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Saying goodbye: Brian Clough acknowledges the Nottingham Forest fans after his final game in charge of the club

Premier League casualties - clubs that have struggled since relegation

Ben Bailey and Patrick Whyte
19.03.09

If Charlton find theselves playing League One football next season, they will face some familiar names. The football league is full of teams who have fallen from the big time. Here we look at some of the biggest names to depart the Premier League only to become lost in football ignominy...

Charlton Athletic

In Alan Curbishley's 15 years at Charlton, he established the Addicks as a mainstay of the Premier League. At the end of the 2003/04 season, Charlton finished 7th - their highest ever finish. Then Curbs left in 2006. Two-and-a half-years later and Charlton are on their forth manager, and sitting bottom of the Championship.

Leeds United

Leeds United are without doubt the strongest team ever to have fallen by the Premier League wayside. Under David O'Leary, Leeds never finished outside of the top five, and were also a force in Europe, reaching the semi-finals of the 2001 Champions League. It was there that everything seemed to fall apart. Despite having lots of talent, the club was the victim of some catastrophic financial decisions, made under chairman Peter Ridsdale, forcing the sale of the majority of their squad, the training facilities and even their ground. In 2004 they were relegated from the Premier League, and in 2007 were demoted to the third tier of English football - where they still languish.

Nottingham Forest

Forest's success during Brian Clough's 18-year-reign is the stuff of legend. Old Big 'Ead made Forest one of the finest teams in the land, winning promotion to the First Division, two European Cups, a League Cup, not to mention reaching an FA Cup final and UEFA Cup semi-final. Sadly for Cloughy, his final season at the club saw Forest relegated from the Premier League. However, under Frank Clark Forest returned to the top flight before spending several years yo-yoing between the two divisions. Forest were eventually relegated from the Premier League for the final time in May 1999. Six years later they became the only European Cup-winners ever to fall into the third division of domestic football.

Leicester City

Although Leicester had been in the Premier League for a season before his arrival, Martin O'Neill's time at Leicester was the most successful in the club's history. Under O'Neill, the Foxes had four top 10 finishes and won the League Cup twice. They also qualified for Europe and became an established team in the top flight. However, as is so often the case, when O'Neill left for Celtic in 2000 Leicester struggled. Huge financial problems saw them lose many of their best players and after a few seasons of hanging in there, they were relegated to the Championship and ultimately to League One.

Bradford City

As newcomers to the Premier League in 1999, Bradford were hotly tipped for relegation. One pundit however, took it a stage further. Rodney Marsh, with his usual degree of brash certainty, said that if they stayed up he would shave all his hair off, which they did thanks to a 1-0 win against Liverpool. Marsh, being a good sport, honoured the bet and had his blond locks removed. Sadly their last-gasp survival in 2000 was about as good as it got for the Bantams as they were relegated the following year. In the seasons that followed, Bradford struggled financially due to the collapse of ITV digital and overspending and went into administration in 2002. The club managed to stay afloat (despite a second period of administration) but were relegated to League One in 2004 and then to the fourth tier of English football in 2007, a place where they remain to this day. Ask any Bradford fan whether lavish spending on the likes of Benito Carbone and David Hopkin was worth it and you're likely to get a shake of the head.

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