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Yorkshire  Canary

Contrasting Fortunes after life in the Premier League

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The PL the holy grail that all English football clubs aspire to seems to have been about for ever but of course its first season was 1992/93. We were one of those founding clubs and since that time we have managed i think 9 seasons in the top flight which is reasonably successful given  the size and resources of our club. Three of those seasons came at the start of the PL which coincided with some of our best and most successful moments in football, though it should be remembered that by the time of our relegation in 1994/95 we had been a top flight member for more than a decade, that at the moment looks a long way off from being repeated. There are a top 6 or 7 clubs who have never been relegated from the top flight and with the possible exception of Everton it is difficult to envisage any of them dropping out of there, it would take mismanagement of massive proportions.  It may surprise some that  since that first PL season over 50 clubs by my reckoning have had at least 1 season in the PL. Some original members like Oldham  and Ipswich have fallen on hard times whilst others have come back from the edge of falling out of the football league to get there like Burnley and  Bournmouth.  It is  of note that a very large number of clubs who have dropped out of the PL suffered after shocks that saw them drop down the Divisions into league 1 or even league 2. Looking down the tables of league 1 and 2 next season they are littered with clubs that have tasted PL experience. Some have bounced back, including us ,  but some very big clubs have found it hard over this period to get out of at least league 1 after PL demise, look at Sunderland , Ipswich  now and the two Sheffield clubs and Leeds in the past. Add to all that one club does not even exist in its original form, the old Wimbledon very successful in the top flight for a number of years but  no longer in existence after being moved many miles to become MK Dons. All these clubs crave to be in the top flight and eat at the top table enjoy the high profile and the supposed money that is on offer.  Unless you are one of the really big clubs history has shown there is no magic bullet and over the long term there is often a high risk of serious  damage done to a club trying to get to and then stay in the top flight.  Look at the likes of Charlton, Wigan and Bolton just to name a few who managed to stay in the PL  for a decent period then financial meltdown when the ride ends. It strikes me that to stay any length of time in the top flight if you are a smaller club, you have to have everything going for you at the same time  , Reasonably wealthy owners, good and stable management and a successful transfer policy, when any one of these factors go the wheel comes off. The jump for clubs like ours and many others is huge, there are not that many people wanting to invest huge sums of money in football clubs[ even huge clubs like Newcastle, If a smaller clubs have short term success the bigger beasts in the law of the jungle pinch their managers and better players. The lesson for me is  enjoy what you have and do not have unrealistic expectations, if a rich owner comes along yes that is a game changer, but in the interim though it does not go down too well with some good house keeping is a good thing particularly in these unprecedented times

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