Just like Bordeaux this season, other clubs, sometimes even the best, have gone down to the second division (or even lower). It’s sad, but it’s the hard law of the strongest. Let’s check through this top to what extent professional clubs have been able to sink and hit rock bottom.
1. The descent into hell of Bordeaux
After being relegated in May to Ligue 2, the fall was not yet over for the Girondins. Only a few days ago, the club was demoted to national, unable to present accounts in good standing. The club obviously decides to appeal against this decision of the National Management Control Department (DNCG). A decision that therefore remains a suspends a little time while waiting to know if this appeal will be rejected or not. But when you think about it, Bordeaux was still a club that counted in its ranks Lizarazu, Pauleta or even our national Zidane. Hard blow…
2. Nottingham Forest the only club to have won more Champions League than Championship
English club Nottingham Forest surely have one of the most unique histories in sport. This club won the Champions League twice in 1979 and 1980, but only won the English championship once (in 1978). In the 90s, the club experienced some difficulties and oscillated between the first and the second division. It was in 2005 that Nottingham Forest really fell, after having known 7 different coaches between 1997 and 2005, the club was finally relegated to League One, the equivalent of the third division. The club then becomes the first in history to have won a Champions League, but also to have descended to the third division. Records that Nottingham Forest would have preferred not to beat.
3. Juventus had dark years
The old lady also sank, but not for economic reasons this time. After the 2005/2006 season, Juventus was sanctioned for having fixed Serie A matches (it was not the only Italian club accused, but it was the one which had the heaviest sanction). Juve was therefore relegated to Series B, and was also penalized 30 points for the following season.
After these dark years, the old lady was able to get her head above water to dominate the Italian championship again for the next 10 years.
4. Manchester United also suffered relegation
And 5 times for this club which is nevertheless one of the major clubs of the English championship, and even European today. It goes back a bit, but during the 1973-1974 season, the club had lost 20 games in the season, that’s a lot. Indeed it was the departure of Matt Busby, the club’s emblematic coach with whom the Mancunians had managed to win the FA Cup, which brought down the club. Manchester United will have taken some time to regain its level, and it is in particular the arrival of Alex Ferguson and later of Cantona which will give a second wind to the club.
5. Marseille spent 4 seasons in the second division
The first time Marseille experienced the second division was in 1959, where they finished only 10th in the table, mainly due to financial problems. But what we remember the most in the Marseille club are the 80s when the Phocaeans were again relegated at the end of the 1979-1980 season, then spent the next 4 seasons in the second division. As we know, it was Bernard Tapie who saved the club from its sporting and economic problems and ensured it a top spot in Ligue 1. Bernard Tapie had only one idea: to win the Champions League, and he will get there in 1993. Nevertheless after cases of special effects (in particular the VA-OM affair, where players from Valenciennes had declared that OM had offered them a certain amount of money to ensure winning the match ), OM were penalized and relegated to the second division only 1 year after their Champions League title. Well OM were able to recover but this sanction is part of the dark stories of the club.
6. Liverpool spent 8 years in D2
As surprising as it may seem, Liverpool spent 8 years in the second division. Yes, the Liverpool we know and saw in the Champions League final just a few months ago spent 8 years of his life in D2. It was Bill Shankly who managed to lift the club back to the Premier League in 1962, after winning the Second Division title, but before that the club was in a long wreck.
7. The Racing Club de France was one of the most important French clubs before it fell
It was founded in 1896 and has had many different names in its history (racing club de France, de paris, racing club de paris Sedan, in short even we don’t know anymore). This club is perhaps forgotten at the top level today, but it was one of the most important French clubs in the 1930s. In 1936, Racing won the French Championship, between 1936 and 1949, the club won 5 French Cups (as much as Lyon or Monaco for example). Great players have been there like Luis Fernandez, Pascal Olmeta or Marc Azony. But the club disappeared completely after heavy financial problems in 1990. Racing lost its professional status in 1992 and never rose again to the upper echelons of football. They are currently evolving in national 3, that is to say the 5th French level.
8. Deportivo la Coruña a great Spanish club with a complicated history
Deportivo la Coruna has long been one of the most important clubs for the Spanish championship, appearing regularly at the head of the championship, and even being champion in 2000. They were therefore used to the European championship, nevertheless the club has long oscillated between the Spanish first and second division. The team had been relegated to the second division in the 2010-2011 season, then managed to find the top flight of the first division only to fall back later. In May 2014, the club moved up to the first division, before being relegated again in May 2018. Finally, two years ago, Deportivo la Coruña fell squarely into the Spanish third division for the first time in its history, despite the Incredible work by coach Fernando Vázquez, who after 19 defeats in 20 games, managed to gain 6 places in the standings (unfortunately that will not be enough to save them).
9. The historic Sedan club, also forgotten
The Sedan club was a historic club in the 50s/60s in France. He remained in the top of French clubs for a very long time and notably won two Coupes de France in 1956 and 1961.
The hardest part for the club was the liquidation in 2013 for lack of funding, which caused Sedan to find itself demoted to national 3, in other words to the 5th division. A sanction very difficult to digest for a historic club. Since then, the club managed to return to national 1, so in the third division, that’s already it.
10. And finally Sunderland, one of the oldest clubs in England
Ok it goes back quite a bit, but you should know that Sunderland was a legendary club (like many of the clubs we finally just talked about) in the English Premier League. They have won six English championships, but all of those titles date back to the 1930s.
However in 1973 the club won the FA Cup for the second time in its history. Sunderland have played for more than 84 seasons in the first division, but their journey is up and down, also suffering relegations, or even a place in the third division in 2019. Since 2022, the club has been playing in the second division, as what Bordeaux residents are not the only ones having difficulties.