Last night, Manchester City were crowned Premier League champions with three games to play. The literal dozens of City fans who celebrated outside the Etihad last night following Leicester's victory of Manchester United encapsulated the underwhelming nature of it all.
Around 100 fans have gathered outside the Etihad to celebrate Man City’s Premier League title. pic.twitter.com/x32v4x2pXU
— Matt Critchley (@MattCritchley1) May 11, 2021
This is nothing new.
Last season, Liverpool were an incredible 23 points clear when they were crowned champions last year with seven games remaining, the earliest in Premier League history. City themselves had 19 points to spare when they reached the 100 point marker in 2018, wrapping things up with five games still to play. Countless times through the years, the title has been wrapped up with plenty of the season to go. But at least we could all dig into a good relegation fight to get us through those last few weeks. This season, Burnley condemned Fulham on Monday night and confirmed what we've all known from months - Sheffield United, West Brom and Fulham would be in the Championship next season.
Has it ever happened that both the title and relegation have been done and dusted so early in the season? Yes, there's a Top 4 still to play for, but even that looks in danger of petering out before the last day. We've had a look back over the Premier League's 29 seasons to see if this is, in fact, the least dramatic Premier League season of all time.
Premier League Stats - Season By Season
|SEASON||TITLE DECIDED||RELEGATION DECIDED|
|1992/93 (42 Week Season)||Week 41||Final Day|
|1993/94||Week 41||Final Day|
|1994/95||Final Day||Final Day|
|1995/96 (38 Week Season)||Final Day||Final Day|
|1996/97||Week 36||Final Day|
|1997/98||Week 36||Final Day|
|1998/99||Final Day||Final Day|
|1999/2000||Week 34||Final Day|
|2000/01||Week 33||Week 37|
|2001/02||Week 37||Final Day|
|2002/03||Week 37||Final Day|
|2003/04||Week 35||Week 37|
|2004/05||Week 35||Final Day|
|2005/06||Week 36||Week 37|
|2006/07||Week 36||Final Day|
|2007/08||Final Day||Final Day|
|2008/09||Week 37||Final Day|
|2009/10||Final Day||Week 37|
|2010/11||Week 37||Final Day|
|2011/12||Final Day||Final Day|
|2012/13||Week 35||Final Day|
|2013/14||Final Day||Final Day|
|2014/15||Week 34||Final Day|
|2015/16||Week 35||Week 37|
|2016/17||Week 36||Week 37|
|2017/18||Week 34||Final Day|
|2018/19||Final Day||Week 37|
|2019/20||Week 31||Final Day|
|2020/21||Week 35||Week 35|
So, while the title has been mathematically decided earlier than this on five occasions, it's the first time relegation has been settled before the second last round of fixtures.
This weekend will see the first time in Premier League history that neither the title nor relegation will be at stake in the third last week of the season. It'll be only the sixth time that neither will be at play on the last day of the season.
Is it any wonder we've made The Top 4 such a big deal?