Following a seven-year stay in the Premier League, the Swans had a largely uneventful return to the Championship – finishing in tenth place without ever really threatening to secure a play-off spot, thanks mainly to their wretched away form in 2019.
That got us wondering, though, how do teams usually fare in their second season in the Championship?
A good number of teams bounce straight back up at the first attempt, but what about those who need a second season?
Well, the answer doesn’t make good reading for the Jack Army.
Second Season Syndrome
Indeed, you’d have to go way back to the 2007/08 season to find a team that got promoted at the second attempt – with West Brom the last team to do so having won the title that year, building on their fourth-place finish the season before.
To put that into context, during this period, 11 teams have managed to get promoted in the season following their relegation, but just one out of the remaining 23 sides has managed to do so in their second season in the Championship.
Even more worryingly, three teams have been relegated in this troublesome second season.
So, should Swansea fans be worried? I wouldn’t say so.
The Future is Bright
The club is one of the most stable in the Championship and has one of the most promising young managers in European football at the helm – at the time of writing!
What’s more, if the club can keep the young core of Joe Rodon, Connor Roberts, Matt Grimes, George Byers and, especially, Oli McBurnie and Daniel James together, it will surely become a case of when, not if, this side gets promoted.
Bookmakers also quite fancy the Swans’ chances of a return to the top-flight next season.
Indeed, Championship promotion to Premier League odds have Swansea down as the sixth-favourites to gain promotion in 2020, priced at around 20/1 to win the division.
The season just passed was very much one of consolidation and returning to the ‘Swansea Way’. A style that got the club into the Premier League, with plenty of admirers along the way, in the first place.
With the sale of several players required to close the financial deficit following relegation, the club made positive long-term moves with the appointment of Graham Potter, who has already started to mould a vibrant and youthful Swansea team for the future.
The club is looking further down the road and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that.
Too many clubs – in the Championship especially – operate season-to-season and attempt to throw good money after bad in the hope of securing a golden ticket promotion, before splurging more cash even if they do so. It catches up with nearly all clubs eventually.
Despite some worrisome statistics, therefore, Swans fans should remain excited for the 2019/20 season.
There’s no reason we can’t expect Graham Potter’s side to take things to the next level, while the first South Wales derbies since 2014 will also add a little spice no doubt.
It may have been 12 years since a team last got promoted in their second season following relegation, but Swansea are as well placed as anyone to end that streak.
Now they just have to hope the Graham Potter isn’t tempted by the Brighton job.