5 Teams You Might Not Know Played In The Premier League

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A chance at glory?

Since it's beginning in 1992, the EPL has become the biggest football league in the world. The best players want to play in it and it commands the largest TV audiences.

Given its high profile, most of the teams are world-renowned and everyone knows their name: Manchester United are now a global brand, thanks to Sir Alex Ferguson's domination with the Red Devils in the 1990's and 2000's.

Teams like Chelsea, Arsenal, and Liverpool are all famous thanks to their performances both in England and European competition.

There are, though, obviously clubs who aren't as well-known to those outside the country.

Every league has its small fish in the big pond and the EPL is notorious for being difficult to reach and difficult to stay in; many sides have gained promotion only to see themselves back in the Championship the following season.

This article, then, looks at 5 teams who you might not know once played in the EPL.


#5 Barnsley

Barnsley had
Barnsley had little to celebrate in their solitary EPL season

At the time of creation of the EPL in 1992, Barnsley had been members of the Football League for 94 years without ever managing to reach the top division.

They finally reached the promised land in the 1997-1998, just after nearly 100 years of trying. They lasted only one season, unfortunately, their manager Danny Wilson unable to keep them up.

An extremely slow start didn't aid their cause, and a late surge couldn't rectify their early form. They finished second bottom, five points from safety, and were just too inexperienced at the highest level to cope.

Barnsley have never made it back to the EPL since that season, and have spent their time bouncing between the Championship and League One.

#4 Bradford City

Moments
Moments of joy like this were limited in the EPL for Bradford

Bradford would manage an extra season than Barnsley, staying in the EPL from 1999 to 2001. Their striker Paul Jewell was appointed manager after a stellar playing career with the club and took them up to the EPL on the very first try; a 3-2 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers in the final league game of the season saw Bradford reach the top-flight for the first time in a massive 77 years.

Again, Bradford's inexperience showed and they struggled in the first half of the campaign. A late surge of victories meant they had a chance of staying up on the last day of the season, and an impressive 1-0 win over Liverpool - combined with Wimbledon's loss - saw them achieve this feat.

Paul Jewell left before the following season, his assistant Chris Hutchings taking over, and the new man was given a substantial transfer budget: Italian striker Benito Carbone arrived on very high wages. He would end up their top scorer with 5, but it was nowhere near enough to prevent his team from finishing last in the league.

They won just 5 league games all season and never looked like sustaining their time in the EPL. Bradford have been stuck in League One for five seasons now, and seem a long way from reaching the top division again.

#3 Cardiff City

Contr
Controversial owner Vincent Tan had high hopes for Cardiff in the EPL but it wasn't to be

It would have hurt Cardiff that their great rivals Swansea became the first Welsh side to reach the EPL in 2010 but they joined them only three years later. Whereas Swansea have successfully stayed in the league ever since, playing some attractive football, Cardiff would manage only one season.

They spent big, breaking their transfer record to sign Danish striker Andreas Cornelius for £7.5 million, before breaking it two more times to sign Steven Caulker and Gary Medel.

While they won the first ever South Wales EPL derby, manager Malky Mackay was soon sacked, replaced by former Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

He had impressed in management in his native Norway but the EPL was a step too far for him at this point, and he could nothing to save Cardiff.

They ended up bottom with only seven wins, but some solace has presented itself this season: Cardiff are second in the Championship and look very likely to gain automatic promotion to the EPL.

#2 Oldham Athletic

Oldham
Oldham were lucky to last two seasons in the EPL

Oldham had gained promotion to the top-flight just before it became the EPL, in 1991, ending a period of 68 years outside the division. They therefore are down in history as one of the founding 20 clubs of the inaugural EPL season, certainly one of the least-known.

In 1992-1993, they stayed up on goal difference, after a tense finish to the season which saw them battle to key wins over Liverpool and Southampton, thus relegating rivals Crystal Palace.

The following season Oldham reached the FA Cup semi-final and were going through until Manchester United equalised in the last few minutes of extra-time. They comfortably lost the replay and their season never recovered: they won none of their remaining seven fixtures, finishing second last in the league.

Oldham have spent 14 seasons in League One now, and look to have found their level of football.

#1 Swindon Town

Swindo
Swindon battle against Norwich and Chris Sutton in their sole EPL season

Swindon's first season in the EPL was also their first in the top division ever in their history, a remarkable feat. The manager who got them there, Glenn Hoddle, moved to the bigger Chelsea before the start of the season but his assistant John Gorman fared less well.

Swindon never adjusted to the pace and skill of the top league. They won a mere five games, and incredibly conceded exactly 100 goals; this is a record that has yet to be broken.

Forward Jan Age Fjortoft was one of the only players to play anywhere near well enough in the EPL for Swindon, scoring 12 goals, but he was sold halfway through the following campaign, and Swindon suffered a second successive relegation to Division Two.

They've fluctuated between these two leagues since then and may have to wait a long time for their second season in top-flight English football.

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Edited by Zeeshan Ali
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