The five teams who disgraced the Premier League with their presence by playing atrocious football and barely being able to scratch a few wins together.
The so-called best league in the world™ has had some pretty terrible teams in it over the years, but usually there’s just one big stinker in the bunch.
This year we could be witnessing, statistically speaking, two of the worst in the history of the Premier League, as Fulham and Huddersfield Town battle it out to find out who is the biggest pile of dog dirt in the division.
By season’s end they could very well be on this list. These may not necessarily be the very worst clubs we have seen since 1992 — Wolves of 2012 and QPR from 2013 would give these guys a run for their money — but that’s a list for another day. In any case, these teams are in the conversation regardless.
The Premier League clubs with the lowest points totals ever:
5. Watford (1999-2000)
Points: 24 | Goal Difference: -42
The Watford of now are motoring along quite nicely, enjoying their status as best of the rest by occupying seventh place in the table. The Watford of yesteryear, not so much. Aside from the golden age of Graham Taylor and Elton John in the seventies and eighties, they’ve rarely impressed in the top flight.
This is one such occasion, which saw the Hertfordshire outfit relegated with a then-record low points total for a Premier League club. Two 1-0 wins over Chelsea and Liverpool were the highlight of a dismal season that witnessed just six league wins.
4. Sunderland (2002-03)
Points: 19 | Goal Difference: -44
The best thing about this season is that it’s not even the worst one Sunderland has suffered. Peter Reid was sacked by October, and the recruitment committee, headed solely by Howard Wilkinson, to find a new manager decided on… Howard Wilkinson.
The ex-Leeds boss was gone by March, after winning just two league games, to be replaced by Mick McCarthy, who oversaw the club’s relegation back to the second tier. A brilliant 2-1 win over Liverpool in December was the highlight of the season, but they failed to win another game for the rest of the campaign, setting a Premier League record with 15 consecutive defeats.
3. Aston Villa (2015-16)
Points: 17 | Goal Difference: -49
The Tim Sherwood experience lasted until late October, at which point he had won precisely one league game. Remi Garde took over in November and, to his eternal credit, doubled that record. To be fair to the Frenchman, there was no saving a club that had been rotting from the inside for years thanks to dreadful financial mismanagement over an extended period.
Highlight of the season has to be Joleon Lescott tweeting a picture of a fancy car after Villa were thrashed 6-0 by Liverpool in February. He tried to explain it away by saying he “accidentally” sent it while driving. Sure.
2. Sunderland (2005-06)
Points: 15 | Goal Difference: -43
If you thought the 2003 version of Sunderland was bad, just wait until you see the 2005-06 model!
The Black Cats extended their record-breaking losing streak to 20 games at the start of the season, setting the tone for the rest of the campaign. By Christmas they had attained one win and a mere seven points. At the time they set a new low for points gained and would only secure their third win of the season against Fulham long after they were relegated from the division.
On the bright side, their relegation led to Roy Keane taking over the following season, leading them back to the Premier League with a record high points total for a second-tier side. His appointment gave much-needed stability to the club, until Ellis Short bought the organisation and ruined it all.
1. Derby County (2007-08)
Points: 11 | Goal Difference: -69
If you google “worst premier league teams ever’, the Wikipedia page for Derby County’s 2008-09 season comes up on the front page of results. That’s how definitive their badness was that season.
The Rams broke a host of records that season, each one more unwanted than the last: the longest run of games (32) without a win; lowest points total (11) since the introduction of 3 points for a win; the record for the fewest wins (1) in a Premier League season; they are also the only team to have been relegated from the EPL in March, and just the second in the post-war era.
That solitary win came in September against Newcastle United, with whom they also drew later in the season, meaning 36% of their points from that campaign were won against the Magpies.