How many points has historically been enough to keep City up?

As we enter the final third of the 2018-19 campaign, City are still some way off what many assume in the Football League to be the magic 50-point barrier that will ensure survival.

In our own terms, that figure holds true: City have NEVER been relegated having achieved 50 points or more in a league season, irrespective of the number of league fixtures played. Furthermore, if you backdate the current three points for a win system introduced in 1981-82 to all City’s previous seasons, they’d also survive.

Looking back, here are all the points totals City have been relegated with, applying three points for a win:

2006-07 – 47 points
2003-04
– 36 points
2000-01 – 28 points (Premier League)
1989-90 – 41 points
1977-78 – 46 points
1971-72 – 43 points
1960-61 – 47 points
1936-37 – 39 points
1926-27 – 30 points
1921-22 – 43 points

City even survived one season with just 48 points (1996-97), as well as with 50, 52 and 55 points all in the last 30 years alone. So applying that logic, and math, alone, eight wins from City’s final 18 games will take David Hopkin’s side to 51 points. Realistically, that should ensure survival.

But what about the state of the League One table? It’s important for an argument such as this to look at the wider implications – and the baseline for survival – in recent years as well as City’s own record of never being relegated having reached the 50-point barrier.

Here’s the team that has finished fifth-from-bottom – one place outside the relegation zone – in the last 10 years, as well as the points they’ve achieved:

2017-18: Rochdale: 51 points
2016-17 – Gillingham: 50 points
2015-16 – Shrewsbury: 50 points (47 would have secured survival)
2014-15 – Crewe: 52 points
2013-14 – Notts County: 50 points (48 would have secured survival)
2012-13 – Colchester: 51 points (49 would have secured survival)
2011-12 – Leyton Orient: 50 points (44 would have secured survival)
2010-11 – Walsall: 48 points
2009-10 – Hartlepool: 50 points (survived on goal difference)
2008-09 – Carlisle: 50 points

Only once in the last ten seasons has any side been relegated from League One on 50 points or more; and then, Gillingham were only relegated on goal difference, meaning that 51 almost always guarantees survival. That is the figure City need to win eight more games to reach.

Those tallies above work out at an average of 48.5 points to reach safety – although it’s important to stress that no two seasons are the same.

So, with that in mind, are City fans more confident of staying up – or slightly more pessimistic?

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