Only 9 clubs have never dropped out of the the top 2 tiers of English football from the time they first entered the Football League – Everton, Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United and Leicester City.
If Leicester City are relegated this weekend, they will lose their place in this elite group of clubs. Obviously, once a club loses its place in this group, it can never be regained. Blackpool (1978), Sheffield Utd (1979), Burnley (1980), Sunderland (1987), Birmingham City (1989), WBA (1991), Manchester City (1998 ) and Leeds Utd (2007) have all suffered that fate in the last 30 seasons.
On a separate note, if Hull City are promoted this season, they will end their “reign” as the club that has spent the most number of seasons in the second tier without ever having played in the first tier – 53. This was a “crown” previously held by Barnsley until they won promotion to top tier in 1997. Before they were promoted in 1997, Barnsley had played in the second tier in 61 of 88 seasons from when they first joined the Football League (in 1898 ).
If Hull City are promoted, Port Vale are next in line to be the club that has spent the most number of seasons in the second tier without ever having played in the first tier (41) – a “title” they are unlikely to lose anytime in the near future following their relegation to the fourth tier. However, if Plymouth Argyle spend 3 more seasons in the second tier (without being promoted to the first tier) before Port Vale next play at that level, they will share the “honour”.
The fact that should Hull City be promoted, Hull will end its reign as the biggest city in Britain (if not Europe) not to have a club play in the top flight of its country’s domestic league has been discussed elsewhere.
Good luck to Leicester City and Hull City this weekend.