Thursday, 25 March 2010

longest neither promoted nor relegated

"With Rochdale on the verge of promotion, their record of being in the same division for 35 years looks like ending," writes Phil Rhodes, poking fate with a big pointy stick. "We all need to know who outside the Premier League will have been in the same division the longest if Dale get promoted. A list of the five teams who follow Rochdale in the current list may make for interesting reading and also show how fluid the Football League is."
Indeed Rochdale have been neither promoted nor relegated since 1973-74 and with their League Two rivals currently indistinct dots in the Spotland rear-view mirror, their 36-year drought may be about to come to an end. But who will replace them as the Football League's most entrenched club?
Darlington, who have been bobbling along in the basement since 1992, are on an 18-season stretch in the same division. The Quakers could well drop into the Blue Square Premier at the end of this season, at which point their title would be taken by Oldham, who have been in the third tier for 13 seasons. The top five, we reckon, looks something like this:
Darlington 18-season run (relegated 1991-92)
Oldham 13-season run (relegated 1996-97)
Lincoln 11-season run (relegated 1998-99)
Macclesfield Town 11-season run (relegated 1998-99)
Preston 10-season run (promoted 1999-2000)
- Guardian Knowledge, 10 March