Reading and Queens Park Rangers were both relegated from the Premier League after they drew 0-0 at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday.
A win for bottom club Reading or second bottom QPR would have been enough to keep alive their slim survival hopes with three games to go.
But as had been the case all season, the Royals and Rangers lacked the required quality in the final third and they are now certain to start next season in the Championship.
Reading boss Nigel Adkins had refused to acknowledge his side were down before the game, but the home fans knew the truth well before full-time as they chanted ironically about looking forward to life in the second tier.
QPR chief Harry Redknapp had been more realistic about his team's survival chances and on the evidence of this error-strewn encounter neither manager can have any complaints about going down.
Adkins named the same starting eleven that lost 2-1 at Norwich, while Redknapp rang the changes as he replaced five players from their 2-0 defeat to Stoke last time out.
QPR were under intense pressure during the opening five minutes, but Nick Blackman shot high over Robert Green's bar as Reading failed to make the possession count.
Then when Rangers did launch their first attack of the game Jermaine Jenas followed suit by missing the target with a curling effort in the ninth minute.
The visitors continued to push forwards undeterred and had another decent chance just three minutes later from a set-piece.
Royals midfielder Jem Karacan upended Adel Taarabt on the edge of the box and Esteban Granero's follow-up free-kick shaved the woodwork as it sailed past goalkeeper Alex McCarthy and out of play.
As Reading began to push up, they were caught unaware several times.
Stephane Mbia chipped a weighted pass over the back four from inside the centre circle and Jay Bothroyd chased it down before controlling on his chest and attempted to lift the ball into the back of the net from the right-hand corner of the box.
McCarthy was already rushing off his line and did enough to put the striker off.
Reading's opportunities were more sporadic and when they did come, they too failed to convert.
With just seven minutes to go until half-time a goal-mouth scramble developed in the QPR box, however, Pavel Pogrebnyak and then Adrian Mariappa couldn't bundle the ball over the line.
In fact Reading probably saved their best chance of the half to the very last moment.
Jobi McAnuff cut in from the left wing and launched a stinging 30-yard drive goal-bound that Green managed to parry away from danger after shimmying to his left.
Despite both sides knowing they needed to win the game to have any chance of staying up, neither went for it after the half-time team talks.
Pogrebnyak came close in the 62nd minute when he cut in from the left, wrong-footed Jose Bosingwa, and shaped a shot just inches wide of the target.
The Russia international came closer seven minutes later as he headed down towards goal from Chris Gunter's cross.
Adam Le Fondre, on for Blackman, couldn't convert a headed chance and Jenas hit another shot wide in the frantic final moments.
But the result was a fair reflection of the poor football played between two sides who will now meet again next season in the Championship.