Ranked! The 10 most depressing teams to support in Britain right now
When administration forced Rangers to hard reboot as a Scottish League Two club in 2012, a fan base accustomed to seeing their team annihilate all that stood before them was thrust into the depths of despair. But that was merely the beginning of their problems.
The Gers’ road back to the top of Scottish football was bumpier than anyone anticipated, and hit a massive snag in 2015 when a two-legged play-off defeat to Motherwell forced them to spend an additional year in the second tier.
While the original incarnation of Rangers may have been liquidated, the expectations of the Ibrox faithful remain, so a third-placed finish during their first season back in the top flight was never going to cut it. Despite changing managers twice since then, things haven’t gotten any easier.
A return to Europe was cut short by a humiliating loss at the hands of Luxembourgian minnows Progres Niederkorn early in the current campaign. Two domestic cup eliminations later, the Gers are scrapping with Aberdeen and Hibs for second place in the league. The worst part about their predicament is that their supporters have to endure all it while watching Celtic move within touching distance of a historic double Treble. Since February 2015 they've won only one of their 12 meetings with the Bhoys – on penalties.
Leeds's fall from grace and dire mismanagement in the years following their appearance in the 2000/01 Champions League semi-finals is well documented. These days, they’re a perpetual second-tier club, desperately seeking stability in the aftermath of manager-eating owner Massimo Cellino’s time in the boardroom.
Although those dark days in the League One doldrums are behind them, a typical Leeds season now involves either an annual flirt with relegation or a play-off challenge that gradually falls apart as the campaign reaches its final stretch. That’s fine for some of their neighbours, but Leeds are a club with an illustrious history and scores of fans willing to travel the length and breadth of the country to watch their team play (badly, most of the time) on the road.
The burden of expectation has always hung heavy over Elland Road, and former manager Thomas Christiansen was crushed beneath its weight earlier this season when he failed to maintain a play-off push. His successor Paul Heckingbottom has managed just two wins in 13 matches, which is unlikely to save his job, even in the post-Cellino age.
4. North Ferriby United
North Ferriby were punching well above their weight in non-league football not so long ago, defeating fallen giants Wrexham at Wembley to lift the FA Trophy three years ago and climbing to the relative heights of the National League against the odds. The Villagers’ fairytale, however, is now over.
Although the Hull-based minnows put up a good fight in their 1-1 draw against big-spending Salford City at the Eon Visual Stadium in March, that result condemned them to back-to-back relegations and a place in the Northern Premier League for 2018/19. United’s latest relegation may have been on the cards for a while, but the club’s current plight is still giving their fans more than a few sleepless nights.
The Villagers’ very existence is under threat, with owner Jamie Waltham describing the club as “unsustainable” and hinting at the possibility of transferring its league standing to another local outfit. That triumph at Wembley must feel like it happened to another team.