Fulham's relegation to the Championship has been confirmed following another dismal defeat. The Cottagers were thrashed 4-1 by Watford at Vicarage Road, leaving them 16 points adrift of safety with just 15 left to play for.
They become the second team to be relegated after Huddersfield Town's Premier League stay came to an end following a 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace.
It has been a shocking season for Fulham, who have only lasted one year in the top flight having been promoted via the play-offs last term. They have managed to win just four of their 33 matches so far, losing 24. Their poor defensive record has been the main reason behind their struggles, indeed they have conceded 76 goals which is by far the worst record in the league.
Having spent over £100 million on players in the summer, including signing the likes of Aleksandar Mitrovic, Andre Schurrle and Jean Michaël Seri, much more was expected of the Cottagers this season.
Slavisa Jokanovic began the season in charge but was dismissed in November after picking up just five points from 12 matches. He was replaced by Claudio Ranieri, but despite an initial impact results eventually tailed off for the Italian and he too was sacked at the end of February.
Scott Parker was then brought in as caretaker manager until the end of the season, but he has failed to get the required results to rescue what was already a near impossible task and keep them up. The former England midfielder will now hope that he is given the job long-term and thus the opportunity to bring them back up.
Now that they are down, attention will turn towards a return to the Championship next season. Parker will perhaps use their last five matches to experiment with his squad, assessing who he feels will be up to the task for the 2019/20 campaign. But just how well will the Cottagers do in English football's second tier next year?
What odds are Fulham to be promoted straight back to the Premier League?
The big question will now be can Fulham bounce back and gain promotion straight back to the Premier League. It will certainly be a tough ask, the Championship is arguably one of the hardest divisions in Europe and plenty of relegated teams have struggled to go back up at the first time of asking - just look at Stoke City and Swansea City this season.
However, Fulham have very recent experience of success in the second tier which could work in their favour. A lot will depend on which players they keep hold of, it seems likely that they may have to replace top scorer Mitrovic who is likely to attract plenty of Premier League attention, whilst youngster Ryan Sessegnon has been linked with Manchester United.
But with the likes of Tom Cairney, Kevin McDonald, Denis Odoi and Tim Ream all likely to still be at the club, all of whom were crucial to their promotion a year ago, they do have a strong enough core which could compete.
Bookmakers think that they will be one of the promotion contenders and Sky Bet are offering odds of 7/1 for them to win the league, a shorter price than the 12/1 for Huddersfield. As for them just to be promoted, the odds are 5/2 with the same bookmaker.
Could Fulham suffer back-to-back relegations?
It is not unheard of for teams relegated from the Premier League to really struggle in the Championship and end up getting relegated again. It happened to Sunderland just a year ago, who just couldn't get going in the second tier whilst several other big clubs have dropped into the third tier down the years.
Fulham fans will hope that this does not happen to them, and a lot may depend on the business they do this summer. They need to go back to basics, try and get rid of some of the high earners who have underperformed and re-integrate those who were so good in the Championship last season and played a major part in earning promotion.
The bookmakers believe that Fulham will not be one of those clubs who drop straight through the Championship and into League One. Sky Bet are offering odds of 14/1 for the Cottagers to be relegated in the 19/20 season, the same price as it is for Huddersfield Town.