In their bid to guard against the effects of second-season syndrome with a heartening FA Cup run, Hull City seem to have mistaken the antidote for the poison.
With Arsenal already qualified for the Champions League, the Tigers’ Wembley push has succeeded in lumbering them with a Europa League campaign in 2014/15.
The continental consolation cup is earning a burgeoning reputation for proving highly toxic when it comes the overachievers of the previous campaign.
Hull are 17/10 to crumble under the redoubled squad pressures they’ll face next term, when they’ll play at least ten extra fixtures, if, like Swansea, they avoid defeat in the qualification rounds.
The Swans finished 2013/14 four points worse off than they had done the previous campaign, despite investing more than £20m in 17 new players in the interim.
A four-point deduction would have been enough to see the Tigers survive by the skin of their teeth this term, thanks to Norwich’s woeful goal difference.
The Swans aren’t the only Premier League Icaruses who have seen their form go south alongside Europa League duties the following campaign either.
Where the Welshmen’s slide was modest, for all it looked at one time like they were headed for the seabed with pockets full of stones, Newcastle’s 2012/13 downfall was more drastic.
Close enough to taste the Champions League-affiliated lager when finishing fifth in 2011/12, the poisoned chalice of Europa League football contributed to a dizzying decline the following season.
The Magpies run to the last eight accompanied a comparatively poor league season in which they gained 15 points less than they had the previous campaign.
Although Hull owner Assem Allam may have deep pockets, merely adding squad depth doesn’t alone seem to counteract the extra competition’s negative effects.
Swansea proved that a pre-season investment in the bolstering of a side’s playing staff alone won’t guard against a European-football related slide in league form.
Meanwhile, Newcastle showed that an attempt to rectify the situation in the January window is equally unlikely to pay off.
Both were mid-table sides who had finished the previous season sitting far more prettily than Hull.