One of the most well-known football leagues globally is the Premier League and competing in it every year is massive for a club’s reputation and financial status. Being one of the promoted teams is a golden ticket. Each season, there’s a competitive race to determine which four lucky teams will secure a spot in the UEFA Champions League. One might think the fight is just for the upper echelons, but that’s not the case.
The fight for survival is even more challenging as every season, three teams at the bottom of the table are relegated and replaced by three promoted teams. Some teams in particular have made the jump many times. This article highlights the top ten most promoted teams to the Premier League in its history.
Like a few teams on the list, Fulham appears to be a little too good for the Championship but hasn’t quite been able to compete with their many London rivals in the Premier League. Fulham have recently been one of the Premier League‘s yo-yo clubs.
The Londoners spent 13 years in the Premier League after being promoted as Division One champions in 2000, giving their supporters the impression that they were there to stay.
They first recovered in 2018, but just for one season before relegation, and a subsequent promotion through the playoffs in 2020.
9. Cardiff City
The club have been able to secure promotion to the EPL a total of two times but haven’t been able to sustain its Premier League status. The club have only ever managed to last one season a time. These two promotions were in 2013 and 2018. Although the Blue Birds have been the favourites many time in the Championship, they have not been able to perform the same in the EPL.
8. Wolverhampton Wanderers
Coming in at number 8, we have Wolverhampton Wanderers, who have been promoted to the EPL twice. In the 1980s, the club wasn’t as consistent as it is now and faced constant relegations making it difficult for them to secure their position in the league for a significant span
The club had its first promotion in 2004 and was able to maintain its spot in the league for five years, after which it was relegated. Its second promotion was in 2018, and since then, many feel that the team is here to stay in the thanks to its new found consistency, higher quality of players, and a good club structure off the pitch.
7. Hull City
Hull City has had three promotions to the Premier League and three relegations. They were initially promoted as the 2008 Championship Playoff champions, lasting two seasons. Their second promotion came in 2013, again lasting for consecutive campaigns. Their final season in the first tier was the 2016–17 season, lasting only one season.
The Tigers won League One in 2020–21, and as of writing, they are once again Championship regulars.
Since the Premier League changed its name in the early 1990s, the North East side has had an impressive run, bouncing between the top two divisions and experiencing cup finals, exotic signings, and unforgettable European trips.
Boro was demoted to the second division after being promoted before the first Premier League season in 1992, but they quickly recovered and made a comeback in 1994–1995 under Bryan Robson’s leadership.
Despite making well-known transfers, the team failed to maintain its spot and was relegated but made a comeback in 1997.
The team was relegated again in 2009, after which it made a comeback in the 2016-17 season.
5. Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace had three prior attempts to establish themselves in the Premier League, all of which failed. Although the Selhurst Park team played in the initial season as Middlesbrough, the mid-1990s were a similar story.
Palace received three of its four Premier League promotions via the Play-Offs. The Eagles have now successfully preserved their position in the top division of English football, and they will play at this level for the ninth straight season since their last promotion in 2013.
There was a sting in the tail when Watford made it to the Premier League in 1999. The Hornets ascended to the top following consecutive promotions, but it was too soon. In 2006–2007, they couldn’t survive the second spell as it wasn’t easy.
Watford has improved their reputation in recent years, as they were promoted in 2015, and managed to stay in the top tier for 5 seasons in a row. However, despite bouncing back to the Premier League in 2021, under the ruthless owner of the Pozzo family, they are currently in the Championship.
The Black Cats are yet another yo-yo club (a team that faces constant relegations and promotions) between the highest tiers of English football. However, they are currently outside the top division.
Sunderland transitioned from the Championship to the Premier League five times. These promotions occurred in 1996, 1999, 2002, 2005, and a 10 season EPL stretch starting in 2007.
Back then, it was quite the roller coaster ride for the Wear-side outfit, first at Roker Park, then at the Stadium of Light.
2. West Bromwich Albion
West Brom is possibly the best example of a yo-yo club. They are the first of two teams with a combined record of five Premier League promotions.
Baggies fans rejoiced over four promotions and three relegations between 2002 and 2010. These promotions were in 2002, 2004, 2008, and 2010. Other West Midlands clubs in and around Birmingham also saw ups and downs.
In the 2020/2021 season, West Brom ascended for the fifth time after being relegated in 2018.
1. Norwich City
Three of the Canaries’ five promotions to the Premier League brought the English Championship crown to Carrow Road. Norwich, a team from Norfolk, initially made it there in 2004 and then again in 2011 after slipping out of of the Premier League, like Leicester City and Sunderland.
In addition, the team was able to confirm a spot in the Premier League in 2015, 2019, and once again, for the 2020 season.
The Premier League is where most football teams would love to establish themselves. However, the journey there is just as important as the final destination.