Aston Villa are relegated - what does the next few years have in store?

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Following their 1-0 loss to Manchester United on Saturday the biggest club in Birmingham will be lining up in the second tier of English football for the first time since 1987.

Even though the weight is off Joleon Lescott's shoulders for now, he may find that load returned in the next few seasons if Villa cannot sort out the dire state the club is currently in.

Owner Randy Lerner has been unable to find new investment to rescue a club that is rotting from top to bottom.


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The owner doesn't want to be there, they have no manager, the players couldn't care less and they have even had to stop serving chocolate digestives at half-time to fans in hospitality.

The club now lacks direction at any level and will surely have a few years of bitter disappointment in the Championship to look forward to right?


Next year's ins and outs

What will happen to Villa's squad is a bit of a mystery. Any new manager will likely try to clear out a number of players who aren't cut out for a return to the Premier League but at the same time, they may struggle to sell the same players who have been so consistent in their poor performances.

As it stands it is hard to see there being any interest in anyone other than Micah Richards, Jack Grealish, Scott Sinclair and maybe Brad Guzan.

To avoid any more wrath from Villa fans vice-captain Lescott should probably slip away to another club as quietly as possible. If anyone will have him that is.

Although they have managed to cut their debt down to around £30 million, Lerner is still refraining from announcing what sort of budget any new manager will be operating with next season.

Villa need look no further than the scores of formerly established Premier League teams dotted around the Football League to realise how precarious their situation is.

Leeds United, Sheffield Wednesday, Blackburn Rovers, Coventry City and many others have a rich history in the Premier League and old First Division yet have floundered for years in the second and third tiers of the game.

While Villa can turn to the stories of Manchester City, Southampton and most recently Leicester City for evidence of clubs rebuilding from the bottom, these are exceptional tales that are unlikely to be reproduced any time soon.

The stats of bouncebackability

The Telegraph looked at England's second tier from the 1986-87 season (funnily enough the same year that Villa were last relegated from the first division) to 2013-14 and found that only 23.5% of teams relegated from the top division went straight back up again.

As time goes by life doesn't get any easier either. Two seasons after relegation there is a 3.7% chance of being in the third tier, a 67.1% chance of remaining in the second tier and a 29.3% likelihood of promotion.

Within three seasons Villa have pretty much an even chance of lifting the Championship title and being in League One: 12 teams won the second tier in that time period and 11 had slipped down into the third division.

Evidence from this year supports that last finding: Burnley currently have a real chance of winning the Championship at the first time of asking while Bolton Wanderers, a former mainstay of the Premier League, have dropped out of the Championship four years after first being relegated from the first tier.

Looking at Villa now, it would take a brave man to shed even a fiver on them to win the 2016-17 Championship but you never know - Leicester were promoted in 2002-03 after going into administration during that campaign so hardship doesn't necessarily write a team off.

The current squad do have a lot to make up for after the embarrassment of this season but as former Villa player Stan Collymore has rightly said, the players aren't going to be suffering when they're away on an exotic holiday, it is the club stalwarts of 20 years who are losing their jobs that are going to be hurt most.Stan Collymore has rightly said, the players aren't going to be suffering when they're away on an exotic holiday, it is the club stalwarts of 20 years who are losing their jobs that are going to be hurt most.

It's sad to see any football club so severely mismanaged but after a few years of barely surviving on a small budget, something was inevitably going to give.

The club recovered after their 1987 relegation and with one of the best youth systems in the country, supporters will be keen for local talent to be given their chance to become the basis of their latest revival.

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Micah Richards
Scott Sinclair
Joleon Lescott
Premier League
Aston Villa
Gabriel Agbonlahor

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