Take pity on Hull, Burnley and Sunderland, all doomed before a ball is kicked.

John McCormick: bored
John McCormick. Impartial, as always

As the days went by our  “who’s doomed” poll slipped down the “Salut”front page until it dropped off the bottom like a relegated team.

By then over 3500 votes had been cast. Most came in flurries in the first couple of days and, although I suspect a strong contingent of Sunderland fans cast votes and tried to move us in the general direction of safety, the positions of the eight chosen clubs didn’t change, and nor did the percentages to any significant extent.

Hull received about a third of the votes, Burnley about 20%. One hundred votes (3%) went to “Another Club” but no one specified who else they fancied. That left less than 50% of the votes split between six clubs, with the gap between Sunderland, in the third relegation spot, and the other five narrowing, but only slightly:

relegation poll results on 13th August 2016
relegation poll results on 13th August 2016

As I hinted in the introduction, I’m not sure how much of this was down to rational thought and logic. Have a look at the table below and decide for yourself if last season’s form and tween-season activity account for each club’s votes:


Last season Points Players  in Players out votes


(Manager left)


83 1 3





93 4 5




(Manager poached)


39 4 8




(Manager replaced)


45 5 7





89 10 4





42 8 7





43 1 3



Crystal Palace 15 42 3 9



 Another club        



No matter. The kick off’s about to happen and our clubs have been chosen and labelled. Now all that’s left is to see how they do over the season

My tracking method will revolve around 39 points, which was enough to ensure safety last season, and more than enough to ensure it in the four years previously. It’s possible club(s) will get fewer points and stay up but it’s not since 2011, when both Blackpool and Birmingham went down, that 39 points hasn’t been enough, and as it’s what we got last season I’m making it my benchmark for 2016-17.

At  points during the season I’ll revisit our eight contenders and look at the number of points they need to average in each of their remaining games in order to be safe. It’s currently 1.03 for every club and will fall with wins and rise with losses. As the figure gets nearer to zero the safer a club will be, and the nearer to 3 the deeper in in the danger zone. To climb above three will be to fall off the ledge and into the Championship. I wonder which club will do it first, and how many others will still be clinging on by the very end of the season. I have a feeling it won’t be exactly as our voters seem to think.

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