With only 4 or 5 points currently separating Fulham from the relegation zone, it feels like with just a couple breaks Fulham could get out of relegation. However, when looking at point trends for this season and what would need to be done for the remaining games to stay up, things look grim.
Points Needed for Safety
In the past 10 years the average points for the top relegated team was 35 and the bottom safe team was 38. Based on projections from current form this season 37 points would see a team through to safety. So with those two data points, lets use 37 points as Fulham's goal for safety.
Fulham currently has 14 points with 17 matches to go. To get to 37 points Fulham will need 23 points over the rest of the season - 1.35 points per match.
Likelihood of Getting to Safety
Earning 1.35 PPM over the remaining 17 matches will be a tall order for Fulham. To put this into context, over the past 17 matches the teams that had the closest PPM to 1.35 were Wolverhampton...
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.