Thursday, July 10, 2008

Breathe easy League Two, there's no relegation this year

Oh, whoops. My bad. The above statement is not meant to include Luton Town or Bournemouth. You two are going straight down without a fight. This, of course, is only if everything plays out the way the Brit media are leading me to believe.

Point One: Luton are to start the season 30 points in the hole. That's ten wins just to get where 22 of the other 23 teams are starting. Which leads me to
Point Two: Bournemouth, having failed to approve the Football League's preferred steps out of administration, are likely to be hit with a 15 point penalty this season. Usually, when a British team goes into administration, the team is hit with a ten point penalty. Bournemouth took that penalty last season, so they are likely to see the larger Leeds-sized penalty this year.

But, as Leeds proved last year, a large penalty at the start of the season is by no means going to automatically lead to relegation. So why am I so down on these two clubs chances? History, sheer history.

For the last six seasons, the lowest level of English League football has relegated two squads. In that time, the number of points collected by the 23rd place squad are: 42, 36, 49, 38, 45, 48. That's averages out to 43 points, and that's still being relegated.

For Bournemouth to achieve 43 points, they would need to actually amass 58 points in the season's 46 games. 58 points in League Two last season was good for 15th place. That is definitely doable for a club who made that amount in League One last season, before being deducted 10 points for administration. However, this will be a club with more financial restraints this season, so bear that in mind.

For Luton Town to hit 43 points, they would need 73 points in total. The equivalent point total would have just missed the playoffs last season. Ouch. They had 43 last season in League One, before their own ten point deduction. To say that things look bleak for the club that was in the top flight 16 years ago would be an understatement.

Of course, this is all reliant on the clubs not successfully appealing their penalties. If Bournemouth do, in fact, receive the 15 point deduction, they will be hard-pressed to fight it. Luton Town, as well, would seem to be in quite a pickle. Ten points of the deduction dome from agent's shenanigans, while the other 20 come from their financial status. It is believable that Luton may be able to get five points back, to make the financial penalty equivalent to Leeds last season, but any more than that is unlikely.

So, rest easy Exeter City and Aldershot Town. Last year's promotees will have a bit easier time of it. Notts County and Chester City, 21st and 22nd respectively last season, also look to have another season to turn around their fortunes and stave off non-League status for at least one more year.


Mike Georger said...

luton will still find a way to force liverpool into a cup replay.

The Fan's Attic said...

is administration a relatively new occurrence in English football or does it happen regularly?

Chad said...

This may be something of a stupid question, but... could someone explain what administration is? Is that a financial status? Also, is League Two the lowest level of English League football? What happens if you're relegated out of it... and how do they choose who gets promoted into it as a replacement?

Spectator said...


Administration is essentially a form of bankruptcy. When a team has serious cashflow problems and can't repay its loans, the bank can demand that the team go into administration whereby the bank basically takes over the management of the team.

Below League Two is the Conference League, or the Blue Square Premier League as its now known. The winner of the Conference League and one other team (via playoffs) get promoted to League Two, just like promotion/relegation in the EPL/Championship, Championship/League One, etc.

These are good questions, and I believe that we're working on a footy FAQ as a matter fact!

Anyway, this is fantastic news for Exeter City, who were just promoted to League Two. Go Grecians!

Andrew said...

Wrexham will go back up!!!

/channeling Pete Davies

Chad said...

Many thanks Spectator. I'll be eagerly awaiting that FAQ.