A cloud of misery could well descend over a number of Lancastrian towns come next spring, with several of the county’s football teams in grave danger of the drop.
And so we decided to give our schadenfreude muscles a decent workout by backing four Lancashire sides to be relegated from their respective divisions this season.
First up it’s League 2, where there may be trouble in the seaside paradise that is Morecambe.
The Shrimps look a poor outfit this year, and are favourites at 21/10 to start 2018/19 as a non-league team.
Last time out they finished 18th, but appear weaker at the beginning of this campaign. Few would be surprised to see them end up rock bottom in the division.
One step up the ladder, things look bleak for the basket case that is Blackpool FC.
Under the Oystons, the least popular dynasty in British football, the Tangerines have been in steady decline – largely as a result of their owners’ “eccentric” style of administration.
They’ve come a long way since the glorious Premier League days of Holloway, Adam and Taylor-Fletcher, and they may find the pull of the league’s fourth tier impossible to resist.
Next, the Championship. Famously the most difficult division to get out of – except when you’re kicked down to League 1 – there are several prime candidates for relegation.
But, sticking to our Red Rose theme, we’ve chosen Preston North End, who recently lost in the cup to League 2 Accrington Stanley.
Priced at 9/2, Preston are by no means guaranteed to sink a level, but the way things are going at Deepdale, it would hardly be a shock to see them lining up in the third tier next year.
Moving on to the Premier League, Burnley look to be one of the frontrunners in the race for those sweet sweet parachute payments.
Sean Dyche’s side are a pretty uninspiring outfit boasting little in the way of star quality, and have also just lost Andre Gray to Watford.
The manager would be doing well to keep his charges out of the bottom three by the time the daffodils are blooming in 2018.
Only a poor Huddersfield side look to be in worse shape. But at 6/5, Burnley look to be decent value.
Taking those four selections, a 5 quid stake returns £450.12.
- Burnley to be relegated from the Premier League – 6/5
- Preston to be relegated from the Championship – 9/2
- Blackpool to be relegated from League 1 – 7/5
- Morecambe to be relegated from League 2 – 21/10