Ranked! The 10 most depressing teams to support in Britain right now
Manchester City fans are revelling in Premier League title glory, Wolves supporters are relishing a return to the top fight and the Accrington Stanley faithful are in raptures after watching their team secure a place in the third tier for the first time in history.
Following these clubs is an absolute joy at the minute, so perhaps their supporters should spare a thought for the fans whose teams have brought them nothing but misery this season. These are the clubs you do not want to support right now...
Everton fans are well aware that they haven’t snagged silverware in more than two decades. Unlike their Arsenal and Liverpool counterparts, they don’t have inflated expectations because they won the league a few times when fingerless gloves and parachute pants were fashionable – but what they do demand is progress.
So, when Iranian businessman Farhad Moshiri purchased a majority stake in the club in 2016, nobody could blame them for feeling a collective pang of optimism. Finally, the blue half of Merseyside was equipped with the resources to compete with big-spending neighbours Liverpool. Ronald Koeman was installed as manager off the back of an impressive stint with Southampton, handed a blank cheque and tasked with bringing the glory days back to Goodison Park.
Fast-forward two years and it’s all gone horribly wrong. Koeman paid the price for poor recruitment with his sacking in October 2017, a team largely comprised of failed signings is chasing shadows across the Goodison pitch, and a weather-beaten Sam Allardyce sits on the throne of an empire in turmoil. Everton must be the only team on the planet capable of spending £150m and being worse off for it.
The days when they sat proudly at English football’s top table are a distant memory, forever frozen in fading photographs and battered Panini sticker albums. Many clubs have tumbled down the ladder over the years, but rarely is a decline as depressingly drawn-out as Coventry's.
Two decades ago, they were in the Premier League with stars like Gary McAllister and Dion Dublin among their ranks. Rewind 10 years and they were battling against relegation in the second tier, having dropped into it for the first time in 34 years at the end of the 2000/01 campaign.
These days, Coventry are a shambolically-run club, slugging it out in League Two, playing their football at a stadium that’s brought them nothing but off-field woes while operating under the ownership of Sisu, a company that once thought it was a good idea to temporarily move the team more than 30 miles down the road to Northampton.
The possibility of a place in this season’s play-offs could provide a degree of respite for the Sky Blues’ long-suffering fan base – and end a staggering run without a top-six finish since 1970 – but while Sisu are in control, they can be forgiven for being less-than-optimistic about the future.
Success and failure are relative in football, so when a fan base that has watched its team lift three FA Cups in the last four years starts calling for the manager’s head on a pike, supporters of more long-suffering lower-league teams can only roll their eyes in irritated bemusement.
Arsenal fans could learn a lot from a weekend in the stands at a freezing-cold Glebe Park, but somewhere between the ArsenalFanTV rants and growing season ticket-holder boycott, the Wenger Out movement might have a point. The Frenchman has gone from the mastermind behind a team of title-winning invincibles to the poster gent for his club’s decline over the course of a decade.
To put their downturn into perspective, Arsenal were unbeaten on the road throughout the 2001/02 and 2003/04 campaigns. This season, they’ve already lost eight times away from home and have three more league fixtures to play. National League outfit Tamworth are the only team in England’s top five divisions with as poor an away record as the Gunners in 2018.
Wenger doesn't seem likely to budge, but he may not have a say in the matter if his side fail to win the Europa League. A competition no Arsenal fan wanted their team to be in at the beginning of 2017/18 is now the one their entire season rests upon.
The term 'mid-table mediocrity' is bandied about a lot at Portman Road, and it’s easy to see why. This season is Ipswich's 16th successive one in the Championship, and their campaigns have long felt rather tired indeed.
Like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, though, manager Mick McCarthy has finally broken free from the loop having left his post after last month’s 1-0 win over Barnsley. The former Wolves boss was once a popular figure among the Tractor Boys faithful, having stabilised the club and guided them to their first appearance in the play-offs for a decade, but he left under a cloud of toxicity.
McCarthy lost large sections of the Ipswich support during his final season, demonstrated when his decision to substitute debutant Barry Cotter against Barnsley was met with a chorus of boos. He admitted that a part of him “died” when his exit was confirmed, and likened his final days at the club to travelling in a driverless car. No doubt Town's feel something similar.