If you could pick any 20 teams to be in the Premier League, which clubs would you pick and why?
To make it harder, you can only pick clubs from the Premier League, Football League and non-league football. And, to make it fun, you can select teams from the Scottish Premier League too, if you like.
Imagine a league where all 20 clubs would be mouthwatering teams to watch. Or for those who maybe aren’t the greatest football teams would feature incredible stadiums or boisterous supporters to make up for their shortcomings on the pitch.
Here are my selection of the teams I would evict from the Premier League:
- Bolton Wanderers: While I’m hardly a member of the Gary Megson fan club (if one even exists), I don’t think I’ve ever once looked forward to watching Bolton play. Not that they’re that bad, but I could think of plenty clubs from the lower leagues who would be more exciting to watch than the Trotters.
- Hull City: I respect the club’s meteoric rise from League Two and have a lot of time for their supporters, but the club haven’t won a league match in a year and are destined for relegation.
- Wigan Athletic: The biggest letdown for this club is their small crowds and pitiful away support. On the pitch, they’re punching above their weight, but I can think of several other clubs whose supporters would cherish being in the top league in England a lot more than the Athletic supporters.
- Birmingham City: Much like Bolton Wanderers, Birmingham are one of those clubs who aren’t very exciting to watch. Yes, much like Bolton, they have spells of decent play on the pitch but they’re much too defensive for my liking.
And here are the five teams I would replace them with:
- Leeds United: The Yorkshire club has everything. A massive fanbase around the world. A football ground with a capacity much larger than many Premier League clubs. A proud history. All they’re missing is two successive promotions, which is easier said than done.
- Southampton: The Saints have always been a classy team in my opinion and have had plenty of fine footballers who have come through their academy such as Theo Walcott, Matt Le Tissier and Alan Shearer. Their supporters are loyal and deserve more than the awful financial troubles the club has experienced in the past few years.
- Newcastle United: The Toon are on the list only if Mike Ashley is not the owner. Ashley, along with Dennis (Un)Wise have ruined the club and turned it into a laughing stock. But if Ashley can finally sell the club, the Toon deserve to be in the top flight playing entertaining football that Newcastle United supporters crave.
- Nottingham Forest: A club with such a proud history, founded in 1865, and two-time winners of the European Cup (the predecessor to the Champions League) deserves to be back among the best of the best in English football. It’s not just Brian Clough’s legacy (although that helps), but it’s also the idyllic location of the City Ground alongside the River Trent that makes this such an appealing club for me.
Post your picks of which clubs you would remove from the Premier League and who you would replace them with below. Feel free to pick fewer or more than the four that I selected. The choice is yours.