One only needs to look around the grounds at the end of the season to see the devastating effect that relegation can have on a club, their players, and more importantly, their fans. For many, relegation would rank as one of their darkest moments – it is almost treated with the same grief as a death in the family.
In Argentina, they have a curious style of determining the teams that get relegated from the top division. It is decided on an average points system, where the total number of points that a team has acquired over the past three seasons is averaged out. The teams are then ranked in order of these average points, and the bottom three are relegated. If a team has not been in the division for three years, then their points total is simply divided by the number of seasons that they have been in the division.
While this system is generally perceived to be a mechanism to protect the big teams if they have one particularly bad season, it would be an interesting test to see what impact this might have had on the Premiership since its inception. Would former top division regulars such as Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield Wednesday and Southampton have been saved by this new system? Would we have seen the same teams relegated, or have certain teams benefited from the occasional strong season to boost their average?
We will look season-by-season to determine how different the Premiership landscape would have looked if it had decided to use this new method of determining relegation: