Sunderland always last on Match of the Day? New figures reveal the Premier League breakdown

Adam Johnson celebrates scoring for Sunderland
Adam Johnson celebrates scoring for Sunderland
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A common gripe among supporters of top flight teams is 'why is my team always last on Match of the Day?'

But new figures produced by the BBC may surprise one or two Sunderland fans - with the Black Cats having managed to avoid the dreaded final slot all season!

Sam Allardyce's Sunderland side are yet to be shown last, perhaps not a surprise given how many goals they have shared with sides, but they have been on first twice.

That puts them in a European slot in terms of teams shown first, with Everton, Leicester City, Man City all topping the bill on two occasions.

West Ham have been first three times, while struggling Chelsea have been shown first on five occasions.

Newcastle have managed it once, while Aston Villa, Southampton, Swansea, Tottenham, Watford and West Brom are yet to feature first.

Meanwhile, at the other end Everton, Stoke, Spurs and West Brom have all been shown last on three occasions - the highest amount among top flight clubs.

The figures for the Match of the Day running order for 2015-16 include fixtures up to the international break but exclude Match of the Day 2, midweek programmes and FA Cup highlights.

However supporters who complain about their team never being first on Match of the Day "should be careful what they wish for", according to the BBC's head of football.

Chelsea have appeared in the top slot on the main Saturday night highlights programme five times so far this season, two occasions more than the next nearest team West Ham, but all the Blues' top billings have been defeats as the reigning champions have endured a campaign to forget.

Everton, Stoke, Tottenham and West Brom share the dubious honour of being last on the most times so far - three each.

Mark Cole, the BBC's head of football, is delighted by the interest supporters take in the Match of the Day running order but pointed out sometimes it may be a good thing to be nowhere near the start of the show, especially as the battle to avoid relegation reaches its climax.

Asked if producers were conscious of a need to even things out across the season, Cole told Press Association Sport: "Not at all. Every week is done on its merits.

"I have said it before a couple of times - I think when fans of Hull weren't particularly happy that they never led the programme, for example - that actually, for those clubs that are in the relegation mix, it is a very good thing if you don't lead because when the relegation picture gets interesting, those sorts of games start to go at the top and I think if you don't ever lead Match of the Day, you are safe in the Premier League and there are hundreds of millions (of pounds in television income) coming your way next year.

"So 'be careful what you wish for' might be a rule for some fans!"