How do promoted clubs guarantee Premier League survival?

The three promoted teams from the 2021/2022 Championship season are currently providing a captivating live case study on how to go about warding off immediate relegation. Indeed, Fulham, Bournemouth, and Nottingham Forest are all trying to ensure that they are higher than 18th in the table by the time the spring of 2023 arrives.

They aren’t, however, following one blueprint, with all three clubs adopting different methods to achieve their ultimate goal of Premier League safety. So, who is on to a winning formula, and who is unwittingly making survival a remote possibility?

Fulham

Fulham should, by now, know exactly what it takes to stay up after going through multiple promotions and relegations over the last few years. In fact, this bouncing back and forth between the Championship and Premier League has earned the Cottagers the somewhat unfortunate tag of being a yo-yo club.

To Fulham’s credit, though, there is a sense that they have learned valuable lessons from previously failed survival bids and a promising start to the new campaign, which included a draw with Liverpool on the opening day, illustrates as much.

Essentially, Fulham have steered well clear of their 2018 strategy which ended in relegation after they spent over $100 million on new players whilst, crucially, discarding their squad that won promotion. Conversely, the Cottagers have now kept the same squad and manager whilst focusing on quality rather than quantity in the transfer market. This measured approach will give Marco Silva’s team every chance of beating the dreaded drop.

Bournemouth

The season is only a handful of fixtures old but Bournemouth are already in deep trouble. In fact, their start has been so testing that Sky Sports expert analyst Jamie Carragher has already condemned the Cherries to relegation despite the fact that the autumn winds are yet to blow.

Worryingly for Bournemouth fans, that opinion is echoed in the latest sports betting markets with the club, as of the 30th of August, at odds of just 1/3 to go down. With this being the case, one can categorically say that Bournemouth’s decision not to freshen up their squad by bringing new players into the club’s stadium over the summer is not conducive to staying up. Unsurprisingly, the gulf in class is all too evident with the Cherries suffering a 9-0 loss against Liverpool on matchday four.

Perhaps unfairly, this then led to the sacking of manager Scott Parker. Needless to say, clubs that are promoted in the future should analyze Bournemouth’s calamitous summer in order to not repeat the same mistakes that look destined to lead to relegation for the Cherries.

Nottingham Forest

If Bournemouth have been too passive, then there’s an argument for Nottingham Forest doing too much in order to avoid falling through the trapdoor to the Championship in May 2023. Incredibly, the Reds have signed 18 players since being promoted, with that number set to increase by the time transfer deadline day passes. On top of that, Forest’s summer spending is now well over $150 million which, subsequently, will present a set of its own unique challenges if the club does get relegated, given that they will need to adhere to financial fair play rules in the Championship whilst having one of the biggest squads in Europe on their books.

Admittedly, the Forest think tank will argue that they had no choice but to strengthen after all five of their instrumental loan signings that helped the club achieve promotion were unable to return to the City Ground. In this sense, you can see their reasoning but, instead of being calculated and meticulous as they identified targets, Forest’s unprecedented transfer spree now looks to be chaotic and haphazard.

Furthermore, there is still no evidence that, despite recruiting close to twenty players, any of the new additions have the quality that will keep the club up in the most competitive league in the world. Apart from Jesse Lingard and Dean Henderson, Premier League experience is sorely missing from Forest’s enormous squad.

The verdict

The line, as you can see, is a fine one between being too passive, bolstering a squad, and making it unrecognizable. In this instance, Fulham’s approach to staying up looks to be the wisest, having carried out only minor surgery to the squad whilst keeping their core group together that delivered promotion.