Premier League

Five Premier League clubs, like Everton and Leicester, who looked too good to go down

Newcastle relegated in 2009

West Ham had the talent and they appeared to have points. Not so. Forest had Brian Clough; Leeds had recently been in the Champions League semi-finals.

With Everton and Leicester facing the very real threat of relegation, we looked at the fortunes of five other clubs who were thought to be too good to go down. Leeds aside, it bodes well for a swift return if Sean Dyche becomes the first Everton boss in 72 years to be relegated…


Nottingham Forest, 1993

Why did they go down? Brian Clough’s Forest finished eighth the season before and they began the campaign by beating Liverpool in the first ever Premier League match broadcast on Sky Sports. But the scorer of their winner that day, Teddy Sheringham, was sold along with Des Walker and Forest went into into free-fall.

They won two from 21 after the opening day and were rock-bottom by New Year. Forest rallied with five wins in seven but it was a fleeting revival. Clough had run out of answers and before their relegation was confirmed in the second-to-last game of the season at home to Sheffield United, the Forest legend’s retirement was announced, bringing down the curtain on an incredible managerial career at the City Ground in desperately ill-fitting circumstances.

How did they react? Once Clough had received the send-off he deserved, Forest appointed Frank Clark and set about returning to the top flight. They had to make do without Roy Keane, who was sold to Manchester United for a British transfer record fee. But Clark retained most of Forest’s Premier League squad while adding Stan Collymore, David Phillips and Colin Cooper.

Forest made relatively light work of their season in the second tier. They finished runners-up behind Crystal Palace but with a nine-point cushion between themselves and those made to endure the play-offs.

What happened then? Never a dull moment at Forest through the ’90s.

Forest initially thrived back in the Premier League. They finished third in 1994-95 with 77 points and qualified for Europe. Then dropped to ninth the following season, before plummeting back to the bottom of the pile in 1997. Then they won the Championship. Before finishing bottom of the Premier League for the third time in seven seasons. They will at least avoid that fate this season.


Portrait of an icon: Brian Clough


Middlesbrough, 1997

Why did they go down? Because they literally didn’t turn up for a game at Blackburn.

Boro were docked three points after they insisted they were unable to…

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