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Where do woeful Derby rank?

Ex-Swindon boss John GormanEx-Ipswich boss George BurleyEx-Watford boss Graham TaylorHoward WilkinsonEx-Sunderland boss Mick McCarthyDerby boss Paul Jewell

By Jonathan Stevenson

Ten months and a day after Stephen Pearson's play-off winner at Wembley sent Derby County into the promised land of the Premier League, the Rams are back where they started.

A campaign that started dismally and got progressively worse ended on Saturday with the quickest relegation in the history of the Premier League.

The bare facts make dismal reading: Derby have won only once this season in the league, they have scored a paltry 16 goals and conceded a monstrous 67. Managers Billy Davies and Paul Jewell have combined to win 11 points in 32 games so far.

But are the Rams the worst team the Premier League has ever seen?

SWINDON TOWN, 1993/94

The Robins' solitary season in the Premier League was doomed almost from the moment player-manager Glenn Hoddle packed his bags and left for Chelsea, just weeks after getting Swindon promoted.

SWINDON IN 1993/94
Goals scored: 47
Goals conceded: 100
Points per game: 0.71
Top scorer: Jan Fjortoft (13)

His assistant John Gorman took over and tried his best to work a miracle, but they were eventually relegated 13 points adrift of safety and with a goals against record that still stands.

Despite having six goalkeepers registered for action at the County Ground, Swindon leaked exactly 100 goals - including a 7-1 trouncing at Newcastle and a 6-2 thumping at Everton.

They conceded five goals on four more occasions and only the goals of Norwegian striker Jan Aage Fjortoft saved them from utter humiliation.

Worse was to follow as Swindon were relegated the season after too, finding the old Division One a struggle as they managed to accrue just 48 points from 46 games.

Did you know? Fjortoft did not score in Swindon's first 20 matches of the 1993/94 season.

IPSWICH TOWN, 1994/95

Having stayed up by the skin of their teeth the season before, Ipswich went down a massive 21 points adrift of safety.

IPSWICH'S 1994/95 FACTFILE
Goals scored: 36
Goals conceded: 93
Points per game: 0.64
Top scorer: Claus Thomsen (5)

John Lyall resigned as boss after a 2-1 home defeat by Manchester City in December and George Burley stepped into the Portman Road hot-seat, though in truth Town were already doomed.

Burley masterminded something of an upturn in fortunes for the Tractor Boys and supporters were treated to the first green shoots of recovery as they thrashed Leicester and won at Liverpool.

But a 9-0 massacre at Manchester United in March ended any hopes of a great escape and they picked up just four points from their remaining 11 fixtures.

Credit to Burley, who launched Operation Recovery to finish seventh in the old Division One the season after, and following a series of play-off heartbreaks he finally steered them back to the top flight in 2000.

Did you know? Ipswich's Player of the Year for 1994/95 was goalkeeper Craig Forrest.

WATFORD, 1999/2000

After winning promotion through the play-offs, Watford came crashing back down to earth with a then-record low points tally as they said goodbye to the Premier League.

WATFORD IN 1999/2000
Goals scored: 35
Goals conceded: 77
Points per game: 0.63
Top scorer: Heidar Helguson (6)

Manager Graham Taylor worked wonders to get the Vicarage Road outfit back into the top flight after an 11-year absence, but he could not work the oracle to extend their stay beyond a season.

It started brightly enough, with 1-0 wins away at Liverpool and at home to Chelsea and at one stage the Hornets were ninth.

606: DEBATE

But a run of six points from 20 games either side of Christmas left them bottom and they failed to recover.

Twice Taylor shattered the club's record transfer fee to bring in Nordin Wooter for 950,000 and Heidar Helguson for 1.5m, but by then the strike duo had too much to do.

Former England manager Taylor led Watford to ninth in Division One the season after before announcing his retirement from the game - though within eight months he had been tempted back to have another crack at management with Aston Villa.

Did you know? Nigel Gibbs was the only player to feature who was around the last time Watford were in the top flight in 1988-89.

SUNDERLAND, 2002/03

Another club that failed to heed the warning from the season before, as Sunderland bowed out of the Premier League having only just survived in the 2001/02 season.

SUNDERLAND IN 2002/03
Goals scored: 21
Goals conceded: 65
Points per game: 0.5
Top scorer: Kevin Phillips (6)

They broke almost every record going too as they failed to register a meaningful tally of goals or points - though they did thrash Cambridge 7-0 in the League Cup in October, a rare highlight.

Peter Reid spent 18m on Tore Andre Flo, Marcus Stewart, Stephen Wright and Matt Piper but was sacked in October as Howard Wilkinson and Steve Cotterill took over the hapless Black Cats.

Wilkinson's 20 league games saw a haul of only 11 points and he was dismissed as Mick McCarthy presided over the club's top-flight death knell.

They ended the season with 15 straight defeats and saved their heaviest until the last day of the season - a 4-0 crushing at home to runners-up Arsenal.

Did you know? Striker Kevin Phillips scored 30 Premier League goals in the 1999/2000 season, earning him the European Golden Shoe award.

SUNDERLAND, 2005/06

If Black Cats' fans thought it could not get any worse than the 2002/03 season, they were proved spectacularly wrong by the class of 2005/06.

SUNDERLAND IN 2005/06
Goals scored: 26
Goals conceded: 69
Points per game: 0.39
Top scorers: Dean Whitehead & Liam Lawrence (3)

Having romped to the Championship title the season before, few could have seriously predicted the plight Mick McCarthy's men would find themselves in as another campaign degenerated into farce.

They lost their first five games in a row, were thrashed 4-1 at home by fellow relegation candidates Portsmouth in October and bizarrely decided to get rid of their manager in March, when the battle appeared to be already all over.

While leaking goals Sunderland found it just as tough scoring them - 1.8m signing Jon Stead netted only once in 30 league games and top scorers Dean Whitehead and Liam Lawrence bagged three each in the league.

Sunderland even lost their first five games the following season - until their fortunes were dramatically turned around by the arrival of a certain Roy Keane as manager.

Did you know? Chairman Bob Murray was attacked by a Sunderland fan while having dinner with McCarthy in a restaurant in Newcastle in December 2005.

DERBY COUNTY, 2007/08

Derby were not even supposed to be in the Premier League this season - just ask former manager Billy Davies.

DERBY IN 2007/08
Goals scored: 16
Goals conceded: 67
Points per game: 0.34
Top scorers: Kenny Miller, Matt Oakley & Tito Villa (3)
(Correct as of Derby's relegation on 29 March)

He took over in June 2006 and said he hoped that over the course of the next three years, he could build a side capable of challenging at the right end of the Championship.

Fast forward 11 months and the belligerent Davies had, remarkably, led Derby to the Premier League after play-off victory against much-fancied West Brom at Wembley.

Sadly, neither Derby nor Davies were anything like ready for the challenge that lay ahead and after 14 games, one win and 33 goals against, he parted company with the Pride Park outfit.

Paul Jewell was drafted in, but it was too late. If anything, Derby's performances got even worse and they never gave themselves the slightest chance of staying up. They have for so long looked like a club waiting to be put out of their misery.

Did you know? Irish bookmakers Paddy Power paid out on the club to be relegated after only five games of the season.









Barclays Premier League Table
01 February 2010 22:00
    P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 23 38 54
2 Man Utd 24 36 53
3 Arsenal 24 32 49
4 Tottenham 24 20 42

5 Liverpool 24 16 41

6 Man City 22 14 41
7 Aston Villa 23 13 40
8 Birmingham 23 -1 34
9 Everton 23 -1 32
10 Blackburn 24 -15 28
11 Fulham 23 -2 27
12 Stoke 22 -7 26
13 Sunderland 23 -10 24
14 Wigan 22 -23 22
15 West Ham 23 -9 21
16 Bolton 22 -15 21
17 Wolverhampton 23 -21 21

18 Burnley 23 -23 20
19 Hull 23 -26 20
20 Portsmouth 22 -16 15

see also
Derby 2-2 Fulham
29 Mar 08 |  Premier League
Jewell laments 'terrible season'
29 Mar 08 |  Derby County


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