Odds are in Norwich City’s favour ahead of battle for Premier League survival
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As prospects of Premier League survival return to the thoughts of Norwich City fans, David Freezer takes a look at how promoted teams have fared in recent years.
The current season isn’t over yet but thoughts are already turning to whether Norwich City can secure survival in the Premier League.
Daniel Farke’s promotion winners head to Aston Villa knowing a point would definitely secure the Championship trophy, although anything less than a win for Sheffield United at Stoke and City will be champions regardless of the result at Villa Park.
It’s worth the Canaries giving it one last push to end the campaign on a high though, as eight of the past 10 title winners have gone on to retain their top-flight status.
Even better than that, the last five teams to lift the trophy – Wolves, Newcastle, Burnley, Bournemouth and Leicester – have all kicked on and become established Premier League clubs.
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On the other hand, six of the last 10 play-off final winners have gone straight back down.
That includes the Canaries, who have seen both sides of the coin in the past decade, going up as runners-up in 2011 and enjoying two reasonably comfortable mid-table finishes before going down in 2014, as well as following play-off success in 2015 with immediate relegation the following season.
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Fulham were last season’s play-off final winners and have already dropped through the trap door, with Cardiff almost certain to join them, sitting four points adrift and with a trip to Manchester United on the final day awaiting.
While Canaries fans will study the mistakes made at those clubs at this summer, there is little comparison that can be made with big-spending Wolves, who are on course for seventh place and have billionaire owners with Champions League ambitions.
Assuming that Cardiff will go down, that will mean 11 of the 30 teams promoted teams in the past 10 seasons have gone straight back down to the Championship – leaving a decent 63 percent survival rate.
In fact, only two of those 30 teams have finished bottom during their first year back in the big time: QPR in 2015 and Cardiff in 2014.
Or of course you can just do what Leicester did from 2014 onwards: win the Championship title, finish 14th in the top flight, lift the Premier League trophy in your second season and narrowly miss out on a Champions League semi-final because of an away goals defeat to Atletico Madrid in season three. Easy.
In the past decade all three new teams haven’t gone straight back down together and only twice have the promoted trio all survived: Newcastle, Brighton and Huddersfield last season and QPR, Norwich and Swansea in 2012.
And despite the remarkable story of the current City squad securing promotion against the background of deep financial cuts, the club is now heading for its fifth Premier League season in nine.
It will be the 26th top-flight season in the Canaries’ history, with the first being in 1972-73, sparking a lofty status of just three campaigns outside the top tier in 23 seasons – through to relegation in 1995.
Wolves will become just the third promoted team in the past 10 seasons to finish in the top half, currently on course for seventh place, after Birmingham finished ninth in 2011 and Newcastle 10th last season.
While ambitions of joining that exclusive club are far from a priority at this juncture of City’s history, the past decade proves that promoted clubs hanging on to their elite status among the big boys is perfectly possible, if they can maintain momentum.
RECENT PL SEASONS
Wolves – 7th?
Cardiff – 18th? REL
Fulham – 19th? REL
Newcastle – 10th
Brighton – 15th
Huddersfield – 16th
Burnley – 16th
Middlesbrough – 19th REL
Hull – 18th REL
Bournemouth – 16th
Watford – 13th
NORWICH – 19th REL
Leicester – 14th
Burnley – 19th REL
QPR – 20th REL
Cardiff – 20th REL
Hull – 16th
C Palace – 11th
Reading – 19th REL
Southampton – 14th
West Ham – 10th
QPR – 17th
NORWICH – 12th
Swansea – 11th
Newcastle – 12th
West Brom – 11th
Blackpool – 19th REL
Wolves – 16th
Birmingham – 9th
Burnley – 18th REL