Sunday, 22 May 2011

Recency Effect

It is certainly true that the final round of the EPL today makes for a dramatic finish in the relegation battle, but the claim that today "undoubtedly is the most intriguing end of season relegation battle in the history of the English Premier League" shows how selective and short our memories can be.

The reality is that undoubtedly it is NOT the most intriguing end of season relegation battle in the history of the English Premier League at all.

Cast your minds back a mere six years, when the final day of the 2004-05 season arrived with not one team definitely relegated from the EPL. It was the first time since 1992-93 that this had happened since three-up, three-down was introduced as West Bromwich Albion, Norwich City, Crystal Palace and Southampton all tried to avoid the drop.

I'll let Wikipedia explain it all:

Going into the final round of matches, no team was assured of relegation. In each of the last three weekends of the season, the team that was bottom of the table at the start of the weekend finished it outside the drop zone. The final round of the season on 15 May started with West Bromwich Albion on the bottom, Southampton and Crystal Palace one point clear, and Norwich City in the last safe spot and two points from the bottom. For the first time since the advent of the current Premier League in 1992–1993, no club was assured of relegation going into the final day. The final matchday was publicised by Sky Sports as 'Survival Sunday', with accompanying promotional material advertising the last matchday like a title fight or epic movie blockbuster.

West Brom, who had been bottom of the table and eight points from safety at Christmas, did their part by defeating Portsmouth at home 2–0. Norwich, the only side to have their fate completely in their own hands, lost 6–0 at Fulham and went down. Southampton lost 2–1 at home to Manchester United. Palace, away to Charlton, were leading 2–1 after 71 minutes, but with eight minutes to go, the Addicks' Jonathan Fortune equalised to relegate the Eagles back to The Championship. Thus, West Brom stayed up, and changed history, becoming the first club in Premiership history to avoid relegation after being bottom of the table at Christmas.
One should never say never, but the drama of that 'never' to be forgotten (15.5.05) day will 'never' be beaten.


Mully said...

A little bit of Palace bias though Cassini made it the most exciting :-)

mano said...

Not related to this post, but I thought this would be up your street: