We now know that QPR and Norwich will be joined by either Reading or Swansea in the Premier League next season. The three teams that go up will all know that the Premier League is a huge challenge and survival is often considered a major success – but how have teams fared in their first season in the top flight.
Well in the Premier League this season the newly promoted sides were Blackpool, West Brom and Newcastle. West Brom and Newcastle have both had their problems and both clubs have had a change of manager, but they have moved well away from the relegation zone and can start planning for another season in the Premier League. Blackpool have had a mixed season but have pleased many people with their attacking brand of football but they are currently in the relegation zone and will certainly need to win their final game to have any chance of survival.
In the 2009/10 season the newly promoted clubs were Wolves, Birmingham and Burnley. It was a season unlike this season and a points tally as low as 31 points would have been enough for Premier League survival. Wolves finished in 15th place with a tally of only 38 points – which in other seasons would have not been enough for survival. Birmingham was a real standout performer in the Premier League and finished in a very impressive 9th place. However, Burnley had a very poor season and was relegated in 18th place with a tally of only 30 points.
West Brom, Stoke and Hull were the newly promoted teams in the 2008/9 season and the three teams that were relegated that season went down with relatively low points tallies. West Brom finished rock bottom of the table and were relegated. Stoke had a very solid season and finished in an impressive 12th place and Hull finished in 17th and survived in the Premier League by just one point; their season’s tally of 35 points proved to be just enough.
Birmingham, Derby and Sunderland were the promoted sides in the 2007/8 season and all three teams struggled. Sunderland eventually managed to scramble clear of relegation and finished with 39 points in 15th place. However, Birmingham and Derby were both relegated; Birmingham finishing in 19th place with 35 points and Derby finished rock bottom with a dismal tally of only 11 points. The 17th place side survived with just 36 points that season.
Reading, Sheffield United and Watford were the promoted teams in the 2006/7 season and it was Reading that performed the best with a very impressive finish of 8th in the table. However, Sheffield United and Watford didn’t enjoy the best of seasons and were relegated. The team that survived that season in 17th had 38 points.
The news over the last five years is fairly positive for the newly promoted sides for next season. With the possible exception of this season teams in the previous four years haven’t needed to reach 40 points in order to survive. Despite the fact that the promoted teams are labelled as relegation favourites they don’t all get relegated and as the facts above show one team can perform very well.
If next season follows the same trend one or possibly two of the promoted sides can expect to survive. However, it remains to be seen how long those teams that do survive can remain in the Premier League. They may take some inspiration from Stoke, who have had another solid season in the top flight that this season included an FA Cup final and qualification for Europe. But perhaps the most important statistic is the fact they will be competing in the Premier League for their fourth consecutive season next year.