What does history tell us about Leicester’s survival prospects?

If we look at the past, Leicester’s survival prospects this coming season don’t look impossible. However, there is no precedent for a club entering the top-flight with the disadvantages the Foxes will face next season.
Leicester need another Jimmy Bloomfield
Leicester need another Jimmy Bloomfield / Robert Stiggins/GettyImages
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It is always a struggle for promoted teams to find their feet in the Premier League. The evidence for this is overwhelming. In only four of the 31 top-flight seasons between 1993/94 and 2022/23 have no promoted clubs been relegated. In 17 of them, one club went straight back down. In a further eight seasons, two clubs bit the dust at the first time of asking. Only twice, though, have all three promoted clubs been immediately relegated. This was in 1996/97 when Bolton, Burnley and Palace returned to what was then the First Division and the season just finished when Burnley, Luton and Sheffield Union went down. In total, of the 92 clubs promoted between 1994 and 2023 no less than 39 failed to survive their first season in the top-flight. Still, at least this gives the Foxes more than a 50/50 chance of staying up for at least a year. More troubling is the fact that only eight of the 39 clubs that were relegated are currently in the Premier League.

What about LCFC’s record? Well, it is mixed. As befits a yo-yo club, since Leicester City were elected to the Football League in 1894 (known as Leicester Fosse up to 1919) there have been 13 promotions to English football’s top league. In 12 of them, of course, we know the outcome. First, the bad news. Five of these promotions (nearly half of them) resulted in a one year stay before relegation back to the second tier. One promotion, in 1937, resulted in a two year stay in what was then Division One. More promisingly, the other six promotions were followed by longer stays in the big time. These were: