Southampton were relegated from the Premier League after Saturday’s 2-0 defeat against Fulham capped a nightmare season for the club rooted to the bottom of the table.
Second-half goals from Carlos Vinicius and Aleksandar Mitrovic condemned Southampton to the drop at St Mary’s.
Ruben Selles’ side are without a win in their last 11 games and their plunge into the Championship was confirmed with two matches still to play.
The Saints will return to the second tier for the first time in 11 years.
Southampton spent most of the season in the bottom three and Selles was unable to save them from the drop after replacing the sacked Nathan Jones in February.
Jones had lasted just 14 games as successor to Ralph Hasenhuttl, who was dismissed in November after four years in charge.
The warning signs were there for a while for Southampton, who finished a lowly 15th in the previous two seasons and suffered a 9-0 thrashing at Manchester United in February 2021.
Southampton are the first team to be relegated from the Premier League this season.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, a noted Southampton fan, was at St Mary’s to witness the last rites on Southampton’s painful campaign.
With just two home league wins this term, many Southampton fans had clearly accepted their fate before Saturday judging by the swathes of empty red seats in several sections of the stadium.
With Fulham in complete control, even more empty spaces opened up as supporters trudged away before the final whistle put Southampton out of their misery.
Boos and chants of “you’re not fit to wear the shirt” greeted confirmation of Southampton’s descent into the Championship as fans contemplated trips to Millwall, Plymouth and Rotherham instead of Anfield, Old Trafford and the Etihad Stadium.
“It has been coming. We knew we were in a difficult position,” Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse said.
“We need to go away individually and as a club and assess if we’ve done everything we possibly could. I don’t think we have and that is a shame.
“Have decisions been right? Have we done everything we could on a pitch? I think we should perform at a better level than we have done.