Oh, Norwich City. You hardly have to have been Nostradamus to have seen the impending relegation over the hill but it doesn't make it any easier for some.
The Canaries have now dropped out of the top tier in consecutive Premier League campaigns, either side of title-winning terms in the Championship. They've won just five fixtures all in all and looked destined for doom since the early days of the season: how can a team who strolled the second tier be so damn dreadful when they get here?
Still, they could have been worse. A lot worse. Imagine what Delia Smith would have yelled at half-time if she'd watched this bunch of no-hopers…
1. Ibis Sport Club, Brazil 1980/84
Nicknamed Pior Time do Mundo or 'Worst Team in the World', the Brazilian side from Paulisto went almost four years without a single victory.
They made further headlines by drawing up a job proposal in December for the unemployed Jose Mourinho. The two-year 'contract' promised to gift the Portuguese an animal for every defeat and a "salary increase immediately if the team lost by a thrashing".
Jose needn’t have worried about the detail. The offer was made on December 28, the Brazilian equivalent of April Fool’s Day…
2. Nocerina, Lega Pro Prima Divisione 2013/14
Nocerina were forcibly demoted from third to fifth tier of Italian football in 2013/14 after the “derby of shame” against Salernitana in November 2013.
“The team were pressured to boycott the game under threat of life, retaliation and revenge,” reported La Gazzetta dello Sport, referring to the pressure put on the side by their own banned Ultras supporters.
The match was eventually stopped after 21 minutes when five of the Mastini players simulated injury to leave the pitch. Nocerina's sporting director Luigi Pavarese denied all allegations, claiming "that the players went onto the pitch without warming up, which caused the injuries".
All remaining league fixtures were forfeited 3-0 in favour of their opponents.
3. Derby County, Premier League 2007/08
Paddy Power paid out on Derby’s relegation after only five games of the season. The Rams ended up 25 points short of safety, losing a whopping 29 matches in the process.
They were officially doomed by the end of March, winning just one of their first 20 matches which also included 6-0 capitulations to Liverpool and Aston Villa, 5-0 defeats by Arsenal and West Ham and a 4-1 loss at the hands of Manchester United.
Before Christmas the Rams replaced Billy Davies with Paul Jewell, who declared: "People talk about the January window but you have to be careful about who you bring in."
He brought in no fewer than eight players but ended up with 11 points, the worst in Premier League history.
4. Tasmania 1900 Berlin, Bundesliga 1965/66
Clearly, Tasmania 1900 weren’t ready for their Bundesliga debut – they were only promoted by default. Hertha Berlin had been relegated as a result of breaking the league’s rules regarding salary structure, and Cold War politics meant that any replacement team must come from Berlin.
Despite winning their opening match, Tasmania picked up a meagre eight points with two wins and 28 defeats, as initial crowds of over 80,000 fell to just over 800 at one point.
Goalkeeper Heinz Rohloff admitted the team were rather unprofessional: “Before training, we’d have a couple of glasses of port and then after we’d do the same.”
5. Xerez, La Liga 2009/10
Xerez’s first La Liga dalliance since their formation in 1947 didn’t go to plan from the off. They lost their two opening home matches due to own goals and collected just seven points from the first 19 played.
The club's website moaned that "the witches have put a spell on us", while one report cruelly suggested Xerez were "crippled in both legs".
They actually found their feet in the second half of the season under Argentine Nestor Gorosito, but couldn’t haul it back.
6. Dainava, A Lyga 2013/14
There's an annual tomato tasting day in the Lithuanian city of Alytus, and home fans of Dainava FC could have been forgiven for using the veg to pelt their team during the 2013/14 season.
Any hope of avoiding relegation was gone by the halfway stage, as their side conceded 143 goals in 36 games with a goal difference of -131. All foreign imports quickly left, as teenage reserves tried to stem the tide.
Poor 16-year-old defender Povilas Kalimavičius was an ever-present calamity as Dainava conceded more goals in three months than in the whole previous season combined.
7. New Mills AFC, Northern Premier League Division One North 2015/16
Dubbed the "worst team in England", New Mills were relegated from the eighth-tier Northern Premier League Division One North in April after a winless run of 35 matches, including 33 losses.
The highlight of their campaign was a 2-2 draw with Witton Albion that earned the side their first point of the campaign. In January.
"I just hope it can be a springboard for the rest of the season," said manager Garry Brown with a remarkably straight face. Wishful thinking gave way to bullishness: "New Mills is no longer a place to get easy points," Brown claimed, before a 9-0 spanking by Spennymoor finally put them out of their misery.
8. Carpet Masters, Guam Men's Soccer League 2009/10
The tiny Pacific island of Guam is famous for losing 19-0 to Iran in a World Cup qualifier in 2000. Their men’s Soccer League Division One consists of six teams, which stretches competition a bit thinly.
In the 2009 campaign, the inappropriately named Carpet Masters were ripped up 9-0, 10-0 and 11-0. The latter defeat was inflicted by Quality Distributors, who lived up to their name by winning all of their 20 matches.
The excitingly named Bank of Guam Crushers were another side who ensured Carpet Masters were pinned to the bottom of the table.
9. East Stirlingshire, Scottish Third Division 2002-07
East Stirlingshire have already used eight of their nine lives. From 2002 to 2007 they finished bottom of the old Scottish Third Division, prompting the SFL into a rule change whereby any club finishing last for two consecutive seasons could be voted down to Associate Member status.
By this time, sugar daddy Spencer Fearn had arrived, driving 600-mile round trips in his Aston Martin to watch them, and was looking to invest. It didn’t stop the rot. The SFL clubs voted to defer the reduction in membership status for a further year if the Shire moved up the table. They survived in 07/08 with a last-day win over Montrose.
Despite two consecutive bottom-place finishes in 2011/12 and 2012/13, the rule was put on hold again due to ongoing negotiations about league restructuring for the 2013/14 season. East Stirling are still propping up the newly formed League Two, 10 points adrift at the bottom of the pile.
10. Gibraltar Phoenix, Premier League 2013/14
Gibraltar Phoenix 'competed' in their Premier domestic league in 2013/14 without securing as much as a point. UEFA’s website is almost literary in its analysis of the carnage, suggesting that "the flames engulfed Gibraltar Phoenix as they lost much of their squad during the summer".
They finished the season having conceded a whopping 94 goals in 14 matches. Over a third of those came from a double thrashing by league champions Lincoln Red Imps, who walloped an aggregate of 32 past the Phoenix in two matches during the same week. That’s football trauma.
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