Fulham is now less than a week away from playing in the Premier League again. The summer transfer window has been good for Fulham and the team certainly finished last season strong, but what are the typical prospects for a newly promoted team? What kind of odds are Fulham facing for long-term success?
Since 2000, there have been 54 promotions to the Premier League. Over that time span, 39% of teams were relegated back to the Championship after just one season. Three times since 2000 all three teams survived the first year, including all three promoted teams from last season. In the past 18 seasons there has never been a time when all three promoted teams went back down after just one season.
Percent of Teams Relegated After One Season
As the chart shows, Fulham is in the weakest position with 50% of Championship playoff winners heading back down after just one season in the Premier League.
Of course, we’d like to have more than just one season in...
Win or lose on Saturday, it will be the end of a team that has had an extraordinary run. If Fulham makes it to the Premier League, new faces will come in and higher caliber teams next season may make things not quite as fun next year (although I feel like Fulham and Villa will play a better match at Wembley than the one today for the FA Cup). If Fulham doesn’t make it to the Premier League then the team will be gutted and our top players, and likely the manager, will head to the Premier League without the club. In that scenario Fulham should come away with a nice wad of cash, but they’ll be starting over. Either way, the end is here for a remarkable and memorable team.
I realized in the Derby match that every one of the starting players have earned my respect and appreciation. So before getting caught up in the inevitable changes that will follow the playoff final, I’d like to take a moment to appreciate the guys on this team and what they’ve accomplished.
A Miracle Needed for Automatic Promotion
A few weeks ago the first edition of this series looked at Fulham’s Promotion chances with 15 matches to go. At that time, as we entered a tough stretch of six straight matches against the top teams, I said:
“If Fulham comes through with five wins then they will be an automatic promotion contender.”
Although I didn’t think it was possible, Fulham did it. The team secured five wins and one draw. This announced to everyone that Fulham is the best team in the league right now. Unfortunately, I also didn’t think it was possible for Cardiff to continue their run. In fact, Cardiff managed to win all of their matches over the past six giving them two more points than Fulham and stretching their lead back to eight points.
Fulham and Cardiff Continue to Move In Tandem Up the Table