The Premier League’s Forgotten Clubs: Three Sides that have plummeted into Obscurity

September 15, 2016

- Grant Whittington

While the Premier League is synonymous with wealth and success, it has also proven to be an unmitigated nightmare for some clubs. We are not taking about those clubs that tend to bounce regularly between the top flight and the Championship, you understand, but the sides that have sunk into the abyss after their relegation from the Premier League.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at three of the top flight’s forgotten clubs and chart their remarkable descent into the depths of the Football League…


No team has endured a decline quite like Portsmouth, who were competing in the top half of the Premier League as recently as 2010. The club even won the FA Cup in 2008, but quickly unravelled after entering a period of administration and suffering from a nine-point deduction that saw them relegated in 2010.

After being forced to sell their core of the squad that had triumphed at Wembley and finished in the top half of the Premier League table on numerous occasions, the club then endured subsequent relegations that saw them land in League Two in 2014.

This is where Pompey remain to this day, and for now a return to the top flight seems like little more than a distant, fanciful, dream.

Oldham Athletic

Incredibly, Oldham were one of the Premier League’s founding members in 1992, with a side that included talented forwards such as Andy Ritchie and former Everton legend Graeme Sharp. The club avoided relegation by a whisker during their first season, before being relegated a year later (despite coming within seconds of reaching the FA Cup final).

Oldham have subsequently fallen steadily from grace, remaining in the Championship until 1997 when they finished 23rd in the table and were relegated to the third tier of English football. This is where the club have remained since, despite brief flirtations with promotion and two failed play-off campaigns in 2003 and 2007.

If anything, the clubs appears closer to entering League Two than it does to reclaiming former glories, although fans retain hope that the Latics can rise again.

Swindon Town

If you blinked, you would probably have missed Swindon Town’s brief, one season sojourn in the Premier League back in 1994. Arriving in the top flight after a thrilling, 4-3 play-off win against Leicester City, the Robins struggled significantly, finishing bottom of the table and shipping 100 goals in the process.

They even endured a 15 game winless run during the season, although in truth the club was hamstrung by the departure of influential midfielder Glenn Hoddle (to Chelsea) and captain Colin Calderwood (to Tottenham) before the season began.

The Robins have never since come close to regaining their top flight status, as they continue as perennial strugglers in League One.

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