Barnsley FC relegation hope: 2021-22 Championship year set to break records

THIS year is likely to create second-tier history.

Barnsley's Aaron Leya Iseka celebrates the second goal in the Reds' win over relegation rivals Derby in November. Picture: Tony Johnson.
Barnsley's Aaron Leya Iseka celebrates the second goal in the Reds' win over relegation rivals Derby in November. Picture: Tony Johnson.

Since 46-game seasons became the norm at English football's second level in 1988-89, no side has managed to stay up with 40 points or under.

That could well change in 2021-22 amid a Championship landscape where four clubs are cast adrift from the others at the wrong end of the table.

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The four teams entrenched in their own frenzied survival fight are Reading, Peterborough United, Derby County and Barnsley. Three will go down, but one - crucially - will survive.

Five points separate the fourth-from-bottom Royals, who have 22 points from 30 matches so far from the Reds, who prop up the table with 17 points from the same amount of games, 30.

Second-from-bottom Derby have 18 points from 31 games, factoring in their 21 point-deduction this season - 12 for entering administration in September and nine for historical financial breaches.

Posh, who occupy the final relegation spot, have taken 20 points from 29 matches.

Reading are ten points behind the two sides who are fifth and sixth from bottom respectively in Cardiff City and Hull City. Survival is purely a four-horse race barring something truly staggering.

The team to survive with the less amount of points in a second-tier 46-game season were Bolton, who stayed up with 43 points in 2017-18. Barnsley (41) occupied the final relegation spot in that campaign.

But there's a very good chance that points total would be enough to save the Reds this year.

Last season, in a dramatic final day of action, Derby County stayed up with 44 points in a campaign when Rotherham United and Sheffield Wednesday both went down.

Birmingham City famously retained their second-tier status with 44 points in 2013-14 in a similarly heart-breaking final day for Yorkshire. Blues survived at Doncaster Rovers' expense on goal difference after Rovers lost at Leicester.

Here are the second-tier teams who finished one place above the drop zone and their points totals in seasons gone by during 46-game seasons - followed by the sides occupying the final relegation spot.

2020-21: Derby (44). Wycombe third from bottom (43).

2019-20: Barnsley (49) - Charlton third from bottom (48).

2018-19: Millwall (44) - Rotherham third from bottom (40).

2017-18: Bolton (43) - Barnsley third from bottom (41).

2016-17: Nottingham Forest (51) - Blackburn third from bottom (51).

2015-16: Rotherham (49) - Charlton third from bottom (40).

2014-15: Rotherham (49) - Millwall third from bottom (41).

2013-14: Birmingham (44) - Doncaster third from bottom (44).

2012-13: Barnsley (55) - Peterborough third from bottom (54).

2011-12: Barnsley (48) - Portsmouth third from bottom (40).

2010-11: Doncaster (48) - Preston third from bottom (42).

2009-10: Crystal Palace (49) - Sheffield Wednesday third from bottom (47).

2008-09: Plymouth (46) - Norwich third from bottom (46).

2007-08: Coventry (53) - Leicester third from bottom (52).

2006-07: Hull (49) - Southend third from bottom (42).

2005-06: QPR (50) - Crewe third from bottom (42).

2004-05: Crewe (50) - Gillingham third from bottom (50).

2003-04: Gillingham (51) - Walsall third from bottom (51).

2002-03: Stoke (50) - Sheffield Wednesday third from bottom (46).

2001-02: Rotherham (49) - Crewe third from bottom (49).

2000-01: Crystal Palace (49) - Huddersfield third from bottom (48).

1999-00: West Brom (49) - Walsall third from bottom (46)

1998-99: Port Vale (47) - Bury third from bottom (46).

1997-98: QPR (49) - Manchester City third from bottom (48).

1996-97: Bradford City (48) - Grimsby third from bottom (46).

1995-66: Portsmouth (52) - Millwall third from bottom (52).

1994-95: Sunderland (54) - Swindon in final relegation place (48). Four teams relegated.

1993-94: West Brom (51) - Birmingham relegated third from bottom (51).

1992-93: Sunderland (50) - Brentford relegated third from bottom (49).

1991-92: Oxford (50) - Plymouth relegated third from bottom (48).

1990-91: Leicester (50) - West Brom in final relegation place (48). Two teams relegated.

1989-90: Middlesbrough (50) - Bournemouth third from bottom (48).

1988-89: Hull (47) - Shrewsbury third from bottom (42).