On 5 August 1997, Nigel Spackman was appointed as permanent manager of Sheffield United and his side had a good start to the season but huge losses and high wages from the previous season's promotion failure led to enforced sales of key personnel. The final straw being the sale of both of the club's top scoring strikers (Brian Deane – 11 league goals – went to S.L. Benfica & Jan Åge Fjørtoft – 9 league goals – to Barnsley) on the same day. Even though leaving midseason, Deane would go on to become the team's top scorer that year, such was the lack of replacements. Spackman was unhappy over this and resigned in March 1998, leaving Thompson and Slade in caretaker charge until the end of the season. The Blades finished in the playoffs but came up short in the playoff semi-finals against Sunderland, losing 3-2 on aggregate.
Updated to games played on 3 May 1998.
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.