How long before a club returns to the Premier League after relegation
Last Updated: 03/05/18 6:57pm
How long does it take for a club to regain Premier League status after relegation? We check the stats...
West Brom have evaded relegation for three weekends in a row but need to beat Tottenham on Saturday and rely on results elsewhere to further delay dropping out of the Premier League for a fourth time.
The Baggies were last relegated from the top flight in 2008/09 and made an instant return to the Premier League - but how long does it usually take for relegated teams to make a comeback?
As of the start of this season, 64 per cent of relegated teams have made a Premier League return - that's 46 out of 72.
Of those, the average time to regain top-flight status is three seasons - although nearly half (21 out of 46) achieved an immediate return to the Premier League.
Teams that achieved immediate return to PL
QPR had to wait 15 years to regain top-flight status after their relegation in 1995/96, slipping into the third tier in the early 2000s before climbing back among England's elite for the start of 2011/12.
Other teams to have suffered long waits before bouncing back include Sheffield United (12 seasons), Leicester City (10), Norwich (nine), Crystal Palace, Watford (both eight), Middlesbrough and Southampton (both seven).
However, 36 per cent of relegated teams (26 out of 72) have failed to grace England's top flight since, with Oldham and Swindon both being absent for 23 full seasons since their relegation in 1993/94.
Including last season, Crystal Palace, Middlesbrough, Norwich and Sunderland have endured roller-coaster rides during the Premier League era, all being relegated four times - more than any other clubs.
Seven other clubs have faced the drop on three occasions, including Birmingham, Bolton, Hull, Leicester, Nottingham Forest, QPR and West Brom.
As Premier League clubs in the bottom half of the table fight for survival, a raft of Championship clubs are battling for a top-flight return.
Wolves have secured promotion already after a six-year absence, while Derby, Middlesbrough, Aston Villa, Fulham and Cardiff are set to battle it out for a Premier League comeback - either as runners-up or via the play-offs.
Seven of the 72 relegated clubs currently play in the third tier, with Wigan heading to the Championship as League One champions with runners-up Blackburn - while Charlton are also in the race to join them.
In the fourth tier, Coventry are among the play-off places in League Two, while Swindon look set to finish in mid-table.
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