Robson assembled one of the Premier League’s earliest multi-cultural line-ups. But while Fabrizio Ravanelli and Juninho and co. took Boro to two cup finals in 1997, they could not avoid relegation.