For three decades, the Premier League has showcased the best players in England. The league not only comprises of sporting institutions like Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool but also many smaller sides that represent their home town in all aspects of life. It has made for sides that might lack in star power but have made up for it in passion and fight. Some of these sides have faded from the limelight since their time at the top but fans still remember their time when in the top flight. So who are the former Premier League sides who are nowhere to be seen these days?

 

6 former Premier League clubs who fell from grace

 

Ipswich Town

Ipswich were one of England’s top sides in the 1970s so it was no surprise that The Tractor Boys were part of the first ever Premier League season in 1992. They were often fighting for relegation and they survived for three years before they were relegated at the end of the 94/95 season. They returned to the top flight at the start of the 2000/01 season and were hugely successful finishing fifth in that campaign.

At that time, the team was rich with talent with Richard Wright, Matt Holland and Marcus Stewart being their leading lights. It would only be a fleeting success however as they would be relegated the following season after finishing 18th in the 2001/02 season. Having dropped down to EFL League One in recent years, The Tractor Boys have much soul searching to do before returning to the top flight once again.

 

Swindon Town

Fewer sides have division hopped quite like another former Premier League club in Swindon Town. The side from Wiltshire have often travelled between the different tiers of English football but a shock playoff win in 1993 under the guidance of Glenn Hoddle saw The Robins reach the top flight for the first time.

It was a baptism of fire though and Swindon struggled immensely finishing dead last in the 22-team league. Their fortunes continued to fall as they suffered back-to-back relegations and dropped three divisions in three years. A harsh lesson to learn for any side.

 

Oldham Athletic

Many teams from Greater Manchester have played in the Premier League but few will remember Oldham’s time in the Premier League. Surprisingly, The Latics were one of the founding Premier League sides taking part in the first season in 1992/93 and survived thanks to help of players such as Denis Irwin and Mike Milligan.

After finishing 19th in their first season and seeing their top stars sold, Oldham were unsurprisingly relegated one year later finishing 21st in the 1993/94 season. After that, Oldham never reached the same heights becoming a mainstay in the middle tiers of the English football system.

 

Bradford City

Even though Bradford may not have such a rich history than some other nearby clubs, they still have held their own in the top flight. They first got promoted in the 1999/2000 season and fought hard to stay in the top flight. With the help from players such as Dean Windass, The Bantams stayed up to fight for another season.

However, their luck eventually ran out and Bradford were relegated the following season with The Bantams finishing dead last. Financial problems saw the side drop all the way down to League Two and have since been fighting in the lower leagues ever since then.

 

Nottingham Forest

In the 1970s and 1980s, Nottingham Forest were one of the top sides in both England and Europe regularly challenging for titles on all fronts. Moving into the Premier League era, Forest were fading and they had the dubious honour of finishing last in the first ever Premier League season.

After bouncing back one season later and the emergence of stars such as Steve Stone, Ian Woan and Pierre Van Hooijdonk, Forest stunned the world by finishing third in the 1994/95 season. As sides got used to their style, Forest slowly faded away and were relegated once again in the 1996/97 season. A fleeting appearance in the 1998/99 season quickly saw them relegated once again finishing last in the standings for a third time – a joint all-time record in top flight history. Arguably the biggest former Premier League club currently outside the top flight.

 

Blackburn Rovers

Believe it or not, Blackburn were once the top side in England. When the Premier League was formed in 1992, Rovers were always in the hunt for top places and having Alan Shearer leading the line meant that success was going to be inevitable. This happened in the 1994/95 season when Blackburn won the league interrupting Alex Ferguson’s stranglehold on the title. This would be their crowning glory as they faded away quickly failing to break into the top five the following season.

As their top stars left, Rovers faded and were relegated at the end of the 1998/99 season. They were promoted once again in 2001 and once again became a top ten side. As financial problems and off-field antics affected their on-pitch form, Blackburn were relegated once again at the end of the 2011/12 season. Since then, Rovers have solidified themselves as a second tier side fighting to get their spot back in the big time once again.

 


 

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