5 Reasons To Love.....Relegation


Nobody wants to see their club relegated. Sure. But today on the blog Andrew Thomas gives us 5 reasons why suffering the drop isn't so bad.

... little fish, big fish

We're going to reveal one of the closest-kept secrets of football here: teams get relegated because they're not very good.

This not-goodness comes in almost infinite variety. Perhaps the defence is leaky, or the attack is blunt. Maybe the midfield is callow, or the flanks are slow. Or maybe the entire exercise was doomed to failure ever since a pleasant-if-freakish run of form ended with an accidental promotion, boardroom panic, and a thundering mess. Whatever. The point is that you don't get relegated without being some flavour of hot bobbins. And hot bobbins is depressing to have to watch.

But hot bobbins is relative, and dwarfs can be giants. All they need to do is find somebody smaller to stand next to. Gnomes, maybe. Now you're the big bully, and these puny inferiors will scurry from your vengeful stampings. Probably. Sort of. A bit. Look, this paragraph has kind of got away from itself. The point is that you, you newly-relegated club you, will probably win more games the season after relegation than you did in the season of relegation. This means that you, the club, will be happier; your players, your manager, the fans, the town. Everywhere will be better. The sun will be brighter. The rain will be warmer. This is because winning, though obviously not the whole of the point (see below), is nonetheless good for the soul.

PS. It is possible that your football club may be irrevocably damaged by the experience of relegation. Should they fail to assert themselves in their new-found division, and instead continue to plummet down the pyramid faster than a liberally-greased Allen Stanford, then bettingexpert.com cannot be held liable for any damage, emotional or otherwise, caused by this process. Sorry, Wolves fans.

PPS. Hobbits. Should have gone with hobbits. Everybody loves hobbits. People go mad for hobbits.

... more football!

There are twenty teams in the Premier League. There are twenty-four in the Championship. Therefore, that's … hang on … one, two, three, four … yes, four extra games for the price of your season ticket! Which will probably be a bit cheaper while still looking like a giant rip-off! Obviously, because all your good players have left, you won't be getting quite as far in the cups, but hey, that's more money saved. Tin-foil cups don't come cheap, you know.

... the Football League Show

A short and incomplete list of things that do not feature on the Football League Show:

  • Robbie Savage's smile.
  • Robbie Savage's hair
  • Robbie Savage
  • whichever two of the BBC's Eleven Alans – Shearer; Hansen; Sugar; Partridge; Davies; Rickman; Ayckbourn; Turing; Arkin; -a-Dale; deformed spirits of Filipino folklore – came out of the hat that day.
  • the shambling revenant remains of Mark Lawrenson.
  • long, extended sections of 'analysis' that amount to nothing more than one of the two (of the Eleven) Alans describing, in words of no more than one syllable, what is happening on the screen.

... the possibility that your club may employ Mick McCarthy, and that Mick McCarthy may, for his part, do quite well

He seems like a nice bloke. For God's sake, though, if you get promoted, get rid immediately.

... righteousness

There is no greater insult in the world of the football fan than "glory hunter". There are plenty of nastier ones, of course; plenty that are cruder, blunter, and more overtly insulting. But there are none that carry quite the same level of dismissive contempt: hunting glory is, morally, worse than hunting rhinos. It takes the very notion that loving sport should be about something bigger than just winning, and that loving a team should go beyond a simple transaction, and throws it in the bin.

And there is no better way to avoid this crime against righteousness than supporting a team that has just been relegated. The relegated fan stands miserable, yes, but unimpeachable in his misery.

Indeed, the logical next step of the football hipster is to move into anti-glory support, to be seen to be seen supporting those teams on the way down. That's where the authenticity is. That's proper football. Got to get some of that suffering and loss. Success is so last season.



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Follow Andrew on Twitter: @andi_thomas

And read more of his work on his blog: TwistedBlood.co.uk

I write about football. SB Nation, Football365, the Score, and elsewhere.