With the current rise of Leicester City in the Premier League charts and the subsequent disarray of the defending champions, Chelsea, it makes us simply wonder how many such Premier League teams have risen to the top and have crumbled thereafter. The list however shows plenty of names who had a rags-to-riches story which was culminated by a disastrous season and virtually pummeled them in mere oblivion.Some teams even defied substantial odds to achieve their ultimate dreams and have won the English First Division Title, FA cup and Champions Cup in Europe, yet when luck turned tide, they plummeted with unstoppable deceleration.Here is a list of such top teams, who dominated English football during their prime and later met with unprecedented collapse from their perch.
Portsmouth F.C has twice lifted the English First Division Title, in 1949 and 1950. The Pompey had one of the brightest phases in their history after Harry Redknapp took charge in 2002. The club survived relegation from the top flight for three consecutive seasons, after their promotion in 2003.
In the 2007-2008 season, Portsmouth, with the striking duo of Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch, finished eighth in the table, besides winning the FA Cup. The club also qualified for the Europa League that season.
Redknapp’s departure in the very next season heralded a tailspin for the mid-table giants. Performances went below par as they finished six places below than last time. In 2009, ownership transition saw Alexandre Gaydamak, handing the reins to an Arab businessman, Sulemann Al-Fahim. Gaydamak’s huge investments in 2006-2007 meant the club were soon plunged into dire financial straits.
Under Abraham Grant, they somehow made it to the finals of the FA Cup in 2010, losing to Chelsea.
The downslide was too swift for anyone to realize as Portsmouth fell down the leagues to League One.
The 2012-2013 season saw Portsmouth going through as series of managerial changes after they were fined 10 points for strict financial controls. At the close of that season, Portsmouth were relegated to League Two.
Presently they have the ex-Chesterfield manager Paul Cook as their head with Pompey Supporters Club buying the team.
#2 Wigan Athletic
Remember Roberto Martinez as Wigan’s boss, yes, that was the time when Wigan had a promising team and a stable structure in place.
The club, despite the staggering odds somehow managed to keep afloat in the top flight for eight seasons in a row. In spite of the close finishes, Wigan evaded relegation under Martinez, who was appointed as the club’s boss in 2009.
In the 2009-2010 season, they defeated Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea, in what was their first feat of defeating 3 of the traditional ‘Top Four’.
2010-2011 was another scrape-through for Wigan as they survived the hammer on the last day of the regular season, despite being in the bottom three for the majority of the season.
However, their biggest achievement arrived in 2013, when they beat Manchester City, in an incredulous FA Cup final by a solitary goal in the dying minutes. Though they failed to evade the drop, yet they secured a place in the Europa league that season.
Martinez’s departure again put the club's position under massive jeopardy. Though they made it to the semis of the FA Cup, they failed to make it to the playoffs.
Next season, however, saw them dropping the ranks. Despite appointing Gary Caldwell, their ex-player as their boss, they were relegated to League One.
#3 Nottingham Forest
The two-time FA Cup winners are surely the biggest draw of the lot. Forest last played in the top division way back in 1999. Ever since then, they have gone through a series of highs and lows both financially and in terms of qualifications and points tally.
Forest, the two-time European Cup winners, plunged as low as Division Two in 2005, under the ownership of Nigel Doughty, who passed away in 2012. Under Colin Calderwood, Forest gained a promotion to League One. The club nearly got relegated into League One, two seasons after being promoted to the Championship.
Since 2010, however, Forest have emerged as mid-table finishers; They came close to Premier League promotion in 2011, yet they fell short in the semi-finals of the play-offs.
Since the Kuwaiti-family of Al-Hasawi has taken over in 2012, on a 5-year plan, the club has ensured a period of relative financial stability, while competing in the Championships.
#4 Sheffield United
Four-time FA Cup winners, Sheffield United were one of the founding teams of the Premier League, having finished 14th in the inaugural season. Though they were relegated the next season, it took them another 14 years to gain promotion into the top flight.
In 2007, however under Neil Warnock, the Blades suffered relegation from the top flight.
The Blades found it hard to deal with the Championship atmosphere, as they plunged down the rungs of the ladder and were relegated to League One in 2011.
An ownership handover in September 2013, to Prince Abdullah Al Saud, saw them making good progress in League One.
Last season, they were the quarter-finalists in the League Cup and made it to the semis of the FA Cup as well. Under Nigel Atkins, they are expected to make promotion this season, through the playoffs.
#5 Leeds United
The West Yorkshire-based club is still remembered for their once-nefarious style of play which received plenty of flak, during the days when they dominated the English top flight. Three-time English First Division champions, they last played in the top flight in the 2003-2004 season, which ironically heralded a financial implosion at the club.
Just like Portsmouth, financial meltdown caused them to lose many top players and in the Championship, they had to stick with their assistant manager Kevin Blackwell.
For three years, from 2007 they played in the English third-tier, where they underwent some financial recovery. In 2010, Leeds caused a big upset by defeating their long-reviled opposition, Manchester United in the third round of the FA Cup, the same season where they gained promotion to the Championship.
On April 2014, a takeover took place which saw Eleonora Sports Limited buying seventy-five percent of the club’s shares.