Premier League spots are worth tens — if not hundreds — of millions of dollars, so when it comes to promotion and relegation in the English top flight, everything is on the line.
Entering the stretch run of the 2021-22 season, the battles for places in next season’s Premier League are heating up.
In the Premier League, two teams are already resigned to relegation and the third team to suffer the drop will come from one of Everton, Burnley or Leeds United.
In the second tier Championship, the two automatic promotion spots to the Premier League have been claimed after Fulham FC and Bournemouth ensured they’ll be moving up to the top flight in 2022-23 by clinching the top two spots in the table. The next four best teams in the second division (ranked Nos. 3-6) advance to the promotion playoff, which will decide the third and final team to earn the jump to the Premier League next season.
MORE: Updated Premier League table with races for title and European places
Premier League relegation: Which teams are going down?
Norwich City was the first team to suffer relegation and Watford joined them a week later as both clubs dropped down to the second division just one season after earning promotion.
The third and final trap door to the Championship will see one of Burnley, Everton or Leeds United facing the drop.
According to FiveThirtyEight, Leeds United (65 percent, up from 51 percent) are now the most likely to go down among the trio of clubs, especially after losses to Arsenal and Chelsea. The Leeds woes are helping Burnley, who are down to a 29 percent of relegation (from 40 percent). Things are looking brighter for Everton, down to just a 6 percent danger of dropping down (from 9 percent).
The table below is updated through Sunday, May 15. Relegation probabilities via FiveThirtyEight.
|15.||Southampton||40||36||-20||vs. LIV, May 17||<1%|
|16.||Everton||36||35||-19||vs. BRE, May 15||6%|
|17.||Leeds United||35||37||-38||@ BRE, May 22||65%|
|18.*||Burnley||34||35||-17||@ AVL, May 19||29%|
|19.*||Watford-X||23||37||-42||@ CHE, May 22||100%|
|20.*||Norwich City-X||22||37||-56||vs. TOT, May 22||100%|
* = The bottom three teams are relegated to the second tier Championship.
X = Relegated to the Championship
Premier League promotion race
With three teams dropping from the Premier League, three teams must rise up to replace them.
The Championship, the second tier of professional soccer in England, automatically sends the top two finishers to the Premier League. The third team to move up is determined via a promotion playoff involving the teams finishing 3rd through 6th qualifying for the four-team knockout tournament.
MORE: How the Championship Promotion Playoff works
That Playoff Final is a massive spectacle, with the income generated in the Premier League proving a game changer for teams stuck in the Championship. The match is said to be worth upwards of $100 million, with the winner advancing to the Premier League and reaping the rewards of the top flight’s revenue sharing and parachute payments.
MORE: Fulham promoted to Premier League, can the Whites stay?
Fulham have won the 2021-22 Championship, clinching automatic promotion to the Premier League. Bournemouth clinched the second automatic spot with one match left in the season, staving off a late challenge from Nottingham Forest, which settled for a playoff spot alongside Huddersfield. The other two spots were secured by Sheffield United and Luton Town, which both won on the final day to lock up their place in the playoffs.
- Championship Playoff Semifinals (two legs):
- No. 3 Huddersfield vs. No. 6 Luton Town
- No. 4 Nottingham Forest vs. No. 5 Sheffield United
- Championship Playoff Final: Sunday, May 29
The table below is final after the season concluded on Saturday, May 7. Promotion probabilities via FiveThirtyEight.
X = clinched promotion
Y = guaranteed promotion playoff spot
*The top two teams are automatically promoted to the Premier League.
**Teams finishing 3rd-6th qualify for the promotion playoffs.
Fulham dominated the Championship with a formidable attack and the Cottagers were the first team to secure a spot in the top flight.
Bournemouth, for long stretches in second place, only locked up the other automatic spot on the penultimate matchday of the season.