Bournemouth all but sealed promotion to the Premier League on Monday, and here are three minnows who also had their time in the spotlight.
This was Barnsley’s only top flight season in their entire history and unsurprisingly, they spent it fighting relegation. The Tykes did manage to win 10 games but they conceded 82 goals in the process and were out of their depth in the Premier League. It was manager Danny Wilson’s first stint at the club but he could do nothing to stop their inevitable relegation after a season spent at the foot of the table.
Barnsley did reach the FA Cup quarter-final and a three-game winning streak in April gave them a glimmer of hope for survival but eventually, they succumbed to the drop in their first and only season in the elite. Bournemouth will be hoping to avoid a season like Barnsley had.
From Paul Jewell all the way through to Roberto Martinez, Wigan Athletic continued to prove the doubters wrong right up until their relegation in 2013. Despite being non-league just 27 years earlier, Wigan challenged for Europe in their debut Premier League season and in spite of close shaves in 2007 and 2012, the Latics established themselves in the elite for eight years, something which the Cherries will want to replicate.
Wigan even won the FA Cup for the only time in their history in 2013, the year of their relegation, but since then have sunk down to League One. The Latics went on an incredible journey and for a town who prefer their rugby league to football, they did not do too badly.
Like Bournemouth, Ian Holloway’s Tangerines were entertainers. It was the first time Blackpool had been in the top flight since 1971 and they did it with the lowest wage bill in the Championship in the previous season, beating Cardiff in the play-off final. They thrilled neutrals in the Premier League, beating Wigan 4-0 away to sit top of the table after one game.
Every game Blackpool were involved in was thoroughly entertaining. But with that approach comes a leaky defence and eventually the sheer volume of goals they were letting in came back to haunt them, as they were relegated in a loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford. Like Blackpool, if Bournemouth are going to go down, they will go down trying to attack.