Fascinating Facts: relegation and promotion battles

Royce Franklin

Royce Franklin takes a nostalgic look back at how football has changed in the 67 years since he watched his first live match.

AS I write, Crystal Palace are riding high in the Premier League after winning at Chelsea towards the end of August, yet they had to apply for re-election to the Football League three times in the 1940s and 50s.

Northampton were third in division four at the end of the 1960-61 season and gained promotion to division three.

They won promotion to the second division two years later and after two further years they were promoted to the first tier.

They lasted one year in the first division. They were relegated to what is league one a year later and two years later it was relegation again. From bottom to top and back again in nine seasons. Quite an achievement. Dare I say one never to be repeated with the present money in the Premier League?

In 1974/75 Carlisle played in the first division for the first and only time. They won their first three games against Chelsea, Middlesbrough and Spurs without conceding a goal.

They were top of the shop after these wins, yet they finished 22nd – a position they occupied spasmodically for the reminder of the season, firstly as early as February, even after their tremendous start. They lasted only two seasons in division two before being relegated yet again. Remember Carlisle also spent 2004/05 in the then called Conference.

More recent history centres on Blackpool who in their recent travails are not quite emulating Northampton, but are currently favourites in eyes of many for relegation to what is division four. Relegated from the Premier League at the end of 2010/11. Season 2016/17 in league two?

Portsmouth won the FA Cup in 2008 when they finished eighth in the top division. They are now in the bottom tier for the third consecutive season, although admittedly their loss of status was attributed partly to financial irregularities en route.


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