8 Lowest Points Totals in Premier League History

Manchester United kicked off the first ever Premier League season in 1992/93 by lifting the trophy, finishing ten points ahead of Aston Villa in second.

But things were just as interesting at the bottom of the table, where the once-mighty Nottingham Forest ended the campaign on 40 points.

The magic total may be enough to save clubs in this day and age, but it wasn’t enough for Brian Clough’s side, who were relegated to the Football League First Division alongside Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough. But it certainly wasn’t the worst tally ever recorded in the competition.

We take a look at the 8 lowest points totals in Premier League history.

1. Derby – 11 (2007/08)

Who could forget Derby’s infamous 11-point season? Their tails were up after beating West Brom 1-0 in the Championship play-off final, but things didn’t quite go to plan in the following months. The Rams won just once throughout the entire campaign, picking up 8 draws and losing their other 29 matches. Four of their points came against Newcastle.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Derby hold several unwanted records in the competition, including fewest wins in a season (one), fewest goals scored (20), most goals conceded (89), and subsequently the worst ever goal difference (-69). They also hold the record for most consecutive matches without a win (32), and to add further misery, the Premier League have confirmed that this record could continue if the club ever return to the top flight.

2. Sunderland – 15 (2005/06)

Fortunately for Derby, Sunderland hadn’t fared much better a couple of years before, although their 15 points and -43 goal difference was significantly better. The two clubs even share the records for most defeats and fewest home wins in a season with 29 and one respectively.

They posted just one victory by the time January had come around, which at least came against local rivals Middlesbrough. That win came in the middle of a three-game unbeaten run, but nine successive losses followed, a dismal time where the club fell into the relegation zone and never recovered.

3. Huddersfield – 16 (2018/19)

A more recent disappointing campaign, this time coming at the John Smith’s Stadium. The club had edged out Reading in the Championship play-off final two years prior, before finishing four points from safety in their first season back amongst the big boys. But their stay in the top-flight didn’t last long, and one year later they found themselves in a real battle for survival.

That battle was lost in miserable fashion, as neither David Wagner nor Jan Siewert could work their magic in the dugout. The Terriers won just three matches, conceding 76 goals along the way. Karlan Grant ended the campaign as their top scorer with four, despite only joining halfway through the season.

4. Aston Villa – 17 (2015/16)

Tim Sherwood replaced Paul Lambert in the dugout in February 2015, with the former helping avoid relegation from the top-flight by just three points. But things took a turn for the worse the following season, with Sherwood lasting only a few months into the new campaign.

He was replaced by Remi Garde as the club sat rock bottom of the table, but the Frenchman lasted just five months before leaving by mutual consent. Ex-Coventry boss Eric Black was temporarily put in charge, but he could do nothing to prevent the misery as Villa ended the season in 20th place with just three wins to their name.

5. Sunderland – 19 (2002/03)

The Black Cats once again find themselves in the list of lowest points totals for their displays in the 2002/03 campaign. Their four wins is one better than Villa’s, with Sunderland also going through managers like no tomorrow.

Peter Reid was the first victim of the sack, with Howard Wilkinson following soon after. Mick McCarthy was then brought in to steady the ship, but by that stage the club were already well and truly out of it. Their unwanted records include the most home defeats in a season (14), and the most consecutive defeats (15).

6. Portsmouth – 19 (2009/10)

Portsmouth make the list through default more than anything, but their performances can still be largely to blame for their relegation in 2010. With seven wins and seven draws, Pompey ended the campaign with 28 points, but were immediately docked nine of those for entering administration.

That sent them to the very bottom of the table, with matters off the pitch eased only by a stunning FA Cup run. But unfortunately for Avram Grant’s men, his former side Chelsea secured a narrow 1-0 victory at Wembley.

7. Norwich – 21 (2019/20)

The Canaries will undoubtedly be remembered for plenty of positive reasons for their performances last season, but it doesn’t stop their points total of 21 being one of the worst ever recorded in the competition’s history.

They entertained everyone from the very first moment, challenging Liverpool on the opening day of the season despite eventually falling to a 4-1 defeat. It was much of the same then on in, but a thrilling 3-2 win over champions Manchester City will go down in history as one of the most memorable evening’s in the club’s entire history. Not a single point from their final ten games of the season, however, proved just how difficult they found it.

8. Watford – 24 (1990/00)

Watford suffered relegation from the Premier League just last season with 34 points to their name, but that total was ten better than the 24 they achieved at the turn of the century. It was a then-record low at the time, and confirmed their relegation to the Football League First Division.

The Hornets recorded just six wins, conceding 77 goals in their 38 games. Two of those wins came against giants Liverpool and Chelsea, but it didn’t help their final position in the standings, with the club well off the pace behind fellow relegated sides Wimbledon and Sheffield Wednesday.

About the author

Peter Lynch

Sports Journalism graduate from the University of Stirling, huge Liverpool and Northern Ireland fan, currently working as a freelancer.