So the relegation of Bray Wanderers from the Premier Division after 14 consecutive seasons was officially confirmed after Saturday’s loss in Sligo.
We’ve been relegated before. Since our ascension to the League of Ireland in 1985 we have also been relegated in 1988, 1993, 1997, 1999 and 2003. We’ve always bounced back, as I’m sure we will again.
Bray are often thought of as a ‘yo-yo’ club here, because of the perception that we bounce up and down between the Premier and First divisions with alarming regularity, but the records show otherwise. 14 years staying in the top-flight is hardly ‘yo-yo’ behavior. Drogheda United come to mind as a club with more ‘yo-yo’ credentials – they changed division every season between 1993/94 and 2000/01.
In other countries clubs that go up and down a lot are referred to as ‘elevator clubs’, ‘lift teams’ or ‘to-and-fro’ clubs. In Romania they are referred to as ABBA, in reference to the former names of their top two tiers – Divizia A and Divizia B!
West Bromwich Albion are probably the best example of a yo-yo club in England – they have been promoted 4 times and relegated 4 times between the Premiership and Championship since 2000. Crystal Palace have reached the Premiership 5 times since its inception in 1992 and on the first 4 occasions were relegated the following season [currently they are surviving since 2013 in the top flight].
Every country has yo-yo clubs. In Germany, 1. FC Nurnberg have moved 16 times between the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga. Then there’s Bofoakwa Tano in Ghana, with 9 moves up and down from the top tier in recent times. In Holland, FC Volendam moved 18 times between the top two tiers [the Eredivisie and Eerste Divisie] between 1959 and 2009.
Sakaryaspor in Turkey were frequently promoted to the top tier and usually stayed for a few seasons, but for many years when they did get relegated they would only stay in the second tier for a single season and come straight back up. Quilmes in Argentina and Santa Cruz in Brazil are examples of ‘yo-yo’ clubs there. There’s even a club in Norway called SK Brann that were promoted in every even-numbered year and relegated in every odd-numbered year between 1979 and 1987!
Relegation isn’t something my English club Rochdale know too much about, thankfully. It has only happened 3 times since our elevation to the Football League in 1921. There was the relegation from the old Division Three to Division Four in 1959, the same journey in 1974 and again in 2012 [although by then the third and fourth tiers had been rebranded as League One and League Two].