Everton are staring at the real possibility of relegation from the Premier League, something that has never happened to either Merseyside club.
Relegation from the top division hasn’t occurred for either team in 68 years and that was when Liverpool bowed out of the First Division, their place taken by a promoted side from the blue half of the city.
After narrowly avoiding relegation in 1952/53 season with a final day victory over Chelsea, Don Welsh’s side didn’t learn their lesson and found themselves dumped out of the league the following campaign.
Despite out scoring 10th placed Cardiff City, our defensive record was the worst in all four divisions (conceding 97 goals) and was enough to put the Reds down.
Writing for the Liverpool Echo after the fateful loss, captain Billy Liddell said: ‘It is very difficult to cultivate a happy blend when the fates seem to be against you, especially in the shape of injuries.
‘The successful team is the one with the least number of changes, the one that can play in a carefree manner without thinking off the consequences of the results.
‘Of course, it has been the opposite at Anfield, the injury bogey has been the cause of most of the bother.
‘Generally speaking, a team can usually reckon on having roughly half-a-dozen first team players injured during the season, but we have had more than our share’.
Given the fact that Frank Lampard’s side have six players missing for the next derby and their Merseyside rivals have already clinched success this season, could this all be a case of history repeating itself?
It took eight seasons and three managerial changes before Bill Shankly managed to get his side promoted in 1962, meaning the only meeting between the two local rivals in those years was a surprise 4-0 FA Cup win for the Reds in 1955.
If that’s an omen then we may not be seeing the team from Goodison Park until 2030, other than one shock cup loss in the midst of their absence.
Going back to Billy Liddell’s closing comments on a miserable season, this is how he closed his article to the fans: ‘ln conclusion, I would like to add my congratulations to Everton on achieving promotion to the First Division.
‘We at Liverpool are glad that this city will still have a representative in the premier division and we sincerely hope that Everton will have as successful a season next year as they have had this year’.
Nothing is confirmed and it’s still in Everton’s hands to stay up this season but should the worst happen for them, what are the chances we see Seamus Coleman wishing Jurgen Klopp’s side all the best for the season ahead?
Football has changed a lot since the 1950s but there are a lot of similarities between this campaign and the last time that a team from Merseyside suffered the indignity of being relegated.