Every team wants to be playing in the Premier League, but it’s a tough ask to actually stay there once you get there.
Over the years, we’ve seen plenty of sides suffer relegation once or twice, but that’s not who we’re interested in here. We want the crème de la crème of relegation – the teams who have dropped out of the league most.
Here are the 11 teams with the most relegations from the Premier League.
The thing that made Leicester’s title triumph in 2015/16 so impressive is that they were actually supposed to be one of the division’s worst ever teams at the time.
The Foxes’ first taste of top-flight football was in 1994/95 and lasted just one season, but they soon bounced back and enjoyed a lengthy run in the Premier League between 1996 and 2002.
Their last relegation from the division was in 2004 and, given their recent success, there might not be another one for a while.
Hull had to wait until 2008 for their first foray into the Premier League, but they then went on to suffer three relegations in nine years.
They dropped out of the league in 2010, 2015 and 2017, and have actually experienced relegation more than survival. Hull finished 17th in 2008/09 and 16th in 2013/14.
Those top-flight days seem a long time ago for Hull, who now spend their days in relegation battles in the Championship.
One of the inaugural Premier League sides, QPR lasted four years in the top flight before being bumped out in 1996, and things got so bad that they actually ended up down in League One.
Things eventually began to turn around and QPR stormed back to the top flight for the 2011/12 season thanks to the genius that was Adel Taarabt. Streets won’t forget.
Relegation followed in 2013, but the brilliance of Charlie Austin brought QPR back after just one year. The Englishman scored 18 goals in the 2014/15 season, but even that wasn’t enough to keep a third relegation away.
The first few years of the Premier League weren’t kind to Nottingham Forest, who got all their relegations out of the way before the turn of the decade.
Forest finished 22nd in 1992/93 and had the displeasure of being the first side to finish bottom of the division, but Stan Collymore brought them straight back up and even had Forest challenging for the league title in 1994/95. His 25 goals earned him a move to Liverpool that summer, and that’s when things started to unravel.
Forest dropped to ninth in 1995/96 before plummeting all the way to 20th the following year. After another bounce-back, Forest ended up 20th again in 1999, and they haven’t been seen since.
Birmingham had to climb their way up from the third tier to earn a spot in the Premier League in 2002, and they looked right at home as they managed three mid-table finishes in a row.
The Blues unravelled and fell down to 18th in 2006, and this prompted a few years of hopping between divisions. They were in the Championship in 2006/07, Premier League in 2007/08, Championship in 2008/09 and Premier League in 2009/10.
Birmingham ended the trend in emphatic fashion as they finished ninth that year, but an 18th-placed finish in 2010/11 saw them drop right back down. But hey, they did beat Arsenal in the League Cup final that year!
Bolton are used to getting relegated recently, but unfortunately, those relegations have seen them drop all the way to League Two.
Two forgettable seasons in the top flight in 1995/96 and 1997/98 both led to disappointing relegations, but Bolton clawed their way back in 2001 and proved to be a reliable side in the division.
An 11-year run in the Premier League, which included sixth, seventh and two eighth-placed finishes, ended in 2012, and financial struggles soon took over and brought the club to its knees.
Sunderland’s first relegation came in 1996/97, which triggered a move for then-Watford striker Kevin Phillips. His heroics brought Sunderland back in 1999, and in his first season in the top flight, he fired home 30 goals and won the European Golden Shoe. Not bad.
Phillips’ heroics kept Sunderland in the division until 2003, but they were back in 2005 (but they might wish they weren’t – they won just three games all year in 05/06).
After winning the Championship at the first time of asking, Sunderland returned to the top division in 2007 and enjoyed ten seasons there before dropping down once more, and they now find themselves in League One. There’s a whole documentary series about it, y’know.
Another member of the division’s first-ever season, Middlesbrough endured a year to forget in 1992/93 and were relegated after finishing 21st.
Boro returned in 1995 and looked set to stay for a few years after signing Fabrizio Ravanelli in 1996, but even the Italian’s 16 goals couldn’t stop them from dropping down.
After one year in the second tier, Boro spent 11 years in the top flight and finished as high as seventh in 2004/05, but a disappointing 2008/09 season brought the fun to a close.
Boro’s last appearance in the Premier League came in 2016/17, when they were unceremoniously relegated after just one year.
Alongside Forest and Middlesbrough, Palace were one of the first three sides to get relegated from the Premier League back in 1993, and they soon became English football’s most high-profile yo-yo team.
Palace were back in 1994/95 but lasted just one year, and they met the same fate during their one year back in 1997/98. When they managed to reach the top flight again in 2004, they once more only lasted one year.
Since their re-appearance in 2013, Palace have looked like a solid Premier League side. The definition of mid-table.
West Brom are known as the ‘Boing-Boing Baggies’ for a reason – between 2002 and 2010, they just couldn’t make their mind up about which division they wanted to be in.
Promoted in 2002, relegated in 2003, promoted in 2004, relegated in 2007, promoted in 2008, relegated in 2009 and promoted in 2010.
The fun came to an end in 2018 when they dropped out of the Premier League again, but West Brom are on track to be back with the big boys for 2020/21.
They could have had five relegations if they hadn’t pulled off the ‘Great Escape’ in 2004/05. Instead, the first team who are set to hit five are…
It seems like just a matter of time before Norwich’s fifth relegation from the top flight is confirmed. The games are running out and there are too many points to make up.
The Canaries actually finished third in the 1992/93 season, but since then, life hasn’t been so good at Carrow Road. They were relegated in 1995 and had to wait until 2004 to get back.
The 2004/05 season was disasterous and resulted in the drop, and Norwich fell as far as League One before returning in 2011. After a few years of fun, they were back in the second tier in 2014.
Promotion from the Championship in 2014/15 was followed by relegation in 2015/16, and the Canaries look set to meet the same fate this year.