For Forest, Bournemouth, and Fulham, this season is daunting. Yes, they’re mixing it with some of the biggest and best teams in world football, but as teams like Norwich can attest, being able to buy Premier League tickets two seasons in a row isn’t as common as you’d think.

But it’s not all doom and gloom for newly promoted sides. In the 30 years since the Premier League’s inception, some very special newcomers have proved the doubters wrong and finished not just clear of relegation, but way, way up the table.

Here are five stories that should inspire this season’s newcomers.

A Quick Note: Before the Premier League

If you look back into the murky prehistory of football before the Premier League, you’ll find lots of inspiring stories. Leeds finishing fourth in 1991, Forest and Ipswich winning titles in their first seasons after promotion in 1978 and 1962 respectively. But football’s changed. And not even Mitrovic will fire Fulham to an unlikely title while City and Liverpool have squads worth nearly a billion pounds.

Number Five: Leeds United 2021/22 (59 Points)

Leeds spent 16 long years outside the Premier League, toiling away under nightmarish managers like Steve Evans, Dave Hockaday, and Neil Warnock. Then came Marcelo Bielsa, a Championship title, and a storming first season in the Premier League.

Leeds finished 9th, and even claimed a huge scalp – defeating Manchester City 2-1 at the Etihad with just 10 men.

Of course, the wheels came off last season, costing Bielsa his job. But still, it was nice while it lasted.

Number Four: Blackburn Rovers 1992/93 (71 Points*)

*42 game season, equal to 64 points in a 38 game season

Two words. Alan Shearer.

Kenny Dalglish bulked up his newly promoted side with the signing of a young forward from Southampton. Saints’ loss was Rovers’ gain as Shearer led a Blackburn blitz until his knee injury halfway through the season. Even without their talisman, Blackburn racked up enough points to finish fourth.

Nowadays, that would get a side into the Champions League, but back in 1993 Rovers didn’t even merit a UEFA Cup spot. Not that they cared – free of European obligations they built on their debut season and won the whole thing just two years later.

Number Three: Ipswich Town 2000/01 (66 Points)

Ipswich snuck into the Premier League having won the play-off final the season before. And they didn’t so much as glance back as they shocked the league and racked up win after win after win.

While they couldn’t replicate Alf Ramsey’s league title win of 1962 (a feat which earned him the England job where he’d win the World Cup and receive a knighthood) George Burley’s men did finish just four points behind runners-up Arsenal, and grabbed a UEFA Cup spot for their troubles.

Number Two: Nottingham Forest 1994/95 (77 Points*)

*42 game season, equal to 70 points in a 38 game season

It’s no wonder Forest fans are confident this year. Famously Brian Clough took Forest from Division Two to the title to European Club glory in consecutive years, but they’ve also shown what a promoted side can do in the Premier League era.

Fired up by a young Stan Collymore and his 22 goals, Forest went from the old Division One to third place in the Premier League. In fact, they didn’t spend a single day of the 94/95 season outside the top six.

It’d take some going to beat that. Which brings us on to…

Number One: Newcastle United 1993/94 (77 Points*)

*42 game season, equal to 70 points in a 38 game season

A year earlier, Newcastle had racked up exactly as many points as Forest would manage, but with a far better goal difference. In fact, no club scored more Premier League goals than the Magpies’ 81 that season – a tally that had Manchester United sniffing around their talented young striker by the name of Andy Cole.

Newcastle didn’t even start well – winning just two games of their first eight – but when they hit a patch of form they never looked back. And in just a few seasons, they’d be challenging for the title without Cole, but with a man who’d become a Toon legend. Alan Shearer.

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