Survival in the Premier League has become more important than ever. The money that teams receive for participating in the English top flight has never been higher so as the 2017/18 season enters the final stage we look at the race to the bottom.
When the Premier League signed the latest TV deal in 2015 it was worth an astronomical £5.136 billion with Sky paying the bulk of that money. They agreed to pay £4.176 billion to show 126 matches while BT Sport would pay £960 million for 42 games. This deal saw a 70% increase on the previous £3 billion deal.
The current rights are out for tender and it is expected that the amount bid will increase again. This is why every club is so desperate to stay in the top flight and all the clubs in the Championship are busting a gut to get promoted.
Out of the current group of teams locked in a relegation battle, West Bromwich Albion would appear to have the toughest task. They sacked Tony Pulis back in November and new man Alan Pardew has struggled to change the fortunes around. Premier League betting markets have their relegation odds at 1/8 which suggests they have little chance of staying up. The owner recently sacked chairman John Williams in an attempt to shake things up but it could be too little too late for the Baggies.
Stoke have looked a lot better since Paul Lambert took over with the team playing a free-flowing style that has seen them pick up some battling draws but they are yet to win on a consistent level. They are currently 10/11 for the drop in the betting but remain close to those above them.
Swansea’s transformation under new boss Carlos Carvalhal has been nothing short of remarkable. He has got the team playing a style similar to that which got the club promoted back in 2011. He won his first game in charge at Watford 2-1 and also won his first two home games against Liverpool and Arsenal. Their chances of surviving have risen with betting market giving them odds of 11/8 to go down.
Roy Hodgson has had a similar effect on Crystal Palace though they are still deep in the mire. The ex-England boss has overseen a far more organised style of play that has allowed the club to pull away from the bottom of the table. He will know better than anyone else that the season will go down to the wire but odds of 9/4 to go down are far better than they were back in November.
Finally, Southampton have to be worried. The south coast club have sold their best players on a regular basis season after season. This could be the campaign that it catches up with them and the loss of Virgil van Dijk in January will not help their chances. Manager Mauricio Pellegrino is staying positive but odds of 7/2 for the drop will have fans worried.
The other strugglers are Newcastle at 4/1, Huddersfield at 9/4 and West Ham at 9/1 but they will all be hoping that there are three teams worse than them this season so they can remain in the Premier League and reap the rewards of the new TV deal that will kick in after the 2018/19 season.