Only six sides have been Premier League ever-presents since 1992, and one of those is not Manchester City.
It is difficult to see how five superpowers of English football will find themselves in relegation danger any time soon, with finishing outside of the top four considered to be a disaster at Old Trafford, Anfield, Emirates Stadium, Stamford Bridge and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
There is, however, a real very threat that the English top flight will be losing one of its founder members in 2022. Everton are walking a very fine line at present, with Premier League relegation odds pricing them at 17/10 to take a tumble off that tightrope.
It is not the first time that the Toffees have found themselves in such a sticky situation, but they have always found a way of getting their heads above water before a plug is pulled on those left to sink without a trace. The clock is seriously ticking on another Houdini-esque escape act.
Frank Lampard was the man entrusted to oversee a scrap for survival at the end of January, with the former Chelsea boss deciding to make his return to the dugout under the brightest of spotlights on Merseyside. He may boast plenty of pedigree from his playing days, but the jury remains out as a coach.
Frank Lampard: The Story So Far… 🔵 pic.twitter.com/vyGLppZTdm
— Everton (@Everton) February 1, 2022
That is still the case with a finishing line now in sight for 2021-22. A modern-day legend of the English game is either going to enhance his reputation further, earning him the kind of plaudits that he has grown accustomed to down the years, or put another stain on it following a previous axe in west London.
For now, nobody at Everton is allowing themselves – at least not in public – to consider that Championship football may be on the agenda next season. With grand plans for new stadiums and expansion into new global territories being drawn up, top-flight competition is a must.
If the unthinkable were to happen, though, what could the picture at Goodison look like in 2022/23? You have to imagine that the likes of Richarlison, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Jordan Pickford and Yerry Mina would start to look elsewhere.
Big decisions would also need to be made off the field, with Lampard having signed a contract through to 2024 when putting his name on a dotted line. He knows that he is in a results business and deals are often not worth the paper they are printed on, but he would have expected to see out more than five months.
🍬 Everton will end the day in the #PL’s relegation zone for the first time since 6th December 2019, while this is the furthest into a season the Toffees have found themselves in the bottom three since 1998-99#LIVEVE pic.twitter.com/jgAusj0U0W
— Premier League (@premierleague) April 24, 2022
If Everton were, however, to suffer a first relegation in 71 years, then serious questions would be asked of him. He has impressed in the second tier before, guiding Derby to a play-off final in 2018-19, so maybe it would be better to stick than twist.
The Toffees are, of course, hoping that such a scenario never presents itself and that continuity remains the only sensible option after preserving a standing among the elite. They are teetering on the edge of a Premier League abyss, though, and it is up to Lampard to drag them away from the brink of disaster.