Both Norwich City and Southampton have been relegated from the Championship (level 2) to League One (level 3), four years after being relegated from the Premier League in 2005, along with Charlton Athletic, who were relegated from the Premier League in 2007.
Each decline is clearly unique, yet there are common factors. For Charlton, Southampton and Norwich, relegation from the Premier League was sufficiently traumatic to have had a lingering psychological impact. On a more practical level, the challenges of the economic climate have been magnified by sudden and sizeable falls in turnover.
At Charlton, directors and shareholders subscribed to a convertible corporate bond issue last year that raised £14.7 million to repay short-term loans and provide working capital for the business.
Even so, with the double-whammy of Championship relegation and an end next season to the Premier League parachute payment, the fear of staff redundancies is looming.
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to say if the parachute payment is a blessing or a curse.
Apart from economic issues, an esoteric pattern – Norwich and Southampton have been promoted or relegated together on several occasions since 1960:
- In 1960, both clubs were promoted from the old Third Division (level 3) to the old Second Division (level 2). At that time, both clubs had yet to reach the top flight. Six years later, in 1966, Southampton were promoted to the old First Division for the first time. A further six years later, in 1972, Norwich City were promoted to the old First Division for the first time.
- In 1974, both Norwich City and Southampton were relegated from the old First Division. It was the first season that 3 clubs were relegated. Previously, only 2 clubs were relegated. The third club to be relegated that season were Manchester United, who finished second from bottom. Southampton regained their place in the top flight in 1978, and remained there until 2005. Norwich City bounced straight back in 1975, but were relegated from and subsequently promoted to the top flight two more times before they won promotion again in 2004.
- Norwich City and Southampton were relegated together from the Premier League in 2005.
- Both clubs have now been relegated to League One, the first time either club will play at the third tier since they were promoted together in 1960.