You can see the table (as at 2016) at the foot of this page.
Welcome to the Premier league era football league table
Premier League places since 1992
Well, what a surprise! Manchester Utd are the best team in the land during the Premier League era (1992-93 – present).
From season one until Fergie left Man U were never outside the top three. Bravo! Their closest rivals are Arsenal. It’s a testament to Arsene Wenger that they’re only an average of 1.54 places below Man Utd up to 2016. Liverpool are third, just ahead of Chelsea, despite never winning the title. It’s then a long way to Tottenham Hotspur with an average of 8th place, and Aston Villa with an average of about 9th place. Everton, typically just outside the top half, are the only other ever-present team in the Prem.
It’s a grudging hats-off to Southampton (remember I’m a Reading fan), who manage an average of 19.96th position despite two seasons in the third tier. Bolton Wanderers also creep into the top tier, if you use the median as a calculator (see how I used stats to compile the table here).
League Division One / The Championship since 1992
Sheffield Wednesday, Fulham and Watford are all positioned together in the also-ran regions of the 2nd tier across the Premier League era, although their fortunes are very different. This position in the 2nd tier is fairly representative for Watford. Wednesday, however, spent the 90s in the Prem and Fulham spent the same time in the 3rd tier. These two teams crossed paths in 2000-01, and then Fulham spent the 2000s above the Yorkshire club. Both records average out to about the same.
League Division Two / League One since 1992
The big story in the 3rd tier of averages is Wimbledon. The 90s were spent in the top tier, including three top ten finishes. There then followed a short run in the 2nd tier, before the club became MK Dons. After some head scratching I’ve treated these as separate clubs, and I’m sure the purists will agree; I take the club as belonging in the hearts of the fans, not in a legal document. Happily, this means that AFC Wimbledon’s entry into the 4th tier found a place all ready for them. Top tier, 2nd tier, 100 club and 4th tier – averaging out to the 3rd tier, the only one they’d not played in until gaining promotion for season 2016-17. Understandably the SD (standard deviation) is enormous: almost 40 places!
League Division Three / League Two since 1992
A last special mention goes to Rochdale, who have spent the whole of the Premier League era not being relegated, despite a lowly median position of 77th place. That means that they’ve finished half of the last 20-odd seasons in the bottom 15 without dropping through the trapdoor.
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