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5 former Premier League clubs that are struggling to return to the top flight
Aston Villa will be relegated if they fail to beat Bournemouth and if Norwich get at least a point at Crystal Palace.

ASTON VILLA FANS staged a protest directed at the club’s owner, Randy Lerner during last weekend’s match against Chelsea. They held placards reading “Proud History What Future?” with many supporters fearful that relegation to the Championship will only be the start of their downfall.

Below is a list of five clubs that have failed to return to England’s top flight highlighting that a return to the Premier League is by no means guaranteed.

1. Blackburn Rovers (4 years since relegation)

Winners of the Premier League in 1995, Blackburn’s success was driven by the investment of their former owner Jack Walker.

Despite being relegated in 1999, Rovers managed to bounce back within two years and spent a decade in the top flight before being relegated again after their new Venky owners replaced the reliable Sam Allardyce with the inexperienced Steve Kean.

Another Scot is in charge now and Paul Lambert will be hoping to push for the play-offs next season after a campaign of consolidation.

2. Portsmouth (6 years since relegation)

The 2008 FA Cup winners have tumbled down the divisions since lifting the famous trophy. If it wasn’t for the club’s hardcore supporters the team would not be in existence today after careless financial mismanagement from their owners left the club in administration.

Pompey are currently batting it out for a play-off spot in League Two after suffering three relegations since 2010.

Soccer - FA Cup - Final - Portsmouth v Cardiff City - Wembley Stadium PA Archive / Press Association Images Harry Redknapp won the FA Cup with Portsmouth in 2008. PA Archive / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

3. Charlton Athletic (9 years since relegation)

After enjoying six consecutive years in the top flight under Alan Curbishley, the manager and the club decided to part ways after the fans urged the club to show more ambition.

Curbishley was replaced by Iain Dowie, but the former Northern Irish international only lasted until November when he was replaced by Les Reed, before the Addicks hired Alan Pardew, their third manager of the season.

This season Charlton are on the verge of dropping down to League One for a second time since being relegated from the Premier League amidst growing tension between the club and their Belgian owners.

4. Leeds United (12 years since relegation)

The most famous club in the list – mismanagement both on and off the pitch lead to Leeds United being relegated from the Premier League in 2004, just three years after being one game away from reaching the Champions League final.

Further heartache was to follow with a drop to the third tier before returning to the Championship in 2010. Currently under the stewardship of maverick owner Massimo Cellino, Leeds sit 15th in the table after another season of medicority.

Massimo Cellino file photo Mike Egerton Leeds owner Massimo Cellino has a fear of the number of the 17 which caused goalkeeper Paddy Kenny to be dropped as his he was born on May 17. Mike Egerton

 5. Coventry City (15 years since relegation)

After 34 years in the top division, the Sky Blues finally paid the price for the annual flirt with relegation.

Coventry have yet to return to the Premier League and after spending 11 seasons in the Championship, they suffered another relegation down to League One where they are currently lie in mid-table.

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