Which Championship club has been waiting the longest for a Premier League return?

Which Championship club has been waiting the longest for a Premier League return?

Fulham are well on their way to complete a quickfire return to the Premier League but for some of the other Championship promotion hopefuls, their time in the wilderness has been much, much longer.

Twelve of the top 14 teams are former Premier League sides, but whereas Fulham, Bournemouth, West Brom, Huddersfield and Sheffield United are still enjoying their parachute payments, memories of the top flight are fading for the likes of Blackpool (relegated in 2010/11), Blackburn (2011/12) and QPR (2014/15).

Coventry City have to go back even further, with the Sky Blues dropping out of the top flight in 2000/01 alongside Manchester City.

Coventry City fans in May 2001

But whereas the Citizens bounced back at the first attempt and have since gone on to dominate the Premier League on the back of the riches of the City Football Group, Coventry slid all the way down to League Two and found themselves homeless.

Now back at the Ricoh, ok, Coventry Building Society Arena, the Sky Blues are on the fringes of the play-off race under Mark Robins who has worked miracles since taking over in 2017 with the club in the fourth tier.

Mark Robins Coventry City manager Oct21

Promotion for Coventry would break the record for the longest spell between Premier League appearances, currently held by Leeds United who spent 16 seasons in the Championship and League One before returning to the top flight in 2020/21.

Sheffield United endured 12-season spells outside the top flight before returning in 2007/08 and again in 2018/19 but still fall some way short of Nottingham Forest.

The East Midlands club bowed out of the Premier League in 1999 after a bizarre season in which they won two of their first three and rounded off the season with three wins from three.

However, in between they could only manage two more wins, with the pre-season sale of striker Kevin Campbell looking particularly ill-judged. Especially considering strike partner Pierre Van Hooijdonk then went on strike because of it.

Pierre van Hooijdonk Ron Atkinson Forest Jan99

Now under the stewardship of Steve Cooper, Forest have picked up 39 points from his 20 games in charge to move up to seventh in the table.

But while Forest are eyeing a long-awaited return to the top flight, another former Premier League side, Oldham Athletic, are in real danger of slipping out of the league altogether.

Relegated from the top flight in 1994 alongside Swindon and Sheffield United, Oldham find themselves bottom of League Two seven points adrift of safety. Beaten 3-0 by Harrogate Town last time out and without a goal since Boxing Day, the Premier League is not just a long way off it’s a different world.

Championship teams and the last time they were in the Premier League

Fulham: 2020/21

Blackburn: 2011/12

Bournemouth: 2019/20

QPR: 2014/15

West Brom: 2020/21

Huddersfield: 2018/19

Nottingham Forest: 1998/99

Middlesbrough: 2016/17

Coventry City: 2000/01

Luton: Never

Stoke City: 2017/18

Sheffield United: 2020/21

Preston: Never

Blackpool: 2010/11

Millwall: Never

Bristol City: Never

Swansea: 2017/18

Birmingham City: 2010/11

Hull City: 2016/17

Cardiff City: 2018/19

Reading: 2012/13

Peterborough: Never

Derby County: 2007/08

Barnsley: 1997/98

READ MORE: When did the wheels fall off for previous Premier League surprise packages?

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