When it comes to the world of football, few divisions are as cut-throat and decisive as the Premier League. England’s top-flight is one of the richest leagues in the world, which is why it is seen as so important for clubs to be in it. The Championship play-off final is known as the ‘Richest Game of Football’ on account of the fact that it is worth more than £100 million to the club that wins it. Stay in the Premier League and you could double your money, such is the extent to which reaching the top-flight is a lucrative endeavour for those trying to get there.
As a result, there is a desire to get straight back up when a team is relegated out of the Premier League and into the Championship. For a time, clubs were given ‘parachute payments’ in order to help them cope with the drop in their fortunes, such is the difference in terms of income between the two divisions. For teams that go down, there is almost a financial necessity to get straight back up again, but it obviously isn’t as easy as just saying you want it to happen and then making that a reality. The question is, then, how often do relegated teams get straight back up?
Quick Answer: How Often Do Teams Relegated from the Premier League Gain Promotion the Following Season?
Between the 1992-93 and 2022-23 season, 91 teams have been relegated from the Premier League with 26 of those gaining promotion back to the top-flight after just one season in the Championship, a success rate of 28.6%
During this time there have been 10 season when 0 teams were promoted back after one season, 14 seasons where 1 team was promoted back and 6 seasons where two teams were promoted straight back. To date, all three teams relegated have never all gained promotion the following season.
Looking At The Facts
When it comes to trying to answer the question, the good news is that the Premier League is one of the most watched and followed divisions in the world. As a result, there is plenty of information to be found regarding when teams have been relegated out of it and when they have returned to it, if that is indeed something that has happened. Obviously there are some clubs that get relegated and then either take years to get back up or else haven’t managed it at the time of writing, whilst there are other teams that seem to constantly yo-yo between the two divisions.
Here is a look at each of the Premier League seasons, investigated how many teams have been relegated in one campaign and then how many of them were promoted back at the end of the following season. It is a bit complicated because we essentially have to miss a season in our explanation, but this is how the relegated and promoted teams have worked since the first Premier League campaign:
What The Stats Say
Whilst we might well image that teams that are relegated out of the Premier League take a little while to return to it, the stats don’t actually bear that theory out. Across the 30 seasons that we’ve looked at, here’s how it panned out:
In other words, it is twice as likely that at least one teams is able to get straight back into the top-flight after having been relegated the year before than it is that no teams will enjoy an immediate return. If you are relegated, good decisions will often see you get back into the Premier League the following season.
That said, in practise this isn’t done by all relegated teams, with a straight return for all three sides yet to occur.
The Teams That Have Yo-Yoed The Most
Now that we know how likely it is that a team will return to the Premier League after having been relegated, we can take a look at the sides that have tended to bounce between the two divisions the most. Here, we aren’t looking at sides that have been relegated and then promoted back within couple of years, but rather the ones that have gone down and then immediately returned at the end of the following season.
At the time of writing, then, all of Nottingham Forest, Leicester City, West Bromwich Albion, Birmingham City, Newcastle United, Norwich City, Burnley and Fulham have managed to get straight back into the Premier League the season after being relegated out of it on two occasions. No team has managed to do it three times yet, suggesting that it is a tougher proposition than you might have thought. That doesn’t mean that the teams in question have sunk without a trace, but rather that they’ve taken a couple of seasons to return to the English top-flight after having stopped out of it thanks to relegation.
Meanwhile, Crystal Palace, Bolton Wanderers, Middlesbrough, Charlton Athletic, Manchester City, Sunderland, West Ham United, Queens Park Rangers, Hull City and Watford have managed to get back up at the first time of asking once to date.
In other words, there were 18 teams that were relegated from the Premier League at some point after the 1992-1993 campaign that managed to get back into the top-flight the following season, going up to the 2021-2022 season. Of those 18, ten of them managed the trick just once, whilst eight did it on two occasions.
Your Chances Of Getting Back Up Immediately Are Good
Between the launch of the Premier League in 1992 and the end of the 2021-2022 campaign, 91 teams have been relegated out of the top-flight and 89 promoted into it. Of the 91 teams that have been relegated, a team has been able to get straight back into the Premier League the following season on 26 occasions. Obviously there is some doubling up of teams during that time, but that is irrelevant as far as our mathematics is concerned. That means that if you go down, you’ve got a 28.57% chance of getting straight back into the division at the first time of asking.
Whilst that isn’t as good as 50% or higher, it is still a really good chance that you’ll be back in the big time without needing to wallow in the Championship for too long. It is just shy of a one in three chance, so definitely not to be sniffed at if you’re a team facing the threat of relegation.
Full List of Teams Relegated from the Premier League
Below is a full list of the teams. We have indicated with a tick or a cross whether those teams were able to gain promotion back to the Premier League after just one season on the EFL.
Relegated Premier League Teams – 1992-93 to 2022-23
|Season||Positions||Team||Promoted Following Season|
|19th||West Bromwich Albion||✖|
|20th||West Bromwich Albion||✖|
|20th||Queens Park Rangers||✖|
|20th||Queens Park Rangers||✅|
|20th||West Ham United||✅|
|20th||West Bromwich Albion||✅|
|19th||West Bromwich Albion||✖|
|2002-2003||18th||West Ham United||✖|
|19th||West Bromwich Albion||✅|
|19th||Queens Park Rangers||✖|