Willian Jose’s second-half strike condemned Sheffield United to life in the Championship as Wolves picked up a 1-0 victory at Molineux.
The Blades had known for weeks that the drop was inevitable but relegation from the Premier League was finally confirmed as they slipped to their 26th defeat of a miserable campaign.
This was the Yorkshire side’s fifth loss on the spin in the league, leaving them 19 points from safety with just 18 left to play for.
Hard to take
Former Sheffield United midfielder Michael Brown spoke for everyone involved with the club when he expressed his disappointment.
The 44-year-old Sky Sports pundit said: “It’s been a long time coming but we’ve really enjoyed the journey.
“The supporters haven’t seen it this year, which certainly hasn’t helped, but we have to remember the journey they’ve come on.
“From League One under Chris Wilder, some great times. The players did fantastically well coming up into the Championship and then the Premier League.
“The club is in a much better position financially now — they can grow.
“It’s been hanging over the players for some time. Now it’s about how the board react, who the next manager will be and it’s about the players — can they reproduce? Can they get a couple more in?
“They’ve got a good enough squad to go into the Championship, even though there will be one or two [leaving] for sure.
“But who’s the manager going to be? They have to improve the training ground and recruit in a balanced way.”
Paul Heckingbottom was placed in charge of the Blades until the end of the season when Wilder was sacked last month.
Did you know?
With six games remaining, Sheffield United have suffered the joint-earliest relegation in Premier League history, alongside Ipswich (1994-95), Derby (2007-08) and Huddersfield (2018-19).
The Blades are the first team to finish as high as ninth in the Premier League and be relegated the following season since Birmingham (ninth in 2009-10, relegated in 2010-11).
Only Sunderland in 2005-06 and Derby in 2007-08 (11 points each) have had fewer points on the board after 32 games in a Premier League season than Sheffield United this term (14).
Tonight’s victory secured a first league double for Wolves over their opponents since the 2013-14 League One campaign.
The Blades have lost 16 Premier League games by a single goal this season — the most in a single top-flight campaign since Ipswich in 1985-86 (also 16).
After a run of 35 Premier League games without a goal or assist, Wolves ace Adama Traore has now scored (one) or assisted (two) a goal in each of his last three games in the competition.
Sheffield United keeper Aaron Ramsdale has now conceded in each of his last 26 away starts in the Premier League.