Fulham's return to the Premier League was a short one.

By Avi Creditor
April 02, 2019

Fulham's return to the Premier League was a short one.

The Cottagers have been relegated back to the Championship, securing the drop with a 4-1 loss to Watford on Tuesday and joining Huddersfield in going back down a tier. Relegation had been all but certain for weeks but became mathematically sealed with the result, which keeps Fulham 16 points behind 17th-place Cardiff with five matches left to play. With only 15 points left to potentially gain, there's no way Fulham can finish any higher than 18th in the table.

Fulham was promoted to the Premier League after last season, winning the promotion playoff vs. Aston Villa to go up along with automatic berth-winners Cardiff and Wolverhampton. While the latter has excelled in the top flight and fights for a top-half finish, the former could be returning down to the second tier after a one-year return, too. The Bluebirds trail Burnley by five points–though they have a game in hand–in the quest to escape the drop. Cardiff faces Man City midweek before an April 13 showdown with the Clarets that it cannot lose.

As for Fulham, its season has been a doomed one. It's currently on its third manager of the season, with Slavisa Jokanovic being replaced by Claudio Ranieri on Nov. 14 after one win and five points from the first 12 league matches of the season. Ranieri didn't last long, fired after 16 games and replaced by Scott Parker on Feb. 28.

Ranieri's stint included the infamous saga involving striker Aboubakar Kamara, who took the ball from teammate Aleksandar Mitrovic to take a crucial penalty vs. Huddersfield, only to miss the kick. Kamara also instigated a fight with Mitrovic during a club yoga session, was sent to play with the club's U-23s and then was arrested on suspicion of actual bodily harm after an altercation with a security guard when trying to discuss his club future with its chief executive.

On the field, Fulham has been just as dreadful. The club polished off its relegation by dropping nine straight league matches and has just four wins all season–all of which have come at home. Fulham has only secured two points away from home all season, in fact, dropping 15 of its 17 road games. Its -46 goal differential and 76 goals conceded are by far the worst totals in the Premier League and will surely be a point of emphasis to rectify next season as it looks to repeat last season's achievement of going up.

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