John McCormick: bored

John McCormick. Impartial, as always

It was June 12th when I first put up this season’s relegation poll and July 1st, when the transfer window opened, that I gave you the preliminary results.

Every Premiership club received some votes. Man Utd got thirteen. Spurs and Arsenal (last relegated in the year the Royal Flying Corps established its first airfield) both got ten. Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea received six each, as did Stoke. West Ham were the second best fancied team, with four votes, while Everton received only two votes and are thus deemed most likely to stay in the top division (something they have managed every year since the end of rationing) but not entirely safe.

Given such wishful thinking  I had to do some winnowing so I chose 100 votes as the cut-off, which gave me a reasonable number of 8 clubs to watch, and you can see the results in the title above.

Now the window has been open for a full month and the season’s not too distant it’s time to think about those eight. Which three of them are going down or, alternatively, are we being a little presumptuous?

Will it be Hull, managerless and apparently in turmoil as I write, along with Burnley, worthy winners of the championship but just behind Hull in the poll? Both came ahead of Bournemouth, whose need to avoid second season syndrome might explain why they were in third place.

favourites for the drop

3rd favourites for the drop

What about ‘Boro, with perhaps an almost completely new team, or Watford, who have a new manager? They were the next two in the list.

What of Sunderland? Sam took us to the verge of stability and with 195 votes  from the 2,203 cast (just under 9%) voters took us to sixth choice. This was an improved position relative to previous years but then the sweet FA stuck its oar in. Does it bode ill, or will David Moyes build on Sam’s foundation?

We were followed in the poll by West Bromwich Albion, who still have Tony Pulis. Surely that guarantees safety, although there might be fans from other clubs still fancying them for the drop. And in final place came Crystal Palace, who made the cut by getting just over 100 votes in the original poll. It has been a couple of seasons since  Fulham went down. Is a London club due for relegation this season and, if so, will it be Palace?

What's in the crystal ball for Crystal Palace?

What’s in the crystal ball for Crystal Palace?

Here’s your chance to reconsider your June choice and select three clubs from the narrowed-down list. (And if you think we are indeed being presumptuous you can select “another club”). The poll will run for a while, and I’ll report results just before the season kicks off, along with details of how I’ll be tracking the clubs.

For those readers who like to study clubs, as opposed to relying on bias and hatred, here’s a summary of transfer activity to date, as reported on the Premier League website at


you have 3 votes

Club Activity
Hull Manager resigned.  One player in, two players out
Burnley Three players in, five players out
Bournemouth Eight players in, seven players out
Middlesbrough Nine players in, four players out
Watford Manager replaced. Five players in, seven players out
Sunderland Manager replaced. No players in, eight players out
West Brom One player in, three players out
Crystal Palace Three players in, eight players out

As always, your comments are welcome (subject to our normal expectations of civilised discourse) especially if you want to enhance any vote. What’s the basis for your choice? What are your thoughts? We’d love to know.


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Salut! Sunderland is written, illustrated and edited by - and principally for - supporters of Sunderland AFC. The site aims to be sufficiently literate and entertaining to appeal to people who do not follow SAFC but enjoy good football writing.

13 Responses to “Hull, Burnley, Bournemouth, Middlesbrough, Watford, Sunderland, West Brom or Crystal Palace. Choose your three” Subscribe

  1. Robbo August 3, 2016 at 9:04 am #

    If I was a supporter of another club I would include Sunderland in my relegation three. Basically because we always flirt with relegation and, if you do one day it just might happen, also the lack of incoming transfer activity means we have a paper thin squad at the moment.

    But I do support SAFC and I know things will be alright…. won’t they?

  2. Salutsunderland August 3, 2016 at 9:08 am #

    How can we tell when there has been zilch (inward) movement on transfers and the squad is so threadbare? I do not blame Moyes or necessarily the club, more the FA, but we will be in a pickle if there are not breakthroughs (plural) soon, and I do not mean them to include a breakthrough for Everton in their pursuit of Kone, the loss of whom could be disastrous .

  3. malcolm August 3, 2016 at 9:26 am #

    As every day passes without any signings I am growing less and less confident. I expected us to hit the ground running this year, even though we couldn’t have had a tougher opening day fixture, but of the team that got us through the tough times at the end of last season, Yedlin and M’Vila are missing and no replacements have been brought in. Looks like Seb and Rodwell are being looked at as emergency defenders.

    The nearer the opening day gets, the nearer the transfer deadline gets, the more desperate we will be and I can see other clubs and players’ agents exploiting that situation. I’m sure Martin Bain is doing his utmost but I can only surmise that holding out in an attempt to get the best possible deal for Sunderland at this stage will end up seeing us held to ransom as time runs out.

    Like Robbo, if I supported another club I would see us as a certainty to go down. With only 10 days to go until the start of the season and only 27 until the transfer window closes, I am starting to fear the worst.

    • smoggie August 3, 2016 at 11:36 am #

      Starting to fear the worst already eh, oh dear me lol

      • ianoklahoma August 4, 2016 at 8:27 pm #

        Go boil your head you Boro tosser?

  4. Eric012 August 3, 2016 at 2:16 pm #

    I was quietly confident of a decent season, possibly rising to the dizzy heights of 12 – 14. Then the FA came calling and off went Sam. No incoming movement at all, N’Zogbia and Piennar the best we can manage. All optimism and hope evaporated. We will finish bottom with this squad. Just above us will be Hull, and final relegation place will be taken by Watford. The man wearing the breathing apparatus and with the hacking cough will see his team of Smogsters finish 15/16th.

    • smoggie August 3, 2016 at 4:20 pm #

      Thats right bonnie lad think positive and you might get a laugh out of this as well, I do wear a breathing mask sometimes, nowt to do with pollution but I have heart trouble, quite bad and I dont always get enough oxygen

      • ianoklahoma August 4, 2016 at 8:29 pm #

        Some good news then…?

        • smoggie August 4, 2016 at 10:40 pm #

          Thats just ignorant mate but I’ve been watching you, it’s nothing but what I’d expect from a big bairn like you

        • ianoklahoma August 5, 2016 at 2:44 pm #

          I’m sorry for saying that,but you do get on my tits?

          • smoggie August 5, 2016 at 4:46 pm #

            Aye and every time I make you throw your dummy out of the pram it means Ive won lol

  5. Eric012 August 4, 2016 at 7:13 am #

    Sorry to hear that Smogdweller. No more breathing mask jokes from me.

    • smoggie August 4, 2016 at 2:57 pm #

      Never worry man, I dont

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