Can Harry "Houdini" Work Miracles At Loftus Road? Premier League History Says No!

Richard Smith by Richard Smith / 26 November 2012, 15:35

The appointment of Harry Redknapp as the new manager of Queens Park Rangers has left us at The Sack Race asking whether or not the former Spurs boss is capable of playing "Houdini" and guiding the West London club to Premier League survival this season?

In order to answer the question, we've had to delve in to the history books and our findings don't make great reading for fans of QPR who will be hoping that Redknapp can lead the great escape...

Four points after 13 games played, which is what the Rs currently have to show so far in 2012/2013, is the worst record of any team at the same stage in any of the previous 20 seasons since the Premier League began back in 1992.

Furthermore, only three teams have sat bottom of the table after 13 games played and managed to survive, the last team to do so was Southampton back in the 1998/1999 season, who, under the guidance of Dave Jones, managed to recover after picking up just seven points from a possible 39, to finish 17th, one place above the relegation zone with 41 points.

One of the other two teams that managed to turn their fortunes around was Everton, who sat rooted to the foot of the table in November 1994 with seven points from 13 games. That sequence of results saw the Merseyside Club part company with their manager at the time, Mike Walker, who, like the departing QPR boss, Mark Hughes, had only been in charge since January of that year.

In the same month, Everton appointed Joe Royle, who was charged with getting the Toffees out of a "sticky" situation and not only did he do that, guiding the team to a respectable 15th place finish, he also won the FA Cup that same season! Any QPR fans hoping that the similarities between their current plight and that of Everton 18 years don't end here can back their team to win the FA Cup at odds of 66/1...

Sheffield Wednesday was the only other club to be bottom at this time of year and survive come May. In the 1997/1998 season, the Owls had nine points after 13 games and like Everton, they too resorted to sack their manager, David Pleat, in a bid to save their season. Ron Atkinson took over at Hillsborough and the side managed to pick up 35 points from the remaining 25 games and finish 16th. However, two years later they weren't so lucky, relegated from the top flight in May 2000 after being bottom in November 1999.

Before QPR took the unwelcome honour of worst start to a Premier League season, that Sheffield Wednesday side of 1999/2000 shared the accolade with the Sunderland side of 2005/2006 and the 1993/1994 Swindon Town team, all of whom mustered just five points from their first 13 games and all were relegated!

Based on the stats, since the Premier League started, there is just a 15% chance that QPR will be able to buck the trend and survuve, which, in betting terms rates about an 11/2 chance. In contrast, history suggests there is an 85% chance that sides who are bottom in November, go on to get relegated, which, in betting terms translates to odds of around 1/6.

In reality however, the bookmakers are seemingly ignoring the trends and Ladbrokes are actually offering odds that suggest they are confident that Harry Redknapp will defy history, offering odds of 5/6 that Queens Park Rangers will go down and even money that they stay up (the projected odds based on the stats are 1/6 versus 11/2 remember) and bearing in mind their current position and the fortunes of those in similar situations in seasons gone by, if you was a "betting man" there's only one bet that represents value and that is for Rangers to go down!

The 25 games for Harry to live up to his "Houdini" namesake begins away at Sunderland on Tuesday night...

The Fate Of Teams Bottom After 13 Games

SeasonTeam Bottom After 13 GamesPoints After 13 GamesSeasons Total PointsOutcome
2012/2013Queens Park Rangers4??
2011/2012Blackburn Rovers731Relegated
2010/2011West Ham United933Relegated
2008/2009West Bromwich Albion1132Relegated
2007/2008Derby County611Relegated
2006/2007Charlton Athletic834Relegated
2004/2005Norwich City833Relegated
2003/2004Leeds United833Relegated
2002/2003West Bromwich Albion1126Relegated
2001/2002Ipswich Town836Relegated
2000/2001Bradford City726Relegated
1999/2000Sheffield Wednesday531Relegated
1997/1998Sheffield Wednesday94416th
1996/1997Nottingham Forest834Relegated
1995/1996Manchester City638Relegated
1993/1994Swindon Town530Relegated
1992/1993Nottingham Forest1040Relegated


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