Newcastle United Football Club has undergone a massive transformation in recent years after a big-money takeover in 2021.
Since the takeover, the Magpies have gone from relegation candidates to a team capable of challenging near the top of the Premier League.
The recent relative success is a world away from the prior regime. It was not long ago that the north east team were seemingly in a perennial period of fighting for their top-flight status.
Here is the story of when Newcastle last suffered relegation from the Premier League:
Newcastle suffer relegation in 2016
The Magpies last suffered relegation in season 2015/16 after an absolutely woeful campaign in the English top-flight. The Magpies were in their sixth straight season in the Premier League, but they only beat the drop the previous season by recording a 2-0 win over West Ham.
The north east club appointed ex-England Steve McClaren as their new head coach in June 2015. He also joined the club’s board of directors.
McClaren’s appointment turned out to be a disastrous one for the north east club. The former Middlesbrough boss headed for the exit on March 11th 2016, with his team in 19th place and staring down the barrel of relegation.
The Magpies had won just six of their opening 28 Premier League matches before his dismissal.
His replacement was former Liverpool and Valencia head coach Rafa Benitez, who signed a three-year deal with the club. In truth, the Spaniard had been more accustomed to being at the right end of the table.
Many associated with Newcastle believed that his appointment was a case of too little too late for the team to beat the drop. It turned out they were right, as, at the end of the campaign, United finished in 18th place in the table after collecting 37 points.
What made the relegation worse was the fact that bitter-rivals Sunderland finished just two points ahead of the Magpies in 17th place and beat the drop.
In truth, Benitez had done a decent job in his short time at the club. They even mounted a six-game unbeaten run at the end of the season, which included picking up draws against Liverpool and Manchester City, as well as hammering Tottenham 5-1 on the final day of the season.
However, Benitez just ran out of games to save the ailing team from the drop to the Championship.
As expected, many players left for pastures new in the summer of 2016, including Dutch international star Georginio Wijnaldum, who had scored an impressive eleven goals in the Premier League.
The midfielder made a £23million move to Liverpool, where he became a vital player for Jurgen Klopp’s team, establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with at home and abroad.
Bouncing straight back
However, Newcastle didn’t remain in the Championship for long, as the Magpies won an immediate promotion back to the top flight by winning the second-tier title.
Despite speculation that Benitez may leave after relegation, the Spaniard stayed and guided his team to an impressive 94 points.
One of the star performers was striker Dwight Gayle, who fired home 23 goals, while Scotland international Matt Ritchie, who is still with the club at the time of writing, scored an impressive 16 times in the second tier.
The Toon Army hailed Benitez as a hero, and he went on to establish the club back in the Premier League despite some tight financial restraints. The Spaniard left in the summer of June 2019 after his contract expired. However, he is still highly regarded in Tyneside for the work he did in his short tenure with the club.
A case of history repeating itself
Unfortunately for Newcastle, the relegation in season 2015/16 was not their first in the Premier League era, as in season 2008/09, the Magpies suffered the same fate despite having an expensive and supposedly highly-rated squad.
The club owner at the time of relegation was the unpopular London businessman Mike Ashley, who oversaw both of the team’s relegations to the Championship.
A bright new era for the club
In October 2021, Mike Ashley sold his majority stake in Newcastle United to the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. Reportedly, then-British Prime Minister Boris Johnson assisted the deal in an effort to maintain strong diplomatic links with the Gulf state.
The takeover ended a difficult period for Newcastle and has seemingly brought a bright new era to the north east club.
It seems unlikely they will suffer the heartbreak of a third relegation from the Premier League anytime soon, with challenging at the right end of the English top-flight table now a more likely outcome for the wealthy Magpies.
Do you remember the last time Newcastle suffered relegation from the Premier League?