The Lowest the 'Biggest' Teams in the PL Have Finished in the Past 30 Years

Liam Bewsher

The Closest the 'Biggest' Teams in the PL Have Been to Relegation over the Past 30 Years

Here we take a look at some of the worst and closest finishes to the relegation zone that the biggest teams in the Premier League have had to date. This list excludes any club that has previously been relegated from the Premier League such as Aston Villa and Manchester City, as well as those whose first spell in the Premier League started fairly recently.

Each of these teams’ titles are ranked on position rather than points, although we have listed off some of their closest points finishes above the relegation zone.

Arsenal - 12th Place (1994/95)

Since being voted into the top-flight all the way back in 1919 ahead of North London rivals Tottenham, Arsenal have not suffered a single relegation.

The Gunners worst finish in the past 30 years was that of the 1994/95 campaign where they finished 12th, their worst since that of the 1975/76 season.
This finish perhaps didn’t represent the talent in Arsenal’s squad, as they had the likes of David Seaman, Lee Dixon, Tony Adams, Paul Merson, Alan Smith, Ian Wright and more in their team, with the later mentioned player firing in 30 goals across all competitions despite their struggles.

Legendary manager George Graham suffered the consequences and was sacked in late February, allowing Stewart Houston the chance to take the reins until the end of the season, leading them to the European Cup Winners Cup final where they were defeated by Real Zaragoza in Paris, whilst the Gunners managed just 13 wins in 42 league matches.

Arsenal finished just six points above 19th placed Crystal Palace in the 1994/95 season who were the fourth team to be relegated in that Premier League campaign due to the league changing its format from 22 teams to 20 that year.

Chelsea - 14th Place (1993/94)

Chelsea have been in England’s top division since they were promoted to Division One in the 1988/89 campaign and have become one of English football’s biggest powerhouses due to the financial muscle of current owner Roman Abramovich following Ken Bates’ ownership.

The 1993/94 season is Chelsea’s worst finish in the past 30 years having finished 14th, with 51 points after 42 league matches under the management of Glenn Hoddle. This saw the Blues sit nine points above Sheffield United in 20th place following a run of just three wins in their opening 20 Premier League matches that campaign, before significantly improving in the second half of the season.

Hoddle’s side managed to pick up enough form in the tail end of the season that they made it to the FA Cup final where they were hammered by Premier League champions Manchester United 4-0 at the old Wembley Stadium.

Everton - 17th Place (1993/94, 1997/98, 2003/04)

At present, Everton’s Premier League future looks uncertain as the Toffees currently sit 16th in the table, just three points above the relegation zone after their recent 3-1 loss to Newcastle United.

The Goodison Park club have had it relatively tough since they last won the title back in the 1986/87 season, winning two Charity Shields and the 1994/95 FA Cup which remains as the Toffees last trophy win to date.

Everton’s worst finishes are those of the 1993/94, 1997/98 and 2003/04 campaigns where they finished 17th.

In 1993/94 the Toffees finished just two points above Sheffield United, whilst in the 1997/98 season, a 1-1 draw against Coventry City at Goodison Park on the last day of the season kept Howard Kendall’s side in the top-flight on goal difference ahead of Bolton Wanderers who were beaten 2-0 at Stamford Bridge by Chelsea; this is Everton’s closest finish to the relegation zone in the last 30 years, having finished six points above it in 2003/04.

Liverpool - 8th Place (1993/94, 2011/12, 2015/16)

Liverpool’s lowest league finishes in the past 30 years have all been eighth-placed ones, with the first of these being back in the 1993/94 season under Graeme Souness who was replaced by Roy Evans in January 1994, following a start that saw the Anfield club win just 13 of their opening 26 matches.

The Scotts reign at Anfield was disastrous for the Reds and ultimately set the tone for the lengthy title drought that Liverpool faced between 1990 and 2020, finishing sixth-place in back to back seasons between 1991 and 1993 before recording what is still the Anfield clubs joint-worst finish.

However, Liverpool’s worst points tally remains as that of the 2011/12 campaign under Kenny Dalglish when they managed just 52 points, resulting in another 8th place finish, whilst in 2015/16 they also finished in the same place in a season that saw Brendan Rodgers be sacked and replaced by Jurgen Klopp.

In reality, the red half of Merseyside haven’t come close to being relegated from the top flight since they last were back in the 1953/54 season, with their 16 point gap in 2011/12 to Bolton Wanderers being their closest margin out of all of the finishes mentioned above.

Manchester United: 7th Place (2013/14)

Manchester United’s worst finish in the past 30 years is more predictable than most, with this one coinciding with the exits of Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill following their retirements from their roles at Old Trafford, being replaced by David Moyes and Ed Woodward.

Losing both of these key figures at the Theatre of Dreams at the end of the 2012/13 season in the aftermath of the Red Devils record 20th title win was a hammer blow which they have never truly recovered from, due to a lack of strategy and competence on how to run a major football club.

Moyes struggled to adapt to the mammoth task he faced at Old Trafford, replacing the club’s backroom staff which had aided Ferguson so well in his final successes, as well as not being given the tools to succeed in the transfer market and as a result, was replaced by Ryan Giggs with just four games to go in the 2013/14 season.

United finished seventh, winning 19 of their 38 league matches, accumulating a total of 64 points, 25 less than the previous campaign and if their current form doesn’t improve, then there is a chance that they could beat this unwanted record, as they are currently one point worse off after 23 league matches.

Despite this being United’s worst Premier League finish to date in terms of positioning, they were still 31 points above 18th placed Norwich City, whilst in 2019/20 when they managed a third-place finish under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with 66 points, they were actually just one point further away to the drop zone, finishing 32 ahead of Bournemouth.

Louis van Gaal holds the record of the Old Trafford club’s closest finish to the relegation zone in the 2015/16 campaign when his side recorded a fifth-place finish, 29 points better off than 18th in the table Newcastle United. The Dutchman was sacked by the Red Devils shortly after their FA Cup win that season.

Tottenham Hotspur - 15th Place (1993/94)

Last but not least on this list is Tottenham Hotspur who haven’t plied their trade in the second-tier of English football since 1977/78.

Prior to Harry Redknapp becoming their manager in the 2008/09 season, Spurs were well known for playing attractive football with a number of flair individuals, but, would typically have erratic results.
This was the case when the Lilywhites recorded their worst-ever Premier League finish in 1993/94, whilst recording their worst points tally in 1997/98 of just 44.

In the formerly mentioned campaign Spurs finished just three points above Sheffield United in 20th place when the league had a 22 team format, despite having the likes of Nicky Barmby, Darren Anderton and Teddy Sheringham in their squad.

1997/98 was a turbulent campaign, with Spurs having three different managers in Gerry Francis, Chris Hughton (caretaker) and Christian Gross. In this season, Tottenham boasted talents such as Les Ferdinand, Jurgen Klinsmann and David Ginola amongst their ranks, but, they finished just four points above 18th placed Bolton Wanderers following seven points in their last three matches, after beating Newcastle United 2-0, Wimbledon 6-2 and drawing 1-1 with Southampton on the last day, with Klinsmann hammering in six goals across these fixtures.

New customers only. First single & e/w bet only odds of 1/1 or greater. 3 x £10 bet tokens. Free bet stakes are not included in returns. Free bets are only redeemable on football. Free bets are non-withdrawable. No free bet expiry. Eligibility restrictions and further t&cs apply. 18+.
Claim Bonus
🟢 Bet £10 & Get £50 in free bets! 🟡
For new customers. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
New Customer offer. Place a min £10 bet on the Sportsbook on odds of min 1/2 (1.5), get £30 in Free Bets. Rewards valid for 30 days. SMS verification required. Only deposits via cards will qualify. T&Cs apply. Please Gamble Responsibly
Claim Bonus
Sign-up via Mobile using promo code N40 and place a bet of £10/€10 or more and we will give you 4x £10/€10 free bets. By entering the Promo code in the box above you agree to the full terms and conditions of this promotion as displayed below. See full terms below.
Claim Bonus
Place 5x£10 Sportsbook bets on any market at minimum odds of 2.0 (Evs), and get money back as Cash if it loses. Max refund per qualifying bet is £10 (up to £50 in total). Only deposits made via Cards will be eligible for the promotion (Apple Pay excluded). T&Cs apply
Get Offer
Full T&C’s Apply. New customers on mobile only. 7 days to claim and stake £10 minimum bet at odds of 1.5 or greater to qualify. Free, void, cashed out or partially cashed out bets do not qualify. Max 3x £10 free bets credited on bet settlement. Free bets must be used on 4 or more selections with selection odds of 1.3 or greater. Free bets are non-withdrawable and stake not returned with winnings. 7 day expiry. 18+
Claim Bonus
🟠 BET £10 & GET £20 IN FREE BETS! 🟠
*New members. £10 min deposit & bet on sportsbook, placed & settled at 1.5 min odds within 14 days of sign-up. Win part of E/W bets. 2 non-withdrawable £10 Free Bet Tokens: accept in 7 days, valid for 7 days from crediting (ex. E/Ws & Multiples), stakes not returned. Click here for Rules & Exclusions. Bet Responsibly.
18+ New UK+IRE Customers only. Certain deposit methods & bet types excl. Min first £/€5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 to get 4x £/€5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. Restrictions + T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
✅ BET £10 & GET £30 IN FREE BETS ✅
New UK, IE & Malta customers only. 18+. Min £10/€10 first deposit using Debit Card or Trustly. Place a bet of £10 at min odds of 1.5. Free bets expire in 90 days. Full T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £5 at odds 2.00+ within 7 days of registering, no cashout. Get 2x £10 Free Bets, set events at odds 2.00+. Plus a £10 Slot Bonus, selected games, wager 20x to withdraw max £250. 7 day bonus expiry. Card payments only. T&Cs apply, see below. | Please gamble responsibly
Claim Bonus
If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of your first day's betting, QuinnBet will refund 50% of your losses as a Free Bet up to £35 (min 3 bets) Plus 10 Free online casino spins at QuinnCasino. Even if your account is up, you're guaranteed a £5 Free Bet Plus 10 Free Spins provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at the minimum odds. T&Cs apply | 18+ New UK Customers Only |
Claim Bonus
18+ New Customers opt in, bet £5 & get 2x £10 Free Bets for set events (odds 2.00+) + £10, Slots Bonus, selected games, 35x wagering to withdraw max £250. Bonuses expire in 7 days. Card Payments only. T&Cs Apply, see below. | | Please gamble responsibly
Claim Bonus
🎉 BET £10 & GET £60 FREE BETS! 🎉
New UK customers only. Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+). First bet must be on Sports. £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. Further £20 in Free Bets credited 5 days after settlement. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
18+ New customers only. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus if first sports bet loses. Wagering requirements: sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), casino 50x. Unless forfeited the sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the casino bonus. Bonus expires 7 days after opt-in. Visit for full T&C's. #Ad
Claim Bonus
New UK customers (Excluding NI) only. Mobile exclusive. Min stake £10. Min odds Evs. Free bet applied on 1st settlement of any qualifying bet. 30 days to qualify. Free bets expire in 7 days. Cashed out/Free Bets won’t apply. Payment method restrictions. 1 Free Bet offer per customer, household & IP Address only. 18+. T&C's Apply **18+. Choose either Boost or Insurance. Available for in-play/pre-match bets on selected sports. You cannot use specials, boosts, any free bet or any other promotion. A minimum of 5 selections and minimum odds of 1/5 per selection/leg to receive Acca Rewards. Minimum stake of £/€0.05. Max free bet refund of £/€20 per Acca for Insurance. Maximum bonus payout is €/£1,000 per Acca for boost. Free bets, cashed out or voided bets will not qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
1st time depositors only. Min. deposit £10. Use code FAPOKER. Free Play given as cash, Spin & Go tickets, and a Sports Free Bet over 6 days. Tickets expire after 24 hours. Withdrawal restricted during bonus period. Terms apply.
Claim Bonus
18+ New UK & ROI Customers only. Min deposit £5. Min first £5 bet at minimum odds 1/2 to qualify for 1x 20 free bet. Certain deposit methods and bet types excl. Free bet valid for 7 days, stake not returned. Restrictions + T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
*New UK customers only. Min Deposit: £5. Maximum Free Bet: £30. First bet on a Football multiple with 3+ selections. Overall odds: 3.00 (2/1) or higher. Free Bets available upon settlement of the qualifying bet. Debit card deposits only. This is offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. 18+ Full terms apply.
Claim Bonus