With Manchester United’s Fabio moving to Cardiff City, it would appear that the Brazilian is on course to join a select group of players.
Having already been relegated while on loan with QPR, a similar demotion with the Bluebirds, who are 10/11 to go down, would see the defender emerge as the first of a new generation of professionals with a penchant for slipping down from the English top flight.
Nevertheless, the player has a long way to go to match these guys.
Ashley Ward –Norwich, Barnsley, Blackburn and Bradford City
Relegation followed Ward like a bad smell throughout his career, beginning with demotion from the top flight at Norwich in 1995.
After a single year with newly-promoted Derby, Ward moved to Barnsley where relegation reared its ugly head again, with the forward playing his part during one memorable game against Sunderland in which he scored, missed a penalty and got sent off – in the space of just five minutes.
Ward then transferred to Blackburn with aspirations of challenging for the Premier League title. He was relegated in 1999. But he soon escaped to newly-promoted Bradford City, helping the club to a shock two-season stay before slipping back down to the division he was so desperate to avoid.
He ended his career at Sheffield United in 2005 but if only Ward had waited a year, he would have had one last Premier League relegation to his name.
Nigel Quashie – QPR, Nottingham Forest, Southampton and West Brom
Ask the average man in the street to name players with a habit for being relegated from the Premier League and the chances are the name Nigel Quashie will feature fairly prominently.
A player known more for sitting, shell-shocked, in the centre of the pitch come the final day of the season, it’s unclear where the midfielder’s strengths lay, other than ensuring his team went down.
Rising through the ranks at QPR, Quashie was there to see them slip out of the Premier League.
When he heard that Forest were interested in acquiring his services, he wasted no time in securing a move, playing 18 times with the club comfortably relegated from the top flight.
His five years at Portsmouth suggest that Quashie’s subsequent move to Southampton may have been part of a cunning plan concocted by Pompey to send their old rivals down. If it was, then the plan worked, with the Saints marching down to the Championship.
Quashie finished it off with relegation at West Brom before moving to West Ham where, try as he might, the midfielder couldn’t get the club to go down again.
Nathan Blake – Sheffield United, Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers and Wolves
Like most of the players in this list, Blake’s career is littered with relegations throughout, starting with Sheffield United, where the Welsh forward helped the club to go down in the inaugural season of the Premier League.
The forward then moved to Bolton where his failings in front of the net in the top flight saw the club go down. He then scored goals aplenty in the second tier, helping the club to make an immediate return to the Premier League and, in the next season, an immediate relegation.
Nevertheless he had secured a big money move to former champions Blackburn. What could go wrong? Plenty, as it turns out, with Rovers relegated in his first season at the club.
Blake finished things off with a spell at Wolves, helping the club into the Premier League and then helping them back down again.
Marcus Bent – Crystal Palace, Ipswich Town, Leicester City and Charlton
It stands to reason that a journeyman striker with spells at 16 different clubs in the Football League would have experienced a relegation or two, but when it comes to dropping from the Premier League the undisputed Daddy of them all remains Marcus Bent.
Not to be confused with Darren (though the two did share one relegation during a short spell at Ipswich), Bent experienced his first relegation from the Premier League at an early age, slipping down into the second-tier with Crystal Palace in 1999.
And while never a prolific goalscorer at the highest level, the forward had an incredible knack for picking clubs doomed for the drop, as subsequent spells with Leicester City and a Curbishley-less Charlton suggest.
A two-year spell with Everton marked a career high, but in truth Bent was never happy at Goodison – the club’s status in the top flight was far too secure.
Hermann Hreidarsson – Crystal Palace, Wimbledon, Ipswich Town, Charlton and Portsmouth
It’s worth noting that Hreidarsson and Bent share a special bond, having suffered relegation together at Palace and Ipswich.
However, Hreidarsson remains the daddy of the Premier League drop, having experienced relegation on five separate occasions with five different teams.
The Icelandic defender first cut his teeth in demotions with Crystal Palace and Wimbledon – with the latter seemingly a Premier League fixture until Hreidarsson’s arrival.
Ipswich fans must have been concerned when the big man arrived at Portman Road but initially everything went well. It didn’t last, as Hreidarsson set about ensuring the team slipped back down, never to return.
A similar pattern followed at Charlton, with the Addicks in rude health until the Icelandic player’s arrival. The defender finished off his career with demotion at Portsmouth, ensuring his legendary status.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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