2005–06 in English football

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The 2005–06 season was the 126th season of competitive association football in England.

Overview[edit]

Diary of the season[edit]

  • 29 June 2005 — Chelsea sell Mateja Kezman to Atlético Madrid for £5.3 million.
  • 1 July 2005 — Tottenham Hotspur sign 18-year-old Leeds United winger Aaron Lennon for £1 million.
  • 4 July 2005 — Liverpool sign goalkeeper Pepe Reina from Villarreal for £6 million and Mark González from Albacete for £4.5 million.
  • 5 July 2005 — Park Ji-Sung becomes Manchester United's first Asian player in a £4 million move from PSV Eindhoven.
  • 8 July 2005 — Blackburn Rovers sign Craig Bellamy from Newcastle United for £5 million.
  • 12 July 2005 — Arsenal sign Stuttgart and Belarus midfielder Alexander Hleb for £11.2 million.
  • 15 July 2005 — Patrick Vieira ends nine years at Arsenal in a £13.7 million move to Juventus.
  • 18 July 2005 — Chelsea sign Shaun Wright-Phillips from Manchester City for £21 million.
  • 20 July 2005 — Liverpool sign Peter Crouch from Southampton for £7 million.
  • 27 July 2005 — Manchester City sign Darius Vassell from Aston Villa for £2 million.
  • 4 August 2005 — Phil Neville, who has spent his entire 12-year career at Manchester United, is sold to Everton for £3.5 million.
  • 7 August 2005 — Chelsea claim the first silverware of the season when they beat Arsenal 2–1 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff to win the FA Community Shield.
  • 8 August 2005 — Manchester United misfit Kléberson is sold to Beşiktaş of Turkey for £2.5 million.
  • 17 August 2005 — Liberty Stadium hosts its first game; a friendly between Wales and Slovenia.[2] It is the new stadium of Swansea City (replacing 93-year-old Vetch Field), as well as the Ospreys rugby union team.[3]
  • 18 August 2005 — Tottenham Hotspur sell Frédéric Kanouté to Sevilla for £4.4 million.
  • 19 August 2005 — Chelsea pay a club record £24.4 million to Lyon for Ghanaian midfielder Michael Essien.
  • 20 August 2005 — Coventry City take on Queens Park Rangers in their first game at the new 32,500-seat Ricoh Arena.[4]
  • 23 August 2005 — Tiago Mendes leaves Chelsea for Lyon in a £6.5 million deal, while Milan Baroš moves from Liverpool to Aston Villa for the same fee.
  • 26 August 2005 — Liverpool win the UEFA Super Cup beating CSKA Moscow 3–1.
  • 31 August 2005 — August draws to a close with Chelsea looking well placed to defend their Premier League title having won their first four games of the season. Stuart Pearce's Manchester City have made an impressive start to the season as they occupy second place. Charlton Athletic, Manchester United and Bolton Wanderers complete the top five. Newly promoted Sunderland are bottom after losing their first four games of the league season, with Newcastle United and Portsmouth completing the bottom three. Newcastle United break their club transfer record by paying £17 million to Real Madrid for Michael Owen.[5] In the Championship, Sheffield United lead the table with Reading in second place, ahead of newly promoted Luton Town on goal difference. Watford, Southampton and Wolves complete the playoff places. Norwich City, narrowly relegated from the Premier League the previous season, have made a poor start to a campaign thought by many to be a challenge for an immediate return to England's elite and stand one place off the bottom of the Championship, sandwiched by Millwall (bottom) and Sheffield Wednesday.
  • 7 September 2005 — Northern Ireland take a historic 1–0 win over England at Windsor Park, Belfast, strengthening calls for Sven-Göran Eriksson's resignation.
  • 30 September 2005 — Chelsea's 100% start to the season continues after seven games as they finish September with their Premier League leadership intact. Charlton Athletic are their nearest challengers in second place, with Bolton Wanderers, West Ham United (newly promoted) and Manchester United completing the top five. Sunderland remain bottom with just one point so far this season, while Everton and West Bromwich Albion complete the bottom three.[6] In the Championship, Sheffield United hold a six-point advantage over Reading. Luton, Wolves, Watford and Leeds make up the rest of the top six. Sheffield Wednesday, Plymouth Argyle and Crewe Alexandra prop up the table.
  • 8 October 2005 — England defeat Austria 1–0 at Old Trafford, with the Netherlands defeating the Czech Republic the same night, thus assuring England automatic qualification for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, either as the top team in their qualifying group or one of the top two second-placed European teams.
  • 12 October 2005 — England defeat Poland 2–1 at Old Trafford to finish top of their World Cup qualifying group.
  • 17 October 2005 — Middlesbrough defender Abel Xavier is banned from all football after failing a drugs test.
  • 27 October 2005 — England legend Paul Gascoigne, 38, is named manager of Conference North club Kettering Town.[7]
  • 28 October 2005 — Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott gives final approval for Brighton & Hove Albion to build Falmer Stadium, now scheduled to open in 2008.
  • 29 October 2005 — Manchester United become the first team to score 1,000 Premier League goals, in its 14th season.
  • 31 October 2005 — October draws to a close with Chelsea now runaway leaders with 10 wins and a draw from their first 11 games, while their nearest challengers are Wigan Athletic, playing their first top-division season and only their 28th as a professional league club. Tottenham Hotspur, Bolton Wanderers and Charlton Athletic complete the top five, while a disappointing Manchester United and Arsenal are sixth and seventh respectively. Sunderland have at last recorded their first league win of the season but still occupy bottom place, with Birmingham City and Everton completing the bottom three.[8] In the Championship, Reading have closed the gap between them and Sheffield United to three points, with Luton, Watford, Leeds and Crystal Palace completing the top six and Brighton, Crewe and Millwall in the relegation zone.
  • 6 November 2005 — Manchester United become the first team to beat Chelsea in 41 Premier League games, with a Darren Fletcher header securing a 1–0 victory at Old Trafford.
  • 18 November 2005 — Roy Keane leaves Manchester United by mutual consent, ending his 12-year association with the club.
  • 24 November 2005 — Alain Perrin is sacked as manager of Portsmouth after eight months in charge.
  • 30 November 2005 — November ends with Chelsea still top of the Premier League, their nearest contenders now being Manchester United who are 10 points behind and with a game in hand. Arsenal, Wigan Athletic and Tottenham Hotspur complete the top five. Sunderland remain bottom with a mere five points and one win so far, with Birmingham City and Portsmouth completing the bottom three.[9] In the Championship, Reading have overtaken Sheffield United with a four-point advantage. Watford, Leeds, Luton and Cardiff complete the top six, while Crewe, Brighton and Millwall remain in the relegation zone.
  • 3 December 2005 — Harry Redknapp walks out of Southampton after being refused permission to discuss terms with Portsmouth over returning as manager.
  • 5 December 2005 — Paul Gascoigne resigns after just over a month in charge of Kettering Town, during which time they won two, lost two and drew two of their six games.
  • 7 December 2005 — Harry Redknapp is appointed manager of Portsmouth for the second time with a contract until the end of the season.
  • 22 December 2005 — George Burley is appointed Harry Redknapp's replacement at Southampton.
  • 31 December 2005 — Chelsea's Premier League continues into 2006 by 11 points over Manchester United, while Liverpool's good run of form has taken them into third place. Tottenham Hotspur and Wigan Athletic complete the top five. Sunderland, Birmingham City and Portsmouth occupy the relegation places.[10] Reading still lead the Championship, with Sheffield United, Leeds, Watford, Crystal Palace and Wolves completing the top six. Sheffield Wednesday, Millwall and Crewe finish the year in the relegation zone.
  • 4 January 2006 — Alexandre Gaydamak takes a 50% stake in Portsmouth alongside Milan Mandarić. Manchester United pay Spartak Moscow £7 million for Serbian defender Nemanja Vidić.
  • 6 January 2006 — Portsmouth sign Benjani from Auxerre for £4.1 million.
  • 8 January 2006 — Burton Albion of the Conference National hold Manchester United to a 0–0 draw in the FA Cup Third Round, earning a lucrative replay at Old Trafford on 18 January 2006 which they lose 5–0.
  • 10 January 2006 — Manchester United sign French defender Patrice Evra from AS Monaco for £5.5 million.
  • 12 January 2006 — Liverpool sign Daniel Agger from Brøndby for £5.8 million.
  • 13 January 2006 — Arsenal sign Emmanuel Adebayor from AS Monaco for £7 million.
  • 20 January 2006 — The Premier League formally charges Portsmouth with "tapping up" Harry Redknapp. Arsenal pay £5 million to Southampton for striker Theo Walcott, who turns 17 on 16 March.
  • 22 January 2006 — West Ham United pay £7.25 million for Norwich City striker Dean Ashton.
  • 23 January 2006 — The FA announces that Sven-Göran Eriksson will leave his post as England national coach after the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
  • 25 January 2006 — Craig Levein is sacked as manager of Leicester City.
  • 30 January 2006 — Phil Brown is sacked as manager of Derby County. Academy boss Terry Westley is appointed interim manager, with player Paul Peschisolido acting as his assistant. Manchester City sign Greek midfielder Georgios Samaras from Heerenveen for £6 million.
  • 31 January 2006 — Chelsea now lead the Premier League by 14 points ahead of Manchester United and 18 points ahead of Liverpool, with Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal completing the top five. Sunderland, Portsmouth and Birmingham City occupy the three relegation places.[11] Reading lead the Championship by ten points and look almost certain to gain promotion to the top flight for the first time in their history, while Sheffield United (with a game in hand) are eleven points clear of Leeds and Watford in joint third place. Preston North End and Cardiff City complete the top six. Brighton, Millwall and Crewe prop up the table.
  • 2 February 2006 — Graeme Souness is sacked as manager of Newcastle United, and Glenn Roeder was made caretaker manager with Alan Shearer his assistant manager.
  • 4 February 2006 — Alan Shearer becomes Newcastle United's top goalscorer of all time, scoring his 201st goal for the club, against Portsmouth at St. James' Park, beating Jackie Milburn's 200 goal tally which had stood for 49 years.
  • 11 February 2006 — Middlesbrough comfortably defeat reigning Premier League champions Chelsea 3–0 at the Riverside Stadium, the first time José Mourinho's Chelsea have lost by more than a single goal.
  • 18 February 2006 — Liverpool beat Manchester United in the FA Cup for the first time since 1921. The draw was a 5th round matchup.
  • 21 February 2006 — The FA announce that the 2006 FA Cup Final, set for 13 May, will be held at the Millennium Stadium, as the builders of the new Wembley Stadium are unable to guarantee that it will be ready for the match. They also announce that the national team's pre-World Cup friendlies originally scheduled for Wembley will instead be held at Old Trafford.
  • 21 February 2006 — A Football League under-21 team, composed of players from the Football League's three divisions, beats a Lega Nazionale Professionisti under-21 team, composed of players from Serie B, 1–0 at the KC Stadium.
  • 26 February 2006 — Manchester United defeat Wigan Athletic 4–0 at the Millennium Stadium to win the Carling Cup. Should they finish in the top five this season, there will be a UEFA Cup place for the league's sixth highest placed team.
  • 28 February 2006 — The month ends with Chelsea's lead over Manchester United at the top of the Premier League narrowed slightly to 12 points. Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal once again complete the top five, while Bolton Wanderers occupy the now sought-after sixth place. Sunderland continue to prop up the top flight, having gained just nine points so far this season. Portsmouth and Birmingham City complete the bottom three, with Portsmouth now eight points adrift of safety.[12] The top six remain unchanged from the previous month, although Watford have moved to third and Crystal Palace to fifth. Millwall has changed places in the relegation zone with Brighton, whom they lead on goal difference, while Crewe prop up the table.
  • 6 March 2006 — Mick McCarthy is sacked as manager of Sunderland after his team accumulated just 10 points in 28 matches, with Kevin Ball made caretaker manager for the remainder of the season.
  • 25 March 2006 — Reading became the first side to be promoted to the 2006–07 Premier League after drawing 1–1 at Leicester City. 2006–07 will be the Berkshire club's first ever season in England's top flight (though they would have been automatically promoted in 1995 as Division One runners-up had it not been for a reorganisation of the league which saw them forced into the playoffs where they had lost to Bolton Wanderers in the final).
  • 31 March 2006 — March draws to a close with Chelsea now nine points ahead of Manchester United at the top of the Premier League. Liverpool, Tottenham, Blackburn Rovers and Arsenal complete the top six, while Wigan Athletic are now eighth and their dreams of European football are fading fast. Sunderland are still bottom with 10 points though their relegation has yet to be confirmed. Portsmouth and Birmingham City complete the bottom three, both of them being three points behind 17th-placed West Bromwich Albion and with a game in hand.[13] Reading need only one more win from their last six games to confirm the Championship title, while Sheffield United appear almost certain to join Reading in the top flight. Watford, Leeds, Crystal Palace and Preston North End complete the top six. At the other end of the table, Crewe and Brighton look dead and buried, needing four wins each from their last six games and other results to go their way to avoid relegation. Millwall are only five points adrift in the relegation zone but still look bound for relegation as well, just two seasons after competing in the UEFA Cup.
  • 1 April 2006 — Reading win the Football League Championship title after their defeat of Derby County and Sheffield United's being held to a draw means that Reading cannot be overtaken.
  • 14 April 2006 — Sunderland are relegated from the Premier League after a 0–0 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford. This is the first relegation in the league.
  • 15 April 2006 — Sheffield United become the second side to secure promotion to the Premier League after they beat Cardiff City while Watford and Leeds United only draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers and champions Reading respectively.
  • 15 April 2006 — Accrington Stanley regain their Football League status 44 years after the previous club of the same name lost it due to bankruptcy, after they beat Woking to win the Conference National title.
  • 17 April 2006 — Sheffield Wednesday's 2–0 win at Brighton & Hove Albion ensures that the trio of Brighton, Crewe Alexandra and Millwall are all relegated from the Championship.
  • 17 April 2006 — Alan Shearer plays his last competitive match against, rather fittingly, Sunderland, after a Julio Arca tackle tore his medial collateral ligament.
  • 18 April 2006 — John Lyall, former Ipswich Town and West Ham United manager, dies of a heart attack aged 66.
  • 20 April 2006 — Altrincham of the Conference National have 18 points deducted for fielding an ineligible player 13 times. This points deduction relegates the club to the Conference North.
  • 22 April 2006 — Carlisle United secure promotion to League One after a 1–1 draw at Mansfield Town while Leyton Orient were also held to a draw by the same scoreline at Lincoln City. This promotion comes just one season after Carlisle returned to the Football League following a one-season exile.
  • 22 April 2006 — Walsall are relegated to League Two after losing 3–1 at home to Huddersfield Town and Rotherham United draw with Scunthorpe United.
  • 29 April 2006 — Chelsea successfully retain their Premier League title after beating Manchester United 3–0.
  • 29 April 2006 — West Bromwich Albion are relegated from the Premier League after Portsmouth win 2–1 away at Wigan Athletic. Birmingham City are also relegated after Portsmouth's victory combined with their 0–0 draw with Newcastle United.
  • 29 April 2006 — Charlton Athletic manager Alan Curbishley announces that he will resign at the end of the season, ending a 15-year long tenure as manager at The Valley.
  • 29 April 2006 — Southend United secure promotion from League One after they draw 2–2 at Swansea City while Brentford also draw against Hartlepool United. Also in League One, Swindon Town are relegated to League Two after they could only draw 1–1 against Bristol City.
  • 29 April 2006 — Northampton Town secure promotion from League Two after beating Chester City 1–0. Rushden & Diamonds are relegated to the Conference National when they lose 2–0 away to Boston United and other results go against them.
  • 30 April 2006 — Reading break Sunderland's record for most points in any professional English league, beating Queens Park Rangers 2–1 to finish on 106 points.
  • 30 April 2006 — April draws to a close with Chelsea confirmed as champions, while Manchester United and Liverpool are the next highest teams level on points. Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Blackburn Rovers complete the top six. Sunderland are bottom and were relegated two weeks ago, while West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City's relegation has just been confirmed. It is a brilliant time for Portsmouth, who looked dead and buried barely two months ago.[14]
  • 4 May 2006 — Current Middlesbrough manager Steve McClaren signs a four-year contract agreeing to succeed Sven-Göran Eriksson as England head coach after the World Cup. The contract begins on 1 August.
  • 4 May 2006 — Newcastle United are refused permission to appoint caretaker manager Glenn Roeder on a permanent basis as he does not possess the required coaching qualifications.[15]
  • 6 May 2006 — Southend United, after defeating Bristol City, become League One champions, while Colchester United secure the second automatic place to the Championship; they will play in the top two tiers in English football for the first time in their history after their promotion. Hartlepool United and Milton Keynes Dons are relegated to League Two.
  • 6 May 2006 — Oxford United lose their league status after 44 years following a 3–2 defeat by Leyton Orient, who are promoted to League One.
  • 7 May 2006 — Sunderland finish the season on 15 points, the lowest points total ever in top-flight English football since 3 points for a win was introduced in the 1981–82 season.
  • 9 May 2006 — Roy Keane's testimonial is played at Old Trafford, with Manchester United beating Celtic 1–0 thanks to a second half Cristiano Ronaldo goal.
  • 10 May 2006 — Middlesbrough lose the UEFA Cup final 4–0 to Sevilla in Steve McClaren's last game in charge at the Philips Stadion in Eindhoven. On the same day, the Premier League change their mind over the Glenn Roeder situation at Newcastle United and give him permission to take on the manager's role on a permanent basis despite him not having the requiring coaching qualifications.[16]
  • 11 May 2006 — Alan Shearer's testimonial is played at St James' Park, with a Newcastle XI beating Celtic 3–2, with Shearer scoring the winning penalty. Joe Royle leaves Ipswich Town "by mutual consent".
  • 13 May 2006 — Liverpool win the 125th FA Cup final beating West Ham United 3–1 on penalties after a thrilling 3–3 draw after extra time.
  • 16 May 2006 — Lincoln City become the first team to lose four consecutive play-off competitions following a 3–1 aggregate defeat to neighbours Grimsby Town in the League Two semi-finals.
  • 17 May 2006 — Arsenal lose in the UEFA Champions League final to Barcelona 2–1 in the Stade de France. Jens Lehmann is sent off controversially after fouling Samuel Eto'o and Ludovic Giuly puts the ball into the back of the net.
  • 20 May 2006 — Hereford United gain promotion to League Two after beating Halifax Town 3–2 in the Conference Playoff Final, after extra time.
  • 21 May 2006 — Watford gain promotion to the Premier League after defeating Leeds United 3–0 in the Championship play-off final.
  • 23 May 2006 — Arsenal sign Tomáš Rosický from Borussia Dortmund for £6.8 million.
  • 27 May 2006 — Barnsley win promotion to the Championship after overcoming Swansea City in the League One play-off final. They win 4–3 on penalties after both sides remained level at 2–2 after extra time.
  • 28 May 2006 — Cheltenham Town win promotion to the League One by defeating Grimsby Town 1–0 in the League Two play-off final.
  • 30 May 2006 — Everton pay a club record £8.6 million for Crystal Palace striker Andrew Johnson, and Chelsea sign Salomon Kalou from Feyenoord for £8 million.
  • 31 May 2006 — Chelsea pay a national record £30 million for Milan and Ukraine striker Andriy Shevchenko.
  • 2 June 2006 — Billy Davies leaves Preston North End to become manager of Derby County.
  • 4 June 2006 — Scarborough are relegated from the Conference National for a breach of league rules. They take Altrincham's relegation place.
  • 8 June 2006 — The BBC's Match of the Day will show Premier League highlights for at least another four seasons after £171.6 million bid for television rights was accepted.[17]
  • 10 June 2006 — England open their World Cup campaign with a 1–0 win over Paraguay.
  • 14 June 2006 — Everton sign defender Joleon Lescott from Wolverhampton Wanderers for £5 million, and Chelsea sell striker Eiður Guðjohnsen to Barcelona for £8 million.
  • 15 June 2006 — England beat Trinidad and Tobago 2–0 to confirm their qualification for the last 16 of the World Cup.
  • 20 June 2006 — England draw 2–2 with Sweden in their final group game.
  • 22 June 2006 — Liverpool pay £6 million to Blackburn Rovers for winger Craig Bellamy.
  • 25 June 2006 — England reach the World Cup quarter-finals for the second tournament in succession with a 1–0 win over Ecuador in the second round.
  • 1 July 2006 — England lose on penalties to Portugal after a goalless draw in the World Cup quarter-finals. Tottenham Hotspur sign Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov from Bayer Leverkusen for £10.9 million. Former Tottenham Hotspur and England manager Glenn Hoddle resigns at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

National team[edit]

England qualified for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, after finishing top of UEFA Qualifying Group 6.

Date Venue Opponents Score[18] Competition England scorers Match Report
17 August 2005 Parken Stadion, Copenhagen (A)  Denmark 1–4 F Wayne Rooney BBC
3 September 2005 Millennium Stadium, Cardiff (A)  Wales 1–0 WCQ Joe Cole BBC
7 September 2005 Windsor Park, Belfast (A)  Northern Ireland 0–1 WCQ   BBC
8 October 2005 Old Trafford, Manchester (H)  Austria 1–0 WCQ Frank Lampard (pen) BBC
12 October 2005 Old Trafford, Manchester (H)  Poland 2–1 WCQ Michael Owen, Frank Lampard BBC
12 November 2005 Stade de Genève, Geneva (N)  Argentina 3–2 F Wayne Rooney, Michael Owen (2) BBC
1 March 2006 Anfield, Liverpool (H)  Uruguay 2–1 F Peter Crouch, Joe Cole BBC
25 May 2006 Madejski Stadium, Reading (H)  Belarus 1–2 F ('B' team) Jermaine Jenas BBC
30 May 2006 Old Trafford, Manchester (H)  Hungary 3–1 F Steven Gerrard,
John Terry,
Peter Crouch
BBC
3 June 2006 Old Trafford, Manchester (H)  Jamaica 6–0 F Frank Lampard,
Jermaine Taylor (o.g.),
Michael Owen,
Peter Crouch (3)
BBC
10 June 2006 FIFA WM Stadion Frankfurt, Frankfurt (N)  Paraguay 1–0 WCF Carlos Gamarra (o.g.) BBC
15 June 2006 Frankenstadion, Nuremberg (N)  Trinidad and Tobago 2–0 WCF Peter Crouch,
Steven Gerrard
BBC
20 June 2006 FIFA WM Stadion Köln, Cologne (N)  Sweden 2–2 WCF Joe Cole,
Steven Gerrard
BBC
25 June 2006 Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion, Stuttgart (N)  Ecuador 1–0 WCF David Beckham BBC
1 July 2006 Veltins-Arena, Gelsenkirchen (N)  Portugal 0–0 (FT), 0–0 (aet), 1–3 (P) WCF BBC
Key
  • H = Home match
  • A = Away match
  • N = Neutral site match
  • F = Friendly
  • WCQ = FIFA World Cup 2006 Qualifying, European zone Group 6
  • WCF = FIFA World Cup 2006 Finals

Honours[edit]

Competition Winner Details Match Report
2005 UEFA Super Cup Liverpool Beat CSKA Moscow 3–1 UEFA
2005–06 FA Premier League Chelsea BBC
2005–06 FA Cup Liverpool Beat West Ham United 3–1 on penalties; 3–3 after extra time BBC
2005–06 Football League Cup Manchester United Beat Wigan Athletic 4–0 BBC
2005–06 Football League Championship Reading Finished on record 106 points BBC
2005–06 Football League One Southend United Consecutive promotions BBC
2005–06 Football League Two Carlisle United Consecutive promotions BBC
2005 FA Community Shield Chelsea Beat Arsenal 2–1 BBC
2005–06 Football League Trophy Swansea City Beat Carlisle United 2–1 BBC

European qualification[edit]

Competition Qualifiers Reason for Qualification
UEFA Champions League Chelsea 1st in FA Premier League
Manchester United 2nd in FA Premier League
UEFA Champions League Third Qualifying Round Liverpool 3rd in FA Premier League
Arsenal 4th in FA Premier League
UEFA Cup Tottenham Hotspur 5th in FA Premier League
West Ham United In lieu of FA Cup winners
(qualification awarded as FA Cup runners-up because FA Cup winners Liverpool had already qualified for the Champions League)
Blackburn Rovers In lieu of League Cup winners
(qualification awarded as next-highest (6th) Premier League finishers to have not qualified for Europe because League Cup winners Manchester United had already qualified for the Champions League)
UEFA Intertoto Cup Third round Newcastle United Highest Premier League finishers (7th) to have entered and not qualified for any other European competition

League tables[edit]

Premier League[edit]

Chelsea, on 91 points, won the Premier League title by an 8-point margin after fighting off a late challenge by runners-up Manchester United, whose 83-point tally would have been enough for title glory in most seasons. The other five European places went to Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United and Blackburn Rovers.

Arsenal snatched the last Champions League spot from under the noses of local rivals Tottenham, after the latter's players went down with a bout of food-poisoning. The Gunners 4-2 victory over Wigan on the final day of the season saw them end 92 years of playing at Highbury before they moved into their new 60,000-seat Emirates Stadium.

Newly promoted Wigan Athletic, who were many pundit's tip for relegation in pre-season, defied the odds to finish 10th in their first season in the top-flight.

Middlesbrough finished 14th after a disappointing league season, but did reach the UEFA Cup Final – the first European final in their history – where they were beaten 4–0 by Sevilla. Also dipping seven places were Manchester City, who finished 15th, while Aston Villa slipped six places to 16th.

Sunderland were relegated with a league record low of 3 wins and 15 points, breaking the previous record that they set themselves in 2002–03, while West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City both hit the 30-point mark but were unable to avoid relegation; Albion after two seasons in the Premier League and Birmingham after four. Portsmouth had spent almost the entire season in the relegation zone, but they stayed up after a late run of good results for themselves and a dismal run of form by Albion and Birmingham.

P W D L F A GD Pts
C 1 Chelsea 38 29 4 5 72 22 +50 91
CLG 2 Manchester United 38 25 8 5 72 34 +38 83
CLQ 3 Liverpool 38 25 7 6 57 25 +32 82
CLQ 4 Arsenal 38 20 7 11 68 31 +37 67
UC 5 Tottenham Hotspur 38 18 11 9 53 38 +15 65
UC 6 Blackburn Rovers 38 19 6 13 51 42 +9 63
INTO. 7 Newcastle United 38 17 7 14 47 42 +5 58
  8 Bolton Wanderers 38 15 11 12 49 41 +8 56
UC 9 West Ham United 38 16 7 15 52 55 −3 55
  10 Wigan Athletic 38 15 6 17 45 52 −7 51
  11 Everton 38 14 8 16 34 49 −15 50
  12 Fulham 38 14 6 18 48 58 −10 48
  13 Charlton Athletic 38 13 8 17 41 55 −14 47
  14 Middlesbrough 38 12 9 17 48 58 −10 45
  15 Manchester City 38 13 4 21 43 48 −5 43
  16 Aston Villa 38 10 12 16 42 55 −13 42
  17 Portsmouth 38 10 8 20 37 62 −25 38
R 18 Birmingham City 38 8 10 20 28 50 −22 34
R 19 West Bromwich Albion 38 7 9 22 31 58 −27 30
R 20 Sunderland 38 3 6 29 26 69 −43 15

Leading goalscorer: Thierry Henry (Arsenal) – 27

The Football League[edit]

Football League Championship[edit]

Reading entered the top flight for the first time in their history, breaking Sunderland's points record in the process (coincidentally, Sunderland were relegated from the Premier League while breaking the record for lowest number of points under the current scoring system). Sheffield United joined them, returning to the Premier League after twelve years. Surprise package Watford, initially tipped for relegation, entered the play-offs and beat Leeds United 3–0 in the Millennium Stadium final, who were unable to shake off a bad run of form (worse than any of the three relegated sides) that saw them lose out in the race for automatic promotion.

Crystal Palace fared the best out of the teams relegated from the Premier League the previous season, by getting to the play-offs but losing in the semi-finals. Norwich never managed better than mid-table, while Southampton endured an awful season that saw Sir Clive Woodward take up a much-criticised role as director of football, manager Harry Redknapp return to local rivals Portsmouth and the side looking in danger of relegation for much of the season, only managing a mid-table finish with a late surge in form, thanks to the appointment of George Burley. Chairman Rupert Lowe ultimately paid the price by being forced to resign after the end of the season.

The relegation battle was principally fought by four sides: Crewe, Brighton, Millwall and Sheffield Wednesday. Wednesday ultimately won the battle, and the remaining three were relegated all on the same day, after Wednesday beat Brighton 2–0. While Crewe and Brighton had not spent long in the division and were considered to be punching above their weight, Millwall underwent a disastrous season, getting through five managers and four chairmen before relegation.

P W D L F A GD Pts
C 1 Reading 46 31 13 2 99 32 +67 106
P 2 Sheffield United 46 26 12 8 76 46 +30 90
P 3 Watford 46 22 15 9 77 53 +24 81
  4 Preston North End 46 20 20 6 59 30 +29 80
  5 Leeds United 46 21 15 10 57 38 +19 78
  6 Crystal Palace 46 21 12 13 67 48 +19 75
  7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 46 16 19 11 50 42 +8 67
  8 Coventry City 46 16 15 15 62 65 −3 63
  9 Norwich City 46 18 8 20 56 65 −9 62
  10 Luton Town 46 17 10 19 66 67 −1 61
  11 Cardiff City 46 16 12 18 58 59 −1 60
  12 Southampton 46 13 19 14 49 50 −1 58
  13 Stoke City 46 17 7 22 54 63 −9 58
  14 Plymouth Argyle 46 13 17 16 39 46 −7 56
  15 Ipswich Town 46 14 14 18 53 66 −13 56
  16 Leicester City 46 13 15 18 51 59 −8 54
  17 Burnley 46 14 12 20 46 54 −8 54
  18 Hull City 46 12 16 18 49 55 −6 52
  19 Sheffield Wednesday 46 13 13 20 39 52 −13 52
  20 Derby County 46 10 20 16 53 67 −14 50
  21 Queens Park Rangers 46 12 14 20 50 65 −15 50
R 22 Crewe Alexandra 46 9 15 22 57 86 −29 42
R 23 Millwall 46 8 16 22 35 62 −27 40
R 24 Brighton & Hove Albion 46 7 17 22 39 71 −32 38

Leading goalscorer: Marlon King (Watford) – 21

Football League One[edit]

Southend United surprised many by winning a second successive promotion, returning to the Championship after nearly a decade (when it was called Division One). Colchester United also made the Championship for the first time in their history, but their promotion was tempered by the loss of manager Phil Parkinson to Hull City. A highly competitive play-off race saw Barnsley emerge as winners, beating Swansea City at the Millennium Stadium 4–3 on penalties after both normal time and extra-time finished 2–2, to return to the Championship after three seasons of struggle in Division Two/League One. Following relegation and becoming the first former European champions to be subsequently relegated to the third tier of their domestic league, Nottingham Forest struggled for most of the season and were in danger of the unthinkable and suffering a second successive relegation. The departure of Gary Megson saw a late upturn in form and surge towards the play-offs; however, they missed out on the last day of the season, finishing 7th.

At the bottom, Walsall endured their second relegation in three seasons, Swindon became the first former Premier League side to slip to the bottom division, Hartlepool crashed out of the division the season after they nearly earned promotion to the Championship, while MK Dons suffered the relegation they only avoided the previous season when Wrexham were docked points for entering administration.

P W D L F A GD Pts
C 1 Southend United 46 23 13 10 72 43 +29 82
P 2 Colchester United 46 22 13 11 58 40 +18 79
  3 Brentford 46 20 16 10 72 52 +20 76
  4 Huddersfield Town 46 19 16 11 72 59 +13 73
P 5 Barnsley 46 18 18 10 62 44 +18 72
  6 Swansea City 46 18 17 11 78 55 +23 71
  7 Nottingham Forest 46 19 12 15 67 52 +15 69
  8 Doncaster Rovers 46 20 9 17 55 51 +4 69
  9 Bristol City 46 18 11 17 66 62 +4 65
  10 Oldham Athletic 46 18 11 17 58 60 −2 65
  11 Bradford City 46 14 19 13 51 49 +2 60
  12 Scunthorpe United 46 15 15 16 68 73 −5 60
  13 Port Vale 46 16 12 18 49 54 −5 60
  14 Gillingham 46 16 12 18 50 64 −14 60
  15 Yeovil Town 46 15 11 20 54 62 −8 56
  16 Chesterfield 46 14 14 18 63 73 −10 56
  17 Bournemouth 46 12 19 15 49 53 −4 55
  18 Tranmere Rovers 46 13 15 18 50 52 −2 54
  19 Blackpool 46 12 17 17 56 64 −8 53
  20 Rotherham United 46 12 16 18 52 62 −10 52
R 21 Hartlepool United 46 11 17 18 44 59 −15 50
R 22 Milton Keynes Dons 46 12 14 20 45 66 −21 50
R 23 Swindon Town 46 11 15 20 46 65 −19 48
R 24 Walsall 46 11 14 21 47 70 −23 47

Leading goalscorers: Billy Sharp (Scunthorpe United) – 23, and Freddy Eastwood (Southend United) – 23

Football League Two[edit]

Carlisle United were another side who earned a second successive promotion, only two years after a relegation from the League that some predicted would see the end of the club. Northampton Town joined them, making up for two seasons of play-off disappointment, and Leyton Orient ended a decade in the bottom division by earning promotion in almost the last minute of the season. Grimsby Town conceded on 91 minutes, and 14 seconds after the fans of Orient celebrated, Lee Steele scored to seal promotion for Orient. This strike also confirmed Oxford United's relegation. Wycombe started the season with a 21-game unbeaten run that saw five of their players named in the PFA League Two team of the year. Two tragic off-the-field events, however, saw them fall away in the second part of the season before losing to Cheltenham Town in the playoff semi-finals. Grimsby Town lost 1–0 to Cheltenham in the final at the Millennium Stadium.

Rushden & Diamonds failed to improve on the previous season, and paid the price with relegation to the Conference. Oxford United joined them, despite the return of manager Jim Smith, and became the first former winners of a major trophy to be relegated to the Conference.

P W D L F A GD Pts
C 1 Carlisle United 46 25 11 10 84 42 +42 86
P 2 Northampton Town 46 22 17 7 63 37 +26 83
P 3 Leyton Orient 46 22 15 9 67 51 +16 81
  4 Grimsby Town 46 22 12 12 64 44 +20 78
P 5 Cheltenham Town 46 19 15 12 65 53 +12 72
  6 Wycombe Wanderers 46 18 17 11 72 56 +16 71
  7 Lincoln City 46 15 21 10 65 53 +12 66
  8 Darlington 46 16 15 15 58 52 +6 63
  9 Peterborough United 46 17 11 18 57 49 +8 62
  10 Shrewsbury Town 46 16 13 17 55 55 0 61
  11 Boston United 46 15 16 15 50 60 −10 61
  12 Bristol Rovers 46 17 9 20 59 67 −8 60
  13 Wrexham 46 15 14 17 61 54 +7 59
  14 Rochdale 46 14 14 18 66 69 −3 56
  15 Chester City 46 14 12 20 53 59 −6 54
  16 Mansfield Town 46 13 15 18 59 66 −7 54
  17 Macclesfield Town 46 12 18 16 60 71 −11 54
  18 Barnet 46 12 18 16 44 57 −13 54
  19 Bury* 46 12 17 17 45 57 −12 52
  20 Torquay United 46 13 13 20 53 66 −13 52
  21 Notts County 46 12 16 18 48 63 −15 52
  22 Stockport County 46 11 19 16 57 78 −21 52
R 23 Oxford United 46 11 16 19 43 56 −14 49
R 24 Rushden & Diamonds 46 11 12 23 44 76 −32 45

* Deducted 1 point for fielding an ineligible player

Leading goalscorer: Rickie Lambert (Rochdale) – 22

Non-League football[edit]

Competition Winners
Conference National winners Accrington Stanley
Conference National play-off winners Hereford United
Conference North winners Northwich Victoria
Conference South winners Weymouth
FA Trophy Grays Athletic
FA Vase Nantwich Town

Transfer deals[edit]

Summer transfer window[edit]

The summer transfer window ran from the end of the previous season until 31 August.

January transfer window[edit]

The mid-season transfer window ran from 1 to 31 January 2006.

For subsequent transfer deals see List of English football transfers 2006–07

Famous debutants[edit]

  • Theo Walcott, 16-year-old forward, makes his debut for Southampton on the opening day of the Championship season as a substitute in the goalless home draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers – the club's first game outside the top flight for nearly 30 years.[20]

Retirements[edit]

  • 22 April 2006 — Alan Shearer, 35, retires after being ruled out for the rest of the season by an injury suffered on 17 April in his 404th appearance for Newcastle United since joining them in 1996. He was due to retire at the end of the season but the injury meant that the game against Sunderland was his last.[21]
  • 12 June 2006 — Roy Keane, 34, who until 18 November spent more than 12 years with Manchester United before joining Celtic, retires due to a long-standing hip injury. He arrived onto the English football scene in 1990 with Nottingham Forest.[24]

Deaths[edit]

  • 8 September 2005 — Noel Cantwell, 72, died of cancer. He was a Republic of Ireland international at left-back during the 1950s and 1960s. He also captained Manchester United's FA Cup winning team in 1963. As a manager he led Coventry City to their only European campaign in 1969–70.
  • 18 October 2005 — Johnny Haynes, 71, former England and Fulham midfielder, who became the first English footballer to be paid £100-a-week, died after suffering a brain haemorrhage while driving in Edinburgh, resulting in a head-on collision with another vehicle.
  • 26 October 2005 — George Swindin, 90, was a former goalkeeper of Arsenal in the 1930s to the 1950s. He helped them win two league titles and one FA Cup. After retiring, he served Arsenal as manager.
  • 25 November 2005 — George Best, 59, Northern-Irish-born striker who enjoyed the early and most successful years of his career Manchester United, died in London's Cromwell Hospital from multiple organ failure, the result of more than 30 years of heavy drinking, three years after he underwent a liver transplant.[25] Personal problems meant that he played his last game for United at the age of 27, but he continued at various smaller clubs – including a brief spell with the Los Angeles Aztecs in America – until the age of 37, when he played his last professional game at AFC Bournemouth. His death dominated news bulletins and his funeral was shown live on the BBC.
  • 9 February 2006 — Ron Greenwood, 84, former West Ham United and England manager. He managed West Ham to victory in the FA Cup in 1964 and Cup Winners' Cup success a year later. Greenwood later managed the England team, achieving qualification for Euro 80 and the 1982 World Cup.
  • 1 March 2006 — Peter Osgood, 59, former England striker, died of a heart attack while attending a family funeral. He played in Chelsea's 1970 FA Cup and 1971 Cup Winners' Cup victories, and won another FA Cup medal in 1976 with his next club Southampton.
  • 18 April 2006 — John Lyall, 66, former West Ham United and Ipswich Town manager, died of a heart attack. He completed his first season in management at West Ham with FA Cup glory in 1975, winning the trophy again in 1980 and taking West Ham to their highest-ever league position – third – in 1986. He was sacked when West Ham were relegated in 1989, but made a comeback the following year with Ipswich Town. Lyall took Ipswich into the inaugural Premier League as Second Division champions in 1992, and remained in charge for another two-and-half years before he was sacked in December 1994. Lyall never returned to management after his dismissal from Ipswich.
  • 24 April 2006 — Brian Labone, 66, former Everton captain who played in Harry Catterick's successful 1960s side, died of a heart attack. He helped them win the FA Cup in 1964 and 1966 as well as the league title in 1963 and 1970. Labone was also capped 26 times by England between 1962 and 1970, but did not make the squad for England's victorious 1966 World Cup campaign.

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