Elite football clubs suffer the horrors of relegation from time to time as well.
Relegation to a lower division is something each club aims to avoid in their respective leagues. The concept of relegation usually troubles the weaker teams. Big clubs in the battle for survival is a rare occurrence. However, Everton FC faces a real possibility of facing relegation from the Premier League.
The outfit has been playing in the first tier of English football for the past 30 years. Although, it is currently fighting to stay in the competition. The 2021-22 season of the Premier League is seeing Everton, Leeds United and Burnley competing to stay in the division. Avoiding the drop to the EFL Championship is the one and only goal for the club from the Merseyside.
The current situation surrounding the Toffees sheds light on the occasions when relegation struck established teams. Some of the biggest teams today were surprisingly relegated to lower divisions in the past. On that note, here is a look at the top five giant teams that were relegated from the top division:
Liverpool FC is the second-most successful club in English football. The Reds have won the English league title 19 times, only second to Manchester United that has won it 20 times. However, the Merseyside outfit has faced relegation as well but way back in the past.
Furthermore, the club has been relegated on three separate occasions. The outfit faced demotion in 1895, 1904 and 1954. To make matters worse, it took the Reds eight seasons to get the promotion after relegating in 1954.
Olympique de Marseille
French giants Olympique de Marseille has a very rich history. The club is a nine-time Ligue 1 winner. It is also the only French club in history to win the UEFA Champions League. This particular feat gives its fans a lot of bragging rights over current league dominators in Paris Saint-Germain.
Having said that, the club has also faced relegation into the second division on two occasions. It was demoted in 1959 and in 1994. The second relegation in particular was due to the club’s involvement in a match-fixing scandal.
FC Bayern Munich
FC Bayern Munich may be an unstoppable force today, but it was not always a bed of roses for the club. Back in 1955, the Bavarians suffered relegation into the second division of the Bundesliga. The club placed 16th at a time when Germany was dealing with post-war financial issues and more.
The club did not linger for too long in the second division. FCB gained promotion in the very next year to reinstate its place in the top tier of German football. Judging by their 10 consecutive league wins today, some younger fans would find it hard to believe that Bayern Munich was once a second division club.
Juventus FC is a behemoth in the context of Italian football. The outfit has won the league 36 times, which is the most for any club. The Old Lady was on a streak of nine consecutive Serie A wins until Inter Milan put a stop to their run last year. However, they too have faced relegation, albeit in unusual circumstances.
Back in 2006, Juventus got demoted to Serie B and stripped of two league titles after its involvement in a refereeing scandal. There was a point deduction for Juventus and other clubs like AC Milan, Fiorentina, Lazio and Reggina. The ‘Calciopoli’ scandal remains a blot on the club’s reputation even today.
Manchester United is English football royalty, despite the current form. The Red Devils have won the English title the most number of times (20). But, it too has faced relegation in the past and not just once.
MUFC has been demoted from the top division five times. They went down in 1894, 1922, 1931, 1937 and 1974-75. Since then, the club has never been relegated and dominated the 1990s and the 2000s, becoming a global force under former manager Sir Alex Ferguson.