1897–98 Football League

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The 18971898 season was the tenth season of The Football League.

Final league tables[edit]

The tables below are reproduced here in the exact form that they can be found at the The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation website[1] and in Rothmans Book of Football League Records 1888–89 to 1978–79,[2] with home and away statistics separated.

Beginning with the season 1894–95, clubs finishing level on points were separated according to goal average (goals scored divided by goals conceded), or more properly put, goal ratio. In case one or more teams had the same goal difference, this system favoured those teams who had scored fewer goals. The goal average system was eventually scrapped beginning with the 1976–77 season.

Since the goal average was used for this purpose for such a long time, it is presented in the tables below even for the seasons prior to 1894–95, and since the goal difference is a more informative piece of information for a modern reader than the goal average, the goal difference is added in this presentation after the goal average.

During the first five seasons of the league, that is until the season, 1893–94, re-election process concerned the clubs which finished in the bottom four of the league. From the 1894–95 season and until the 1920–21 season the re-election process was required of the clubs which finished in the bottom three of the league.[2]

First Division[edit]

First Division
Season 1897–98
Champions Sheffield United
(1st English title) and as of 2010 last title
Relegated None
FA Cup winners Nottingham Forest (1st FA Cup title)
Matches played 240
Goals scored 724 (3.02 per match)
Top goalscorer Fred Wheldon (Aston Villa), 21
Biggest home win EvertonWest Brom 6–1 (27 Nov 1897)
Derby CountyNottingham Forest 5–0 (11 Apr 1898)
WolverhamptonThe Wednesday 5–0 (16 Apr 1898)
Biggest away win LiverpoolSheffield United 0–4 (5 Feb 1898)
Highest scoring The WednesdayNottingham Forest 3–6 (1 Jan 1898)
Longest winning run 7 matches
Sunderland (27 Dec 1897 – 19 Feb 1898)
Longest unbeaten run 14 matches
Sheffield United (1 Sep 1897 – 11 Dec 1897)
Longest losing run 5 matches
Stoke (6 Nov 1897 – 4 Dec 1897)
Highest attendance 50.000
Aston Villa - Sheffield United (15 Jan 1898)
Lowest attendance 1.000
West Bromwich Albion - Liverpool F.C. (13 Nov 1897)
Average attendance 9.396
Pos Team Pld W D L F A W D L F A F A GA GD Pts
1 Sheffield United 30 9 4 2 27 14 8 4 3 29 17 56 31 1.806 +25 42
2 Sunderland 30 12 2 1 27 8 4 3 8 16 22 43 30 1.433 +13 37
3 Wolverhampton Wanderers 30 10 4 1 36 14 4 3 8 21 27 57 41 1.390 +16 35
4 Everton 30 11 3 1 33 12 2 6 7 15 27 48 39 1.231 +9 35
5 The Wednesday 30 12 0 3 39 15 3 3 9 12 27 51 42 1.214 +9 33
6 Aston Villa 30 12 1 2 47 21 2 4 9 14 30 61 51 1.196 +10 33
7 West Bromwich Albion 30 8 5 2 25 16 3 5 7 19 29 44 45 0.978 –1 32
8 Nottingham Forest 30 7 5 3 30 19 4 4 7 17 30 47 49 0.959 –2 31
9 Liverpool 30 7 4 4 27 16 4 2 9 21 29 48 45 1.067 +3 28
10 Derby County 30 10 3 2 40 19 1 3 11 17 42 57 61 0.934 –4 28
11 Bolton Wanderers 30 9 2 4 18 13 2 2 11 10 28 28 41 0.683 –13 26
12 Preston North End 30 7 5 3 26 15 1 3 11 9 28 35 43 0.814 –8 24
13 Notts County 30 4 6 5 23 23 4 2 9 13 23 36 46 0.783 –10 24
14 Bury 30 8 3 4 25 19 0 5 10 14 32 39 51 0.765 –12 24
15 Blackburn Rovers 30 4 7 4 20 22 3 3 9 19 32 39 54 0.722 –15 24
16 Stoke 30 8 3 4 21 14 0 5 10 14 41 35 55 0.636 –20 24

Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against;
GA = Goal average; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points

Key
League Champions
FA Cup Winners
Into test matches

First Division results[edit]

Home \ Away[1] AST BLB BOL BRY DER EVE LIV NOT NTC PRE SHE STO SUN WED WBA WOL
Aston Villa 5–1 3–2 3–1 4–1 3–0 3–1 2–0 4–2 4–0 1–2 1–1 4–3 5–2 4–3 1–2
Blackburn Rovers 4–3 1–3 1–1 1–1 1–1 2–1 1–1 0–1 1–0 1–1 1–1 2–1 1–1 1–3 2–3
Bolton Wanderers 2–0 1–2 0–0 3–3 1–0 0–2 2–0 1–0 1–0 0–1 2–1 1–0 0–3 2–0 2–1
Bury 1–2 1–0 2–1 4–0 0–1 0–2 2–2 0–0 1–0 2–5 3–3 1–0 3–0 3–2 2–1
Derby County 3–1 3–1 1–0 2–2 5–1 3–1 5–0 1–2 3–1 1–1 4–1 2–2 1–2 3–2 3–2
Everton 2–1 1–1 2–1 4–2 3–0 3–0 2–0 1–0 1–1 1–4 1–1 2–0 1–0 6–1 3–0
Liverpool 4–0 0–1 1–1 2–2 4–2 3–1 1–2 2–0 0–0 0–4 4–0 0–2 4–0 1–1 1–0
Nottingham Forest 3–1 3–1 2–0 3–1 3–4 2–2 2–3 1–1 4–1 1–1 3–1 1–1 1–0 0–1 1–1
Notts County 2–3 0–0 1–2 2–1 1–1 3–2 3–2 1–3 1–1 1–3 4–0 0–1 0–0 2–2 2–2
Preston North End 3–1 1–4 0–0 2–1 5–0 1–1 1–1 3–0 3–1 1–3 0–0 2–0 2–0 1–1 1–2
Sheffield United 1–0 5–2 4–0 1–1 2–1 0–0 1–2 1–1 0–1 2–1 4–3 1–0 1–1 2–0 2–1
Stoke City 0–0 2–1 2–0 3–1 2–1 2–0 2–2 1–2 2–0 1–2 2–1 0–1 2–1 0–0 0–2
Sunderland 0–0 2–1 2–0 2–1 2–1 0–0 1–0 4–0 2–0 1–0 3–1 4–0 1–0 0–2 3–2
The Wednesday 3–0 4–1 3–0 3–0 3–1 2–1 4–2 3–6 3–1 2–1 0–1 4–0 0–1 3–0 2–0
West Bromwich Albion 1–1 1–1 2–0 1–0 3–1 2–2 2–1 2–0 0–3 3–1 2–0 2–0 2–2 0–2 2–2
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1–1 3–2 2–0 3–0 2–0 2–3 2–1 0–0 3–1 3–0 1–1 4–2 4–2 5–0 1–1

Source: [1]
^ The home team is listed in the left-hand column.
Colours: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.

Test matches 1898[edit]

The test matches were a kind of play-offs, in which the bottom 1st Division teams faced the top 2nd Division teams. The 1st Division teams, if coming out as winners, would retain their places in the division. If a 2nd Division team won, it would be considered for 1st Division membership through an election process. Losing 2nd Division teams would stay in the 2nd Division.

First Round[edit]

Final[edit]

Third Place[edit]

Test Match Summary[edit]

Reference works, such Encyclopedia of British Football,[3] and Association Football[4] present the following table with the heading given above.

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
(1st Div. 15th) Blackburn Rovers 1–5 Burnley (2nd Div. Champions) 1–3
Thu 21 Apr
0–2
Sat 23 Apr
(2nd Div. 2nd) Newcastle United 2–2 Stoke (1st Div. 16th) 2–1
Wed 20 Apr
0–1
Sat 23 Apr
Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
(2nd Div. Champions) Burnley 0–2 Stoke (1st Div. 16th) 0–2
Tue 26 Apr
0–0
Sat 30 Apr
Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
(1st Div. 15th) Blackburn Rovers 4–7 Newcastle United (2nd Div. 2nd) 4–3
Thu 28 Apr
0–4
Sat 30 Apr
Pos Team Pld W D L F A GD Pts
1 Stoke 4 2 1 1 4 2 +2 5
2 Burnley 4 2 1 1 5 3 +2 5
3 Newcastle United 4 2 0 2 9 6 +3 4
4 Blackburn Rovers 4 1 0 3 5 12 –7 2
Key
Elected to play in First Division
To remain in Second Division, eventually promoted to First Division

Test Match Consequences[edit]

Burnley and Stoke City entered the last match needing a draw for promotion (or in Stoke's case to retain their First Division place). A 0–0 draw ensued, reportedly 'The Match without a shot at goal' and the League immediately withdrew the Test Match system in favour of automatic promotion and relegation. Ironically, the League also decided to expand the top division to 18 teams after the Test Match series of 1897–98 and the other two teams, Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United also went into the top division for the following season, negating the effect of Burnley and Stoke's reputed collusion. In the end, the test matches and their results seem to have served no particular purpose. After this season the test matches were scrapped in favour of direct promotion and relegation.

Second Division[edit]

Second Division
Season 1897–98
Champions Burnley (1st title)
Promoted Burnley
Newcastle United
Failed re-election None
Matches played 240
Goals scored 860 (3.58 per match)
Top goalscorer Henry Boyd (Newton Heath), 23 [5]
Biggest home win Manchester CityBurton Swifts 9–0 (16 Apr 1898)
Biggest away win LoughboroughGainsborough Trinity 0–5 (5 Feb 1898)
Highest scoring BurnleyLoughborough 9–3 (28 Mar 1898)
Luton TownLincoln City 9–3 (18 Dec 1898)
Longest winning run 7 matches
Manchester City F.C. (1 Sep 1897 – 16 Oct 1897)
Longest unbeaten run 16 matches
Burnley (30 Oct 1897 – 19 Mar 1898)
Longest losing run 11 matches
Darwen (12 Feb 1898 – 23 Apr 1898)
Loughborough (3 Jan 1898 – 8 Apr 1898)
Pos Team Pld W D L F A W D L F A F A GA GD Pts
1 Burnley[6] 30 14 1 0 64 13 6 7 2 16 11 80 24 3.333 +56 48
2 Newcastle United[6] 30 14 0 1 43 10 7 3 5 21 22 64 32 2.000 +32 45
3 Manchester City 30 10 4 1 45 15 5 5 5 21 21 66 36 1.833 +30 39
4 Newton Heath 30 11 2 2 42 10 5 4 6 22 25 64 35 1.829 +29 38
5 Woolwich Arsenal 30 10 4 1 41 14 6 1 8 28 35 69 49 1.408 +20 37
6 Small Heath 30 11 1 3 37 18 5 3 7 21 32 58 50 1.160 +8 36
7 Leicester Fosse 30 8 5 2 26 11 5 2 8 20 24 46 35 1.314 +11 33
8 Luton Town 30 10 2 3 50 13 3 2 10 18 37 68 50 1.360 +18 30
9 Gainsborough Trinity 30 10 4 1 30 12 2 2 11 20 42 50 54 0.926 –4 30
10 Walsall 30 9 3 3 42 15 3 2 10 16 43 58 58 1.000 ±0 29
11 Blackpool 30 8 4 3 32 15 2 1 12 17 46 49 61 0.803 –12 25
12 Grimsby Town 30 9 1 5 44 24 1 3 11 8 38 52 62 0.839 –10 24
13 Burton Swifts 30 7 3 5 25 21 1 2 12 13 48 38 69 0.551 –31 21
14 Lincoln City 30 6 3 6 27 27 0 2 13 16 55 43 82 0.524 –39 17
15 Darwen 30 4 1 10 21 32 2 1 12 10 44 31 76 0.408 –45 14
16 Loughborough 30 5 2 8 15 26 1 0 14 9 61 24 87 0.276 –63 14

Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against;
GA = Goal average; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points

Key
Division Champions, into test matches
Into test matches
New club in the league
Re-elected
Failed re-election (none)

Second Division results[edit]

Home \ Away[1] BLP BUR BRS DRW GAI GRI LEI LIN LOU LUT MNC NEW NWH SMH WAL WOO
Blackpool 1–1 2–1 1–0 5–0 1–1 2–1 5–0 4–0 1–0 0–2 2–3 0–1 4–1 1–1 3–3
Burnley 5–1 2–0 6–1 1–1 6–0 4–0 2–1 9–3 4–0 3–1 3–0 6–3 4–1 4–1 5–0
Burton Swifts 2–1 0–2 2–0 1–1 4–0 2–3 1–1 3–0 2–1 0–0 3–1 0–4 1–3 3–2 1–2
Darwen 3–1 0–1 1–2 2–4 1–0 1–2 3–2 2–1 0–2 2–4 1–3 2–3 1–1 1–2 1–4
Gainsborough Trinity 4–1 0–0 3–2 3–1 2–0 1–0 4–0 4–0 3–3 1–0 1–3 2–1 0–0 1–1 1–0
Grimsby Town 3–0 2–1 7–2 5–0 4–2 0–0 4–2 7–0 1–3 3–4 2–0 1–3 3–1 1–2 1–4
Leicester Fosse 4–1 0–1 1–1 0–1 3–1 1–0 3–1 4–0 1–1 0–0 1–1 1–1 2–0 3–1 2–1
Lincoln City 3–2 1–1 3–0 2–2 2–1 1–1 1–4 2–3 4–2 2–1 2–3 1–0 1–2 0–2 2–3
Loughborough 0–2 0–2 3–2 0–1 0–5 2–1 1–1 4–2 2–0 0–3 0–1 0–0 0–2 2–1 1–3
Luton Town 3–1 2–0 1–1 3–0 4–0 6–0 0–1 9–3 7–0 3–0 3–1 2–2 1–2 6–0 0–2
Manchester City 3–3 1–1 9–0 5–0 3–0 3–0 2–1 3–1 3–0 2–1 1–1 0–1 3–3 3–2 4–1
Newcastle United 2–0 0–1 3–1 1–0 5–2 4–0 4–2 3–0 3–1 4–1 2–0 2–0 4–0 2–1 4–1
Newton Heath 4–0 0–0 4–0 3–2 1–0 2–1 2–0 5–0 5–1 1–2 1–1 0–1 3–1 6–0 5–1
Small Heath 2–3 2–2 2–1 5–1 4–3 0–2 2–1 4–0 1–0 4–2 0–1 1–0 2–1 6–0 2–1
Walsall 6–0 1–2 4–0 5–0 3–0 1–1 2–1 3–1 3–0 5–0 2–2 2–3 1–1 1–2 3–2
Woolwich Arsenal 2–1 1–1 3–0 3–1 4–0 4–1 0–3 2–2 4–0 3–0 2–2 0–0 5–1 4–2 4–0

Source: Ian Laschke: Rothmans Book of Football League Records 1888–89 to 1978–79. Macdonald and Jane’s, London & Sydney, 1980.
^ The home team is listed in the left-hand column.
Colours: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "England 1897–98". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Archived from the original on 5 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-24. 
  2. ^ a b Ian Laschke: Rothmans Book of Football League Records 1888–89 to 1978–79. Macdonald and Jane’s, London & Sydney, 1980.
  3. ^ Soar, Phil & Tyler, Martin: Encyclopedia of British Football, Willow Books, London. Fourth, updated and revised edition, 1984, p. 168.
  4. ^ A. H. Fabian & Green, Geoffrey: Association Football, Volume Two, p. 236. The Caxton Publishing Company Ltd., London, 1960.
  5. ^ "English League Leading Goalscorers". RSSSF. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  6. ^ a b Promoted to the expanded First Division.

External links[edit]

  • Ian Laschke: Rothmans Book of Football League Records 1888–89 to 1978–79. Macdonald and Jane’s, London & Sydney, 1980.