On This Day 2nd November 2002/3
Southampton played Manchester United away and ended up losing 2-1 in front of 67,691, after being level at 1-1 at half-time.
The four teams now missing from those in the Premiership that season are, Southampton, Middlesbrough, Charlton Athletic and Leeds United.
Middlesbrough were placed in 6th position and had an impressive looking four wins and two draws from their six home games.
Southampton were in tenth place two points behind Boro'. We had three wins from our six home games and three draws which was also quite a good stat.
Leeds United were in 13th position with 14 points, two more points behind. They still had a game in hand and better away form at the time though a home win would help alleviate that.
Charlton Athletic were in 17th place one place above the drop zone, separated by goal difference from the team below them.
For me this shows that those in the top league seem to have a massive advantage over other clubs.
The money that Premier League clubs receive must have a major bearing on the ability to hang around or bounce between the Premiership and the CCC.
Southampton are one of the few clubs that have fallen two leagues and the main reason for this could be that poor players were bought by the club.
I prefer to think that the fear of going broke played a significent part. Sheffield Weds and Leeds Utd are two clubs that have done well until hitting the brick wall monetarily.
All three clubs suffered the pain of money shortages and came close to oblivion.
Of the four clubs that are no longer in the Premier from season 2002/3 Middlesbrough are perhaps the only one not to have suffered real financial hardship.
Of the four clubs that are no longer in the Premiership Leeds stand the best chance at the moment of returning.
Middlesbrough are at present struggling in the Championship though I wxpect them to climb clear.
Southampton and Charlton are both fighting to escape from League One and are hoping to return to the Champioship at the end of the season.
Returning to Saints and their defeat to Utd. Our unbeaten run came to an end in a game of high quality and excitement.
United took the lead with a lucky deflection and then a superb goal from Fernandes brought Saints the equaliser they deserved.
Saints appeared to be matching United with everything they tried and were unlucky to lose to a goal 5 minutes from time when Forlan struck a 20 yarder into the top corner.
Good performance but unlucky to lose.