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10 Longest Absences From The Premier League

49 teams have graced the top flight during its 29 Year history. Who has been MIA the longest?

© Kieran McManus/BPI/Corbis

Following the conclusion of the recent Premier League season, the longest in the competition’s history thanks to the pandemic, we’re just a few weeks away from the beginning of the next campaign. It’s come a long way since 1992, when players from outside Britain and Ireland were a rarity and transfer fees in the single digit millions were considered extortionate, but continues to maintain its status as the greatest spectacle in the footballing world.

Forty-nine teams have contested the league since its inception, a total of twenty per year with the exception of the first three campaigns, which boasted twenty-two. Of these, three endure the pain of relegation each year, though with the ever-growing gulf between the Premier League and the Football League, the same teams seem to drop out and quickly return every time.

Not every team has enjoyed this ‘bouncebackability’ (as Iain Dowie once coined it), however, and many have endured years or decades trying and failing to return to their former home. Leeds United were one of these until they ended eighteen years of misery with their Championship victory this year and the following teams have suffered absences on a par with or far greater to theirs.

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Alex was about to write a short biography, but he got distracted by something shiny instead.