1990–91 in English football

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The 1990–91 season was the 111th season of competitive football in England.

Overview[edit]

First Division[edit]

Arsenal won the First Division after losing just one of their league matches all season. Liverpool, who had led the table for much of the first half of the season but had been shell-shocked in February by the sudden resignation of manager Kenny Dalglish, finished runners-up. Third place went to Crystal Palace, who occupied their highest-ever finish, but were denied qualification for the UEFA Cup due to Liverpool being readmitted to European competition a year earlier than anticipated.

Newly promoted Leeds United had a good season back in the First Division as they finished fourth, and also reached the semi-finals of the League Cup.

At the bottom of the table, Derby County went down in last place with just five wins all season despite the 17 league goals of Welsh striker Dean Saunders, who was then sold to Liverpool. The other relegation place went to Sunderland, who were relegated on the last day of the season.

Second Division[edit]

Joe Royle's Oldham Athletic side won the Second Division championship ahead of West Ham United, who were promoted as runners-up. Joining them in promotion were League Cup winners Sheffield Wednesday, who finished in third place. Neil Warnock guided Notts County to a second successive victory in the promotion play-offs.

Hull City and West Bromwich Albion were relegated.

Third Division[edit]

Champions Cambridge United, runners-up Southend United and third-placed Grimsby Town occupied the automatic promotion places and all achieved second successive promotions. The fourth promotion place went to play-off winners Tranmere Rovers, who ended a 53-year absence from the Second Division and signed ex-Liverpool striker John Aldridge.

Going down to the Fourth Division were Crewe Alexandra, Rotherham United and Mansfield Town.

Fourth Division[edit]

Brian Little's Darlington won the Fourth Division championship to earn a second successive promotion, while the other four promotion places went to Stockport County, Hartlepool United, Peterborough United and Torquay United. Torquay were the play-off winners, beating Blackpool in a penalty shoot-out in the final, the first time the system had been used to determine a promotion place in the Football League.

Wrexham finished bottom of the league, but avoided relegation into the Conference.

FA Cup[edit]

Tottenham Hotspur beat Nottingham Forest 2–1 after extra time in the FA Cup final. The decisive goal was an own goal by Forest defender Des Walker. Tottenham's triumph was overshadowed by a knee injury to star midfielder Paul Gascoigne in the opening 15 minutes.

League Cup[edit]

Sheffield Wednesday earned a shock 1–0 victory over their manager Ron Atkinson's old club Manchester United in the final thanks to a goal from John Sheridan.

Top goalscorers[edit]

First Division[edit]

Second Division[edit]

Third Division[edit]

Fourth Division[edit]

Diary of the season[edit]

10 July 1990 – FIFA confirms that English clubs will be re-admitted to European competitions after a five-year ban. Manchester United, last season's FA Cup winners, will enter the European Cup Winners' Cup. However, there will initially be just one UEFA Cup place for English clubs, this season going to league runners-up Aston Villa. There will be no English representation in the European Cup, as league champions Liverpool will serve an extra year of the ban as a result of the Heysel Stadium disaster in 1985.

20 July 1990 – Manchester City pay a club record £1 million for Watford goalkeeper Tony Coton.[2]

23 July 1990 – Graham Taylor accepts The Football Association's offer to take charge of the England national football team, with Czech national coach Jozef Venglos succeeding him at Aston Villa.

31 July 1990 – Aldershot are wound up in the High Court with debts of £495,000.

1 August 1990 – The Football League confirms that it will revert to a 22-club First Division for the 1991–92 season, while total league membership will be increased to 94 clubs for the 1992–93 season, with the Second, Third and Fourth Divisions each having 24 clubs. Sheffield Wednesday striker Dalian Atkinson signs for Real Sociedad of Spain for £1.7 million.

7 August 1990 – Aldershot are saved from closure by a £200,000 rescue package put together by 19-year-old property developer Spencer Trethewy.[3]

18 August 1990 – Liverpool and Manchester United share the Charity Shield after a 1–1 draw at Wembley.

23 August 1990 – Oldham Athletic pay a club record £460,000 for Nottingham Forest striker David Currie. Leeds United are warned that they face expulsion from the Football League if measures aimed by the Football Association at curbing incidents of hooliganism involving the clubs fans fail.[4]

25 August 1990 – Liverpool begin the new First Division season with a 3–1 away win against recently promoted Sheffield United.[5] Walsall move into their new Bescot Stadium and draw 2–2 with Torquay United in the Fourth Division in their first competitive game at the new stadium.

27 August 1990 – BBC Radio 5 is launched, greatly expanding coverage of football and sport in general with discussion programmes, features and phone-ins previously not heard on BBC Radio 2.

31 August 1990 – The first month of the English league season ends with Arsenal and Liverpool sharing the lead in the First Division after two games.[5] The Second Division leaders are Oldham Athletic.[6]

1 September 1990 – Newly promoted First Division side Sunderland achieve a shock 2–1 league win over FA Cup holders Manchester United at Roker Park.[5]

12 September 1990 – England beat Hungary 1–0 in a friendly at Wembley, the first game under Graham Taylor's management.

16 September 1990 – Peter Beardsley scores a hat-trick for Liverpool in their 4–0 league win over Manchester United at Anfield.[7]

25 September 1990 – Ian Wright and Mark Bright both score hat-tricks for Crystal Palace in their 8–0 home win over Southend United in the League Cup second round first leg at Selhurst Park.[8]

26 September 1990 – Paul Gascoigne scores four goals for Tottenham in their 5–0 win over Hartlepool United (managed by former Tottenham defender Cyril Knowles) in the League Cup second round first leg at White Hart Lane.[9]

30 September 1990 – Liverpool, with a 100% record after seven games, are First Division leaders by six points at the end of September. The bottom two places are occupied by Sheffield United and Derby County, who have both yet to win a league game this season.[5] In the Second Division, Oldham Athletic lead the way with 20 points from their opening eight games. The other two automatic promotion places are occupied by Sheffield Wednesday and Notts County, and the playoff zone is occupied by West Ham United, Bristol City (in contention for a second successive promotion), Swindon Town and Brighton.[10]

5 October 1990 – Peter Taylor, former managerial partner of Brian Clough, dies in the Canary Islands aged 62 after a long illness.

6 October 1990 – In the biggest Second Division win of the season, West Ham United beat Hull City 7–1 at Upton Park.[11]

12 October 1990 – West Ham United strengthen their promotion bid with a £600,000 move for Luton Town defender Tim Breacker.[12]

17 October 1990 – England open their European Championship qualifying campaign with a 2–0 win over Poland at Wembley.

20 October 1990 – 21 of the 22 players on the pitch brawl in Arsenal's 1–0 league win over Manchester United at Old Trafford.[13] In their ninth league game of the season, Liverpool drop points for the first time when Norwich City hold them to a 1–1 draw at Carrow Road.[5]

27 October 1990 – The Manchester derby at Maine Road ends in a 3–3 draw between City and United.[5]

31 October 1990 – Everton sack manager Colin Harvey after their worst start to a league season leaves them third from bottom in the First Division. Below them are Derby County and winless Sheffield United, while Liverpool remain top with nine wins from their opening 10 games. Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace are their nearest contenders, and the top four are all still undefeated in the league.[5] The Second Division promotion race is heating up, with Oldham Athletic still top of the table and West Ham United having crept up to second place. Sheffield Wednesday occupy the third and final automatic promotion place. Millwall, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Barnsley and Middlesbrough have all climbed into the relegation zone this month. Charlton Athletic's hopes of an immediate return to the First Division appear to be over as they occupy second from bottom place in the Second Division with eight defeats from their opening 13 games.[14]

1 November 1990 – Spencer Trethewy is dismissed from the Aldershot board of directors just three months after saving the club from closure, after it is revealed that he was unable to pay back the £200,000 he borrowed to keep the Hampshire based club afloat.[3]

7 November 1990 – Howard Kendall leaves Manchester City to begin his second spell as Everton manager.[15] 34-year-old midfielder Peter Reid is put in temporary charge of Manchester City.

12 November 1990 – Arsenal are deducted two points and Manchester United lose one point as punishment for last month's player brawl. Notts County end talk of relocating to a new stadium by announcing that they will start rebuilding of Meadow Lane into an all-seater stadium next summer.

30 November 1990 – Liverpool remain unbeaten and top of the First Division as November draws to a close, four points ahead of an Arsenal side who are also unbeaten. Sheffield United are still looking for their first league win of the season after 14 games, while Derby County have climbed out of the relegation zone at the expense of Queens Park Rangers.[5] In the Second Division, West Ham United have taken over from Oldham Athletic as Second Division leaders, while Sheffield Wednesday occupy third place. The playoff zone is occupied by Middlesbrough, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Millwall and Notts County. Newly promoted Bristol Rovers stand just two points outside the playoff zone in 10th place, sparking hopes that manager Gerry Francis could soon deliver First Division football to the club for the first time ever.[16]

2 December 1990 – Arsenal end Liverpool's unbeaten League run by beating them 3–0 at Highbury.[5]

13 December 1990 – Southampton pay £1million for a player for the first time in their history by signing midfielder Alan McLoughlin from Swindon Town.[17]

19 December 1990 – Arsenal captain Tony Adams is sentenced to four months in prison and banned from driving for two years after being found guilty of drink-driving relating to a road accident on 6 May this year.

22 December 1990 – Sheffield United beat Nottingham Forest to win their first First Division game of the season at the seventeenth attempt, but remain bottom of the table.[5]

31 December 1990 – The year ends with Arsenal, still unbeaten but having had two points deducted, one point behind of Liverpool at the top of the First Division. Crystal Palace and Leeds United occupy third and fourth respectively, while Sheffield United remain bottom of the table and Sunderland have slipped into the bottom two.[5] West Ham United stand top of the Second Division, followed in second place by Oldham Athletic and in third place by Sheffield Wednesday. Middlesbrough, Notts County, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Bristol City occupy the playoff zone. Newcastle United, who began the season among the favourites for promotion, occupy a lowly 16th place and are just four points above the relegation zone that threatens them with Third Division football for the first time.[18]

9 January 1991 – West Bromwich Albion sack manager Brian Talbot after their 4–2 home defeat against non-league Woking in the FA Cup third round.

10 January 1991 – Viv Anderson joins Second Division promotion chasers Sheffield Wednesday on a free transfer from Manchester United.[19]

17 January 1991 – Sheffield United pay a club record £450,000 for Crystal Palace midfielder Glyn Hodges.[12]

23 January 1991 – Mark Hughes scores a hat-trick as Manchester United beat Southampton 3–2 in the League Cup quarter-final.

27 January 1991 – Woking's FA Cup dream comes to an end in the fourth round when they lose 1–0 to Everton at Goodison Park.

29 January 1991 – David Pleat is sacked after three years as manager of Leicester City, the Second Division strugglers.[20] His assistant Gordon Lee, the former Everton manager, is placed in temporary charge.[21]

31 January 1991 – Arsenal are one point ahead of Liverpool, who have a game in hand, at the top of the First Division. Meanwhile, Crystal Palace are still in contention for a first-ever league title, six points off the top, while Sheffield United remain bottom.[5] West Ham United, Oldham Athletic and Sheffield Wednesday continue to occupy the top three places in the Second Division. Notts County, Middlesbrough, Brighton and Millwall occupy the playoff zone.[22]

1 February 1991 – Paul Birch leaves Aston Villa after 10 years to join Wolverhampton Wanderers for £400,000.[17]

2 February 1991 – Arsenal suffer their first league defeat of the season in their 24th game, going down 2–1 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.[5]

12 February 1991 – Aston Villa sign defender Neil Cox from Scunthorpe United for £400,000, a record fee for a Fourth Division player.[23]

20 February 1991 – Sheffield Wednesday]sign 19-year-old striker Gordon Watson from Charlton Athletic for £250,000.[23]

22 February 1991 – Kenny Dalglish shocks the football world by announcing his resignation as Liverpool manager. Long-serving coach Ronnie Moran, 54, is appointed caretaker manager but insists that he does not want the job on a permanent basis.

28 February 1991 – February draws to a close with Arsenal now ahead of Liverpool at the top of the First Division on goal difference, while Crystal Palace are five points behind. At the other end of the table, a splendid run of form has moved Sheffield United six points clear of bottom-placed Derby County. The Blades are level on goal difference with Coventry City, Sunderland and Queens Park Rangers.[5] West Ham United, Oldham Athletic and Sheffield Wednesday continue to lead the way in the Second Division. Middlesbrough, Notts County, Brighton and Millwall occupy the playoff zone, with Bristol City continuing to turn up the heat on them in their bid for a second successive promotion.[24]

1 March 1991 – Liverpool's long-serving club captain Alan Hansen announces his retirement after nearly a year out of action with injury.

2 March 1991 – Ryan Giggs makes his professional debut for Manchester United in their 2–0 home defeat to Everton in the First Division.

3 March 1991 – Arsenal move three points clear at the top of the First Division by beating Liverpool 1–0 at Anfield thanks to a goal by Paul Merson.[25]

20 March 1991 – Swindon Town sell defender Paul Bodin to Crystal Palace for £550,000.[17]

22 March 1991 – West Ham United, chasing promotion from the Second Division and also in the FA Cup semi-finals, boost their quest for glory by signing Northern Irish striker Iain Dowie from Luton Town for £480,000.

23 March 1991 – Liverpool beat Derby County 7–1 at the Baseball Ground. It is the first time an away team has scored as many as seven goals in a First Division match since 1963.[5]

28 March 1991 – The 90-day inquest into the Hillsborough disaster records a verdict of accidental death on the 95 Liverpool fans who died as a result of their injuries at the FA Cup semi-final on 15 April 1989.[26]

30 March 1991 – Manchester United centre-back Steve Bruce scores twice in a 3–0 away league win over his old club Norwich City, becoming the first defender to score ten league goals this season.[27]

31 March 1991 – March draws to a close with Arsenal leading Liverpool by two points. Sheffield United's incredible revival has continued as they now stand 12th in the table, but Derby County are twelve points adrift of safety, and Sunderland occupy the other relegation place.[5] Oldham Athletic and West Ham United lead the Second Division level on 70 points, with Brighton, Middlesbrough, Millwall and Bristol City occupying the playoff zone. Ossie Ardiles becomes manager of Newcastle United, who are just six points outside the playoff zone with two games in hand.[28]

1 April 1991 – Liverpool's hopes of retaining their league title are damaged by a 1–0 away defeat to Southampton.[5]

7 April 1991 - Crystal Palace win the Full Members Cup after a 4-1 victory over Everton in the Wembley final.[29]

13 April 1991 – Liverpool's title challenge is kept alive with a thrilling 5–4 away win over Leeds United, but the Reds are five points behind Arsenal with five games left.[5][30]

14 April 1991 – Tottenham Hotspur end Arsenal's hopes of the double and boost their own hopes of an eighth FA Cup triumph with a 3–1 win in the first FA Cup semi-final to be played at Wembley. Nottingham Forest win the other semi-final, crushing West Ham United 4–0 at Villa Park.

16 April 1991 – Graeme Souness is named as Liverpool's new manager, departing from Rangers, where he is succeeded by Walter Smith.

20 April 1991 – Nottingham Forest record the biggest First Division win of the season by beating Chelsea 7–0 at the City Ground.[31] Derby County lose to Manchester City and are relegated.[5]

21 April 1991 – Sheffield Wednesday, chasing promotion to the First Division, achieve a 1–0 win over Manchester United in the League Cup final to end a 56-year trophy drought.

28 April 1991 – Graham Taylor appoints Gary Lineker as captain of the England team.

30 April 1991 – April draws to a close with Arsenal three points ahead of Liverpool with three matches left, while Crystal Palace's title dreams have ended. Sunderland, Luton Town and last season's runners-up Aston Villa still fighting to avoid relegation alongside Derby County.[5]

1 May 1991 – England beat Turkey 1–0 in Izmir in their fourth European Championship qualifying game.

4 May 1991 – Arsenal edge closer to the title by drawing 0–0 with Sunderland, while Liverpool are beaten 4–2 by Chelsea.[5]

6 May 1991 – Liverpool are beaten 2–1 by Nottingham Forest, handing the title to Arsenal,[5] who beat Manchester United 3–1. Alan Smith scores a hat-trick.[32]

11 May 1991 – Sunderland are relegated to the Second Division as they lose to Manchester City and Luton Town beat Derby County 2–0. It is the second season running that Luton have survived on the last day of the season with victory over Derby.[5] Arsenal end their championship campaign with a 6–1 demolition of Coventry City at Highbury, with Anders Limpar scoring a hat-trick.[32] The Second Division campaign ends with Oldham Athletic as champions, West Ham United second and Sheffield Wednesday third. Hull City's relegation was confirmed 2 weeks ago, while West Bromwich Albion are relegated alongside them to fall into the Third Division for the first time in their history.[33]

14 May 1991 – Wimbledon reach an agreement to ground-share with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park from the start of next season.

15 May 1991 – Manchester United mark the return to European football by English clubs with a 2–1 win over Barcelona in the European Cup Winners' Cup final in Rotterdam. Mark Hughes scores both goals.

18 May 1991 – Tottenham Hotspur win the FA Cup for the eighth time, beating Nottingham Forest 2–1 after extra time in the final. Paul Gascoigne suffers cruciate knee ligament damage, causing his proposed £8.5million move to Lazio to be put on hold.[34]

30 May 1991 – Brian Little, whose Darlington side have just secured their second successive promotion and won the Fourth Division title, is appointed as Leicester City's new manager.[35]

2 June 1991 – Notts County beat Brighton & Hove Albion 3–1 in the Second Division play-off final to earn a return to the First Division after seven years away.

6 June 1991 – David Pleat is appointed Luton Town manager for the second time.[20]

27 June 1991 – Former Oldham Athletic goalkeeper Andy Goram becomes Scotland's first £1million goalkeeper after a move from Hibernian to Rangers F.C.|Rangers.[36]

28 June 1991 – 17 of the 22 clubs competing in next season's First Division sign a contract to break away from the Football League if the Football Association's plan to form a new Premier League fails. Norman Whiteside, who managed just two games for Everton this season, retires from playing at the age of 26 after admitting defeat in his attempt to overcome a serious knee injury.

Honours[edit]

Competition Winner Runner-up
First Division Arsenal (10) Liverpool
Second Division Oldham Athletic West Ham United
Third Division Cambridge United Southend United
Fourth Division Darlington Stockport County
FA Cup Tottenham Hotspur (8*) Nottingham Forest
League Cup Sheffield Wednesday (1) Manchester United
Charity Shield Liverpool (13*) & Manchester United (10)

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

Arsenal qualified for the European Cup, Liverpool for the UEFA Cup, and Tottenham Hotspur and holders Manchester United for the European Cup Winners' Cup.

National team[edit]

The England national football team had a successful season, winning a mini-tournament against the CIS and Argentina, progressing steadily in qualification for the 1992 UEFA European Championship and conducting a tour to South-East Asia and Oceania in which they won all four games.

League tables[edit]

First Division[edit]

Arsenal clinched the First Division title for the second time in three seasons, losing just one league game all season, despite having two points deducted in the first half of the season following a player brawl in a game against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Liverpool finished runners-up to complete a record ten-year run of top-two league finishes, although it was only their third trophyless season since the mid 1970s. Manager Kenny Dalglish stunned football in February by announcing his resignation after nearly six years in charge and winning five major trophies, with Graeme Souness being named as his successor just before the season's end. Crystal Palace finished third, the highest position in their history, while Leeds United made their First Division comeback in style by finishing fourth and Manchester City's fifth place finish was their highest for over a decade.

Manchester United's inconsistent league form prevented them from making a title challenge, but they won the European Cup Winners' Cup and were runners-up in the Football League Cup. The previous season's runners-up, Aston Villa, slumped to 17th place under new manager Jozef Venglos, who was then replaced with Ron Atkinson from Sheffield Wednesday.

Tottenham Hotspur only finished 10th in the league after a dismal second half of the season, but continued to play well in the FA Cup and lifted the trophy for a record eighth time.

Derby County's dismal season saw them relegated after a four-year run in the First Division, while Sunderland were relegated on the last day after just one season back among the elite. Luton Town finished third from bottom but avoided relegation due to the expansion of the First Division.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA W D L GF GA GF GA GD Pts Notes
1 Arsenal 38 15 4 0 51 10 9 9 1 23 8 74 18 + 56 83 European Cup 1991–92
First round
2 Liverpool 38 14 3 2 42 13 9 4 6 35 27 77 40 + 37 76 UEFA Cup 1991–92
First round
3 Crystal Palace 38 11 6 2 26 17 9 3 7 24 24 50 41 + 9 69 [37]
4 Leeds United 38 12 2 5 46 23 7 5 7 19 24 65 47 + 18 64 [37]
5 Manchester City 38 12 3 4 35 25 5 8 6 29 28 64 53 + 11 62
6 Manchester United 38 11 4 4 34 17 5 8 6 24 28 58 45 + 13 59 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1991–92
First round
[38]
7 Wimbledon 38 8 6 5 28 22 6 8 5 25 24 53 46 + 7 56
8 Nottingham Forest 38 11 4 4 42 21 3 8 8 23 29 65 50 + 15 54
9 Everton 38 9 5 5 26 15 4 7 8 24 31 50 46 + 4 51
10 Tottenham Hotspur 38 8 9 2 35 22 3 7 9 16 28 51 50 + 1 49 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1991–92
Qualifying round
[39]
11 Chelsea 38 10 6 3 33 25 3 4 12 25 44 58 69 – 11 49
12 Queens Park Rangers 38 8 5 6 27 22 4 5 10 17 31 44 53 – 9 46
13 Sheffield United 38 9 3 7 23 23 4 4 11 13 32 36 55 – 19 46
14 Southampton 38 9 6 4 33 22 3 3 13 25 47 58 69 – 11 45
15 Norwich City 38 9 3 7 27 32 4 3 12 14 32 43 64 – 21 45
16 Coventry City 38 10 6 3 30 16 1 5 13 12 33 42 49 – 7 44
17 Aston Villa 38 7 9 3 29 25 2 5 12 17 33 46 58 – 12 41
18 Luton Town 38 7 5 7 22 18 3 2 14 20 43 42 61 – 19 37
19 Sunderland 38 6 6 7 15 16 2 4 13 23 44 38 60 – 22 34
20 Derby County 38 3 8 8 25 36 2 1 16 12 39 37 75 – 38 24

Note: Arsenal deducted two points for on-field brawl and Manchester United deducted one point also for on-field brawl in a league match between the two teams at Old Trafford on 20 October 1990.

Key
Qualified for European Cup
Qualified for UEFA Cup
Qualified for Cup Winners' Cup
Relegated to Division Two

Second Division[edit]

The Second Division title went to Oldham Athletic, whose manager Joe Royle finally delivered promotion at the ninth attempt and ended Oldham's 68-year absence from the First Division. FA Cup semi finalists West Ham United were promoted as runners-up. Sheffield Wednesday took the third promotion place and also won the Football League Cup. With the expansion of the First Division for 1991-92, there was a fourth promotion place up for grabs in the Second Division this season. The winners of the playoffs were Notts County, who were promoted for the second season running.

Hull City were relegated after a six-year run in the Second Division, while West Bromwich Albion went down on the final day to fall into the Third Division for the first time in their history. Leicester City narrowly avoided suffering the same fate, as did a Swindon Town side who would have been playing First Division football had it not been for the penalty imposed upon them in the close season for financial irregularities. Watford managed to climb to survival despite a catastrophic first few months of the season.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA W D L GF GA GF GA GD Pts Notes
1 Oldham Athletic 46 17 5 1 55 21 8 8 7 28 32 83 53 + 30 88
2 West Ham United 46 15 6 2 41 18 9 9 5 19 16 60 34 + 26 87
3 Sheffield Wednesday 46 12 10 1 43 23 10 6 7 37 28 80 51 + 29 82 [40][37]
4 Notts County 46 14 4 5 45 28 9 7 7 31 27 76 55 + 21 80 [41]
5 Millwall 46 11 6 6 43 28 9 7 7 27 23 70 51 + 19 73
6 Brighton & Hove Albion 46 12 4 7 37 31 9 3 11 26 38 63 69 – 6 70
7 Middlesbrough 46 12 4 7 36 17 8 5 10 30 30 66 47 + 13 69
8 Barnsley 46 13 7 3 39 16 6 5 12 24 32 63 48 + 15 69
9 Bristol City 46 14 5 4 44 28 6 2 15 24 43 68 71 – 3 67
10 Oxford United 46 10 9 4 41 29 4 10 9 28 37 69 66 + 3 61
11 Newcastle United 46 8 10 5 24 22 6 7 10 25 34 49 56 – 7 59
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers 46 11 6 6 45 35 2 13 8 18 28 63 63 ± 0 58
13 Bristol Rovers 46 11 7 5 29 20 4 6 13 27 39 56 59 – 3 58
14 Ipswich Town 46 9 8 6 32 28 4 10 9 28 40 60 68 – 8 57
15 Port Vale 46 10 4 9 32 24 5 8 10 24 40 56 64 – 8 57
16 Charlton Athletic 46 8 7 8 27 25 5 10 8 30 36 57 61 – 4 56
17 Portsmouth 46 10 6 7 34 27 4 5 14 24 43 58 70 – 12 53
18 Plymouth Argyle 46 10 10 3 36 20 2 7 14 18 48 54 78 – 24 53
19 Blackburn Rovers 46 8 6 9 26 27 6 4 13 25 39 51 66 – 15 52
20 Watford 46 5 8 10 24 32 7 7 9 21 27 45 59 – 14 51
21 Swindon Town 46 8 6 9 31 30 4 8 11 34 43 65 73 – 8 50
22 Leicester City 46 12 4 7 41 33 2 4 17 19 50 60 83 – 23 50
23 West Bromwich Albion 46 7 11 5 26 21 3 7 13 26 40 52 61 – 9 48
24 Hull City 46 6 10 7 35 32 4 5 14 22 53 57 85 – 28 45
Key
Promoted to Division One
Qualified for the promotion playoff (not promoted)
Relegated to Division Three

Third Division[edit]

Cambridge United won the Third Division title to secure a second successive promotion, and went up along with Grimsby Town and Southend United, who were also promoted for a second successive season. The playoff winners were Tranmere Rovers, who were promoted for the second time in three seasons to reach the Second Division for the first time since the 1930s. The beaten playoff finalists, Bolton Wanderers, only missed out on automatic promotion on goal difference.

Birmingham City and Stoke City, more familiar with the league's First and Second Divisions, failed to finish anywhere near the top of the Third Division, and both clubs looked to new managers after the season's end in hope of securing promotion next time round.

Crewe Alexandra, Mansfield Town and Rotherham United were relegated.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA W D L GF GA GF GA GD Pts Notes
1 Cambridge United 46 14 5 4 42 22 11 6 6 33 28 75 50 + 25 86
2 Southend United 46 13 6 4 34 23 13 1 9 33 28 67 51 + 16 85
3 Grimsby Town 46 16 3 4 42 13 8 8 7 24 21 66 34 + 32 83
4 Bolton Wanderers 46 14 5 4 33 18 10 6 7 31 32 64 50 + 14 83
5 Tranmere Rovers 46 13 5 5 38 21 10 4 9 26 25 64 46 + 18 78 [42]
6 Brentford 46 12 4 7 30 22 9 9 5 29 25 59 47 + 12 76
7 Bury 46 13 6 4 39 26 7 7 9 28 30 67 56 + 11 73
8 Bradford City 46 13 3 7 36 22 7 7 9 26 32 62 54 + 8 70
9 Bournemouth 46 14 6 3 37 20 5 7 11 21 38 58 58 ± 0 70
10 Wigan Athletic 46 14 3 6 40 20 6 6 11 31 34 61 54 + 7 69
11 Huddersfield Town 46 13 3 7 37 23 5 10 8 20 28 57 51 + 6 67
12 Birmingham City 46 8 9 6 21 21 8 8 7 24 28 45 49 – 4 65
13 Leyton Orient 46 15 2 6 35 19 3 8 12 20 39 55 58 – 3 64
14 Stoke City 46 9 7 7 36 29 7 5 11 19 30 55 59 – 4 60
15 Reading 46 11 5 7 34 28 6 3 14 19 38 53 66 – 13 59
16 Exeter City 46 12 6 5 35 16 4 3 16 23 36 58 52 + 6 57
17 Preston North End 46 11 5 7 33 29 4 6 13 21 38 54 67 – 13 56
18 Shrewsbury Town 46 8 7 8 29 22 6 3 14 32 46 61 68 – 7 52
19 Chester City 46 10 3 10 27 27 4 6 13 19 31 46 58 – 14 51
20 Swansea City 46 8 6 9 31 33 5 3 15 18 39 49 72 – 23 48 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1991–92
First round
21 Fulham 46 8 8 7 27 22 2 8 13 14 34 41 56 – 15 46
22 Crewe Alexandra 46 6 9 8 35 35 5 2 16 27 45 62 80 – 8 44
23 Rotherham United 46 5 10 8 31 38 5 2 16 19 49 50 87 – 37 42
24 Mansfield Town 46 5 8 10 23 27 3 6 14 19 36 42 63 – 21 38
Key
Promoted to Division Two
Qualified for the promotion playoff (not promoted)
Relegated to Division Four
Qualified for Cup Winners' Cup as Welsh Cup winners

Fourth Division[edit]

As a result of the reorganization of the league for the 1991-92 season, there were a league record of five promotion places up for grabs this time. The first went to Darlington, who had been GM Vauxhall Conference champions a year earlier. So impressive was their progress that manager Brian Little was soon on his way to Second Division Leicester City. The other automatic promotion places went to Peterborough United, Stockport County and Hartlepool United. The playoffs were won by a Torquay United who had been in the Fourth Division for nearly 20 years.

Wrexham finished bottom of the Fourth Division but retained their league status as the arrival of an additional club meant that there was no relegation from the Fourth Division.

However, small attendances (brought on by dismal on-the-field performances and falling attendances, not helped by the recession) and rising debts were casting major doubts over the future of Aldershot and Maidstone United. Aldershot had actually been wound up in the High Court in July 1990, but the winding-up order was quickly lifted when a rescue package was put together by 19-year-old property developer Spencer Trethewy, whose directorship of the club was suspended just three months later amid doubts about his ability to finance the club. Maidstone United's finances were further strained by the decision of the club's owners to buy a piece of land in Maidstone in order to build a new stadium (the club had played at Dartford since 1988) with planning permission yet to be given.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA W D L GF GA GF GA GD Pts Notes
1 Darlington 46 13 8 2 36 14 9 9 5 32 24 68 38 + 30 83
2 Stockport County 46 16 6 1 54 19 7 7 9 30 28 84 47 + 37 82
3 Hartlepool United 46 15 5 3 35 15 9 5 9 32 33 67 48 + 19 82
4 Peterborough United 46 13 9 1 38 15 8 8 7 29 30 67 45 + 22 80
5 Blackpool 46 17 3 3 55 17 6 7 10 23 30 78 47 + 31 79
6 Burnley 46 17 5 1 46 16 6 5 12 24 35 70 51 + 19 79
7 Torquay United 46 14 7 2 37 13 4 11 8 27 34 64 47 + 17 72 [43]
8 Scunthorpe United 46 17 4 2 51 20 3 7 13 20 42 71 62 + 9 71
9 Scarborough 46 13 5 5 36 21 6 7 10 23 35 59 56 + 3 69
10 Northampton 46 14 5 4 34 21 4 8 11 23 37 57 58 – 1 67
11 Doncaster Rovers 46 12 5 6 36 22 5 9 9 20 24 56 46 + 10 65
12 Rochdale 46 10 9 4 29 22 5 8 10 21 31 50 53 – 3 62
13 Cardiff City 46 10 6 7 26 23 5 9 9 17 31 43 54 – 11 60
14 Lincoln City 46 10 7 6 32 27 4 10 9 18 34 50 61 – 11 59
15 Gillingham 46 9 9 5 35 27 3 9 11 22 33 57 60 – 3 54
16 Walsall 46 7 12 4 25 17 5 5 13 23 34 48 51 – 3 53
17 Hereford United 46 9 10 4 32 19 4 4 15 21 39 53 58 – 5 53
18 Chesterfield 46 8 12 3 33 26 5 2 16 14 36 47 62 – 15 53
19 Maidstone United 46 9 5 9 42 34 4 7 12 24 37 66 71 – 5 51
20 Carlisle United 46 12 3 8 30 30 1 6 16 17 59 47 89 – 42 48
21 York City 46 8 6 9 21 23 3 7 13 24 34 45 57 – 12 46
22 Halifax Town 46 9 6 8 34 29 3 4 16 25 50 59 79 – 20 46
23 Aldershot 46 8 7 8 38 43 2 4 17 23 58 61 101 – 40 41
24 Wrexham 46 8 7 8 33 34 2 3 18 15 40 48 74 – 26 40
Key
Promoted to Division Three
Qualified for the promotion playoff (not promoted)

Retirements[edit]

Deaths[edit]

  • 9 August 1990 – Joe Mercer, 76, former England player, died on his birthday after suffering a stroke. Was manager of Manchester City when they won four trophies in three seasons starting in 1968.
  • 20 August 1990 - Bill Curry, 54, scored 184 league goals between 1953 and 1969 for Newcastle United, Brighton, Derby County, Mansfield Town and Chesterfield, and after retiring he spent 15 years managing at non-league level.
  • 8 September 1990 – David Longhurst, 25, York City striker, collapsed and died of a heart attack on 8 September during a Fourth Division fixture at Bootham Crescent.
  • 4 October 1990 – Peter Taylor, 62, long-term assistant manager to Brian Clough who helped him win the league championship with Derby County in 1972. He later returned to Derby as manager but was sacked in 1984 after their relegation to the Third Division.
  • 28 November 1990 - Ted Catlin, 80, played 209 league games at left-back for Sheffield Wednesday during the 1930s and was capped five times by England before his career was effectively ended by World War II.
  • 22 December 1990 – Robin Friday, 38, popular centre forward with Reading and Cardiff City during the 1970s, was found dead at his London flat on Christmas Eve 1990. He had suffered a heart attack.
  • 24 December 1990 - Don Dearson, 76, was capped three times for Wales in the late 1930s and played 131 league games as a utility player during the 1930s and 1940s for Birmingham City, the seven seasons lost to World War II depriving him of more appearances. He also played for Coventry City and Walsall.
  • 1 April 1991 - George Lee, 71, played 384 league games and scored 90 goals as an outside-left between 1936 and 1958 in a career which took him from York City to Nottingham Forest and finally to West Bromwich Albion, his chances of more appearances being lost due to seven years without league action as a result of World War II.
  • 22 May 1991 – Stan Mortensen, 69, former Blackpool and England striker who was one of the league's most exciting strikers in the immediate post-war years. Scored a hat-trick in the 1953 FA Cup final, to date the only player to do so.

References[edit]

  1. ^ English League Leading Goalscorers. Rsssf.com (2010-09-17). Retrieved on 2011-03-23. Archived 8 June 2009 at WebCite
  2. ^ Soccerbase: Man City transfers
  3. ^ a b Newcastle's Freddy Shepherd, Chelsea's Ken Bates, Leeds' Peter Ridsdale, Palace's Simon Jordan and the Top 10 crazy football chairman – Mirror Football Blog. MirrorFootball.co.uk. Retrieved on 2011-03-23.
  4. ^ The Times and The Sunday Times Archive. Newsint-archive.co.uk. Retrieved on 2011-03-23.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Smailes, Gordon (2000). The Breedon Book of Football Records. Derby: Breedon Books. p. 166. ISBN 1859832148. 
  6. ^ Entertainment & Sports Agency Limited. "Oldham Athletic FC News – Latics MAD". Archived from the original on 2009-05-20. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  7. ^ Peter Beardsley – Liverpool FC. Liverpoolfc.tv. Retrieved on 2011-03-23.
  8. ^ Top 10 hat-tricks – Crystal Palace FC Supporters' Website – The Holmesdale Online. Holmesdale.net. Retrieved on 2011-03-23.
  9. ^ the world famous unofficial home of Spurs on the internet. Topspurs. Retrieved on 2011-03-23.
  10. ^ Oldham Athletic FC News – Latics Mad. Oldhamathletic-mad.co.uk (1990-09-29). Retrieved on 2011-03-23.
  11. ^ 2nd Division 1990–91. Westhamstats.info. Retrieved on 2011-03-23.
  12. ^ a b Soccerbase[dead link]
  13. ^ Barrow, Emma (28 April 2009). "Manchester United v Arsenal: A history of football warfare". The Daily Telegraph (London). Archived from the original on 29 September 2010. Retrieved 30 October 2010. 
  14. ^ Oldham Athletic FC News – Latics Mad. Oldhamathletic-mad.co.uk (1990-10-27). Retrieved on 2011-03-23.
  15. ^ [1] Evertonfc.com
  16. ^ Oldham Athletic FC News – Latics Mad. Oldhamathletic-mad.co.uk (1990-11-24). Retrieved on 2011-03-23.
  17. ^ a b c Soccer Base
  18. ^ Oldham Athletic FC News – Latics Mad. Oldhamathletic-mad.co.uk (1990-12-29). Retrieved on 2011-03-23.
  19. ^ http://www.soccerbase.com/transfers_by_value.sd?lower_value=&higher_value=100000000&seasonid=120&x=31&y=4%7C
  20. ^ a b David Pleat | Latest Betting Odds. Soccer Base. Retrieved on 2011-03-23. Archived 18 June 2009 at WebCite
  21. ^ Gordon Lee | Latest Betting Odds. Soccer Base. Retrieved on 2011-03-23.
  22. ^ Oldham Athletic FC News – Latics Mad. Oldhamathletic-mad.co.uk (1991-01-19). Retrieved on 2011-03-23.
  23. ^ a b Football Betting | Place Your Football Bet Today | Soccer Base
  24. ^ Oldham Athletic FC News – Latics Mad. Oldhamathletic-mad.co.uk (1991-02-23). Retrieved on 2011-03-23.
  25. ^ http://www.lfchistory.net/SeasonArchive/Game/1778
  26. ^ BBC ON THIS DAY | 28 | 1991: Family anger at Hillsborough verdict. BBC News. Retrieved on 2011-03-23.
  27. ^ Manchester United Results 1990–1991, Division One, FA Cup, League Cup, European. Manchester-united-fans-site.com. Retrieved on 2011-03-23.
  28. ^ Oldham Athletic FC News – Latics Mad. Oldhamathletic-mad.co.uk (1991-03-29). Retrieved on 2011-03-23.
  29. ^ [2]
  30. ^ Liverpool Results 1990–91. Liverweb. Retrieved on 2011-03-23.
  31. ^ Nottingham Forest 1990–1991 : Results. League Results[dead link]
  32. ^ a b Arsenal appearances 1990/91. Arseweb.com. Retrieved on 2011-03-23.
  33. ^ Oldham Athletic FC News – Latics Mad. Oldhamathletic-mad.co.uk (1991-05-11). Retrieved on 2011-03-23.
  34. ^ The Times and The Sunday Times Archive. Newsint-archive.co.uk. Retrieved on 2011-03-23.
  35. ^ Brian Little | Latest Betting Odds. Soccer Base. Retrieved on 2011-03-23. Archived 30 July 2007 at WebCite
  36. ^ Andy Goram | Soccer Base. Retrieved on 2011-03-23.
  37. ^ a b c English teams were still affected by the 1985 UEFA ban, imposed upon the Heysel Disaster, in that they had to earn back
    additional places to the UEFA Cup. The teams that missed out on this competition due to UEFA regulations are marked here with grey.
  38. ^ Manchester United qualified as defending champions of the Cup Winners' Cup.
  39. ^ Tottenham Hotspur were this season's FA Cup winners.
  40. ^ Sheffield Wednesday were promoted to the First Division. They were also this season's League Cup winners but did not
    earn a place in the UEFA Cup.
  41. ^ Notts County won the play-offs and were promoted.
  42. ^ Tranmere Rovers won the play-offs and were promoted.
  43. ^ Torquay United won the play-offs and were promoted.
  44. ^ Fixtures/Results – Swansea City FC – Swansea MAD. Swanseacity-mad.co.uk. Retrieved on 2011-03-23.
  45. ^ Jim Beglin – Liverpool FC – Football-Heroes.net. Sporting-heroes.net. Retrieved on 2011-03-23.
  46. ^ The Times and The Sunday Times Archive. Newsint-archive.co.uk. Retrieved on 2011-03-23.