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A new team versus an old tired one? 1. Leicester 1 c 2. Ipswich, 2 c 3. Leeds, 3 c 4. Southampton, 4 c 5. West Brom 5 c 6. Cardiff 7 c 7. Sunderland 8 c 8. Hull 9 c 9. Blackburn 10 c 10. Middlesbrough 12 c 11. Stoke 13 c 12. Swansea 14 c 13. Birmingham 15 c 14. Watford 16 c 15. Norwich , 17 c 16. Coventry 20 c 17. Huddersfield 21 c 18. QPR, 23 c 19. Sheff Wed 24 c 20. Portsmouth 1 L1 21. Bolton 3 L1 22. Barnsley 5 L 23. Derby 7 L1 24. Blackpool 8 L1 25. Charlton 11 L1 26. Wigan 17 L1 27. Reading 24 L1 28. Swindon 10 L2 29. Wimbledon = MK Dons 12 L2 30. Bradford 16 L2 31. Oldham NL 1 12 Listed in order of league position as of 11/11/2023 C= Championship L1 = League 1 L2 =League 2 NL = National League Only the Premier League matters? The 31 teams above have gone out of the Premier League since Sky invented football in 1992/93 31 years ago, an average of one per season. I don’t like the way the previous history gets wiped out by commentators, tv stations, etc., but in this case I have a point to make about the Premier League so I will use statistics from it mostly. Blackburn -will they ever make it back up? Now we at Arsenal sit privileged and smug as we laugh at all those suckers who support teams who fall out of the big time. We are at the main table, we pay huge prices to support our team, and scramble every match for the privilege of doing so. There are many ticket forums with people pleading for tickets. For most of the teams in this list, getting tickets is not a problem, nor are the prices high in comparison to Arsenal. Winning can still turn you into losers Two of these teams have won the Premier League, Blackburn in 1995 and Leicester in 2016 so that is no guarantee of safety. 3 teams go every season and some rarely or never make it back. There are plenty of teams on that list that will probably never get up again. Bye bye glory days. The cups provide the only hope of a top team coming but stuffed with reserves. From Coventry down are in real danger of never getting back up. And as for a truly new club, that doesn’t really seem possible. Wimbledon, which rose from the ashes of the old Wimbledon, which relocated and went to Milton Keynes, is still a successor to the old Wimbledon. Will either get back up? Leicester - may come straight back up The problem is that football in England is very conservative. There are probably families who have supported their team since they were formed in the 19th century. Fans who switch clubs are regarded as traitors, and even the fabled golden sun supporters are most likely made up of young people looking for a successful team to support and not old ones switching allegiance. I know very few people who have switched and I have been hanging around football fans all my life. We never switch Support continues throughout families, passed down like sacred script. We are an Arsenal family, another is Man U, another is Everton. The problem is that if a team disappears, as some have, it leaves no obvious candidate to take its place. Become a traitor and support a rival? No chance! Hands up those of you who would switch to the Spuds if Arsenal went out of business? A grand old club struggling in the National league But can you see the problem here? Drop down a division and you lose both revenue and support as no club retains all their support. Maybe it is partly down to the new young supporters not wishing to support a lower team, as they emerge every season looking for teams to follow. But unless you get back up quickly, you are on a downward spiral of less money, fans and ability to attract. You could go down again, and again until like Oldham, you go out of the 4 divisions. A new team can’t rise up Oldham are in football heartland in greater Manchester, with a huge football population, they were inaugural members of the Premier League, and yet they are floundering outside the main league. Attempts are being made to stop the slide but will they work? Los Angeles Rams moved from St Louis in 2016 -a massive distance New teams really do not emerge in England. And teams are generally tied to their homeland in their title. Arsenal are among the very few that aren’t. After the fiasco with Wimbledon/Milton Keynes Dons, I doubt if a club would be allowed to relocate too far away from their home. And even Arsenal, I feel, would not risk moving outside Islington or changing their name. Conservative forces are the driving force of English football. Not for them to have famous teams relocating to different cities as happens in America. Or indeed, for new teams to emerge. These are some teams that have gone all with towns in their name: Bury FC Rushden & Diamonds FC Chester City FC Macclesfield Town FC Maidstone United Aldershot FC Darlington Wimbledon Accrington Kettering Town The excitement of Pele and the New York Cosmos in the 1970's It is almost impossible in England to start a new team. You have to start in low divisions and try and work your way up, a long and gruelling job which will probably never bear fruit. I remember the excitement when new leagues were set up in the USA, with big names like Pele, Beckenbauer and George Best among many others. That cannot happen in England. Is it a good thing? I think there can be an argument for allowing new clubs. The teams that fell apart invariably had bad management and ownership, which led to weakening the fan base. A new team, let’s call them Oldham Warriors, could find a fresh focus with genuine football based owners, and galvanise the town, giving them a reason to believe. Is there a way to make it happen? How could it be achieved amongst the existing structure? Not easily, as you can scarcely kick out a team to make way for a newcomer. One way may be to change the existing rule of promotion from the National league, currently at one, to Division two, to continue, but allow 2 teams to come instead and relegate 2. One is the NL champions and the other a new team. There would have to be strict criteria for the newbies. A proper ground, genuine football people involved, backing from the local community, a very solid business plan, and a demonstrable dedication to making the club a force in the game would be areas I would see. This could be better than clubs crawling on their knees every year, trying to pay staff, lurching from one crisis to the next, and struggling to have viable local support. Is this the only option we have for new teams? New clubs could give fresh impetus and hope to disillusioned fans. It would create an interest in the lower leagues as unheard of teams start to push up, and we wonder if they can make it to the Premier League? 4 years is the minimum, but coming from nowhere, they could attract fairly big crowds as they climb the ladder and realistically, success would be getting promotion, and playing better teams. Will it actually happen? This is an idea that could work, but the conservative forces in England will not allow it. The world keeps spinning, we need new ideas all the time, and keeping failing football clubs alive in intensive care for the sake of it may not be the way to go. Does my idea have merit? I think so. Does anyone else? Maybe not. A rebrand, not a new team? Arsenal did a rebrand that worked, moving ground and totally changing the environment in which we watch games. It was necessary, yes? Otherwise we start to fail, maybe go down and into a sinking spiral leading to National League. We had the people to build Arsenal up, to ignore the conservative forces saying that we had to keep Highbury. The Spuds did the same and Liverpool and Everton are in the process. Chelsea are trying to find a way to increase their capacity. At this moment you need huge revenues to be a top team. Rebranding a top team is far easier than at the bottom as the fans can see that it is necessary to stay challenging. I feel that two things will not change – teams will keep getting into deep trouble and it will be almost impossible to make a new team to freshen up football.