Incompetence is often the common denominator in every clubs relegation. This can be seen in numerous ways, but often through poor recruitment both of players and managers. 

Indeed this administrational incompetence is why you see Premier League clubs who are battling for relegation spending fortunes on new recruitment in the hope that something sticks. Before Sunderland were relegated from the Premier League, 80 players were purchased during Ellis Short's time as chairman, but just six were sold for a profit. Likewise QPR and Aston Villa both spent big before they fell into the doldrums of the Championship. 


This spending creates massive problems financially should the club be relegated. Relegation makes players at the club damaged goods, therefore those players are sold for a loss. 

But clubs are often tempted to continue this reckless spending in the Championship, due to the income generated from parachute payments. Aston Villa and QPR are the obvious sufferers, and should be held as a warning for newly relegated clubs.

Yet spending big can generate success, and there are examples where this method of quick promotion has worked. Wolves won promotion through big money transfers, as did Newcastle the season prior, however, these are unique examples. Newcastle already had in place a world class manager, while Wolves' affiliations with super agent Jorge Mendes allowed them to bring in players of a better quality than most attempting to buy success. 


Aston Villa's attempt at this strategy did not involve transfers of Champions League standard players like Wolves, but instead spent fortunes on older proven Premier League players. This model can work, and it very nearly did, with Villa only falling short in the play off final, but when it doesn't has grave financial implications. 

After two seasons of failed promotion attempts the midlands club are now in danger of financial ruin. The few assets they have need to be sold to avoid financial fair play complications leaving the club back at square one, with the necessity to once again build an entirely new squad, but this time on a shoestring budget.


Had Wolves failed to win promotion they would have been in a similar financial situation to Aston Villa, but unlike Villa their squad would have considerably more resale value. The likes of Mile Jedinak, Glenn Whelan and Ahmed Elmohamady are all on high wages at Villa, but are not players other clubs will look to add to their squad given there age. As a result, Aston Villa are presented with no easy fix for their financial situation. 

Villa are exemplary of why a club should look to develop a young squad under a manager with an obvious plan voluntarily, not until forced to do so by financial regulations. Villa are now forced to do so just as numerous others have been in the past. 


Clubs should try to replicate the model Bournemouth have followed. The Cherries built both a successful promotion campaign and gained a foothold in the Premier League on a small budget, but under one specific philosophy and manager. 

Fulham likewise achieved promotion by building a squad with a given philosophy, but were again forced to do so after buying success failed, while Brentford are another club organised in the right way. While not yet in the Premier League, the Bees consistently challenge for promotion without the risk of financial trouble should they fail to achieve their goal.

An immediate rebuilding process following relegation often means numerous seasons in the Championship, but building a young squad with a specific philosophy is a much more assured and often quicker way to achieve promotion than simply buying success as numerous clubs have attempted. 

Ironically the quick fix is often slower.