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Rival Relegation

We all like to see our team’s rivals doing badly.

There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing a rival team and its fans travelling the length and breadth of the country only to be on the receiving end of a humiliating defeat that leaves them rooted towards the bottom of the table.

But just how badly do you like to see them suffer?

It’s a difficult question. As momentarily enjoyable it is to see a rival club suffer the heartbreak of relegation afterwards comes the realisation that your two teams won’t meet again for at least a season.

Barring a fortunate draw in one of the cups that means you have to go 12 months without all the anticipation, the excitement and the opportunity to get one over on a team you despise.

I’m sure Liverpool fans would like nothing more than to see Everton relegated to the Championship. They would still have Manchester United to look forward to playing but it’s not the same as a true local rivalry.

And it would deprive neutral fans of one of the most exciting derbies in the top flight. The Merseyside derby is a particular favourite of mine as it always seems to deliver goals, red cards and some particularly humorous accusations from both camps about one another. 

A few seasons ago Millwall and Charlton were both languishing in League One leaving Crystal Palace with no local rivals to go up against.

There were other London teams in the Championship but nothing compared to the excitement and passion of a South London derby against one of our big rivals.

In truth it was a bit boring as a Palace fan. As nice as it is to see them suffer part of me wanted the opportunity to play, and then beat them.

The same can be said of West Brom this season. The end of last season saw Wolves and Birmingham relegated leaving only them and Aston Villa flying the flag for the second city.

And what would you rather have, 8 derby days in a season or 2? Maybe I’m on my own on this one but for me actually playing and beating your rivals is more satisfying than seeing them struggle in the lower divisions.

Until they beat you that is, that’s not fun.

Robert Lock