What Happened to the 10 Biggest Clubs Relegated from the Premier League

Matt Cheetham@@Matt_CheethamCorrespondent IApril 25, 2014

What Happened to the 10 Biggest Clubs Relegated from the Premier League

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    Since its conception in 1992, the Premier League has seen 35 different clubs experience relegation.

    In total, there have been 64 demotions. Crystal Palace are the only side to have suffered on four separate occasions and only 10 of the 46 teams to play top-flight football are yet to taste relegation.

    This season's battle is already shaping up into an intriguing scrap, set to last until the final moments of the season.

    But what tends to happen to sides once they lose their Premier League status?

    Here's a look at the subsequent stories of 10 of the biggest demoted clubs.

    In terms of stature, the following clubs are judged based on their reputation at the time of relegation, as opposed to fanbase, trophy hauls or income.

1993: Nottingham Forest

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    We start with the very first Premier League season, in which Brian Clough's long, triumphant association with Nottingham Forest ended in relegation.

    Having sold off key players, such as Teddy Sheringham and Des Walker, Forest endured a wretched season, rock bottom of the division for long periods.

    Their fate saw Clough announce his retirement from the game, after 18 years at the club.

    His reign heralded a league title, two European Cups and four League Cups, as well as 16 successive years of top-flight football.

    Down in the second tier, Frank Clark took charge and Forest lost more key players in the shape of Roy Keane to Manchester United and Nigel Clough to Liverpool.

    However, Clark and his board spent well, restructuring the club with several important signings.

    Stan Collymore, Des Lyttle, Dave Phillips and Colin Cooper all arrived alongside the Norwegian duo of Lars Bohinen and Alf-Inge Haaland.

    The new faces combined well to secure an immediate promotion back to the Premier League, after a second-placed finish to Crystal Palace.

    Forest then remained a Premier League outfit for another three years—even making a UEFA Cup runbefore once again suffering relegation in 1997.

    They enjoyed one more season of top-flight football the following year, before spending most of the ensuing years in the middle regions of the Championship, as well as three testing seasons in League One. 

     

1995: Norwich City

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    Bigger sides have suffered relegation than Norwich but their 1995 season was one of the more surprising in Premier League history.

    After a solid start, their form completely deserted them as the Canaries won just one of their final 20 league games—having began with nine wins in 22.

    Relegation ended a nine-year spell just two seasons after being involved in the title race and 12 months after their infamous European win over Bayern Munich.

    Martin O'Neill took charge of their first season in the second tier, but only lasted a short while.

    Having lost key players before and during the previous campaign, the exodus continued following their demotion.

    Captain Jon Newsome, Gary Megson, Mike Sheron and Simon Tracey all departed as the club looked to balance the books.

    More crucially was the fact that so few signings arrived, leaving the Canaries unable to mount a promotion challenge, finishing down in 16th position.

    They remained in mid-table mediocrity for a number of years before briefly returning to the Premier League in 2004.

    After an instant relegation and a few more mid-table finishes, Norwich were relegated to League One in 2009, only to secure successive promotions and return to the Premier League in 2012.

1996: Manchester City

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    Manchester City were nowhere near the powerhouse they are today at the time of their 1996 relegation, yet still represented a big club on the slide.

    The blue half of Manchester were a million miles away from their red counterparts back then, often embroiled in fierce scraps for survival.

    After a couple of narrow escapes, they slipped out of the Premier League in 1996 on goal difference.

    Despite high expectations of an immediate return, five different managers and some drastic roster reshuffles led to a forgettable first year away.

    The Citizens spent big for their second season, determined to push on from a mid-table finish.

    However, despite the likes of Georgi Kinkladze still at the club, City's 1998 season was one of their poorest in recent history.

    Tipped to go up, poor form, a spate of injuries and gross underachieving led to hostile atmospheres and regular supporter protests against the board.

    This all culminated in a surprise 22nd-placed finish and relegation to the third tier.

    Back-to-back promotions secured better times on Manchester and, despite one further Premier League relegation, City remained a mid-table top-tier team until their lucrative takeover in 2008.

     

1997: Middlesbrough

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    Following a mid-table finish in their first Premier League season, Middlesbrough embarked on a summer of lavish spending in an effort to build on a promising year.

    By the start of their 1996/97 campaign, they had assembled an exciting roster, including the likes of Fabrizio Ravanelli and Emerson.

    However, as with many others on this list, such extravagant spending proved detrimental to their form as their star recruits couldn't arrest a steady slide down the table.

    Many of their marquee buys departed soon after relegation, but some clever signingsincluding Paul Merson, Andy Townsend and Hamilton Richardensured their time outside the Premier League was short.

    Middlesbrough returned after just one season, finishing second behind Nottingham Forest.

    They remained a mid-table Premier League force for 11 years, winning the 2004 League Cup, before again slipping to an unexpected relegation in 2009, from which they are yet to return.

1999: Blackburn Rovers

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    Blackburn were another side to suffer a rapid, unexpected decline, competing in Europe the season before their 1999 relegation.

    That continental campaign was due to a top-six finish and, of course, Rovers had hoisted the Premier League crown just four seasons prior to that.

    Following relegation, mainstays Tim Flowers, Chris Sutton and Jason Wilcox all departed, although the board injected a large proportion of income back into the transfer budget.

    Matt Jansen, Egil Ostenstad and Craig Short were among those to arrive but Blackburn's 1999/2000 campaign was affected by the large number of comings and goings.

    It took a full season of acclimatising before a promotion attempt transpired, with an 11th-place finish the sum of their first season away from the Premier League. 

    The following year, Graeme Souness led them back to the top flight after a second-placed finish.

    Blackburn then remained a Premier League side for another 11 seasons before once again finding themselves relegated in 2012, following a controversial takeover. 

2001: Coventry City

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    Coventry ended an impressive 34-year run of top-flight football in 2001, finally succumbing to relegation after several miraculous escapes.

    The likes of John Hartson, Craig Bellamy and Chris Kirkland were plucked away for lucrative sums but the £5 million spent on Lee Hughes convinced many that a Premier League return was imminent.

    Indeed, the Sky Blues led the way for the early part of the Championship season before eventually slipping out of the running.

    Their first season away ended in an 11th-placed finish, unfortunately their second-highest from then right up until the present day.

    Unlike many of the clubs on these slides, Coventry have been unable to even suggest a return may be on the cards.

    An eighth-place finish in 2006 was as close as it's been. Since then, it's become progressively worse.

    After four seasons of narrowly avoiding relegation in the second tier, Coventry dropped down to League One in 2012, and are yet to finish above 15th during two seasons in the third tier.

    With severe financial problems, fans may be waiting a long time to see a Premier League return.

     

2003: West Ham United

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    West Ham's 2003 relegation was arguably the most talented squad to drop out of the Premier League.

    Joe Cole, Jermain Defoe, Michael Carrick, Glen Johnson, David James, Paolo Di Canio and Freddie Kanoute were all on the roster that failed to remain among England's elite.

    Predictably, many of these star names departed, leading to a transitional first season away from the Premier League.

    After Glenn Roeder departed, Alan Pardew roused a flagging campaign that ultimately ended in play-off defeat.

    Some savvy buys led to another play-off place the following year, which this time led to the Hammers' return.

    A ninth-place finish and an FA Cup Final marked a triumphant comeback season, although West Ham slipped back out of the top flight in 2011 after a controversial takeover.

    They immediately returned and have remained a Premier League outfit since.

2004: Leeds United

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    Leeds United's relegation in 2004 was perhaps the most severe example of excessive spending gone catastrophically wrong.

    With five successive top-five finishes (from 1998-2002) landing five straight European campaigns—including a Champions League semi-final—the club's stubborn determination to remain among the elite backfired spectacularly.

    With soaring debts, star name after star name was hurriedly sold off, leading to their eventual relegation in 2004.

    Once in the Championship, the outgoings continued as Leeds' squad completely transformed from their Premier League years.

    Alan Smith, Paul Robinson, Mark Viduka, James Milner, Ian Harte and Nick Barmby were among the huge volume to depart, replaced by lower-profile personnel.

    After three years, United's woes continued, rock-bottom for most of the 2007 campaign before entering administration and being condemned to the third tier of English football.

    Three top-six finishes finally led to a promotion back to the Championship, but Leeds remain a huge club stuck below the Premier League.

    Despite its size, the club continue to battle severe financial issues, unable to control their debts.

     

2005: Southampton

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    Southampton ended a 27-year association with the English top flight in 2005, relegated on the final day of the season in one of the Premier League's most memorable battles.

    Despite a strong academy setup, a huge overhaul of players left their immediate promotion hopes on hold.

    Harry Redknapp, George Burley, Nigel Pearson, Jan Poortvliet and Mark Wotte all failed to rouse a comeback as Southampton spent the majority of the next four years in the lower regions of the Championship.

    By 2009, the club were in major financial difficulty. They were eventually relegated to League One, where life began with a 10-point deduction for entering administration.

    That kept the Saints in League One for consecutive seasons before back-to-back promotions restored their Premier League status in 2012, after a seven-year absence.

2009: Newcastle United

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    The biggest club to lose their Premier League status in recent years was Newcastle, after a lousy campaign in 2008/09.

    Boardroom struggles, managerial changes and an overpaid, underachieving roster contributed to the club's first relegation since 1989.

    The Magpies were understandably forced to offload numerous personnel in the Championship, with Michael Owen, Obafemi Martins, Damien Duff and Sebastien Bassong all departing.

    More would have left but for inflated wage packets scaring off potential suitors.

    Few signings of note arrived but Newcastle kept enough quality to stroll back to the Premier League in style.

    They won the Championship by 11 points, earning automatic promotion by a comfortable 23-point margin.

    Since their return to the top flight, the Magpies have remained clear of trouble, even mounting a top-four challenge in 2011/12.