Who Was The Worst Premier League Team In History?
Promotion to the top flight of English football, the Premier League, has a lot of different meanings to different teams.
For some, like Leeds United or Nottingham Forest, it was not just about money but redemption after struggling for so long in the second or third tiers, whilst for others such as Brentford, it is a change to show that talent, tactics and intelligent use of the talent in football team kits can matter more than money.
For Derby County in 2007, however, it meant a poisoned chalice and from the moment the final whistle blew on the 2007 play-off final, the Rams organisation had a strong belief that they would not be able to stay up.
However, they would not believe just how right they turned out to be, winning just one match in 38 attempts, losing 29, scoring just 20 goals and being relegated earlier than any team in Premier League history.
Part of this was tragically being a victim of their own success. Manager Billy Davies overachieved at Derby after a relatively successful run at Preston North End, winning promotion in his first season but with no security and no investment, he left via mutual consent on 26th November 2007.
His replacement, Paul Jewell from Wigan Athletic, was highly rated and did help the team to play better, but the team had an alarming habit of conceding game-losing goals late, with seven such occurrences happening in just a single month.
Seven points would not have ultimately made a difference given they were a staggering 26 points away from safety, but it highlighted a broken team who were thrashed by Preston North End (at that point 22nd in the Championship) 4-1 without star player David Nugent.
In late January 2008, General Sports and Entertainment would buy Derby County and provide a degree of stability in the Championship, although by 2014 they would establish a reputation of being unable to win in the play-off final and face financial collapse.