Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughRelegation is a slippery slope - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Relegation is a slippery slope - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Relegation is a slippery slope

Relegation is never fun.

Having been through it I can tell you it is one of the worst feelings football can stimulate.

Seeing your side 3 or 4 up only to capitulate and lose right at the death is tough to take. Even worse is watching them get all the way to the final of a cup competition only to lose and come home empty handed. God help you if they lose on penalties!

But relegation, for entirely obvious reasons, is worse than all of those. It’s worse than seeing your star striker leave your club. For your biggest rivals. On a Bosman.

For some fans relegation is not one of their concerns, they don’t have to trifle with matters at that end of the table. Rather leave that to the Wigans and Wolves of this world.

And despite the deluded suggestions from some club chairmen that relegation should be scrapped entirely, it is a necessary evil. If a team is not good enough over the course of a season to earn enough points to survive then they should, quite rightly, go down.

Sometimes the foot of the table provides more exciting viewing that the top. Europa League spot? I’d rather see who can secure 17th place, especially if it still hasn’t been decided by the last day of the season.

Two teams (one of them usually Wigan) literally scrapping for their lives in a so called “6 pointer” make for enthralling football. Neither wants to leave the footballing promised land and all the TV money that comes with it; they never know when they might return.

When Southampton were relegated from the Premier League in 2004 it has taken them until this season to make it back to that level. That’s 8 years. You could hold 2 Olympics in that time!

The same is true of Norwich, but Crystal Palace, the third team to make up the unlucky trio of relegated teams that season have yet to make it back to the top flight. The Eagles early season form would suggest that that could change at the end of this season however.

The flip side of the argument however is for the promotion chase. The excitement you get as your team nears the end of the season in an automatic promotion place. The elation and relief you get when you can finally sing “we are going up” is unmatched.

It almost makes all the relegation heartache worthwhile. Almost but not quite. And besides what is more exciting consistent 15th place finishes or relegation one year and promotion the next?

It might not be good for your nerves but I know which one is more thrilling.

Robert Lock