A post recently (see here) looked at the drop off in form of League of Ireland champions in the seasons following their success. The post captured an ongoing issue in the League of Ireland where league success is often followed with a period of gradual decline, and unfortunately for Cork City, relegation. This post got me thinking about looking at the form of champions in the English Premier League the season after they won the league. Now while the Premiership doesn’t have nearly as big an issue with the decline in form of their league champions, there does still appear to be a dip in form.
It is very rare for a team to successfully defend their status as champions. Only seven clubs have ever managed to win the title, Manchester UTD (13), Chelsea (5), Manchester City (4), Arsenal (3), and Blackburn (1), Leicester (1), and Liverpool (1) and just three of these have won the title two years on the trot. These teams were, Manchester UTD, Chelsea, and Manchester City. If we discount Liverpool, who are currently trying to defend their status as champions, then only 50% of the clubs who have won the title have managed to defend it. In fact, if we look at the net points difference in teams the season after winning the Premier League, we can see that declines in performance the year after winning the title are very common.