How teams negotiate Premier League survival after promotion

By Anmol
6 Min Read

Every season the top two teams from the English Championship are promoted alongside the winner of the playoffs which is contested by the teams that finish from third to sixth place. The Championship playoff final is regarded as the richest game in football because of the potential revenue that awaits the winner. This season saw Burnley, Sheffield United, and surprise package Luton Town gain promotion.

One way to gauge a team’s chances of survival is by looking at the betting market. Many bookies featured on a guide for UK sites have Sheffield United and Luton as firm favourites to drop straight back down with relegation odds of around 1/7.

Burnley are also considered to be relegation candidates alongside AFC Bournemouth and Everton, but teams that string a few good results together can quickly rise up the table.

Take a look below for some of the ways teams can compete against teams that have had access to these riches for considerably longer.

The Different Ways Premier League Newcomers Can Stay Up

The Premier League is seen by many football fans and club owners as the promised land that provides access to incredible revenue streams that can be worth hundreds of millions. Clubs get a share of roughly £2.5 billion from TV revenue and prize money and teams can improve their share to the tune of £2.2 million for every position they finish higher up the table.

Promoted teams will also benefit from bigger sponsorship deals, larger crowds, and player values will also increase significantly. So how do teams stay up?


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The manager of a team will typically receive the plaudits or criticism based on team performances. It is safe to say that the majority of teams that are promoted will stick with their manager due to them achieving the success of getting the team to the Premiership. However, if results go against them, many boards might look at replacements and will hope to make any changes before the Christmas break. This is because new managers will want at least one transfer window to try and make some changes.


The Premiership is a whole other level compared with the Championship. In recent years we have seen teams like Norwich dominate the Championship with a brand of exciting and attacking football.

Being able to continue like this in the Premiership can be a struggle and many teams may consider more defensive tactics. This can be a gamble and if it doesn’t pay off, the fans will not only be disappointed with results, but with the style of football being played.


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Managers who are able to take their team to the top English flight will have a lot to think about. If they are to continue with their current tactics, can they bring in a few players to improve the first team? If they choose to switch things up will they have to make changes to their playing staff?

During the 2022/23 season, newly promoted Nottingham Forest made an incredible 30 signings as manager Steve Cooper attempted to prepare them for life at the top.

Many saw this as a huge risk and a slap in the face to the players that got them up in the first place and the £157.5 million outlay was the fifth highest for the Premiership that season.

However, Cooper surprised a lot of people by finishing in 16th place. This secured Nottingham Forest £137 million in prize money and another season in the top league.

Team Spirit

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Team spirit can allow teams with limited resources and ability to raise their game as we often see in cup ties. This can also apply to promotion to the Premier League as shown by teams like Sheffield United who gained promotion after finishing second in the Championship in the 2018/19 season.

The Blades surprised everyone by finishing the 2019/20 season in ninth place under Chris Wilder despite having a workman-like team. Unfortunately, they were unable to replicate this the year later and were relegated after finishing twentieth.

Similarly, Leeds United returned to the Premiership for the 2020/21 season under the unique stewardship of Marcelo Bielsa. Like Sheffield United, their incredible work rate resulted in a ninth-place finish in their first season.

Leeds’ second season in the top flight was also a struggle but they managed to escape relegation thanks to a final-day victory over Brentford. The next season they weren’t as fortunate and dropped back to the Championship.


Newly promoted teams must combine good management, team spirit, sensible tactics, and successful recruitment to have any hope of retaining their Premiership status by the end of the season.

This can be an extremely difficult task, but it always makes for an interesting season for the fans.

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