The Biggest Losers In European Football This Season 

The 2022/23 European football season is drawing to a close and a number of the continent’s top prizes are still yet to be determined. Both England and Germany have title fights that are going down to the wire. Then there are the small matters of UEFA’s elite competitions, with the Champions League, Europa League, and Europa Conference League all set to conclude on June 10th, June 7th, and May 31st respectively. 

While there have been a number of teams returning to prominence, such as Arsenal in England and Barcelona in Spain, there have been plenty of losers across the continent throughout the last 12 months. Teams that are usually expected to be battling it out for trophies in their respective countries have all fallen by the wayside. Clubs that are used to midtable security suddenly find themselves embroiled in relegation dogfights. 

Unfortunately for football fans, not every team can be a winner. And for these fans, they have had to endure particularly difficult campaigns. Here are the biggest losers from each of Europe’s top five leagues so far this season. 

England – Chelsea 

Is there anywhere to start other than Chelsea? The Blues are one of the most successful sides in the history of English football and they lifted the UEFA Champions League for the second time in the club’s history barely two years ago. However, as the 2022/23 Premier League season reaches its latter stages, the Stamford Bridge outfit is closer to the relegation zone than they are to European qualification. 

New owner Todd Boehly has played Russian Roulette with the club this campaign. He sacked his Champions League-winning manager Thomas Tuchel after just a handful of games and the man he chose to replace him with, Graham Potter, has already faced the axe. The club then spent over £300m in January and each and every one of the club’s new signings look like fishes out of water.

He has gambled like the punters do playing enticing slot games numerous times throughout the course of the current season. Risky maneuvers tend to pay off, as long as punters have responsible gambling practices in place. Unfortunately, Boehly is yet to come up trumps with his unpredictable tactics, as compared to patient gamblers who use strategic thinking successfully. And to make matters worse, The Blues have already exited every competition they entered this season, and with a midtable Premier League finish just around the corner, the last 12 months have been an unmitigated disaster. 

Chelsea are in need of a massive clearout in the summer. Mauricio Pochettino looks to be the man charged with the much-needed revamp at The Bridge, and whether the former Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain boss can assemble a squad capable of competing next term remains to be seen. 

Spain – Valencia 

The plight of Valencia is one of the saddest stories in European football. They reached back-to-back Champions League finals at the turn of the millennium, as well as winning La Liga twice in three seasons under former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez. As recent as 2019 the club was still dining at the most elite dinner table in European football, but in the four years since, the club has fallen off a cliff. 

Owner Peter Lim has plunged the club into disarray. He has relieved numerous members of his backroom staff of their duties, with both managers and directors of football being chopped and changed numerous times over the last half-decade. He has also sold all of the club’s best players and has been unable to come through on his promises of finally completing the building of the Nou Mestalla stadium, which has been under construction since August 2007. 

All of that has conspired to leave the club floundering in relegation trouble this season. They are currently outside of the relegation zone on goal difference and with Real Madrid still to play, there’s a very real chance that the club could drop into the second tier of Spanish football for just the fourth season in the club’s 104-year history. Should they drop into the Segunda División, there’s a very real possibility that the club as we know it could cease to exist. 

France – Paris Saint-Germain 

How can a club that is currently on course for its ninth French top-flight title in 11 seasons be considered to have had a bad season? Well, one just needs to ask Paris Saint-Germain’s Ultras, who are in dismay at the Parisian outfit’s top stars and owners. Superstars such as Kylian Mbappé and Neymar, as well as the greatest player to have ever played the game – Lionel Messi – have all roundly been booed many times this season. 

The club from the French capital was eliminated in the first knockout round of the UEFA Champions League for the fifth time in seven seasons. They were also eliminated in the quarterfinals of the Coupe de France in the round of 16 for the second consecutive season. To make matters worse, the club has suffered humbling home defeats to the likes of Lorient, Lyon, and Rennes in recent weeks. 

Fans of the club feel that the aforementioned Mbappé was given far too much power when he re-signed a moneyspinning new deal last summer. They are also looking forward to Messi leaving for free at the end of the season, and they will be hoping that Neymar follows his South American teammate out of the door as well.