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Relegation Not Always The End

Monday 14th May 2012
The Premiership has finally reached its climax and we now know the teams who have been relegated. Bolton, Blackburn and Wolves will be playing second tier football next term and if you're a fan of one of these clubs, its easy to think that going down to the Championship is the end of the world.

Many clubs have fell through the relegation trap door, never to return. Even big clubs like Leeds, Leicester and Sheffield Wednesday have all experienced the lows of relegation from the top flight of English football. However, in certain cases, it has been a breath of fresh air for a club, a way to clear the deck and start a new era. Look at Southampton as a perfect example. They were an established Premiership side before a bad season sent them tumbling. It didn't stop there. Mountains of debts piled up and the club simply couldn't cope. Add to that another relegation, this time to League One and it would have been easy to forget the Saints were ever a respected top flight club.

But now they are back in the top flight with most their debts cleared and funds to add players to their squad to give themselves a genuine shot at survival.

Out of the three clubs relegated, I feel Wolves are in the best position to make a quick return. Their chairman Steve Morgan has stated his intention to make funds available to new manager Stale Solbakken to improve the squad and hold on to their prized assets. The only stumbling block for Wolves could be if the new manager takes time to find his feet, they could find themselves out of the automatic promotion race, so its important they get off to a flier.

Bolton were sent down at Stoke City and although it is hard to see two refereeing howlers cost your team so dearly, the harsh reality for Owen Coyle's men is that winning only four games at home all season is the main reason for their downfall. Yes, referee Chris Foy made two incorrect decisions which led to both of Stoke's goals, but over 38 games, Bolton were not good enough. Their fans may call QPR lucky, but the bottom line is, QPR put themselves into a position where they could afford to lose on the final day and still stay up, which is exactly what happened.

Blackburn are the side I fear the most for. Out of the three, they are probably the biggest club. But with the fans against manager Steve Kean and owners Venky's, you feel that in a season where everyone has to pull together in the same direction, this won't be the case at Ewood Park. Although I think Kean could have been more positive at times, I do think that the board were unprofessional in letting the criticism fall solely on his own shoulders. Someone should have been close by to deflect some of the stick he was getting, and maybe then he could have passed a more positive vibe onto his players. But its too late now.

Unfortunately, if you are relegated after 38 games then you deserve it. Sounds harsh, but you can't be unlucky in 38 games. That's 3,420 minutes of league football. Some decisions go for you, some go against you. But I believe they even out over the course of a season.

Rob Wildey

Total articles: 27

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