Belfast Telegraph

The Premier League founder members: Where are they now?

Aston Villa's dismal relegation means that next season they will be playing outside the Premier League for the first time since its inception in 1992-93.

Villa were one of the 22 founder members of the reformed division, finishing in second place in its inaugural campaign under Ron Atkinson and never finishing below 18th in the previous 23 seasons before this one.

Their drop into the Championship means that next season only six of those founder clubs will have been involved in every Premier League campaign, with Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham the ever-presents.

Here Press Association Sport looks at how the 22 clubs in the inaugural 1992-93 Premier League have fared over the last 24 years.


The formative years of the Premier League were not too kind to Spurs as they languished in mid-table but over the last decade they have become strong top-six contenders. They are currently embroiled in a fascinating title battle which could see them lift the trophy for the first time.

Years in the Premier League: 24

Where are they now: 2nd in the Premier League

Manchester City

After early struggles in the Premier League, Manchester City slipped down to the third tier in the late 1990s before a swift return to the top. They were mid-table fodder until a takeover transformed them into two-time title winners and genuine powerhouses.

Years in the Premier League: 19

Where are they now: 3rd in Premier League


One of the heavyweights of the division, Arsenal famously went the entire 2003-04 campaign without defeat on their way to one of three Premier League titles. They have not won a Premier League title since the 'Invincibles' season but they are perennial challengers.

Years in Premier League: 24

Where are they now: 4th in Premier League

Manchester United

The true Premier League kingpins, United laid their marker down by winning the maiden title and went on to dominate the next 20 years, lifting the trophy a further 12 times. Sir Alex Ferguson's departure in 2013 has led to a recent fall from grace though.

Years in the Premier League: 24

Where are they now: 5th in Premier League


A showreel of Matt Le Tissier wonder goals were a staple diet of the early Premier League era but Southampton were regular battlers against the drop. They eventually succumbed after 13 years in the division and dropped down to League One. But they are now back and under Ronald Koeman establishing themselves as a top-10 club.

Years in the Premier League: 17

Where are they now: 7th in Premier League


Though present in every Premier League, Liverpool have been unable to recreate their dominance of the 1970s and 80s. They have been runners-up on three occasions, famously throwing the title away in 2013-14, but have never finished below eighth.

Years in the Premier League: 24

Where are they now: 8th in Premier League


The Londoners were also-rans in the first few years before Ken Bates led the foreign invasion which saw them challenge the top six. But it wasn't until billionaire Roman Abramovich took over in 2003 that they became true Premier League big hitters, securing four titles.

Years in the Premier League: 24

Where are they now: 10th in Premier League


Despite being ever-presents Everton have never finished higher than fourth in the Premier League, but after years of being perennial strugglers, they have forged themselves as top-10 contenders in recent years.

Years in the Premier League: 24

Where are they now: 11th in Premier League

Crystal Palace

The original yo-yo club, Palace were relegated in the first-ever Premier League season but bounced straight back before a string of other relegations and promotions. They spent all-but one year of 15 in the Championship but are currently in their longest stint in the Premier League.

Years in the Premier League: 7

Where are they now: 16th in Premier League


One of the eight founder members to have dropped into the third tier, Norwich were title challengers in the inaugural season but have never established themselves in the Premier League, with three consecutive years their best stay. They are involved in another relegation fight this year.

Years in the Premier League: 8

Where are they now: 17th in Premier League

Aston Villa

Among the early title-chasers following its inception, Villa have been regular top-10 finishers in the Premier League era. The last few years have been tough, though, and a run of relegation scraps has finally ended in demotion to the second tier.

Years in Premier League: 24

Where are they now: 20th in Premier League


Relegated in its first year, Middlesbrough were to return in style with the glamour signings of players like Juninho and Fabrizio Ravanelli in the mid-1990s. They fell into the Championship in 2009 but look set to return in time for next season.

Years in the Premier League: 14

Where are they now: 1st in Championship

Sheffield Wednesday

The Owls were a solid Premier League side for several seasons, with finishes ranging from seventh to 16th, until their relegation in 2001. Like their city rivals United they also dropped into the third tier, but look to be on the way back as they are involved in a Championship promotion bid this season.

Years in the Premier League: 8

Where are they now: 6th in Championship


The Tractor Boys survived the first three years of the Premier League era before suffering relegation. They returned for a two-year stay at the turn of a century - which included a fifth-placed finish in 2001 - but they have been in the second tier since 2002.

Years in the Premier League: 5

Where are they now: 8th in Championship


Present for the first four years of the Premier League era, QPR had a 15-year exile, which included a drop to League One, before returning in 2011. Despite heavy investment, they have not been able to establish themselves and are back in the Championship.

Years in the Premier League: 7

Where are they now: 11th in Championship


Coming into the inaugural season as champions of Division One, Leeds were mainstays of the first decade of the Premier League, achieving a third-placed finish in 2000. Financial implosion led to relegation and briefly League One, with no sign of a comeback and headlines dominated by off-the-field ownership issues.

Years in the Premier League: 12

Where are they now: 12th in Championship


Jack Walker's millions led Blackburn to the title in just the third season of the Premier League, but it went downhill from there. They spent two years in the second tier at the turn of the century before an 11-year stint in the big time ended in 2012.

Years in the Premier League: 18

Where are they now: 18th in Championship

Nottingham Forest

Bottom-placed in the opening Premier League campaign, Forest bounced straight back but a third relegation in 1999 saw them plummet to the third tier. They are back in the Championship but are not heading for promotion any time soon.

Years in the Premier League: 5

Where are they now: 19th in the Championship

Sheffield United

Relegated in its second season, it took the Blades 12 years to get back in the Premier League and they only managed a solitary campaign there in 2006-07. They almost came back up but are currently in a five-year stint in League One that doesn't look like ending soon.

Years in the Premier League: 3

Where are they now: 9th in League One


Under the management of Ron Atkinson and then Gordon Strachan, Coventry were regular survivors of the drop until they finally fell in 2001. They have been unable to return to the big time, have had money and ground issues and now sit in League One.

Years in the Premier League: 9

Where are they now: 12th in League One


The Latics were over-performing under Joe Royle but their two-year stay in the Premier League is the shortest of any of the original 22 clubs. They went down in 1993-94 and have spent the last 20 years in the third tier.

Years in the Premier League: 2

Where are they now: 18th in League One


Following on from their impressive rise in the 1980s, the 'Crazy Gang' were Premier League regulars in the mid-1990s before dropping out in 2000. A change of ownership then led to their downfall as they were famously relocated to Milton Keynes in 2002 and Wimbledon FC as we knew it ceased in 2004.

Years in the Premier League: 8

Where are they now: Officially dissolved in 2004 following the formation of MK Dons. AFC Wimbledon formed in 2002.


From Belfast Telegraph