Connect in the back of the net

The high rise and now fall of Joe Hart from Manchester City is one that is unfolded during the summer transfer window of 2016 with a loan move to Torino being made following the arrival of Pep Guardiola for the season.

The same applied with Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere with veteran-Gunners manager Arsene Wenger willing to allow the Arsenal academy product to go out on loan to rejuvenate his career. That place was fellow Premier League side AFC Bournemouth.

However, its not just players who have had a high rise and fall from grace for whatever reason it may be. A lot of clubs have had their fair share of rises and falls in recent years and some continue to free flow down the leagues like water runs from a tap.

 

Blackpool FC

Firstly, I begin with Blackpool FC.

The club was known for their 1953 FA Cup triumph against Bolton Wanderers with the final being known famously as The Matthews Final after the English veteran.

In recent years, Blackpool were an average side who lingered between the equivalent of the Championship (Division 2 – Pre-1992) and League 1 (Division 3 – Pre-1992) for the majority of their time as a club following their glory days in the 1950’s.

The start of the 21st century saw Blackpool as a League 2 side however, that was a one season wonder as Blackpool went back up thanks to former-Liverpool player Steve McMahon managing them.

In 2007, Blackpool were a League 1 side who were promoted via the play-offs following a win at Wembley against Yeovil Town. Their return to the Championship was the first time they were back there in 29 years.

2 years into the Championship and Simon Grayson, the man who got Blackpool back into the 2nd tier, left for Leeds United in 2008.

It wasn’t until a year later when Blackpool signed Ian Holloway as manager on a one year deal with an extra year option.

The money was coming in for Holloway and that summer remarked in the Seasiders signing and breaking their transfer record to sign Rangers player Charlie Adam for £500,000.

The same season saw Blackpool reach 6th in the table with a chance to compete in the play-offs and quite unbelievable, they reached the play-off final and won it with a 3-2 win over Cardiff City.

Blackpool had reached the topflight for the first time in 39 years and unfortunately, it was only a 1 season wonder for the club as they went back down in 19th place.

In their first season back in the Championship, Blackpool got to the play-off final where they lost 2-1 to West Ham. In the November of 2012, Holloway left to take charge of Crystal Palace.

After 3 years of bad finishes in the Championship, Blackpool’s fall from the top flight continued with relegation to League 1. Their last game of the Championship involved their game with Huddersfield Town to be abandoned.

Things went from bad to worse the following season when Blackpool were relegated to League 2. Then again, this is partly down to the owners known as The Oyston Family from the fans view and the fans hatred towards their owners continues to flow.

In fact, there have been and continue to be times when Blackpool fans go and support their non-league side AFC Blackpool instead. As a result, the attendances for the non-league outfit have done many favours in recent months.

Well what is gonna happen for Blackpool? Are they going to go into an even further decline or are they going to have a solid season in League 2 and try to push themselves back into League 1?

 

Canvey Island FC

Another example of going to the top and falling from it is Canvey Island FC.

The Gulls were a side in the Essex Senior League come the 90’s but with the introduction of Jeff King, the club soon enjoyed a rich history in the FA Cup over the first few years of the 2000’s and even won the FA Trophy in 2001.

They also rose up the non-league league pyramid and as of 2004/05 season, they were competing in the Conference National which is the highest tier of Non-League Football.

For two years, they were competing against the likes of Exeter, Stevenage and even Carlisle but come 2006 after a few months speculation, Jeff King pulled out his financial backing and the club had no other alternative than to resign its place in Step 5.

The alternative was that Canvey drop down to Step 8 with the club having been accepted into the Ryman North which is known as Step 8.

For a few years, Canvey battled their way through and eventually rose up back into the Ryman Premier League where the club have been for the past few years.

 

Charlton

To conclude, I look at Charlton Athletic.

As of 2000, they were a Premier League side and as of 2003/04, they were a top side competing for a Champions League place but finished in 7th place.

That being said, they were led by Alan Curbishley who took the club through a successful time but following a not-so replicated good season, led the Addicks in 2006.

That season sparked the downfall for the Greenwich-based side and they got relegated to the Championship following that.

Within 3 years of being in the Championship, the side were relegated to League 1. After being in the top 6 of League for the majority of the 2009/10 season, Charlton lost the play-off semi-finals on penalties to Swindon Town.

Come January 2011, the Addicks appointed former-player Chris Powell as manager and in his first full season in charge, was responsible for 19 new additions of which won him and the club promotion to the Championship come May 2012.

After a good first season back in the second tier with the club finishing 9th and just 3 points off the play-off places, the change that happened in the 2013/14 season changed the fortunes of the club for the worse in my view.

In January 2014, Roland Duchâtelet took over the reins as chairman of which started a troublesome near 3 years which continues till this day.

March 2014 saw Charlton bottom of the table and after losing in the FA Cup to Sheffield United, Powell was sacked and in came Jose Riga who just about steered the club to 18th.

The following 2 seasons saw massive change in the players and management along with 2 stints of Jose Riga as manager and following a disastrous season in 2015/16, the Addicks got relegated after a 4 year stint back in the second tier.

The downfall is continuing for the club and off the pitch, fan protests are becoming a regular occurrence. This has been going on for nearly a year now and it’s included numerous pitch disruptions along with multiple marches.

As for Charlton, are they going to decline even further or will they finally find some solidarity over the next few years?

 

Written by Andy Wilkins

Follow Andy on Twitter @andywilkins2015

Check out more of his fine articles through his own blog, here

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