An article published in January 2008 on the Sporting Life 360 website reflecting on the unrealistic expectations of club owners and fans in the English Premier League.
Are the Expectations of Premier League Soccer Clubs Unrealistic? They certainly seem to be, as Sam Allardyce becomes the eighth Premiership manager to part company with his club so far this season, after less than eight months in charge at Newcastle United. So, in the circumstances, one has to ask whether the members of those clubs have actually lost the plot.
Domestically, there are three trophies available, the Premier League itself, and two cup competitions, the FA Cup and the Carling Cup. Although these cups can be won by clubs from outside of the top division, in total for both competitions this has only happened five times in the last fifty years. On top of that, there are two European Trophies available, the Champions League and the UEFA Cup, but as a club cannot be entered in both, from an individual club viewpoint there is just one additional international trophy that can be won on top of the three domestic ones.
Premiership-wise, therefore, success in a season means winning one of three trophies, or the consolation prize of one of the five other ‘tickets’ to next year’s European competitions. Put in statistical terms, and therefore stripped of all sentiment or bias, these are the factual odds that apply to every Premiership club at the start of each season, longest first:
22/1 – Winning the Carling Cup
21/1 – Winning the FA Cup
20/1 – Winning the Premiership
13/2 – Winning any Domestic Trophy
13/2 – Being Relegated
5/1 – Qualifying for the Champions’ League
5/2 – Qualifying for either European Competition
6/4 – Not winning, or qualifying for, anything
And finally, based on recent seasons:
Evens – Parting company with their manager.
That last odds, and how they relate to success, are more starkly illustrated by the quite staggering fact that only nine of the twenty Premier League clubs currently have a manager in place who has served at least one full season at the club. Read the full article