From the Press box

Nicole Carroll: A one woman mission to make a name in football

Has the 40 point benchmark disappeared?

with 2 comments

I know we’re in the midst of a major tournament, but so far I haven’t been entirely thrilled by the affair. England were poor, we’ve had too many draws, and the only team who have been worth watching so far are the Germans.

Temporary relief from the relative borefest is the release of the Premier League fixtures tomorrow, where all teams will be discussing whether they have an easy or difficult start to the league, whether the final games could lead to a good end of the season or a killer end of season or more importantly for some, when the crucial local derby games will commence.

The run ins for the end of the season have become important for those teams expected to struggle, as if you have the prospect of having to face “the big Four” in your last 5 games, you’ll feel your team will need a minor miracle to stay up.

The mooted points tally has been claimed to be 40 points, and teams seem to rejoice when they hit this elusive figure as it seems they will stay up that season. Last season Wigan finished 17th and stayed up with 35 points. Burnley and Hull dropped out of the top league with 30 points, whilst Portsmouth who went into administration during the season went down with 19 points (28 had the administration penalty not been applied).

Heres a table of the figures from the 2000/2001 season to the end of the 2009/2010 season:

From this:

– The average points tally for the team staying up over the last ten seasons is 38.1

– The bottom team average is 24.3 points

– The difference on points between 17th and 18th is on average is 3.1 points, or roughly one win.

The last five seasons of the Premier League on average has finished with lower points totals at the bottom than the previous 5 seasons of the league.

Does this mean the disparity between those teams at the top and the bottom, in terms of quality, has widened further?I’m not sure you can accurately judge this from numbers alone. Clubs who have finished 17th, such as West Ham last season, actually had a decent squad of players who massively under achieved and finished a terrible season avoiding the drop in the process.

38 points in a season to stay up would mean simply gaining a steady point per match overall. I don’t think the 40 point idea should be ignored however, as teams should be aiming to get as many points as possible, and not simply striving to hit a target simply to consolidate staying in the league.

The release of the fixtures should lead some people to start predicting a table for next season. Will massive outsiders Blackpool finish with the lowest points total ever, or will they defy the odds and be placed in that 17th placed spot next season? Will an established Premier League side drop into the Championship? Perhaps when we see the fortunes of the teams mapped out on paper at least, we can start to build a hazy picture of how the league may play out next season.


Written by Nicole Carroll

June 16, 2010 at 12:30 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Could be villa with the amount of players set to walk. I think we are due a bad season as usual. Just b’cos we’ve spent money over the last few yrs dosen’t mean we won’t struggle this yr. I’M dreading this seasson if we don’t hang onto our best players. Do you remember CHARLTON ATHLETIC? Every season in the PREM LGE their players seemed happy to reach safety and then take their foot off the pedal so to speak. CURBISHLEY was never able to get the best out of his players after they reached the 40 point mark. Roll on next seasons DERBY GAMES with Birmingham, West Brom and Wolves. Most especially the Birmingham games. Gonna be some fire in those games after what happened at VILLA PK this yr.


    June 16, 2010 at 1:50 pm

  2. Very interesting article Nicole. I knew that the last couple of seasons the “safety” points target was lower, but there is a very clear trend of the bottom 4/5 getting less points. This indicates the growing gap between the “haves” and “have-nots!”



    June 18, 2010 at 11:50 am

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