The Tigers slipped into the relegation zone with only two games left to save their skin and the possible seismic disaster of the drop to the Championship and beyond.
Each and every City fan will be praying that Sunderland can re-produce last Saturday’s result at home to drop rivals Swansea to give the Tigers hope and a confidence boost before the head to Crystal Palace on Sunday lunch in the definition of a ‘must win game’. If this is so then we move onto the final weekend drama to try and survive in the richest league in the world.
If not and the Tigers make an immediate return to the Championship, then we could well be on a slippery slope to years of turmoil and drama that has befell some big clubs in recent times and with the ‘car crash’ type administration that currently grips the club could be very difficult to overcome, as has been the case with some clubs recently and intriguingly this very season.
Looking across all the divisions down to and including the National League at least one ‘big’ club in terms of success and or history are this week enduring the relegation disaster that the Tigers could be about to experience.
Disappearing from the Championship are Wigan Athletic who were in the Premier League as little as four years ago, the year they WON the FA Cup final and even more alarming Blackburn Rovers a club with a proud history and former Premier League winners in 1995, now drop into the third tier of the football pyramid with the dubious honour of being the first English Champions to be relegated to the 3rd tier, amid erratic and quite baffling ownership by the Venky family who came in with great bravado and promising the earth to the fans for it all to go horrendously wrong, alienating most fans along the way.
Had it not been for a last day home win the dubious honour could well have fallen to two time Europrean Cup winners Nottingham Forest, who survived thanks to Ipswich Town been rubbish away from home and a 3-0 win. Yet another ‘great’ club who have had years of financial mis-management and owners who don’t seem to how to run a bath, let alone a football club.
Those of you of a certain age will always remember Keith Houchen’s Wembley FA cup in 1987 that gave regular top division dwellers, Coventry City a famous victory over Tottenham, well this last weekend the Sky Blues’ confirmation as a fourth tier club was ratified as the were relegated a full 11 points below the dreaded dotted line and without barely a whimper.
Another club who have suffered at the hands of idiots who seem intent on asset stripping and bleeding them dry to the point of extinction, some clubs have lunatics in charge but the SISU group who own Coventry are definitely up there amongst the very best of the worst, selling the ground from beneath the club, moving miles away to another town, then to move the club back home as tenants in their own ground and sign away the rights to any match day revenue will take some beating by any would be lunatic who fancies ‘running’ a football club, yet the fans keep coming back in the hope that one day the good days will return.
Into the National League and out of the Football league pyramid after 112 years go Leyton Orient who until 2014 were owned by fan and sports entrepreneur, Barry Hearn. Hearn sold the club amid fan pressure, wanting more success quicker then he was prepared to ‘invest’ more money, stating at the time he felt he has taken the club as far as he could. Well his successor Francesco Becchetti certainly took the ‘O’s further than anyone else ever as, with his wild promises and trigger happy finger he has gone through 11 managers and 2 divisions heading to oblivion in 3 short years!!
Although not in the football league one club made a fleeting one season visit to the National League and slipped through the trap door, No not North Ferriby United who although relegated any self respecting NFU fan will tell you have lived the dream this year, getting to the pinnacle of non league. I’m talking about a ‘big’ club in the lower echelon’s of the League structure, York City have gone from 4th tier struggler’s to 6th tier new boys in little over a season to join some other ‘big’ clubs in NLN who will relish taking their scalp.
In the majority of the clubs I’ve highlighted above there seems to be a common thread that has led to the demise of some famous clubs of English football, hopefully this demise will not beset the Tigers because as it stands the Championship is not a place City or their fans want to be, but it could be worse, we could be a Coventry fan, without the FA cup win.