Blackpool and Birmingham City Relegated On Premier League Survival Sunday

Wolves fans invade the pitch

Congratulations to Wolverhampton Wanderers, Wigan Athletic and Blackburn Rovers on staying up in the Premier League, and commiserations to Birmingham City and Blackpool on getting relegated on a frenetic final day to the 2010-11 Premier League season.

What an incredible day it was for one of the most exciting ends to a Premier League season in history. There were plenty of ups and downs during the day. Here are the five changes that saw teams in the relegation zone flip-flop positions:

  • 40th minute. Charlie Adam scores glorious free kick. Blackpool will stay up if the scores stay the same. Wolves and Wigan going down.
  • 49th minute. Pavlyuchenko scores for Spurs to make it 1-0. Birmingham and Wigan would now be going down. Blackpool and Wolves staying up.
  • 74th minute: Ian Evatt own goal gifts United a 3-2 lead. Blackpool and Birmingham heading down. Wigan fans go nuts.
  • 79th minute. Gardner scores for Birmingham. Brum fans go wild. Wolves and Wigan going down.
  • 79th minute. Rodallega scores for Wigan. The Latics have a lifeline. Wolves and Blackpool are going down.
  • 86th minute. Steven Hunt scores for Wolves to make it Wolves 2-3 Blackburn. Birmingham and Blackpool going down.

When Pavlyuchenko scored for Spurs in the 93rd minute, it confirmed Birmingham going down alongside Blackpool barring an injury time miracle, which sadly for both of these teams never happened.

The bizarre circumstance of Wolves losing 3-2 was enough to keep them up as Birmingham lost against Tottenham at White Hart Lane. What a brilliant end to the season.

Congratulations to Manchester United on lifting the Premier League trophy. Meanwhile, it’s quite possible that Blackpool have qualified for the Europa League via the Fair Play League. We won’t know for sure until tomorrow, but Zoltan Gera’s red card for Fulham today may have ruined their chances of playing in Europe next season. It would be pretty ironic if Blackpool and Birmingham, who both were relegated today, play in the Europa League next season.

Watch for more coverage this afternoon as well as the EPL Talk Podcast later this evening.

18 thoughts on “Blackpool and Birmingham City Relegated On Premier League Survival Sunday”

    1. I agree. Birmingham was a frustrating side to watch this season. At times, they played to their level and deservedly won the Carling Cup. But too often this season they played far too defensively for my liking. And just to think that they almost made it especially after Gardner scored that beautiful goal. Birmingham now face the scary prospect of financial ruin. The club is in a lot of debt.

      The Gaffer

      1. Birmingham seemed to get relegated in installments. I know some of the Lads were tired but I’ve seen a greater sense of urgency from teams playing pre-season matches. They gave Spurs possession like they were Barcelona

  1. Well as a Bluenose I have to admit that some of our league performances this year have been dire. McLeish always chose to lay out his stall very defensively which often led to unadventurous football. But the first-past-the-post Cup games were great to watch. A thrilling comeback to overcome West Ham 4-3, beating Villa and then the final against Arsenal. The FA cup games were also good including the end to end game against Bolton in the FA cup quarter final. Blues had it in them to play entertaining, winning football, but were simply too negative in the League.
    Blackpool chose the opposite approach. Defence? What’s that? But the table doesn’t lie and the full steam ahead and damn the torpedoes approach is equally ineffective in the Premier League – though more fun to watch.
    For me though, I will take the Carling Cup win over relegation. Blues will be up and down over and over in the years to come – but the Carling Cup was a glorious adventure that beats the mediocrity of scraping by in the Prem year in year out.

  2. I’ve heard that Birmingham’s finances are in bad shape. Will the parachute payments keep them from going into administration? Will they meet with UEFA financial regulations so they can still play in the Europa League?

    1. Hi Mark,
      There’s a lot of talk about Blues’ finances in the media, but unfortunately not a lot of clarity. Here’s what has been stated:
      UEFA have officially cleared Birmingham to play in the Europa League. Peter Pannu the Chairman insists that Blues are in good shape financially. Note: they were one of only four clubs in the prem last year to show a profit. There is a debt of about 24 million pounds that needs to be funded – some of this has been raised, some still outstanding based on a share issue. It appears some of this debt came about as a result of Blues success in the two domestic cup runs. Carson Yeung has said he will continue to invest “sensibly” in the club next year.
      But to be honest, who knows what will happen as a result of relegation. It’s probably fair to say there will be less money as a result, but what the consequences will be is not public knowledge. Anything else is speculation.

  3. People love to talk about bounce teams, but not a single one of the related sides from last year even made the playoffs in the Championship this year. It can be a hard road back – just ask QPR, Norwich and all the sides still trying to return (Forest, Leeds, the two Sheffield clubs, etc. etc. The list goes on and on).

    And that to me is not only what makes this league so great, but it’s also the hardest thing for me to relate to, as an American sports fan. I adopted Forest in the early 90’s, so I’ve followed their fall, but my first love is the Premier League itself, not the club, so I don’t think it’s the same as it is for Nottingham fans (or fans of any team who drops – you follow the team first, not the league, I must assume).

    Anyway, here’s to hoping Blackpool can use their experience, the parachute payment, maybe expand their ground, and return in a year or two. And here’s to hoping Birmingham avoids a financial meltdown, gets a manager who actually wants to see goals, and makes a fight of it next season.

    And finally, here’s to hoping that the 2011-2012 season is as entertaining as this one was. I had a great time following the league, adopting Blackpool for little while, and of course, reading this site. Cheers to all of you, I’ll see you in August!

  4. And this is why Liverpool went to Villa looking to lose.

    Nobody should really care about this competition until they get serious about how teams are selected. I don’t have a problem with the cup winners and a Fair play team making the competition under normal cirucumstances, but this season makes me believe that these sides must also meet additional criteria. As in they must finish in the top half of the table. Or at least in the top 15% of the league.

    1. Matt,
      I understand your point, but isn’t that what the Champions League is for? The Europa League isn’t viewed with relish by the top clubs in Europe because it is clearly second best. But it is an opportunity for smaller clubs to compete in Europe and I think those clubs and their supporters do care about it as a competition. I would also respectfully like to suggest that Birmingham winning the Carling Cup was not some freak accident. They played a number of tough games and won fair and square. If they are not up to it next season they will be eliminated early on like any cup competition – but to introduce an extra filter to stop smaller, dare I say ‘less fashionable’ clubs playing in Europe seems a bit harsh.

  5. The thing is…you really can have no quibbles about who is going down. In the relegation class of 2011, you have:

    – The lowest scoring team,
    – The highest conceding team, and
    – The team with the worst goal differential.

    Just imagine if Blackpool’s management had spent a couple bucks on a real defender. Ian Evatt cost them the Premier League, and not just in this match.

  6. To add insult to injury, Blackpool will have to resume training on June 1 in order to prepare for an UEFA Europa League 1st Qualifying Round match on June 30.

    (No summer holiday for you, Tangerines.)


    Because Fulham picked up a red card during the final Premier League match on Sunday.

    Blackpool is expected to pass Fulham when UEFA releases the final Fair Play Table for the Premier League at the end of the month.

    Blackpool will have to win 4 home-and-away cup ties in a row (8 matches) in order to reach the UEFA Europa League group stage.

  7. The day could all have been so flat if results went a certain way but that certainly didn’t happen. A wonderful day, even if we couldn’t see key parts of it here in the US.

    Earl, I’m stunned that someone who follows footy could make such an ridiculous statement as yours regarding Evatt. There’s a lot of dropped points and mistakes over the course of a season and Evatt didn’t make them all. Just ridiculous.

    The comment about the highest conceding team going down ignores the fact of how many goals Blackpool scored. I’d rather see that than a lot of nil-nil.

    I’d like to see Goal Difference dropped in favor of goals scored, to encourage more attacking play.

    1. I didn’t say all. But he made his fair share. Just too many errors period.

      And all I said was that Blackpool had the most goals allowed. It isn’t a stretch to say a team that struggles defensively is likely to be relegated. There aren’t many pure attack teams that can make it work in a first division, especially at Blackpool’s wage bill.

  8. As a Villa supporter, this season was hardly one of my favorites. But to have the relegation battle raging until stoppage on the last day is spectacular. Some seasons it’s all too obvious who’s going down. This season made it special. I do have to say that BCFC going down just topped it off nicely! UTV

  9. The Premier league will be poorer without Blackpool next season. True they pushed their own self destruct button by all out attack every game. But what a delight to watch! A little team with a lovable rogue of a manager giving people value for money. I loved the way they tore into the “big” clubs as if there were no tomorrow. Manchester Utd v Chelsea or Blackpool v anyone?? I know what I’d rather watch.

  10. I’m going to miss Blackpool. I was madly pulling for them to remain up. I remember when I first watched Blackpool this season I was immediately enthralled with their playing style. They were a delight to behold. Shame their defense leaked like a sieve. Yet frustratingly, they have it in them to defend, as I saw a glimmer of it when they last played Bolton. If only they could have played like that the entire season. Oh what might have been…

    Blackpool has me smitten so I will follow their progress next season in the Championship and hope for their return to the EPL. Too bad very few Championship games are televised in the U.S. because I will miss watching them play.

    The bright side of the relegation/promotion system is that next season I get to acquaint myself with three new teams in the EPL that were previously unknown to me. New players to watch; new team histories to learn about; new team antics/gossip to titillate me. All is not lost.

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