1970–71 in English football

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The 1970–71 season was the 91st season of competitive football in England.

Football League[edit]

First Division[edit]

Arsenal won the league championship at the end of a season which would soon be followed by their FA Cup final tie with Liverpool. Arsenal secured the league title at White Hart Lane, the home of bitter rivals Tottenham. They narrowly overcame Leeds to win the league, with a 12-point gap separating Leeds from third-placed Tottenham. Wolves and Liverpool joined these two teams in the UEFA Cup. Chelsea missed out on the top five on goal average but compensated for this shortcoming by achieving European Cup Winners' Cup glory over Real Madrid.

Burnley and Blackpool (who won this year's Anglo-Italian Cup) were relegated to the Second Division. Burnley returned from 1973–74 to 1975–76 but Blackpool had to wait 39 years to regain their top flight status for the 2010–11 season.

Wilf McGuinness was sacked after 18 unsuccessful months as manager of Manchester United. Sir Matt Busby was re-appointed as manager on a temporary basis, but never considered returning to his old job on a permanent basis. Leicester City manager Frank O'Farrell was appointed at the end of the season.

Pos
Team
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Qualification or relegation
1 Arsenal (C) 42 29 7 6 71 29 2.448 65 1971–72 European Cup
2 Leeds United 42 27 10 5 72 30 2.4 64 01971–72 UEFA Cup0
3 Tottenham Hotspur 42 19 14 9 54 33 1.636 52
4 Wolverhampton Wanderers 42 22 8 12 64 54 1.185 52
5 Liverpool 42 17 17 8 42 24 1.75 51 01971–72 European Cup Winners' Cup0
6 Chelsea 42 18 15 9 52 42 1.238 51
7 Southampton 42 17 12 13 56 44 1.273 46 01971–72 UEFA Cup0
8 Manchester United 42 16 11 15 65 66 0.985 43
9 Derby County 42 16 10 16 56 54 1.037 42
10 Coventry City 42 16 10 16 37 38 0.974 42
11 Manchester City 42 12 17 13 47 42 1.119 41
12 Newcastle United 42 14 13 15 44 46 0.957 41
13 Stoke City 42 12 13 17 44 48 0.917 37
14 Everton 42 12 13 17 54 60 0.9 37
15 Huddersfield Town 42 11 14 17 40 49 0.816 36
16 Nottingham Forest 42 14 8 20 42 61 0.689 36
17 West Bromwich Albion 42 10 15 17 58 75 0.773 35
18 Crystal Palace 42 12 11 19 39 57 0.684 35
19 Ipswich Town 42 12 10 20 42 48 0.875 34
20 West Ham United 42 10 14 18 47 60 0.783 34
21 Burnley (R) 42 7 13 22 29 63 0.46 27 Relegation to 1971–72 Second Division
22 Blackpool (R) 42 4 15 23 34 66 0.515 23

Source: rsssf.com
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.

Second Division[edit]

Leicester City and Sheffield United were promoted to the First Division. Blackburn Rovers and Bolton Wanderers, two of the most famous and historic names in English football, were relegated to the Third Division.

Pos Club P W D L F A GA Pts
1 Leicester City 42 23 13 6 57 30 1.900 59
2 Sheffield United 42 21 14 7 73 39 1.872 56
3 Cardiff City 42 20 13 9 64 41 1.561 53
4 Carlisle United 42 20 13 9 65 43 1.512 53
5 Hull City 42 19 13 10 54 41 1.317 51
6 Luton Town 42 18 13 11 62 43 1.442 49
7 Middlesbrough 42 17 14 11 60 43 1.395 48
8 Millwall 42 19 9 14 59 42 1.405 47
9 Birmingham City 42 17 12 13 58 48 1.208 46
10 Norwich City 42 15 14 13 54 52 1.038 44
11 Queens Park Rangers 42 16 11 15 58 53 1.094 43
12 Swindon Town 42 15 12 15 61 51 1.196 42
13 Sunderland 42 15 12 15 52 54 0.963 42
14 Oxford United 42 14 14 14 41 48 0.854 42
15 Sheffield Wednesday 42 12 12 18 51 69 0.739 36
16 Portsmouth 42 10 14 18 46 61 0.754 34
17 Orient 42 9 16 17 29 51 0.569 34
18 Watford 42 10 13 19 38 60 0.633 33
19 Bristol City 42 10 11 21 46 64 0.719 31
20 Charlton Athletic 42 8 14 20 41 65 0.631 30
21 Blackburn Rovers 42 6 15 21 37 69 0.536 27
22 Bolton Wanderers 42 7 10 25 35 74 0.473 24

Third Division[edit]

Preston North End and Fulham finally had something to shout about by getting promoted to the Second Division. Reading, Bury, Doncaster Rovers and Gillingham slid into the Fourth Division.

Pos Club P W D L F A GA Pts
1 Preston North End 46 22 17 7 63 39 1.615 61
2 Fulham 46 24 12 10 68 41 1.659 60
3 Halifax Town 46 22 12 12 74 55 1.345 56
4 Aston Villa 46 19 15 12 54 46 1.174 53
5 Chesterfield 46 17 17 12 66 38 1.737 51
6 Bristol Rovers 46 19 13 14 69 50 1.380 51
7 Mansfield Town 46 18 15 13 64 62 1.032 51
8 Rotherham United 46 17 16 13 64 60 1.067 50
9 Wrexham 46 18 13 15 72 65 1.108 49
10 Torquay United 46 19 11 16 54 57 0.947 49
11 Swansea City 46 15 16 15 59 56 1.054 46
12 Barnsley 46 17 11 18 49 52 0.942 45
13 Shrewsbury Town 46 16 13 17 58 62 0.935 45
14 Brighton & Hove Albion 46 14 16 16 50 47 1.064 44
15 Plymouth Argyle 46 12 19 15 63 63 1.000 43
16 Rochdale 46 14 15 17 61 68 0.897 43
17 Port Vale 46 15 12 19 52 59 0.881 42
18 Tranmere Rovers 46 10 22 14 45 55 0.818 42
19 Bradford City 46 13 14 19 49 62 0.790 40
20 Walsall 46 14 11 21 51 57 0.895 39
21 Reading 46 14 11 21 48 85 0.565 39
22 Bury 46 12 13 21 52 60 0.867 37
23 Doncaster Rovers 46 13 9 24 45 66 0.682 35
24 Gillingham 46 10 13 23 42 67 0.627 33

Fourth Division[edit]

Notts County, Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic, Oldham Athletic and York City were promoted to the Third Division. Newport County set a new Football League record by not winning any of their first 25 matches. The Football League voted for the league's four bottom clubs to maintain their status.

Pos Club P W D L F A GA Pts
1 Notts County 46 30 9 7 89 36 2.472 69
2 Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic 46 24 12 10 81 46 1.761 60
3 Oldham Athletic 46 24 11 11 88 63 1.397 59
4 York City 46 23 10 13 78 54 1.444 56
5 Chester 46 24 7 15 69 55 1.255 55
6 Colchester United 46 21 12 13 70 54 1.296 54
7 Northampton Town 46 19 13 14 63 59 1.068 51
8 Southport 46 21 6 19 63 57 1.105 48
9 Exeter City 46 17 14 15 67 68 0.985 48
10 Workington 46 18 12 16 48 49 0.980 48
11 Stockport County 46 16 14 16 49 65 0.754 46
12 Darlington 46 17 11 18 58 57 1.018 45
13 Aldershot 46 14 17 15 66 71 0.930 45
14 Brentford 46 18 8 20 66 62 1.065 44
15 Crewe Alexandra 46 18 8 20 75 76 0.987 44
16 Peterborough United 46 18 7 21 70 71 0.986 43
17 Scunthorpe United 46 15 13 18 56 61 0.918 43
18 Southend United 46 14 15 17 53 66 0.803 43
19 Grimsby Town 46 18 7 21 57 71 0.803 43
20 Cambridge United 46 15 13 18 51 66 0.773 43
21 Lincoln City 46 13 13 20 70 71 0.986 39
22 Newport County 46 10 8 28 55 85 0.647 28
23 Hartlepool 46 8 12 26 34 74 0.459 28
24 Barrow 46 7 8 31 51 90 0.567 22

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

FA Cup[edit]

Main article: 1970–71 FA Cup

The 1971 FA Cup Final saw Arsenal beat Liverpool 2–1 to become only the fourth club in history and the second club this century to have won the league championship and FA Cup double.

Stoke City beat Everton 3–2 at Selhurst Park in a third-place playoff, held the day before the final. The biggest FA Cup shock, however, was Fourth Division Colchester United's 3–2 victory over Don Revie's Leeds United in the fifth round.

Barnet equalled the record for the biggest win by a non-league team over a Football League team by beating Newport County 6–1 in the FA Cup First Round.

League Cup[edit]

The final was held at Wembley Stadium, London. Tottenham Hotspur beat Aston Villa to win the 1971 Football League Cup Final and add to their list of trophies won under the management of Bill Nicholson.

European football[edit]

Leeds United won the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup against Juventus in the two leg Final and also took part in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup Trophy Play-Off which they lost 2–1 to Barcelona.

There was also success in London for Chelsea, who beat Real Madrid in the European Cup Winners Cup final to win their first ever European trophy.

Deaths[edit]

Ford Sporting League[edit]

The Ford Sporting League was a short-lived reward scheme sponsored by the Ford Motor Company. Its only season was that of 1970–1971. Clubs were awarded a point for every goal scored at home and two points for every goal scored away, but lost 5 points if a player was booked and 10 points if a player was sent off.[1]

Points could be earned over the first 42 league games (it did not apply to cup ties) only, so that the First and Second divisions were on an equal footing with the Third and Fourth.

Oldham Athletic won the competition, winning a pot of £70,000. League rules stipulated the prize money be used on stadium improvements, so the money went to build a stand in the stadium.[2]

The £70,000 prize fund was made up of 8 monthly prizes of £2,500 and then a final prize of £50,000. The points total was cumulative, which resulted in Oldham winning each prize available, as they picked up only four bookings and no red cards over the 42 game period.

Ford's sponsorship of the competition is notable, with the 1970–71 season marking a watershed for sponsorship in English football. In addition to the Ford Sporting League, the season saw the first Watney Cup and first Texaco Cup, although The Football League itself turned down an offer of £600,000 to sponsor the Football League Cup.

Star players[edit]

Frank McLintock was credited for his key role in Arsenal's double triumph with the FWA Player of the Year award.

Star Managers[edit]

Events of the season[edit]

  • 30 September 1970 – September ends with Leeds United still top of the First Division, two points ahead of their nearest rivals Manchester City. The challenge at the top remains a close one, with Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Chelsea all level on points. Burnley are bottom of the table with just one win from their opening 10 games.[5]
  • 31 October 1970 – Leeds United remain top of the First Division as October draws to a close, with Arsenal – two points behind them – now their closest challengers, as Manchester City have slipped to fourth place and the third place is now occupied by Tottenham Hotspur. Crystal Palace, in only their second season in the top flight, are sixth in the league and emerging as surprise outsiders for a possible title challenge. Blackpool and Burnley continue to prop up the rest of the First Division.[6]
  • 30 November 1970 – November ends with Leeds United still First Division leaders. They now have a four-point lead over Arsenal. Blackpool and Burnley continue their barren run and are still occupying the relegation places.[7]
  • 26 December 1970 – A thrilling league game at the Baseball Ground sees Derby County and Manchester United fight it out for a thrilling 4–4 draw.[8] Derby occupy 17th place in the First Division in their second season since promotion, while United stand 18th just over two years after European Cup glory and just over three years since their last league title win. Blackpool and Burnley's dismal form has yet to improve and they still occupy the two relegation places. At the top end of the table, Leeds United remain top and Arsenal remain second, with Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers still their closest challengers.[9]
  • 31 January 1971 – Leeds United now have a five-point lead over Arsenal, who have a game in hand, at the top of the First Division. The challenge from Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Wolverhampton Wanderers is becoming increasingly distant, while Manchester City's title hopes are fading even quicker as they now occupy seventh place. Last season's champions Everton stand 13th, level on points with Manchester United, with Blackpool and Burnley still unable to form a good run and climb out of the relegation zone.[11]
  • 27 February 1971 – Tottenham Hotspur beat Aston Villa 2–0 in the Football League Cup final.[12] On the league scene, Leeds United now have a seven-point lead over Arsenal, although the North Londoners have two games in hand. Manchester City have fallen away to eighth place, while Manchester United are enjoying something of a resurgence under the temporary leadership of Sir Matt Busby and have climbed from 18th place to 11th in the last two months. However, Burnley and Blackpool both remain in the relegation zone as their dismal form has continued.[13]
  • 31 March 1971 – With the league season now in its final quarter, it's looking like a two-horse race between Leeds United and Arsenal for the First Division title, as six points separate the two clubs but second placed Arsenal have two games in hand. Manchester United's good progress has continued as they now stand ninth in the league. At the bottom end of the table, Burnley and Blackpool's dismal season continues to show no sign of improvement as they still occupy the drop zone.[14]
  • 24 April 1971 – With the league season almost over, Arsenal have leapfrogged Leeds United by a single point, with the Gunners having three games remaining and the Yorkshire side only having two games left. Burnley and Blackpool, meanwhile, have had their relegation confirmed after a dismal season for both clubs.[15]
  • 8 May 1971 – Arsenal become only the second club this century – and the fourth in history – to complete the double of the league title and FA Cup with a 2–1 win over Liverpool in the Wembley final in extra time, with substitute Eddie Kelly (the first to score in an FA Cup final) scoring their first goal and young forward Charlie George scoring a late winner.[17]
  • 3 June 1971 – Leeds United lift the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup on away goals after drawing the second leg of the final 1–1 at Elland Road.[21]

Honours[edit]

Competition Winner Runner-up
First Division Arsenal (8*) Leeds United
Second Division Leicester City Sheffield United
Third Division Preston North End Fulham
Fourth Division Notts County Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic
FA Cup Arsenal (4) Liverpool
League Cup Tottenham Hotspur (1) Aston Villa
Charity Shield Everton Chelsea
Home Championship  England  Northern Ireland

Notes = Number in parentheses is the times that club has won that honour. * indicates new record for competition

References[edit]

  1. ^ Graham Kelly (4 February 2002). "British cup faces fight against odds". London: The Independent. 
  2. ^ "Stadium sponsor sought". Oldham Athletic A.F.C. 
  3. ^ Fixtures/Results – Manchester United FC – United Mad. Manchesterunited-mad.co.uk. Retrieved on 2011-191903-1923.
  4. ^ Manchester United FC News – United Mad. Manchesterunited-mad.co.uk (1970-191908-1929). Retrieved on 2011-191903-1923.
  5. ^ Manchester United FC News – United Mad. Manchesterunited-mad.co.uk (1970-191909-1926). Retrieved on 2011-191903-1923.
  6. ^ Manchester United FC News – United Mad. Manchesterunited-mad.co.uk (1970-1910-1931). Retrieved on 2011-191903-1923.
  7. ^ Manchester United FC News – United Mad. Manchesterunited-mad.co.uk (1970-1911-1928). Retrieved on 2011-191903-1923.
  8. ^ Derby County 4 – 4 Manchester United (Sat 26 Dec 1970). Therams.co.uk. Retrieved on 2011-191903-1923.
  9. ^ Manchester United FC News – United Mad. Manchesterunited-mad.co.uk (1970-1912-1926). Retrieved on 2011-191903-1923.
  10. ^ Wilf McGuinness | Latest Betting Odds. Soccer Base. Retrieved on 2011-191903-1923.
  11. ^ Manchester United FC News – United Mad. Manchesterunited-mad.co.uk (1971-191901-1930). Retrieved on 2011-191903-1923.
  12. ^ 1971 final TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2 ASTON VILLA 0 (unused) – £14.99 : Rare Match Tickets, Quality Used and Unused Football Tickets. Rarematchtickets.co.uk (2007-191902-1927). Retrieved on 2011-191903-1923.
  13. ^ Manchester United FC News – United Mad. Manchesterunited-mad.co.uk (1971-191902-1927). Retrieved on 2011-191903-1923.
  14. ^ Manchester United FC News – United Mad. Manchesterunited-mad.co.uk (1971-191903-1920). Retrieved on 2011-191903-1923.
  15. ^ Manchester United FC News – United Mad. Manchesterunited-mad.co.uk (1971-191904-1924). Retrieved on 2011-191903-1923.
  16. ^ [1][dead link]
  17. ^ [2][dead link]
  18. ^ [3]
  19. ^ 1971 European Cup-Winners' Cup final replay Chelsea 2–1 Real Madrid: unseen pictures of Peter Osgood, John Dempsey, Peter Bonetti and co, plus original Daily Mirror match reports and features from the time – Archive. MirrorFootball.co.uk. Retrieved on 2011-191903-1923.
  20. ^ Inter-Cities Fairs Cup 1970–1971 Results, Friday 28th May 1971. statto.com (1971-191905-1928). Retrieved on 2011-191903-1923.
  21. ^ Leeds United nostalgia: 1971 Inter Cities Fairs Cup final – Sport. Yorkshire Evening Post. Retrieved on 2011-191903-1923.
  22. ^ Frank O'Farrell | Latest Betting Odds. Soccer Base. Retrieved on 2011-191903-1923.