By virtue of their 3-0 loss to Newcastle United and Sunderland's win away to Manchester United, Cardiff City have been relegated from the Premier League, and will not get a chance to fight for survival on the final day of the season.
When Cardiff were promoted, most thought they'd have a decent chance to stay up. They didn't have the strongest squad, but they had a nice stable of young players, some experienced lynchpins in Peter Whittingham and Frazier Campbell, a manager that played a balanced style conducive to staying up and an owner willing to spend.
Their formula looked like a winning one from the start, and they looked even more like staying up by the end of the summer. The signings of Andreas Cornelius, Gary Medel, Steven Caulker and Peter Odemwingie were widely praised. They hung above the drop zone for most of the fall, but when things started to go south, owner Vincent Tan made the unpopular decision to sack Malky Mackay.
Tan's new appointment, well-regarded young manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, kept the fans from rushing Tan's office with torches and pitchforks. But by the time Solskjaer arrived, Cardiff were already a sinking ship. He was unable to turn them around, and now he'll (probably) face the tough task of getting Cardiff back up.
Assuming that Tan isn't going to abandon the club financially, Cardiff should stand a good chance of finishing in the top six in the Championship next season. A small handful of players will need to be sold or will demand to leave, but the core of a potentially great Championship side should remain. Then again, Tan doing something silly seems quite likely, doesn't it?