Ranking the EFL's five biggest yo-yo clubs
With three clubs in the Championship's bottom four having been promoted within the last two seasons, we rank the worst-offending yo-yoers.
5 – Barnsley
Forget sliding-doors moments, Barnsley have been stuck in a revolving door between League One and the Championship for most of the last decade.
In the seven seasons since 2013/14, the Tykes have spent four years in the second tier and three in the third.
And, given they’re currently bottom of the Championship with two victories from their first 19 games, it looks as though they will soon be going around again.
This relegation is likely to be the most galling yet, given how impressive they were in League One last season.
Barnsley finished second last term with 91 points, only conceding 39 goals in 46 matches and spending just 14 days outside the top six, yet now have the worst defensive record in their new division and have already sacked manager Daniel Stendel.
It seems that a lot can change in a few months, just not necessarily in a few years.
4 – Rotherham
Charting the ups and downs in Rotherham’s recent history is like a game of snakes and ladders.
Since winning the League One play-offs in 2013/14 with that Alex Revell goal against Leyton Orient (and that celebratory touchline run from Steve Evans, see above) the Millers simply haven’t been able to make the good times stick – though that’s not through a lack of trying.
The club churned through seven managers in three years following that victory at Wembley, twice finishing one place above the relegation zone before eventually hitting rock bottom, 28 points from safety, in 2016/17.
But, like any good yo-yo club, you just can’t keep them down. Or up, for that matter.
Rotherham went straight back up to the Championship the following season before being immediately relegated once again.
The Millers are currently fourth in League One, eyeing a fourth promotion in eight seasons, but perhaps a bit of stability would actually do them good.
3 – Wigan
“A perfect year,” is how former Wigan chairman David Sharpe summed up their 2017/18 title-winning season.
The Latics had been too good for League One, winning the division with 98 points just one season after being relegated from the Championship.
They also knocked Manchester City out of the FA Cup, quashing their quadruple bid, en route to the quarter finals.
Will Grigg even had his own song after top-scoring with 26 goals. Remember that?
So, onwards and upwards? Not quite. Wigan, you see, had been here before.
The Latics were relegated to League One in 2014/15, made an immediate return in 2015/16 after winning the title, but lasted just one year in the Championship before going down again.
With them back in the drop zone this season, less than two years after their most-recent promotion, they still seem to be stuck in limbo between the two divisions.
2 – Charlton
Charlton probably don’t spring immediately to mind when thinking of EFL yo-yo clubs, but a multitude of on- and off-field reasons mean they rarely settle in a division.
Since dropping out of the Premier League in 2007, the Addicks have not spent longer than four seasons at the same level.
The 12 years since have been split evenly between the Championship and League One, including two promotions, two relegations and two unsuccessful play-off campaigns. Phew.
Having spent the final five-and-a-half years of that under the ownership of the divisive Roland Duchatelet, their lack of progress is hardly a surprise.
The unpopular Belgian went through eight managers during his time at The Valley, while cost-cutting measures towards the end of his tenure went as far as banning academy players from drinking bottled water.
Current manager Lee Bowyer even walked away at the end of his one-year contract after winning promotion last season, before returning on improved terms just days later.
But, having recently been acquired by new owners, those ups and downs could soon become a thing of the past.
1 – Bury
The demise of serial flip-floppers Bury proves the potentially ruinous nature of being a yo-yo club. As a result, they have to top this list.
Since winning promotion to League One under caretaker manager Richie Barker in 2010/11, the Shakers have swapped between the third and fourth tier five times.
But it was their costly attempts to finally consolidate a place in League One between 2016 and 2018 that proved terminal.
Bury went big in the transfer market, splurging on high-ticket players like Leon Clarke, James Vaughan and Jermaine Beckford, among others.
Exciting? Definitely. Sustainable? Definitely not.
They underperformed and were relegated back to League Two in 2017/18.
Despite Ryan Lowe taking over as manager the following season and bringing them back straight back up, it was too late.
Debts in excess of £8m proved too much to deal with, and the Shakers were booted out of the EFL in August.
It doesn't get any worse than that.
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