5 Teams You Probably Forgot Played In The English Premier League

Coventry City Fans hold up we'll be back sign

In 1992 an experiment began that changed football as we know it as the English Premier League was born. From a breakaway that ripped the foundations in English football to a multi-billion pound industry, the EPL has housed fifty different clubs from its inception to the beginning of the 2021-22 season. Here at HookedOnSport, we take a look at ‘5 Teams You Probably Forgot Played In The Premier League.’

1. Oldham Athletic – 2 Seasons In Premier League

Oldham Athletic celebrate play off win to Premier League

In the early nineties, Oldham Athletic were at the height of their success as a club under legendary manager Joe Royle. Reaching the League Cup finals and two FA Cup semi-finals, those brushes with silverware were surpassed when the Latics won the old Second Division title in 1991, propelling the team back to the top flight of English football for the first time in 68 years. The timing couldn’t have been better as a 17th placed finish in their first year back English football’s top table meant they’d be founding members of the Premier League which kicked off in the 1992-93 season.

In the first season of the then-22 team league, Oldham scraped survival thanks to a goal difference that was two better than that of Crystal Palace, the following year they wouldn’t be so lucky. At the end of the 1993-94 season, Oldham finished in 21st place on 40 points and were relegated to the second tier once again. By 1997 the Latics were back in what is now League 1 and after a 21-year stay in the third tier of English football, the club was relegated to League 2 in 2018 amid mounting financial issues off the park.

2. Swindon Town – 1 Season In Premier League

Swindon Town celebrate promotion to Premier League

The only team to finish the 1993-94 season in a worse position than Oldham Athletic were one-season wonders Swindon Town. England legend Glenn Hoddle led the Robins to play-off final victory over Leicester City to take the club to the top level of English football for the first and only time in their history. The writing was on the wall for Swindon’s season in the sun when Hoddle was prised away by Chelsea leaving Scotsman John Gorman to take charge.

A 7-1 thumping from Newcastle was the low point of the season with the team picking up only 5 victories all season and suffering the ignominy of conceding 100 goals. Worse was to come for Swindon as they suffered consecutive relegations, going straight down to English football’s third tier in the 1994-95 season with Gorman sacked in November to be replaced by Liverpool icon Steve McMahon.

3. Coventry City – 9 Seasons In Premier League

Dion Dublin Gary McAllister of Coventry City celebrate

Relegated from the Premier League in the same year as Manchester City, the two clubs have had a very different following two decades after their tumultuous season in 2000-01. While the sky blues of Manchester struck gold in the form of their Abu Dhabi-based owners with league titles and a seat at European football’s top table to come, the Sky Blues of Coventry were in for a much rockier ride.

The club were founder members of the Premier League in 1992 and achieved their highest finishes of 11th in the top flight in both 1994 and 1998 chiefly thanks to the goals of Dion Dublin. By 2001 however, the club’s luck had run out and led by Gordon Strachan they dropped out of the league. Unfortunately for their fans, in the two decades since they have never looked close to making their way back to the highest echelon of English football.

Besieged by off-field problems including an ongoing issue with the owners of their stadium that have seen the club lead nomadic existence playing home games in both Northampton and Birmingham, Coventry fell to the 4th tier of English football in 2017. By 2020 however, the Sky Blues were back in the Championship as their hunt for a long-awaited return to the Premier League goes on.

4. Barnsley – 1 Season In Premier League

Danny Wilson and Barnsley celebrate promotion to Premier League

Another one-season wonder, the Tykes were promoted to the Premier League after finishing second in the old First Division in 1997. This was the Yorkshire club’s first season in English football’s top flight and despite picking up 10 wins under popular manager Danny Wilson, their 23 defeats were enough to send them back down at the first time of asking.

Barnsley’s season is best remembered for their famous FA Cup 5th round victory over Manchester United – at a time when things like that were unheard of. A famous 3-2 victory in the 5th round replay saw Barnsley move on to the quarter-finals and earned a measure of revenge over The Red Devils who thumped Barnsley 7-0 in the league in October.

5. Reading – 3 Seasons In Premier League

Reading celebrate winning Championship

The most recent team on this list to have played in the Premier League and some of you might remember the Royals sojourn to the top tier of English football but you’ll be few and far between. Reading made it to the Premier League in 2006 after winning the Championship with a record 106 points. With many predicting the club to head straight back down, Reading shut up the doubters with a hugely impressive 8th place finish – just one point off European qualification – in the Premier League masterminded by Steve Coppell who won the LMA Manager Of The Year award for the second successive season.

By the 2007-08 season the Berkshire club’s luck had run out and they were relegated agonisingly on goal difference with themselves 3 goals worse off than Fulham. This wasn’t to be Reading’s last punt at the Premier League and the Royals returned under Brian McDermott for the 2012-13 season after winning the Championship yet again. While the club suffered the dreaded ‘Second Season Syndrome’ the first time around, they wasted no time this go around diving headfirst into the suffering. There were to be no dreams of European football this time as the Royals limped back down at the first time of asking with a paltry 28 points, although three more than QPR managed.

Since returning to the Championship Reading were harrowingly close to another return to the Premier League in 2017 but missed out after losing a play-off final on penalties to Huddersfield Town.

More Sport