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After 26 Premier League seasons, where YOUR club sits in the all-time table

First up, we all understand that top-flight football existed before 1992/93. Manchester United fans weren’t going wild in 2010/11 because they built up that all-important 12-3 cushion over Arsenal and Chelsea in Premier League titles won.

No, it was because they’d edged ahead of rivals Liverpool 19-18 in the all-time league championship stakes. We’re not trying to erase history - honest. But the start of the Premier League did change things a bit. More cash, more foreign stars, a weirder trophy, far weirder kick-off times.

Secondly, we also get that every league season is its own, self-contained thing. The seasons of the Premier League don’t all add up to one big story arc like on Game of Thrones (although if they did, Liverpool would be the Starks, right? And the Lannisters would be… OK, let’s not go there).

Still, it’s fun to look back on who’ve been the successes, surprises and flops of the ‘Premier League era’, especially as the clubs at the top of this list have now hit 1,000 games. So we’re going to count down the top 20 Premier League clubs by points to see who truly are the quantifiable elite English teams of the last 26 years. Then we’ll take a quick look at the other 29 sides who don't quite make it.

So who’s the 20th best team of the Premier League era? Well, we’re glad you asked…

(Note: a big thanks to statbunker.com, who did lots of these sums so we didn’t have to)

20. Stoke

Points: 457 (from 380 games), 
Seasons: 10, 
Goal difference: -127

Premier League stat

Peter Crouch (45 goals) surpassed Jon Walters (43 goals) as Stoke's highest ever Premier League scorer this season

Plum last, but a crumb of comfort for Stoke, relegated from the actual top division this season after a 10-season stint. The Potters are actually punching above their weight, in that no other team in the all-time Premier League top 20 has played fewer than 400 games - and here are Stoke with just 380! Fairly impressive (right?).

That said, Stoke's haul of only 398 goals in those 380 games – while conceding a still relatively miserly 525 – tells you that the Potters haven’t exactly been Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle in the entertainment stakes.

19. West Brom

Points: 464 (from 456 games),  
Seasons: 12, 
Goal difference: -221

Premier League stat

Chris Brunt has the record for West Brom Premier League appearances (269). The midfielder was also the club’s top scorer in 2008/09 with nine goals

Boing-boing indeed. The Baggies bounced up and down with gusto after they were first promoted to the Premier League in 2002, with three relegations and three promotions in the following eight seasons. After 2011, West Brom finally sat still for a while – until relegation struck this season, despite the best efforts of Darren Moore to undo the mess of Pardiola's reign. 

The stats aren’t all pretty. Of all the 49 clubs to have appeared in the Prem, only one has a worse goal difference than West Brom’s -221 (and we’ll get to them shortly).

Some perspective, however: when the Premier League was christened in 1992, West Brom were in the third tier – not so much a sleeping giant as one in a coma, whose only association with the division was when people took the mick out of Frank Skinner on Fantasy Football League. Compared to those days, being a Prem yo-yo club is a major step up.

18. Leicester

Premier League stat

Riyad Mahrez has become the Foxes' all-time Premier League assist leader with 27, surpassing Turkish playmaker Muzzy Izzet (22)

Points: 555 (from 460 games), 
Seasons: 12, 
Goal difference: -98

The lowest place team to have actually won the Premier League. Which, to be fair, most Foxes fans would likely have taken two years ago if you’d offered it to them. Possibly with the words: “Yeah, fair enough, the lowest place team to… sorry, come again?”

Leicester arrived in the Premier League in 1994 under Brian Little's stewardship, and immediately went back down. It was Martin O'Neill who later led them to four consecutive top-10 finishes, and things went a bit haywire after he left in 2000: Leicester finished bottom in 2002, made a one-season appearance in 2003/04, then briefly dipped down to the third tier in 2008/09, before returning in 2014 to pull off a great escape and then a title win. A perfectly normal narrative.

17. Bolton

Points: 575 (from 494 games),  
Seasons: 13, 
Goal difference: -170

Premier League stat

Bolton’s two highest scorers are Kevin Davies (67) and Kevin Nolan (39). New transfer policy: sign anyone named Kev

Nowt surprising about Bolton - Premier League stalwarts for 11 consecutive seasons from 2001 to 2012 – earning enough points to sit in the Prem elite. Especially as the club finished as high as sixth in 2005, when Big Sam’s fleshy hand was on the tiller.

What’s surprising is that we recall Bolton as an obdurate, defensive unit. Stats tell a different tale. They’ve conceded 745 goals - the most by far of any club that's played under 500 Premier League games. However, they also scored 575.

As a comparison, that’s more than Fulham in the same number of games, despite the Cottagers picking up more points. We have besmirched Bolton’s good name! Time to watch videos of Jay-Jay Okocha and Youri Djorkaeff as “punishment”.

16. Fulham

Premier League stat

You may know him better as US rapper 'Deuce', but Clint Dempsey also slyly scored a club-high 50 Premier League goals for Fulham. Respect

Points: 586 (from 494 games), 
Seasons: 13, 
Goal difference: -127

Fulham were languishing in the fourth tier of English football in the mid-90s, so their Mohamed Al-Fayed-funded charge up the divisions to the Premier League in 2001/02 was a dizzying climb. It also explains why most fans tolerated the owner’s, erm, odd statue-related eccentricity.

Fulham liked the Prem so much they stayed for an impressive 13 consecutive seasons (no club outside the top 10 in this table has had a longer unbroken run). Relegation struck in 2014, but a classy Fulham side finished third in the Championship in 2017/18 and will be aiming for a Premier League return very soon.

15. Sunderland

Points: 618 (from 608 games), 
Seasons: 16, 
Goal difference: -292

Premier League stat

Kevin Phillips still retains the record for most goals in a debut Premier League season after his 30 strikes in 1999/2000

By a distance the worst goal difference of any Premier League side – and if you thought the 2016/17 season was poor by the Black Cats, they’ve actually had two far worse top-flight terms. In 2002/03 and 2005/06, Sunderland finished bottom without even reaching the 20-point mark. Ouch.

From 608 Premier League games, they’ve won just 153 - but approximately 130* of those have been wins against arch-rivals Newcastle, so it probably feels like more. However having been hit by back-to-back relegations and now facing a season in the third tier, a record fifth Premier League promotion must seem a long way off.

*actually nine, but six of them did come in a row

14. Middlesbrough

Points: 661 (from 574 games), 
Seasons: 15, 
Goal difference: -146

Premier League stat

It says something about the high turnover of Boro strikers that their Premier League top goalscorer has just 31 (Colombia’s Hamilton Ricard)

Boro were one of the Premier League’s original 22 in 1992/93, but finished 21st and suffered relegation in that first season. Second-bottom is a spot they enjoy so much they’ve finished there four times (i.e. every time they’ve been relegated).

Yet it’s not all bad: around that, they had an 11-year unbroken spell between 1998 and 2009 – and finished as a high as seventh under Steve McClaren in 2005 – which explains their comfy position in lower mid-table here.

13. Leeds

Points: 692 (from 468 games), 
Seasons: 12, 
Goal difference: +68

Premier League stat

James Milner is the youngest Leeds scorer in the Premier League, aged 16, in 2002

The club that entered the Premier League as defending league champions have suffered the most dramatic of falls. Leeds finished in the top five every season between 1998 and 2002 – but spent lots of borrowed dosh on exotic luxuries such as tropical fish and Seth Johnson, so had to sell off their young stars and were relegated in 2004.

Leeds fans won’t need reminding of the various agonies on and off the pitch since. Yet it’s a testament to how strong the club were in their first dozen Premier League years that they’re still as remarkably high as 13th – still 268 points above Stoke in 20th. Their 40% win ratio is only bettered by six Premier League clubs, while they’re one of only 10 clubs to boast a positive goal difference.

12. Southampton

Premier League stat

Matt Le Tissier converted 24 penalties from 25 attempts while scoring 100 Premier League goals for Southampton

Points: 889 (from 734 games), 
Seasons: 19, 
Goal difference: -130

A whopping 197 points above Leeds in 13th, yet still over 80 points below Blackburn in 11th, the Saints have 12th spot on lockdown. They do sit sixth on the list of most Premier League defeats with 303 - but that’s a legacy of having been present for 19 of 26 seasons (although losing exactly half of their games this season didn't help).

Those seven seasons away from the Premier League saw Southampton dip briefly into the third tier, but – despite this term's struggles – the club's form is strong over the last half-decade. Until 2017/18, the Saints had finished in the top eight in four consecutive seasons.

11. Blackburn

Premier League stat

Alan Shearer was basically the Lancashire Ronaldo: his 112 Blackburn goals came in just 138 Premier League games and included nine hat-tricks

Points: 970 (from 696 games), 
Seasons: 18, 
Goal difference: +20

After just three Premier League seasons, Blackburn sat second in this overall table having finished fourth, second and – in 1995 – first. Yet without former owner Jack Walker’s leadership (and crisp banknotes), the club has slipped out of the all-time top 10 - being supplanted by West Ham in 2016/17.

The ownership of Venky’s has, we’re going to boldly state, been less popular than that of Walker’s – what with them guiding the club out of the Premier League and into the third tier. Promotion in 2017/18 at least puts Rovers back into the Championship and within sight of the 30 Premier League points they need to reach the 1,000 mark.

10. West Ham

Points: 1,046 (from 844 games), 
Seasons: 22, 
Goal difference: -202

Premier League stat

West Ham are in their 22nd Premier League season, yet only one player has made it to 50 goals at the club: Paolo Di Canio. Transfer turnover: high

Hammers’ fans joy at besting Tottenham at the end of 2016/17 wasn’t gloating in effectively ending their fellow London club’s title bid (perish the thought!) but rather in pushing past the Premier League’s 1,000 points total. Naturally.

Of course, West Ham’s cumulative -202 goal difference (the third worst among all clubs to have played in the Prem) also speaks to the dodgy times the club has faced. Relegated twice, but having finished as high as fifth in 1999 under Harry Redknapp, it’s been a rollercoaster existence. Still, firming up their place as one of the top 10 all-time Premier League sides is some tiny consolation after the struggles of 2017/18.

9. Aston Villa

Points: 1,223 (from 924 games), 
Seasons: 24, 
Goal difference: -69

Premier League stat

Gareth Barry holds a trio of records for the club: appearances (365), penalties scored (18) and youngest goalscorer (18 years and 60 days)

Aston Villa have fallen two places over the course of this season. Both Newcastle and Aston Villa have leapfrogged the Villans, despite both clubs having played fewer games than the Midlands outfit.

Villa finished runners-up in the first ever Premier League, which put them at that time [checks calculations…] second in the all-time table. Yet despite flickers of a resurgence under Brian Little, John Gregory then Martin O’Neill, it’s been a slow decline since.

Eventual relegation in 2016 has had one bonus side effect. Back then, Villa held the record for Premier League losses (333) but by taking a brief, erm, sabbatical they’ve passed that millstone to Everton. That’s a silver lining, right Villa fans?

8. Newcastle

Points: 1,227 (from 882 games), 
Seasons: 23, 
Goal difference: +20

Premier League stat

Andy Cole’s 34 goals for Newcastle in 1993/94 remains a one-season record (later equalled by Alan Shearer at Blackburn). Outstanding

Proof that this table can be misleading. To see Newcastle in eighth, with a positive goal difference and 250+ points above the lower half – it looks like a comfortable Premier League existence.

Yet there’s been a general descent in the second half of this club’s Prem’s existence. During the first 13 years, Newcastle finished second twice (under Kevin Keegan), then had three top-five finishes (under Bobby Robson). The last 13 years has yielded two relegations and just one top-five finish (in 2012).

Rafa Benitez ran a superbly tight ship to keep Newcastle afloat this season, despite a reportedly frosty relationship with a certain fireplace-bothering owner. Yet the all-time stats do bear out Newcastle’s ‘entertainers’ image. They’ve scored 1,207 (90 goals more than Aston Villa in 42 fewer games) and conceded an almighty 1,187. 

7. Manchester City

Points: 1,271 (from 810 games), 
Seasons: 21, 
Goal difference: +327

Premier League stat

Pep Guardiola's 72% win ratio is the highest of any full-time Premier League manager (Antonio Conte is second with 67%)

Predictably, our fastest risers. An abrupt change occurred for Manchester City in 2008 – it was either getting Shaun Wright-Phillips back, or possibly the sudden arrival of all the money in the universe. Who can really say for sure?

Either way, from an also-ran club just inside this top 20 in 2008, City have soared into the top 10. This season alone they have jumped two spots (above Aston Villa and Newcastle) thanks to the 100 points amassed by Guardiola's breathtaking side.

No club outside the Premier League's ever-present clubs can boast such a high all-time points total, while City's +327 goal difference is bettered only by the top four clubs on this list. Peptacular stuff.

6. Everton

Points: 1,373 (from 1,000 games), 
Seasons: 26, 
Goal difference: +38

Premier League stat

Romelu Lukaku is Everton’s all-time Premier League top scorer with 68 goals, despite playing less than four full seasons for the Toffees

Welcome to the realm of 1,000-game clubs! The Toffees might hold the record for Premier League draws (287) and defeats (351), but that’s mainly because they're part of the select, ever-present group.

Everton also spent the early Premier League years battling relegation and pulling off a miracle escapes. While he may not quite be the rising star of a manager he once was, David Moyes brought a positive upward trend in the noughties and Everton have climbed up this table ever since. Even with the turgid football on display this season, Everton still finished a respectable eighth.

To put it another way, Everton are like a regular Sopranos character who you’re convinced is going to be get bumped off early on. Yet they keep on improbably surviving, season after season, and by the end are rising up the ranks. Sure, you realise that they’re unlikely to get the very top job - but they’re firmly established in the hierarchy now. Well done, Everton. You’re Paulie Walnuts.

5. Tottenham

Points: 1,524 (from 1,000 games), 
Seasons: 26, 
Goal difference: +213

Premier League stat

No player had scored 100 Premier League goals for Spurs until this season, when Harry Kane shouldered his way to 108. More to come, you suspect

Let’s get the 'lads, it’s Tottenham' stat out of the way first: Spurs have conceded more Premier League goals than any other club (1,267). Truly impressive, considering that they’ve had one of the meanest defences in the league over the past four seasons under Mauricio Pochettino’s watch. So you can imagine how many they leaked in the first 22 terms.

This record is partly a legacy of Tottenham being ever-presents, of course, as well an entertaining side who formerly had an approach of 'you score two, we’ll score three!' (...then probably concede another late on, but who cares because we’ve all had a luvvly time, ‘aven’t we Ossie?).

Overall, however, Spurs are a club trending upwards. The north Londoners didn’t finish inside the top six during the first 13 Premier League seasons. Now they’re firmly established among the country’s elite clubs and smashed their points record for a season in 2016/17 with 86. The gap on the clubs above them is wide – over 200 points – but Spurs are eating into it faster than they’re getting sucked back into mid-table.

4. Liverpool

Points: 1,678 (from 1,000 games), 
Seasons: 26, 
Goal difference: +615

Premier League stat

Jamie Carragher (508) and Steven Gerrard (504) are two of just three players to appear in 500+ Premier League matches for one club

The highest-placed club not to have won the Premier League. Which, when you’re a side with Liverpool’s glorious history, is a consolation about as slim as Peter Crouch. Liverpool’s finishing positions are also very narrow: they’ve never finishing outside the top eight in 25 full seasons and have ended up second on three occasions, which includes two of the Prem’s strongest runners-up sides.

That would be Rafa Benitez’s Fernando Torres-spearheaded side of 2008/09 (who bested Manchester United 4-1 at Old Trafford but couldn’t reel them in), and Brendan Rodgers’ 2013/14 entertainers (who scored 101 goals only to lose out to the other Manchester club).

Liverpool’s stats are strong: a win ratio of 50%, 1,604 goals and a 228-point gap on Tottenham in fifth. Yet still one less league title in the last 25 years than Leicester and Blackburn. Damn.

At least there's been some fun along the way for Liverpool fans

3. Chelsea

Points: 1,859 (from 1,000 games), 
Seasons: 26, 
Goal difference: +744

Premier League stat

Frank Lampard leads Chelsea’s Premier League totals in assists (92) and goals (147), making him the Premier League’s top-scoring midfielder

For three of the first four Premier League seasons, Chelsea finished 11th. Still, at least they mixed it up in 1994 (by finishing 14th). Oh. Yet Chelsea are the team of the second half of the Premier League era. Over the past 14 seasons, they’ve won five Premier League titles (the same number as Manchester United) and have scored the most points in that time: 1,115 against the Old Trafford club’s 1,113.

Major investment has played a big part. First from lifelong Chelsea fan Matthew Harding, then to an even greater extent from lifelong having-more-money-than-you fan Roman Abramovich. But we see every year how pots of cash can be wasted – Chelsea have generally invested wisely when it comes to players and, crucially, getting the best managers.

The Blues' next goal in the all-time stakes is reeling in second-placed Arsenal, who they sit 26 points behind. It's actually a lead the Blues are eating into. Even in this desperately disappointing title defence season, Chelsea have scored seven points more than their north-London rivals. The battle for capital supermacy is on.

2. Arsenal

Points: 1,885 (from 1,000 games), 
Seasons: 26, 
Goal difference: +810

Premier League stat

Among dazzling superstars like Henry, Bergkamp and Lord Bendtner, the club’s record appearance-maker is the more reassuringly human Ray Parlour (333)

You want seconds? Arsenal have more seconds than Augustus Gloop at dinner. Second-most wins (544), second-highest goals scored (1,772), even the most second-place finishes (six).

That might sound like damning with faint praise, but it really isn’t. Being the second-most successful Premier League club here, only one spot behind the trophy hogs at the top, is an impressive achievement. Especially when you consider Arsenal spent their first five years in the Prem doddering between 12th and third – until Arsene Wenger’s methods kicked in and the club won three Premier League titles in a seven-year span.

The downside to that, of course, is no league titles in the last 14 years and slippage out of the top four for the last two seasons after a strong 20-year run. Still, at least Arsenal are firmly in the top four in this table - over 300 points above Spurs in fifth - and this is the table that really matters, right Gunners. Right?

1. Manchester United

Points: 2,102 (from 1,000 games), 
Seasons: 26, 
Goal difference: +1,049

Premier League stat

Man United players hold three key Premier League records: most appearances (Ryan Giggs, 632), most goals for one club (Wayne Rooney, 183) and most assists (Giggs again, 131)

Try to conceal your surprised face. Yep, the team that's won half of all Premier League titles (13) sit atop this table with a 217-point lead. Thing is, we don’t remember David Moyes, Louis van Gaal or Jose Mourinho (so far) doing that well, so the bloke before must have been some kind of title-winning emperor.

Even in 2016/17, when Jose basically gave up on the league to focus on the Europa League/League Cup/Krypton Factor, Manchester United still reached a couple of lofty milestones. They busted through the 2,000-point mark with a 2-0 win over Watford in February 2017, and remain the only side in this table with a goal difference of 1,000+.

Critics might point out the fact that Manchester United have regularly been the biggest spenders of the Premier League era – and oh, look, they’re top of this table. But it’s to Sir Alex Ferguson’s credit that even when Chelsea and Manchester City began waving bigger wads of cash around than United could match, he still came back and picked up league titles with the casual insouciance of a man going down to the shop for a pint of milk. (If that man was also really angry about milk for some reason.)

After the great man retired, Manchester United recorded their four lowest points tallies in the Premier League. Yet 2017/18 saw a far more respectable points total of 81 – and even if that was only good enough for second spot, it'll take a seismic event for anyone to topple Manchester United on this all-time table.

Continue on, if you dare, to see where the 29 Premier League clubs who didn’t quite make the cut finished (or just skip to the worst - you heartless fiend)

The nearly men...

Just to mess with your head, we now present in descending order, the other 29 clubs who don’t quite crack the elite - right down to the worst Premier League entrant so far.

21. Coventry

Points: 409 (from 354 games), Seasons: 9, Goal difference: -103

It's remarkable that, until 2016/17 when Stoke and West Brom slipped past them, Coventry still clung onto a top 20 spot in this table. Currently on 99 Premier League wins, but that 100th looks a long way away.

22. Sheffield Wednesday

Points: 392 (from 316 games), Seasons: 8, Goal difference: -44

Two seventh-placed finishes in the first two years of the Premier League for a wonderfully stylish side which starred Chris Waddle, Mark Bright and David Hirst. Currently pushing for a return since relegation in 2000, but a 15th-place finish in the Championship in 2017/18 showed there's still plenty of work to be done.

23. Wimbledon

Points: 391 (from 316 games), Seasons: 8, Goal difference: -88

Like Sheffield Wednesday – who they sit just a point behind – a Premier League original who were relegated in 2000. Still, at least Wednesday never had a music mogul destroy their football club.

24. Crystal Palace

Points: 380 (from 350 games), Seasons: 9, Goal difference: -137

Couldn’t manage to hang on to a Premier League spot in their first four tries, but now on a best-ever run and climbing this table. In the last season alone, the Eagles have swooped past Charlton and Nowrwich into 24th. They're just 12 points off 22nd, so Palace should rise again in 2018/19.

25. Charlton

Points: 361 (from 304 games), Seasons: 8, Goal difference: -100

Appeared in eight out of nine seasons from 1998/99 to 2006/07, with 327 of the Addicks’ 361 total points coming under Alan Curbishley’s measured gaze.

26. Norwich

Points: 359 (from 304 games), Seasons: 8, Goal difference: -145

Where are you, Norwich? Sporadically in the Premier League is the answer: the club has appeared in the '90s, noughties and 2010s. Finished third in the first ever Premier League season when they had Mark Robbins, Jeremy Goss and were awesome.

27. Wigan

Points: 331 (from 304 games), Seasons: 8, Goal difference: -166

Widely tipped as a one-season wonder (sage Mark Lawrenson didn’t predict them to win any of their 38 top-flight games in 2005/06; they finished 10th), but clung on for eight years. A woeful goal difference tells that it wasn’t always easy - but the FA Cup eased the sting of relegation in 2013.

28. Swansea

Points: 312 (from 266 games), Seasons: 7, Goal difference: -79

It won't remove the sting of this season's relegation, but the Swans did rise three places on this table in 2017/18. The Welsh side sit above Birmingham, Derby, Portsmouth and QPR despite featuring in the same number of seasons (seven) so have clearly punched above their weight despite this term's woes.

29. QPR

Points: 308 (from 278 games), Seasons: 7, Goal difference: -92

Very few clubs who’ve played fewer than 10 seasons in the Premier League can boast a player who’s scored a half century of goals. QPR can: Sir Les Ferdinand bagged 60 (in 110 appearances) – 20 of which came in the first Prem season, where the Rs finished fifth.

30. Birmingham

Points: 301 (from 266 games), Seasons: 7, Goal difference: -87

All seven of Birmingham’s Premier League appearances came in a nine-year spell between 2002/03 and 2010/11. They drew 82 of their matches - a whopping 31% - so would be better served by campaigning for two points for a win. Or one point. Or zero points. Revolutionary.

31. Portsmouth

Points: 293 (from 266 games), Seasons: 7, Goal difference: -88

Did their Prem seasons in one spell, then went into a tailspin post-relegation. All three of Pompey’s top Premier League scorers are from Africa: Nigerians Yakubu (29) and Nwankwo Kanu (17), split by Congolese Lomana LuaLua (19). We assume this means Portsmouth are huge in Africa and 400x more popular than Man United.

32. Derby

Points: 274 (from 266 games), Seasons: 7, Goal difference: -149

It says seven seasons, but should Derby’s 11-point effort in 2007/08 really count? Happier memories are Jim Smith’s entertaining mid-'90s Derby that finished eighth and ninth, spearheaded by Dean Sturridge (Derby’s record Premier League goalscorer with 31) and Paulo Wanchope (joint second with 23).

33. Nottingham Forest

Points: 239 (from 198 games), Seasons: 5, Goal difference: -58

Finished as high as third in 1994/95 – splitting Manchester United and Liverpool, as Stan Collymore bagged 22 league goals. That explains why Forest top the mini league of clubs who’ve played five or fewer Premier League seasons, but the club haven’t featured in the top flight this millennium.

34. Ipswich

Points: 224 (from 202 games), Seasons: 5, Goal difference: -93

Their best season came in 2000/01, when the Tractor Boys finished fifth and Marcus Stewart scored 19 goals. Relegated in 2002 and liked the second tier so much they bought it, staying for 15 consecutive seasons and counting.

35. Watford

Points: 178 (from 190 games), Seasons: 5, Goal difference: -130

Finished 20th in their first two goes at the Premier League, but have now spent three consecutive seasons in the top flight and are climbing this table. Need 46 points next season to leapfrog Ipswich into 34th, which we suspect will be the talking point dominating the back pages for the entirety of 2018/19.

36. Hull

Points: 171 (from 190 games), Seasons: 5, Goal difference: -142

Recent risers in that all of Hull’s Premier League seasons have come since 2008, but they haven’t quite got the knack of it yet: they’re yet to break the 40-point barrier in five attempts (explaining the three relegations). Conceding 323 while scoring a less-than-goal-a-game 181 tells a story.

37. Burnley

Points: 157 (from 152 games), Seasons:Goal difference: -84

Leapt three spots on this list in the space of one season thanks to a cracking 2017/18, which saw the Clarets finish seventh with 54 points. After two relegations in their first two tries at the Premier League, Burnley are now flying high. Gravel-gargling gaffer Sean Dyche is already a club legend.

38. Wolves

Points: 136 (from 152 games), Seasons: 4, Goal difference: -125

Like Watford, Wolves have also have also finished 20th in the Premier League twice. (Were these seasons where the table was settled on alphabetic order or something?). However they romped to the Championship title this season and Nuno Espirito Santo will have an eye on giving Wolves their finest Premier League finish next season, besting the 15th place the club managed in 2009/10.

39. Sheffield United

Points: 132 (from 122 games), Seasons: 3, Goal difference: -40

Two relegations in three seasons, but the Blades can consider themselves a bit unlucky. Their worst points total of 38 would keep you up in many seasons (including 2017/18), while their win percentage of 26% is better than that of the three clubs above them in this table.

40. Bournemouth

Points: 132 (from 114 games), Seasons: 3, Goal difference: -50

Low here, but on the rise. The Cherries finished ninth in 2017 and 12th this season, while their Premier League points-per-game ratio of 1.16 is better than every side below Nottingham Forest in 33rd spot. Have a worst goal difference than 39th-place Sheffield United, but have also had eight less games to accumulate points.

41. Reading

Points: 119 (from 114 games), Seasons: 3, Goal difference: -50

Won't be adding to their Premier League total next season after a disappointing 20th-place finish in the Championship. Reading did finish eighth in the Prem in 2006/07, while Nicky Shorey is the club’s record Prem appearance-maker having played in 90 of the club's 114 matches.

42. Oldham

Points: 89 (from 84 games), Seasons: 2, Goal difference: -37

A Premier League original that lasted just two seasons - but they did get in a miracle escape in 1992/93. Oldham won their last three league games against Aston Villa (a result which handed Manchester United the title), Liverpool and Southampton to stay up over Crystal Palace on goal difference.

43. Bradford

Points: 62 (from 76 games), Seasons: 2, Goal difference: -70

A last-day 1-0 win against Liverpool via David Wetherall's header gave Bradford unlikely survival in 2000/01 (and denied the Reds Champions League football). Gaffer Paul Jewell nipped off, though, and the next season was of the 26-point, finished-bottom disaster variety.

44. Brighton

Points: 40 (from 38 games), Seasons: 1, Goal difference: -18

The best of the one-season Premier League wonders! Admittedly not a catchy slogan Chris Hughton's boys will be wearing on T-shirts any time soon, but just reward for Brighton's excellent achievement of finishing 15th spot and seven points above the relegation zone.

45. Blackpool

Points: 39 (from 38 games), Seasons: 1, Goal difference: -23

Blackpool only lasted one season in the Premier League, but they can consider themselves a tad unlucky. The 39 points that Ian Holloway’s side earned in 2010/11 would have kept them up in every single season since. Bah!

46. Huddersfield

Points: 37 (from 38 games), Seasons: 1, Goal difference: +30

No side has previously stayed up while scoring as few as 28 goals, but do you think Huddersfield care? Of course not! They're probably still drunk (on, erm, success). Quite right too - for a side that was widely tipped to finish bottom, survival is a fine achievment. The Terriers have the opportunity to climb this table in 2018/19.

47. Barnsley

Points: 35 (from 38 games), Seasons: 1, Goal difference: -45

At least Barnsley gave it a go in 1997/98 – particularly Neil Redfearn, who scored 10 goals from midfield – but the team shipped 82 goals, which isn’t ideal. Redfearn enjoyed the process so much he got relegated with a further 127 clubs [citation needed].

48. Cardiff

Points: 30 (from 38 games), Seasons: 1, Goal difference: -42

Cardiff’s Premier League debut in 2013/14 did not go according to plan. They finished bottom in their first crack in the Prem, scoring a meagre 32 goals - but promotion machine Neil Warnock has turned up like a superheroic Mrs Doubtfire to launch Cardiff back into the top tier. Next season should, at the very least, let Cardiff put clear daylight between them and the team they're currently only above on goal difference...

49. Swindon

Points: 30 (from 42 games), Seasons: 1, Goal difference: -45

At least they got to enjoy the goals of Jan Age Fjortoft (12 of them, complete with aeroplane celebration) in 1992/93. The minor drawback was conceding 100 league goals in one season. Did they actually play a goalkeeper? Still; neeowww…

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