Relegated Premier League sides are automatically identified as favourites for promotion and an instant return to the top flight amongst the bookmakers at the start of the season but I think we all knew that such an achievement was way beyond our realistic expectations this season.
Some fans were expecting relegation with mentions of a ‘repeat of Sunderland’ who were relegated to League One last season but Graham Potter looks like delivering a very respectable mid-table finish in the Championship.
We’re currently in 13th place with 44 points, 9 behind 6th placed Bristol City who have a game in hand over us.
So, how does our current 13th position compare with other relegated Premier League sides in their first season in the Championship?
The average position in the first season is 9th – if you look back since the 2011/12 season – our first in the Premier League.
Of the 21 relegated sides since then, 6 – just less than a third – went straight back up. Out of the others, Fulham, Wolves and Cardiff City have since returned to the English top flight.
You will also notice in the list below that some sides have struggled to compete again in the Championship. Birmingham City, Bolton, Reading and Sunderland are some of those that have suffered since relegation.
Premier League relegated sides – record in first season in the Championship since 2011/12.
Of the 21, 6 went straight back up, 4 winning the play-offs and the other 2 as Champions. 3 others finishes in the top 6.
The overall average position finish is 9th. pic.twitter.com/yE1C8w7tyM
— Swans Analytics (@SwansAnalytics) February 16, 2019
Out of the teams relegated last season, only West Brom are competing in the top six (4th) for a quick return to the Premier League. We’re in mid-table (13th) while Stoke City’s spending has backfired as they’re way down in 17th.
According to transfermarkt – they’ve spent £56m on signings including Benik Afobe (£12m), Tom Ince (£10m), Sam Vokes (£7m), Ryan Woods (£6.5m) and Sam Clucas (£6m).