Top 10 teams ‘too big’ to go down
History is littered with giants of the game who fell to earth – and relegation
1 Man Utd 1974
Manchester United legend Denis Law (below with Mike Summerbee) sealed their relegation, scoring a famous backheel against them for City. Nonetheless, United bounced back at the first attempt.
2 Wolves 1976
Wolves, who had been high-fliers both domestically and in Europe, fell into the second tier after a disastrous campaign. They bounced back as champions at the first attempt.
3 Spurs 1977
Tottenham Hotspur conceded more than 50 goals away from home as they finished rock bottom of the old Division One. However, they bounced back again at the first time of asking in 1978.
4 Man City 1983
After manager John Bond departed midseason following a falling-out with the board, City were relegated on the final day. They had two seasons in the second tier before returning.
5 Ipswich 1986
After Sir Bobby Robson left to become manager of England in 1982 the club went into decline and were relegated four years later. It took them six years to return – in the first Premier League.
6 Aston Villa 1987
Just five years after winning the European Cup they fell into the second tier following a dismal season. However, under new manager Graham Taylor, they achieved instant promotion.
7 N Forest 1993
Despite reaching the FA Cup final two seasons before, Forest were relegated in the Premier League’s first season. They returned at the first attempt and qualified for the Uefa Cup a year later.
8 Blackburn 1999
A mere four years after winning the Premier League title, Blackburn Rovers slumped into Division One. Graeme Souness masterminded their return to the top flight in 2001.
9 Leeds Utd 2004
Leeds reached the Champions League semis in 2001, but were relegated in 2004 after suffering serious financial problems. They have yet to return, and endured a stint in League One.
10 Newcastle 2009
After Kevin Keegan’s second spell in charge ended in acrimony and Joe Kinnear’s first reign was curtailed by ill health, Newcastle were relegated on the final day under Alan Shearer. They returned in 2010.