Statistics

Can Man City break jinx of title defences?

17 Apr 2018
Man Utd 2008/09 champions

Nine seasons in a row the defending champions have failed to retain the Trophy, something last achieved by Man Utd

After Manchester City were crowned 2017/18 Premier League champions by a big margin, their task to retain the trophy next season will appear to be much more difficult.

History tells us that successfully defending the Premier League title has proved to be much harder than claiming it.

City’s position as champions means that for the ninth successive season, the reigning PL champions have failed to claim back-to-back titles.

Chelsea, the 2016/17 champions, currently sit fifth in the table.

The last time there was such a long run of different champions was in the nine seasons between 1984/85 and 1992/93.

Manchester United were the last team to win back-to-back titles, in 2008/09 (pictured above).

Certainly, Chelsea’s final position this campaign would confirm that the fate of the defending champions has become more unpredictable in the past five seasons.

After Leeds United finished 17th in the inaugural Premier League season, the champions were in the top two when defending their title in all but three of the next 20 campaigns. Seven times during that spell the previous season's winners retained the Premier League Trophy.

In the four seasons since, the defending champions have averaged a finish of seventh.

Man Utd finished seventh in 2013/14, Man City were runners-up the next season, Chelsea dropped down to 10th in 2015/16 and Leicester City to 12th after that.

Pep Guardiola will know that the hard work will start from now to become the first Man City manager to successfully defend his side’s crown.

 How champions fared the next season
 ChampionsDefending champions' final place
1992/93Man Utd17th
1993/94Man Utd1st
1994/95Blackburn2nd
1995/96Man Utd7th
1996/97Man Utd1st
1997/98Arsenal2nd
1998/99Man Utd2nd
1999/00Man Utd1st
2000/01Man Utd1st
2001/02Arsenal3rd
2002/03Man Utd2nd
2003/04Arsenal3rd
2004/05Chelsea2nd
2005/06Chelsea1st
2006/07Man Utd2nd
2007/08Man Utd1st
2008/09Man Utd1st
2009/10Chelsea2nd
2010/11Man Utd2nd
2011/12Man City2nd
2012/13Man Utd2nd
2013/14Man City7th
2014/15Chelsea2nd
2015/16Leicester10th
2016/17Chelsea12th
2017/18Man City5th*

*season not finished

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