2008–09 in English football

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The 2008–09 season was the 129th season of competitive football in England.

Overview[edit]

Managerial changes[edit]

In-season managerial changes[edit]

Name Club Date of departure Replacement Date of appointment
Kevin Bond Bournemouth 1 September 2008[1] Jimmy Quinn 2 September 2008[2]
Alan Curbishley West Ham United 3 September 2008[3] Gianfranco Zola 11 September 2008[4]
Kevin Keegan Newcastle United 4 September 2008[5] Joe Kinnear1 26 September 2008[6]
Keith Downing Cheltenham Town 13 September 2008[7] Martin Allen 15 September 2008[8]
Alan Buckley Grimsby Town 15 September 2008[9] Mike Newell 6 October 2008[10]
Geraint Williams Colchester United 22 September 2008[11] Paul Lambert 9 October 2008[12]
Lee Sinnott Port Vale 22 September 2008[13] Dean Glover2 6 October 2008[14]
Iain Dowie Queens Park Rangers 24 October 2008[15] Paulo Sousa 19 November 2008[16]
Juande Ramos Tottenham Hotspur 25 October 2008[17] Harry Redknapp 26 October 2008[17]
Harry Redknapp Portsmouth 26 October 2008[17] Tony Adams3 28 October 2008[18]
John Ward Carlisle United 3 November 2008[19] Greg Abbott4 5 December 2008[20]
Aidy Boothroyd Watford 3 November 2008[21] Brendan Rodgers 24 November 2008[22]
Stan Ternent Huddersfield Town 4 November 2008[23] Lee Clark 11 December 2008[24]
Simon Davies Chester City 11 November 2008[25] Mark Wright 14 November 2008[26]
Maurice Malpas Swindon Town 14 November 2008[27] Danny Wilson 26 December 2008[28]
Steve Holland Crewe Alexandra 18 November 2008[29] Gudjon Thordarson 24 December 2008[30]
Alan Pardew Charlton Athletic 22 November 2008[31] Phil Parkinson5 31 December 2008[32]
Roy Keane Sunderland 4 December 2008[33] Ricky Sbragia6 27 December 2008[34]
Danny Wilson Hartlepool United 15 December 2008[35] Chris Turner 15 December 2008
Gary McAllister Leeds United 21 December 2008[36] Simon Grayson 23 December 2008[37]
Simon Grayson Blackpool 23 December 2008[37] Ian Holloway 21 May 2009
Colin Calderwood Nottingham Forest 26 December 2008[38] Billy Davies 1 January 2009[39]
Paul Fairclough Barnet 28 December 2008[40] Ian Hendon9 21 April 2009
Paul Jewell Derby County 29 December 2008[41] Nigel Clough 6 January 2009[42]
Jimmy Quinn Bournemouth 31 December 2008[43] Eddie Howe7 19 January 2009[44]
Jimmy Mullen Walsall 10 January 2009[45] Chris Hutchings 20 January 2009[46]
Glenn Roeder Norwich City 14 January 2009[47] Bryan Gunn8 21 January 2009[48]
Martin Ling Leyton Orient 18 January 2009[49] Geraint Williams 5 February 2009[50]
Jan Poortvliet Southampton 23 January 2009[51] Mark Wotte 23 January 2009[51]
Tony Adams Portsmouth 9 February 2009[52] Paul Hart 3 March 2009[53]
Luiz Felipe Scolari Chelsea 9 February 2009[54] Guus Hiddink 11 February 2009[55]
Russell Slade Yeovil Town 16 February 2009[56] Terry Skiverton 18 February 2009[57]
Micky Adams Brighton & Hove Albion 21 February 2009[58] Russell Slade 6 March 2009[59]
John Sheridan Oldham Athletic 15 March 2009[60] Joe Royle 15 March 2009[61]
Paulo Sousa Queens Park Rangers 9 April 2009[62] Jim Magilton 3 June 2009
Jim Magilton Ipswich Town 21 April 2009 Roy Keane 22 April 2009
Graham Turner Hereford United 24 April 2009 John Trewick 24 April 2009
Joe Royle Oldham Athletic 30 April 2009 Dave Penney 30 April 2009
Dave Penney Darlington 30 April 2009 Colin Todd 20 May 2009

End-of-season managerial changes[edit]

Name Club Date of departure Replacement Date of appointment
Dean Glover Port Vale 2 May 2009 Micky Adams 1 June 2009
Jim Gannon Stockport County 6 May 2009 Gary Ablett 8 July 2009
Lee Richardson Chesterfield 6 May 2009 John Sheridan 9 June 2009
Steve Coppell Reading 12 May 2009 Brendan Rodgers 5 June 2009
Ricky Sbragia Sunderland 24 May 2009 Steve Bruce 2 June 2009
Guus Hiddink Chelsea 30 May 2009 Carlo Ancelotti 1 June 2009
Steve Bruce Wigan Athletic 2 June 2009 Roberto Martínez 16 June 2009
Brendan Rodgers Watford 5 June 2009 Malky Mackay 15 June 2009
Ronnie Moore Tranmere Rovers 5 June 2009 John Barnes 15 June 2009
Roberto Martínez Swansea City 16 June 2009 Paulo Sousa 29 June 2009
Tony Mowbray West Bromwich Albion 17 June 2009 Roberto Di Matteo 1 July 2009
Mark Wright Chester City 22 June 2009 Mick Wadsworth 29 June 2009
Roberto Di Matteo Milton Keynes Dons 1 July 2009 Paul Ince 3 July 2009
Mark Wotte Southampton 9 July 2009 Alan Pardew 17 July 2009

Notes[edit]

  • 1 Joe Kinnear was named interim manager on 26 September, and signed as permanent manager on 28 November.
  • 2 Dean Glover had previously been caretaker manager at Port Vale since Sinnott's departure.
  • 3 Tony Adams had previously been caretaker manager at Portsmouth since Redknapp's departure.
  • 4 Greg Abbott had previously been caretaker manager at Carlisle United since Ward's departure.
  • 5 Phil Parkinson had previously been caretaker manager at Charlton Athletic since Pardew's departure.
  • 6 Ricky Sbragia had previously been caretaker manager at Sunderland since Keane's departure.
  • 7 Eddie Howe had previously been caretaker manager at Bournemouth since Quinn's departure.
  • 8 Bryan Gunn had previously been caretaker manager at Norwich City since Roeder's departure.
  • 9 Ian Hendon had previously been caretaker manager at Barnet since Fairclough's departure.

Diary of the season[edit]

1 July 2008: Luiz Felipe Scolari, who managed Brazil to World Cup glory in 2002, is appointed manager of Chelsea.

22 July 2008: Luke McCormick, on bail after being charged with causing death by dangerous driving, has his contract terminated by Plymouth Argyle.[63]

29 July 2008: Liverpool pay £20.3million for 28-year-old Tottenham Hotspur and Ireland striker Robbie Keane.

9 August 2008: The first Football League matches of the season are played.

10 August 2008: The FA Community Shield is won by Manchester United on penalties against Portsmouth after a goalless draw at Wembley Stadium.

16 August 2008: The first Premier League matches of the season are played.

31 August 2008: The first month of the Premier League season ends with Chelsea top of the league under their new manager Luiz Felipe Scolari and West Bromwich Albion being bottom of the table.[64] The race to get into the Premier League is being headed by Wolverhampton Wanderers, Preston North End and Birmingham City who are level on 10 points at the top of the Football League Championship after four games.[65]

1 September 2008: Manchester City are taken over by the Abu Dhabi group to become the richest club in England, and pay a national record £32.4million for Real Madrid and Brazil striker Robinho, while Manchester United pay a club record £30.75million for Tottenham Hotspur and Bulgaria striker Dimitar Berbatov. In League Two, Kevin Bond becomes the first manager to be removed of the season when his contract is terminated by Bournemouth after two years in charge.

3 September 2008: West Ham United manager Alan Curbishley resigns after 21 months in charge, the first Premier League managerial resignation of the season.

5 September 2008: Kevin Keegan resigns after eight months back in charge at Newcastle United, leading to disatistfaction from fans at Chairman Mike Ashley, who allegedly forced Keegan out of the club with a serious of disputes about team selection and transfers.[citation needed]

11 September 2008: Gianfranco Zola, former Chelsea and Italy striker, becomes West Ham United's first non-British manager.

26 September 2008: Joe Kinnear, 61, returns to football as interim manager of Newcastle United, four years after leaving Nottingham Forest due to health reasons.

27 September 2008: Hull City win 2–1 over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. Their first win against Arsenal in English football.

30 September 2008: Chelsea and Liverpool finish September level on points at the top of the Premier League, with Aston Villa, Arsenal and West Ham United completing the top five. Blackburn Rovers, sixth in the league making Paul Ince the most successful Ethnic Minority manager to start a Premier League season. Hull City, playing top division football for the first time are seventh in the Premier League. Defending champions Manchester United are ninth in the league, with a game in hand over the teams above them, while Tottenham Hotspur are bottom of the table.[66] Wolverhampton Wanderers and Birmingham City are first and second respectively in the Championship.[67]

6 October 2008: Luke McCormick is found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving at Stoke Crown Court and sentenced to 7 years and 4 months in prison.[68]

26 October 2008: Tottenham Hotspur, bottom of Premier League, terminate the contract of manager Juande Ramos and hire Portsmouth's Harry Redknapp to fill the vacancy.

28 October 2008: Portsmouth promote assistant manager Tony Adams to manager following Harry Redknapp joining Tottenham Hotspurs.

31 October 2008: Liverpool finish October as Premier League leaders, with Chelsea, Arsenal, Aston Villa and Hull City completing the top five. Manchester United are sixth with a game in hand over the top five clubs.[69] Wolverhampton Wanderers and Birmingham City are first and second respectively in the Championship.[70]

22 November 2008: Charlton Athletic, bottom of the Football League Championship 18 months after being relegated from the Premier League, sack manager Alan Pardew after nearly two years in charge.

30 November 2008: Chelsea and Liverpool are level on points at the top of the Premier League, with Manchester United in third place. Aston Villa and Arsenal complete the top five, with Hull City in sixth place in the league. Tottenham Hotspur are from bottom of the table with West Bromwich Albion Btoom of the league. Blackburn Rovers complete the bottom three relegation places.[71] Wolverhampton Wanderers lead the championship by 6 points ahead of second placed Birmingham City and 13 points ahead of third placed Reading.[72]

6 December 2008: Darren Anderton retires from playing after a career of nearly 20 years in his final game Anderton scores AFC Bournemouth's winning goal against Chester City in League Two.

16 December 2008:Blackburn Rovers terminate the contract of Paul Ince after six months as manager.

17 December 2008: Sam Allardyce is appointed manager of Blackburn Rovers.

22 December 2008: Leeds United terminate the contract of manager Gary McAllister after 11 months as manager.

23 December 2008: Simon Grayson resigns as Blackpool manager to take the managers job at Leeds United.

25 December 2008: Sheffield United striker Jordan Robertson, 20, suffers minor injuries in a car crash on the M1 motorway in Leicestershire in which a 38-year-old Coventry man is seriously injured.

26 December 2008: Nottingham Forest, 22nd in Football League Championship, terminate the contract of manager Colin Calderwood after two and a half years in charge. Omar Mohammed, the man injured in the car crash which also involved Jordan Robertson, dies in hospital.

29 December 2008: Paul Jewell resigns as Derby County manager after one year, with the East Midlands side 18th in the Football League Championship.

31 December 2008: Liverpool end 2008 as Premier League leaders, three points ahead of second placed Chelsea, while third placed Manchester United are 10 points off the top of the table but have three games in hand. Arsenal and Aston Villa complete the top five, while Everton and Wigan Athletic occupy sixth and seventh place respectively. West Bromwich Albion, Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City occupy the relegation places.[73] Wolverhampton Wanderers remain top of the Championship, with Reading and Birmingham level on points in second and third respectively.[74]

3 January 2009: Billy Davies returns to management by accepting an offer to take over as Nottingham Forest manager.

6 January 2009: Nigel Clough ends 10 years as manager of Conference National leaders Burton Albion to take the managers jobs at Derby County. Tottenham Hotspur pay a club record £15million for Portsmouth striker Jermain Defoe, a year after he left them for half that fee.

20 January 2009: Four Tottenham Hotspur fans are banned from all football grounds in England for four years after being found guilty of making indecent chants at the club's former defender Sol Campbell in reference to his transfer to Arsenal in 2001. The incidents took place at Fratton Park, where Tottenham were playing Campbell's current club Portsmouth, on 28 September last year.[75]

31 January 2009: Manchester United are top of the Premier League while the rest of the top seven remains unchanged from the end of December. West Bromwich Albion, Stoke City and Middlesbrough are in the relegation places all on 21 points at the bottom of the Premier League.[76] Wolverhampton Wanderers, Reading and Birmingham City continue occupy the top three positions in the Championship.[77]

2 February 2009: Robbie Keane returns to Tottenham Hotspur after six months at Liverpool for a fee of £12million.

8 February 2009: Portsmouth terminate the contract of Tony Adams after 14 weeks as manager. Paul Hart is appointed caretaker manager.

9 February 2009: Chelsea terminate the contract of Luiz Felipe Scolari after eight months as manager.[78]

11 February 2009: Dutchman Guus Hiddink, manager of the Russia national football team, accepts an offer to manage Chelsea until the end of the season.[79]

28 February 2009: Manchester United end February as Premier League leaders ahead of Chelsea by seven points and with a game in hand. Liverpool, Arsenal, Everton and Wigan Athletic complete the top seven. West Bromwich Albion, Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City occupy the relegation places.[80] Wolverhampton Wanderers, Birmingham City and Reading continue in the top threeplaces respectively in the Championship.[81]

1 March 2009: Manchester United win the 2008–09 Football League Cup defeating Tottenham Hotspur 4–1 on penalties, following a 0–0 draw after extra time.

14 March 2009: Liverpool beat Manchester United 4–1 at Old Trafford.[82]

31 March 2009: Manchester United's lead at the top of the Premier League is one point over Liverpool, with a game in hand. The whole top seven remains unchanged again at the end of the month. West Bromwich Albion, Middlesbrough and Newcastle United occupy the relegation zone.[83] Wolverhampton Wanderers, Birmingham City and Reading continue in the top three places in the Championship.[84]

5 April 2009: Luton Town win the 2008–09 Football League Trophy by defeating Scunthorpe United 3–2 in extra time.[85]

13 April 2009: The first two relegations of the season take place, with Hereford United relegated from League One to League Two one season after promotion and Luton Town are relegated from League Two into the Conference National. Their third successive relegation resulting in the loss of league status.

18 April 2009: Wolverhampton Wanderers are promoted to the Premier League and Leicester City are promoted to the Football League Championship, while Charlton Athletic are relegated to League One.

21 April 2009: Ipswich Town sack manager Jim Magilton after failing to reach the Play-offs.

22 April 2009: Roy Keane appointed new manager of Ipswich Town on two-year contract.

25 April 2009: Peterborough United are promoted to the Football League Championship.

25 April 2009: Brentford are promoted to League One as well as winning the League Two title with a 3–1 win over Darlington.

25 April 2009: Cardiff City played their last ever game at Ninian Park.

30 April 2009: Manchester United end April with a three-point lead over Liverpool with a game in hand in the Premier League, with Chelsea the only other team still in contention for the title. Arsenal, Aston Villa, Everton and Fulham complete the top seven who will qualify for Europe club competitions for next this season. West Bromwich Albion, Newcastle United and Middlesbrough occupy the relegation zone.[86] Birmingham City and Sheffield United the final two teams in contention for automatic promotion to the Premier League, while playoff qualification is being contested between Reading, Cardiff City, Burnley and Preston North End.[87]

2 May 2009: Chester City are relegated to the Conference. resulting in the loss of league status for second time.

2 May 2009: Wycombe Wanderers and Exeter City won promotion to League One.

3 May 2009: Birmingham City are Promoted to The Premier League after a last day 2–1 Win over Reading. Norwich City are relegated to League One, and Crewe Alexandra and Northampton Town are relegated to League Two.

5 May 2009: Manchester United win 4–1 on aggregate over Arsenal in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals to reach the final.

6 May 2009: Chelsea lose on away goals in the Champions League semi-final with FC Barcelona, ending their hopes of a final against Manchester United.

16 May 2009: Manchester United earn a 0–0 draw with Arsenal at Old Trafford to win the Premier League.

17 May 2009: West Bromwich Albion are relegated from the Premier League to the Championship.

23 May 2009: Gillingham win promotion to League One after defeating Shrewsbury Town 1–0 in the League Two play-off final.

24 May 2009: On the final day of the Premiership season Newcastle United and Middlesbrough are relegated to the Championship after both lost away at Aston Villa and West Ham United respectively. This ends Newcastle United's 16 year spell in the Premier League. Also Scunthorpe United win promotion to the Championship with a 3–2 win over Millwall in the League One play-off final at Wembley.

25 May 2009: Burnley win promotion to the Premier League, defeating Sheffield United 1–0 at Wembley in the Championship play-off final.

27 May 2009: Manchester United lose 2–0 to Barcelona in 2009 UEFA Champions League Final

30 May 2009: Chelsea win the FA Cup final beating Everton 2–1.

National team[edit]

The home team is on the left column; the away team is on the right column.

Friendly matches[edit]

20 August 2008
England  2–2  Czech Republic
Brown Goal 45'
J. Cole Goal 90'
(Report) Baroš Goal 22'
Jankulovski Goal 48'
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 69,738
Referee: Terje Hauge (Norway)

19 November 2008
Germany  1–2  England
Helmes Goal 63' (Report) Upson Goal 23'
Terry Goal 84'
Olympic Stadium, Berlin
Attendance: 74,224
Referee: Massimo Busacca (Switzerland)

11 February 2009
Spain  2–0  England
Villa Goal 36'
Llorente Goal 82'
(Report)

28 March 2009
England  4–0  Slovakia
Heskey Goal 6'
Rooney Goal 70'90'
Lampard Goal 82'
(Report)
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 85,512
Referee: Alain Hamer (Luxembourg)

World Cup qualifiers[edit]

England is currently in Group 6 of the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification process.[88]

6 September 2008
Andorra  0–2  England
(Report) J. Cole Goal 49'55'

10 September 2008
Croatia  1–4  England
Mandžukić Goal 78' (Report) Walcott Goal 26'59'82'
Rooney Goal 63'
Maksimir Stadium, Zagreb
Attendance: 35,218
Referee: Ľuboš Micheľ (Slovakia)

11 October 2008
England  5–1  Kazakhstan
Ferdinand Goal 52'
Kuchma Goal 65' (o.g.)
Rooney Goal 77'86'
Defoe Goal 90'
(Report) Kukeev Goal 68'
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 89,107
Referee: Paul Allaerts (Belgium)

15 October 2008
Belarus  1–3  England
Sitko Goal 28' (Report) Gerrard Goal 11'
Rooney Goal 50'74'
Dinamo Stadium, Minsk
Attendance: 32,000

1 April 2009
England  2–1  Ukraine
Crouch Goal 29'
Terry Goal 85'
(Report) Shevchenko Goal 74'
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 87,548
Referee: Claus Bo Larsen (Denmark)

6 June 2009
Kazakhstan  0–4  England
(Report) Barry Goal 39'
Heskey Goal 45'
Rooney Goal 73'
Lampard Goal 77' (pen.)

10 June 2009
England  6–0  Andorra
Rooney Goal 4'39'
Lampard Goal 29'
Defoe Goal 73'75'
Crouch Goal 80'
(Report)
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 57,897
Referee: Hendrikus Nijhuis (Netherlands)

Honours[edit]

Competition Winner Details Match Report
FA Cup Chelsea FA Cup 2008–09
Beat Everton 2–1
Report
League Cup Manchester United Football League Cup 2008–09
Beat Tottenham Hotspur 4–1 on penalties (0–0 final score)
Report
Premier League Manchester United Premier League 2008–09 Report
Football League Championship Wolverhampton Wanderers Football League Championship 2008–09 Report
Football League One Leicester City Football League One 2008–09 Report
Football League Two Brentford Football League Two 2008–09 Report
FA Community Shield Manchester United 2008 FA Community Shield
Beat Portsmouth 3–1 on penalties (0–0 final score)
Report
Football League Trophy Luton Town Football League Trophy 2008–09
Beat Scunthorpe United 3–2 a.e.t
Report
FA Trophy Stevenage Borough FA Trophy 2008–09
Beat York City 2–0
Report
Conference League Cup A.F.C. Telford United Conference League Cup 2008–09
Beat Forest Green Rovers 3–0 on penalties. (0–0 final score)
Report

League Tables[edit]

Premier League[edit]

Despite a late flourish by Liverpool in the last few months of the season, Manchester United went on to win their third title in a row and their 18th in total. Aston Villa had looked like breaking into the Champions League spots for most of the season, but a late collapse that saw them win just twice in their last 13 league games meant that Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal all qualified for the Champions League – for the fifth time in six seasons.

FA Cup finalists Everton were again joined by Aston Villa to qualify for the newly formed UEFA Europa League (which replaced the UEFA Cup). Fulham were the other team to qualify for Europe, marking a remarkable turnaround since Roy Hodgson had taken over 18 months earlier when relegation from the Premier League looked a certainty. This was not only the first time they had qualified for Europe via their league position, but in finishing 7th in the first tier this was also the highest ever league finish in the club's history.

Newly promoted Stoke City also had a memorable season, despite being pre-season relegation favourites for many, they defied their critics and ended up finishing comfortably in mid-table. The same couldn't be said for newly promoted West Bromwich Albion, who propped up the table for most of the season. They were joined in relegation by Middlesbrough and Newcastle United who ended 11 and 16 year spells in the top flight respectively, the latter going through four managers during the campaign. Despite a brilliant start to the season which saw them as high as third place in October, Hull City won just 1 of their final 22 league games and survived by a single point.

P W D L F A GD Pts
C 1 Manchester United 38 28 6 4 68 24 +44 90
CL 2 Liverpool 38 25 11 2 77 27 +50 86
CL 3 Chelsea 38 25 8 5 68 24 +44 83
CL 4 Arsenal 38 20 12 6 68 37 +31 72
EL 5 Everton 38 17 12 9 55 37 +18 63
EL 6 Aston Villa 38 17 11 10 54 48 +6 62
EL 7 Fulham 38 14 11 13 39 34 +5 53
  8 Tottenham Hotspur 38 14 9 15 45 45 0 51
  9 West Ham United 38 14 9 15 42 45 −3 51
  10 Manchester City 38 15 5 18 58 50 +8 50
  11 Wigan Athletic 38 12 9 17 34 45 −11 45
  12 Stoke City 38 12 9 17 38 55 −17 45
  13 Bolton Wanderers 38 11 8 19 41 53 −12 41
  14 Portsmouth 38 10 11 17 38 57 −19 41
  15 Blackburn Rovers 38 10 11 17 40 60 −20 41
  16 Sunderland 38 9 9 20 34 54 −20 36
  17 Hull City 38 8 11 19 39 64 −25 35
R 18 Newcastle United 38 7 13 18 40 59 −19 34
R 19 Middlesbrough 38 7 11 20 28 57 −29 32
R 20 West Bromwich Albion 38 8 8 22 36 67 −31 32

Leading goalscorer: Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea) – 19

Football League Championship[edit]

Five years after being relegated from the Premier League, Wolverhampton Wanderers returned to the top flight by winning the title, having led the division since the opening day. Birmingham City were runners-up, making this the fourth season in a row that they had swapped divisions. Burnley joined them by beating Sheffield United in the play-off final, earning their place in the top flight after a 33-year absence.

Doncaster Rovers who were favourites to go straight back down and in the second tier after half a century out, achieved a respectable mid-table finish ahead of former Premier League teams in Crystal Palace, Coventry, Derby and Nottingham Forest.

Charlton suffered their second relegation in three years, despite a run of just one loss out of eight games at the end of the season. Southampton also crashed out of the division amid financial worries, which also meant they would be starting the 2009–10 season in League One with a ten-point deduction for entering administration. Norwich were the third relegated club, meaning that all three relegated clubs had been in the Premier League as recently as 2005 and had long left the third tier (Charlton last competed in the third tier in 1981, Southampton and Norwich in 1960).

P W D L F A GD Pts
C 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 46 27 9 10 80 52 +28 90
P 2 Birmingham City 46 23 14 9 54 37 +17 83
  3 Sheffield United 46 22 14 10 64 39 +25 80
  4 Reading 46 21 14 11 72 40 +32 77
P 5 Burnley 46 21 13 12 72 60 +12 76
  6 Preston North End 46 21 11 14 66 54 +12 74
  7 Cardiff City 46 19 17 10 65 53 +12 74
  8 Swansea City 46 16 20 10 63 50 +13 68
  9 Ipswich Town 46 17 15 14 62 53 +9 66
  10 Bristol City 46 15 16 15 54 54 0 61
  11 Queens Park Rangers 46 15 16 15 42 44 −2 61
  12 Sheffield Wednesday 46 16 13 17 51 58 −7 61
  13 Watford 46 16 10 20 68 72 −4 58
  14 Doncaster Rovers 46 17 7 22 43 54 −11 58
  15 Crystal Palace 46 15 12 19 52 55 −3 56*
  16 Blackpool 46 13 17 16 47 58 −11 56
  17 Coventry City 46 13 15 18 49 60 −11 54
  18 Derby County 46 14 12 20 55 67 −12 54
  19 Nottingham Forest 46 13 14 19 50 65 −15 53
  20 Barnsley 46 13 13 20 46 59 −13 52
  21 Plymouth Argyle 46 13 12 21 44 57 −13 51
R 22 Norwich City 46 12 10 24 57 70 −13 46
R 23 Southampton 46 10 15 21 46 69 −23 45
R 24 Charlton Athletic 46 8 15 23 52 74 −22 39

* Crystal Palace deducted 1 point for fielding an ineligible player

Leading goalscorer: Sylvan Ebanks-Blake (Wolverhampton Wanderers) – 25

Football League One[edit]

Leicester comfortably won promotion in their first-ever season at this level, leading the table for virtually the entire season, going half the season (23 consecutive games) unbeaten and losing just 4 games in the process, Nigel Pearson brought stability to the club in becoming their first manager in five years to last an entire season as they looked to turn the corner after several years of struggle. Peterborough were runners-up, winning their second successive promotion and entering the second tier for only the second time in their history. Scunthorpe grabbed the final play-off place on the last day of the season in a winner takes all match v 7th place Tranmere Rovers and won promotion through them, making an immediate return to the Championship after being relegated the previous year.

Stockport went into administration before the final match of the season and so suffered a 10 point penalty; however, there was no real chance of them being relegated as a result of this penalty, barring an extremely unlikely set of results on the final day.

Hereford made an immediate return to League Two, finishing bottom in their first campaign at this level for thirty years. Cheltenham improved late in the season, but it proved too late to prevent relegation. Crewe suffered a late collapse and went down to League Two, having looked safe a few weeks previously, while Northampton were undone by other results going against them on the final day of the season.

P W D L F A GD Pts
C 1 Leicester City 46 27 15 4 84 39 +45 96
P 2 Peterborough United 46 26 11 9 78 54 +24 89
  3 Milton Keynes Dons 46 26 9 11 83 47 +36 87
  4 Leeds United 46 26 6 14 77 49 +28 84
  5 Millwall 46 25 7 14 63 53 +10 82
P 6 Scunthorpe United 46 22 10 14 82 63 +19 76
  7 Tranmere Rovers 46 21 11 14 62 49 +13 74
  8 Southend United 46 21 8 17 58 61 −3 71
  9 Huddersfield Town 46 18 14 14 62 65 −3 68
  10 Oldham Athletic 46 16 17 13 66 65 +1 65
  11 Bristol Rovers 46 17 12 17 79 61 +18 63
  12 Colchester United 46 18 9 19 58 58 0 63
  13 Walsall 46 17 10 19 61 66 −5 61
  14 Leyton Orient 46 15 11 20 45 57 −12 56
  15 Swindon Town 46 12 17 17 68 71 −3 53
  16 Brighton & Hove Albion 46 13 13 20 55 70 −15 52
  17 Yeovil Town 46 12 15 19 41 66 −25 51
  18 Stockport County 46 16 12 18 59 57 +2 50 A
  19 Hartlepool United 46 13 11 22 66 79 −13 50
  20 Carlisle United 46 12 14 20 56 69 −13 50
R 21 Northampton Town 46 12 13 21 61 65 −4 49
R 22 Crewe Alexandra 46 12 10 24 59 82 −23 46
R 23 Cheltenham Town 46 9 12 25 51 91 −40 39
R 24 Hereford United 46 9 7 30 42 79 −37 34

A – Stockport County deducted 10 points for administration entrance.

Leading goalscorer: Simon Cox (Swindon Town) – 29, and Rickie Lambert (Bristol Rovers) – 29

Football League Two[edit]

Brentford made a return to League One as champions, the second club to win the fourth tier three times since Doncaster Rovers. Exeter won their second successive promotion, and on the final day of the season managed to pip Wycombe Wanderers for the runners-up spot. Wycombe themselves managed the final automatic promotion spot by virtue of a single goal over Bury. The play-offs were won by Gillingham, who made an immediate return to League One after the previous season's relegation.

Several teams suffered heavy points deductions during the season. Rotherham were deducted 17 points at the start of the season and Darlington 10 points later on. Without these penalties they would have both qualified for the play-offs, but instead managed only mid table. Bournemouth also suffered a 17 point deduction pre-season, and halfway through it looked to be enough to cost them their League status; however, a fightback under new manager Eddie Howe saw them climb to safety and secure survival with a game to spare.

Luton suffered the heaviest deduction however, and the loss of 30 points proved too much for them to survive. They suffered their third successive relegation and dropped out of the league, making them only the third English team to suffer three successive relegations, and the first to drop from the second tier to the Conference in successive years. The other relegated team was Chester City, who were statistically the worst team in the division and returned to the Conference after only five years. This would ultimately be the final season that the club completed, as they folded in March 2010, before the end of the following campaign. Grimsby would also have suffered relegation, if not for Luton's points deduction.

P W D L F A GD Pts
C 1 Brentford 46 23 16 7 65 36 +29 85
P 2 Exeter City 46 22 13 11 65 50 +15 79
P 3 Wycombe Wanderers 46 20 18 8 54 33 +21 78
  4 Bury 46 21 15 10 63 43 +20 78
P 5 Gillingham 46 21 12 13 58 55 +3 75
  6 Rochdale 46 19 13 14 70 59 +11 70
  7 Shrewsbury Town 46 17 18 11 61 44 +17 69
  8 Dagenham & Redbridge 46 19 11 16 77 53 +24 68
  9 Bradford City 46 18 13 15 66 55 +11 67
  10 Chesterfield 46 16 15 15 62 57 +5 63
  11 Morecambe 46 15 18 13 53 56 −3 63
  12 Darlington 46 20 12 14 61 44 +17 62 A
  13 Lincoln City 46 14 17 15 53 52 +1 59
  14 Rotherham United 46 21 12 13 60 46 +14 58 F
  15 Aldershot Town 46 14 12 20 59 80 −21 54
  16 Accrington Stanley 46 13 11 22 42 59 −17 50
  17 Barnet 46 11 15 20 56 74 −18 48
  18 Port Vale 46 13 9 24 44 66 −22 48
  19 Notts County 46 11 14 21 49 69 −20 47
  20 Macclesfield Town 46 13 8 25 45 77 −32 47
  21 Bournemouth 46 17 12 17 59 51 +8 46 F
  22 Grimsby Town 46 9 14 23 51 69 −18 41
R 23 Chester City 46 8 13 25 43 81 −38 37
R 24 Luton Town 46 13 17 16 58 65 −7 26 X

A – Darlington deducted 10 points for administration entrance.

F – Rotherham United and Bournemouth both deducted 17 points a piece for failing to comply with the rules insolvency.

X – Luton Town deducted 30 points; 20 for administration exit without a Company Voluntary Arrangement, and 10 for making illegal payments to agents.

Leading goalscorers: Simeon Jackson (Gillingham) – 20, Grant Holt (Shrewsbury Town) – 20, and Jack Lester (Chesterfield) - 20

Movements for the 2009–10 season[edit]

Competition Promoted Playoffs Relegated
Premier League N/A N/A Newcastle, Middlesbrough, West Bromwich Albion
Football League Championship Wolverhampton Wanderers, Birmingham City Burnley Charlton Athletic, Southampton, Norwich City
Football League One Leicester City, Peterborough United Scunthorpe United Northampton Town, Crewe Alexandra, Cheltenham Town, Hereford United
Football League Two Brentford, Exeter City, Wycombe Wanderers Gillingham Chester City, Luton Town
Conference National Burton Albion Torquay United Woking, Northwich Victoria, Weymouth, Lewes
Conference North Tamworth Gateshead King's Lynn (demoted), Burscough, Hucknall Town
Conference South AFC Wimbledon Hayes & Yeading United Team Bath (folded),[89] Bognor Regis Town, Fisher Athletic

Clubs Removed[edit]

Transfer deals[edit]

Notable debutants[edit]

  • 1 November 2008 – Jordan Henderson, 18-year-old midfielder, makes his debut as a substitute in Sunderland's 5–0 Premier League defeat at Chelsea.[90]

Retirements[edit]

Deaths[edit]

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