- Sunderland, 2002/03 – 19
Going through three managers in a season is usually a sign that things did not go well. Sunderland began 2002/03 with Peter Reid at the helm, but he was replaced by Howard Wilkinson in October with the northeast outfit in the bottom three.
The former Leeds United boss was unable to engineer a turnaround, though, and despite victories over Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, the Black Cats remained in the drop zone at Christmas. Things could hardly have gone worse in 2003, as Sunderland – coached by Mick McCarthy from March onwards – drew one and lost 16 of their final 17 games.
- Portsmouth, 2009/10 – 19
Given the circumstances, it could be argued that Portsmouth had a respectable season in 2009/10. The south coast side were deducted nine points after becoming the first Premier League club to enter administration – meaning they actually amassed 28 on the pitch – and also reached the FA Cup final, which they narrowly lost 1-0 to Chelsea.
Pompey slipped to the foot of the table after just two games and remained there for the rest of the campaign, winning a total of seven matches and finishing with a goal difference of -32.
- Aston Villa, 2015/16 – 17
When Aston Villa beat Bournemouth on the opening day of 2015/16, their fans must have felt optimistic about the season ahead. Instead it turned into a nightmare, the Villans accumulating only 17 points and suffering their first demotion out of the top flight since 1987.
Villa did not win another game until the middle of January, by which time Remi Garde had replaced Tim Sherwood in the dugout. Garde himself was sacked at the end of March, with the West Midlanders ending the season just three wins and eight draws to their name.
- Huddersfield Town, 2018/19 – 16
Huddersfield won a shock promotion to the Premier League in 2017, then upset the odds again to survive in their first season back at the top table.
They were unable to repeat the feat the following year, though, as David Wagner failed to produce an overachievement for the third season on the bounce. The German departed as manager before the end of the campaign, which featured just three wins for the Terriers in 38 games.
- Sunderland, 2005/06 – 15
Sunderland’s dismal points total in 2002/03 was not even the lowest they have posted in the Premier League era. Hopes were high after Mick McCarthy’s men had won the Championship at a canter in 2004/05, but a lack of top-flight quality proved their undoing as they sank back to the second division without anything even resembling a fight.
A three-game unbeaten run in autumn – featuring two draws and a win – was as good as it got for the Black Cats, who handed Kevin Ball the managerial reins on a caretaker basis after McCarthy’s exit in February. Sunderland won just three games all season and finished a mammoth 23 points adrift of 17th spot.
- Derby County, 2007/08 – 11
Huddersfield need to collect only one more point to better Derby’s dismal return in 2007/08. Surprise play-off winners the previous campaign, Billy Davies’ side were simply not cut out for the top tier, winning just one of their 14 encounters prior to the Scot’s departure in late November.
Successor Paul Jewell did not fare any better, and the Rams’ relegation was confirmed as early as March 29. A 1-0 triumph over Newcastle United was their sole success that season, with 29 of their 38 matches ending in defeat.