No football fan likes to see their own team being relegated from the top category. I remember when my beloved Deportivo was relegated to 2nd Division back in 2011 (and again in 2013) and it was hard.
This GIF of a Brazilian kid crying during the World Cup describes how I felt.
Quite sad, isn’t it? But hey, as I wrote a few weeks ago, sometimes there’s light at the end of the tunnel and teams recover and have impressive comebacks (a little bit like Deportivo this season)
However, there are teams that never come back, and fans need to find comfort remembering better times (hello, Nottingham Forest). In this series of blog posts I’m analysing how long it takes to return to the top category and if there are any differences between the 5 major European competitions.
Today, my analytical loupe is over Italy. What happens when an Italian team is relegated? Most of them get back to Serie A pretty quickly. 56% find their way back in just 3 seasons, but after that initial period, only 13% get back. The remaining 31% of teams will never return to Serie A.
The chart below shows that most teams only need one season to return to Serie A and, if they take longer than 3 seasons to come back, they might stay in Serie B forever.
But there’s always another side of the coin. There are teams (not many) that can spend a very long time in hell (aka Serie B) and then have a great season that catapults them back to Serie A. That’s the case of Pescara Calcio. They have traditionally played in Serie B but back in 1991 they got promoted to the top category. The following years were not good, they got relegated several times and they even played a few seasons in Serie C. But, hey, bad luck doesn’t last forever. In 2011-2012 they won Serie B and got promoted 19 years after their last appearance in Serie A.