2009–10 in English football

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The 2009–10 season was the 130th season of competitive football in England.

The season began on 8 August 2009 for the Championship, League One and League Two and 15 August 2009 for the Premier League. The season finished on 2 May 2010 for the Football League Championship, and 9 May 2010 for the other three Divisions.[1][2]

Promotion and relegation (pre-season)[edit]

Teams promoted to 2009–10 Premier League

Teams relegated from 2008–09 Premier League

Teams promoted to 2009–10 Football League Championship

Teams relegated from 2008–09 Football League Championship

Teams promoted to 2009–10 Football League One

Teams relegated from 2008–09 Football League One

Teams promoted to 2009–10 Football League Two

Teams relegated from 2008–09 Football League Two

Managerial changes[edit]

Name Club Date of departure Replacement Date of appointment
Bryan Gunn Norwich City 14 August 2009[3] Paul Lambert 18 August 2009[4]
Paul Lambert Colchester United 18 August 2009[4] Aidy Boothroyd 2 September 2009[5]
Simon Davey Barnsley 29 August 2009[6] Mark Robins 9 September 2009[7]
Peter Jackson Lincoln City 2 September 2009[8] Chris Sutton 28 September 2009[9]
Stuart Gray Northampton Town 8 September 2009[10] Ian Sampson1 5 October 2009[11]
Mark Robins Rotherham United 9 September 2009[12] Ronnie Moore 24 September 2009[13]
Colin Todd Darlington 26 September 2009[14] Steve Staunton 5 October 2009[15]
Gudjon Thordarson Crewe Alexandra 2 October 2009[16] Dario Gradi 2 October 2009[17]
John Barnes Tranmere Rovers 9 October 2009[18] Les Parry 16 December 2009[19]
Peter Taylor Wycombe Wanderers 9 October 2009[20] Gary Waddock 13 October 2009[21]
Ian McParland Notts County 12 October 2009[22] Hans Backe 27 October 2009[23]
Gary Waddock Aldershot Town 13 October 2009[21] Kevin Dillon 9 November 2009[24]
Mike Newell Grimsby Town 18 October 2009[25] Neil Woods 23 November 2009[26]
Gareth Southgate Middlesbrough 21 October 2009[27] Gordon Strachan 26 October 2009[28]
Russell Slade Brighton & Hove Albion 1 November 2009[29] Gustavo Poyet 10 November 2009[30]
Darren Ferguson Peterborough United 9 November 2009[31] Mark Cooper 14 November 2009[32][33]
Paul Hart Portsmouth 24 November 2009[34] Avram Grant 26 November 2009[35]
Paul Sturrock Plymouth Argyle 10 December 2009[36] Paul Mariner 10 December 2009[36]
Martin Allen Cheltenham Town 11 December 2009[37] Mark Yates 22 December 2009[38]
Brian Laws Sheffield Wednesday 13 December 2009[39] Alan Irvine 8 January 2010[40]
Hans Backe Notts County 15 December 2009[41] Steve Cotterill 23 February 2010[42]
Jim Magilton Queens Park Rangers 16 December 2009[43] Paul Hart 17 December 2009[44]
Brendan Rodgers Reading 17 December 2009[45] Brian McDermott2 27 January 2010[46]
Mark Hughes Manchester City 19 December 2009[47] Roberto Mancini 21 December 2009[48]
Alan Irvine Preston North End 29 December 2009[49] Darren Ferguson 6 January 2010[50]
Gary Megson Bolton Wanderers 30 December 2009[51] Owen Coyle 8 January 2010[52]
Owen Coyle Burnley 8 January 2010[52] Brian Laws 13 January 2010[53]
Paul Hart Queens Park Rangers 15 January 2010[54] Neil Warnock 1 March 2010[55]
Mark Cooper Peterborough United 1 February 2010[56] Jim Gannon 2 February 2010 [57]
Stuart McCall Bradford City 8 February 2010[58] Peter Taylor 17 February 2010[59]
Neil Warnock Crystal Palace 1 March 2010[55] Paul Hart 2 March 2010[60]
Keith Alexander Macclesfield Town 3 March 2010[61] Gary Simpson3 14 April 2010[62]
John Trewick Hereford United 8 March 2010 Graham Turner 8 March 2010[63]
Phil Brown Hull City 15 March 2010[64] Iain Dowie 17 March 2010
Gary Johnson Bristol City 18 March 2010[65] Steve Coppell4 19 April 2010
Steve Staunton Darlington 21 March 2010[66] Simon Davey 1 April 2010[67]
Geraint Williams Leyton Orient 3 April 2010[68] Russell Slade 5 April 2010[69]
Jim Gannon Peterborough United 6 April 2010[70] Gary Johnson 6 April 2010[71]
Ian Hendon Barnet 28 April 2010 Mark Stimson 1 June 2010[72]
Paul Simpson Shrewsbury Town 30 April 2010 Graham Turner 11 June 2010[73]
Chris Coleman Coventry City 4 May 2010[74] Aidy Boothroyd 20 May 2010
Dave Penney Oldham Athletic 6 May 2010 Paul Dickov 9 June 2010[75]
Paul Mariner Plymouth Argyle 6 May 2010 Peter Reid 24 June 2010[76]
Mark Stimson Gillingham 10 May 2010[77] Andy Hessenthaler 21 May 2010
Paul Ince MK Dons 10 May 2010[78] Karl Robinson 10 May 2010
Gianfranco Zola West Ham United 11 May 2010[79] Avram Grant 3 June 2010[80]
Aidy Boothroyd Colchester United 20 May 2010 John Ward 31 May 2010[81]
Avram Grant Portsmouth 31 May 2010 Steve Cotterill 17 June 2010[82]
Steve Cotterill Notts County 27 May 2010 Craig Short 4 June 2010[83]
Rafael Benítez Liverpool 3 June 2010[84] Roy Hodgson 1 July 2010

Notes

  • 1 Sampson was named caretaker manager following Gray's departure on 8 September, and appointed full-time on 5 October.
  • 2 McDermott was named caretaker manager following Rogers' departure on 17 December, and was appointed full-time on 27 January.
  • 3 Simpson was named caretaker manager on 3 March, and appointed full-time on 14 April.
  • 4 Keith Millen will remain caretaker manager until the end of the season when Coppell will take charge.

Diary of the season[edit]

July[edit]

1 July 2009: Portuguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo completes his world record £80 million move from Manchester United to Real Madrid. English defender Glen Johnson switches from Portsmouth to Liverpool for £18 million – one of the highest fees ever paid for a defender. English midfielder Gareth Barry ends 11 years at Aston Villa and signs for Manchester City for £12 million.

6 July 2009: Chelsea sign Russian winger Yuri Zhirkov from CSKA Moscow for £18 million.

26 July 2009: An England XI defeats a Germany XI 3–2 at St James' Park, Newcastle, in a charity match raising money for the cancer charity of former England manager Sir Bobby Robson. Sir Bobby, who has fought the illness since 1992 and gone into remission four times, attends the match in a wheelchair.

27 July 2009: English striker Peter Crouch, who began his career with Tottenham Hotspur as an apprentice but left without playing for them, returns to White Hart Lane in a £9 million move from Portsmouth.

31 July 2009: Sir Bobby Robson dies, aged 76.

August[edit]

5 August 2009: Sunderland pay a club record £10 million for England and Tottenham Hotspur striker Darren Bent. Liverpool sell Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid for £30 million.

12 August 2009: England come back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 against Netherlands in Amsterdam thanks to 2 goals from Jermain Defoe.

14 August 2009: Bryan Gunn becomes the first managerial casualty of the season when his contract is terminated by Norwich City of League One.[85]

15 August 2009: The new Premier League season kicks off, with the highlight of the opening day coming at Goodison Park where Arsenal trounce Everton 6–1 in the biggest opening day victory at this level for 15 years. Burnley's return to the top flight after 33 years away begins on a low note when an own goal by Stephen Jordan contributes to a 2–0 defeat against Stoke City.

19 August 2009: Burnley achieve a shock 1–0 home win over Manchester United, with the only goal of the game coming from veteran striker Robbie Blake.

23 August 2009: The highlight of the second weekend of the Premier League season comes when Burnley achieve another shock 1–0 win, this time over Everton, after French striker Louis Saha missesd a penalty.

25 August 2009: Some of the worst scenes of football hooliganism in years are witnessed in West Ham United's 3–1 home win over Millwall in the Football League Cup second round. Fans invaded the pitch twice and there was widespread violence in the stands[86] and the streets surrounding Upton Park, including one incident in which a man suffered stab wounds. Manchester City pay £22 million for Everton and England defender Joleon Lescott.

27 August 2009: Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp suggests that West Ham and Millwall should never be allowed to play each other in a cup competition again.[87]

31 August 2009: The first month of the Premier League season ends with Chelsea as leaders, level on 12 points with second placed Tottenham Hotspur. Defending champions Manchester United are third, with underdogs Stoke City standing fourth after a strong start to the season.[88]

September[edit]

1 September 2009: Everton sign Dutch defender Johnny Heitinga from Atlético Madrid for £6 million.

9 September 2009: England secure qualification for the 2010 FIFA World Cup after a 5–1 win over Croatia at Wembley Stadium.

20 September 2009: The Manchester derby at Old Trafford produces one of the most thrilling games of the season as United beat City 4–3 thanks to a stoppage time winner by Michael Owen.[89]

30 September 2009: Manchester United and Chelsea are level on 18 points at the top of the Premier League, three points ahead of their nearest rivals Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. Arsenal and Manchester City complete the top six. Portsmouth are bottom of the table after starting the season with a record seven consecutive defeats, joined in the relegation zone by West Ham and Hull City.[90]

October[edit]

2 October 2009: Sheffield United striker Jordan Robertson is jailed for 32 months on a charge of causing death by dangerous driving in relation to a fatal car crash on the M1 motorway in December 2008.[91]

17 October 2009: Sunderland defeat Liverpool 1-0 at the Stadium of Light after Darren Bent's shot is deflected in off a beachball.[92]

21 October 2009: Gareth Southgate's contract as manager of Middlesbrough is terminated, despite them standing fourth in the Football League Championship a season after relegation from the Premier League.[93] 26 October 2009: Gordon Strachan is appointed as Middlesbrough's new manager, five months after quitting Celtic.[94][95]

29 October 2009: Wigan Athletic striker Marlon King has his contract terminated by the club after receiving an 18-month prison sentence for assaulting a woman in a nightclub. It is the second time that King has been in convicted and sent to prison,[96] having also received an 18-month prison sentence in 2002, when convicted of driving a stolen car.[97]

31 October 2009: October draws to a close with Chelsea now two points ahead of Manchester United, with the rest of the top four unchanged from the end of last month. Portsmouth remain bottom, but have now gained their first seven points of the season, while West Ham and Hull City complete the bottom three once again.[98]

November[edit]

30 November 2009: November ends with Chelsea two points ahead of Manchester United and with a game in hand, while the only change to the rest of the top six is that Aston Villa have displaced Liverpool, who are now seventh. Portsmouth remain bottom, now joined in the relegation zone by Wolverhampton Wanderers and Bolton Wanderers.[99]

December[edit]

13 December 2009: Brian Laws leaves Championship strugglers Sheffield Wednesday after three years as manager.[100]

15 December 2009: Brendan Rodgers is sacked after six months as manager of Reading, who are battling relegation from the Championship just months after almost being promoted under his predecessor Steve Coppell.[101]

16 December 2009: The 11 venues for England's 2018 World Cup bid are announced. Three stadiums in London will feature – Wembley (national team), Emirates Stadium (Arsenal) and either the Olympic Stadium or a rebuilt White Hart Lane (Tottenham Hotspur). Birmingham (Aston Villa's Villa Park), Bristol (a proposed new stadium for Bristol City), Leeds (Leeds United's Elland Road), Liverpool (the current Anfield stadium or its replacement), Milton Keynes (Stadium:mk, home of Milton Keynes Dons), Nottingham (new Nottingham Forest stadium), Manchester (Old Trafford and the City of Manchester Stadium), Newcastle (St James' Park), Plymouth (Home Park), Sheffield (Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough) and Sunderland (Stadium of Light) have also been selected as venues if England are accepted as hosts.[102]

20 December 2009: Despite being sixth in the Premier League and being on course for their highest league finish in nearly 20 years, Manchester City sack manager Mark Hughes and appoint Italian Robert Mancini as his successor.[103]

22 December 2009: Albert Scanlon, former Manchester United winger who survived the Munich air disaster in 1958, dies at the age of 74 after a two-month illness. There are now just four players who survived the crash still alive.[104]

30 December 2009: Premier League strugglers Bolton Wanderers sack manager Gary Megson after two years in charge, while Alan Irvine is sacked after the same length of time in charge of Championship side Preston North End.[105][106]

31 December 2009: The decade draws to a close with Chelsea two points ahead of Manchester United at the top of the Premier League. Arsenal are two points behind United in third place, with Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Aston Villa and Liverpool completing the top seven. A surprise challenge for Europe place is coming from newly promoted Birmingham City, who have collected 32 points from their opening 20 games. Portsmouth are bottom of the Premier League, with Hull City and Bolton completing the relegation zone.[107]

January[edit]

3 January 2010: Manchester United suffer a shock exit at home to League One leaders Leeds United in the FA Cup third round, their 1–0 defeat being their first defeat at the entry stage of the competition in 26 years.[108]

5 January 2010: The first managerial change of the decade takes place when Owen Coyle leaves Burnley to take over as manager of local rivals Bolton Wanderers.[109]

6 January 2010: Darren Ferguson is appointed manager of Preston North End and declares his ambition to take them into the Premier League and play against his father Sir Alex's Manchester United side.[110]

8 January 2010: Alan Irvine is appointed manager of Sheffield Wednesday.[111]

9 January 2010: Seven of the Premier League fixtures this weekend are postponed due to heavy snow across Britain.[112] Four fixtures survive in the Championship and two will be played in League One, but the whole League Two programme is postponed.[113]

13 January 2010: Another shock in the FA Cup third round takes place at Anfield, where Liverpool lose 2–1 to Championship strugglers Reading in the replay, casting further doubt on the position of manager Rafael Benítez whose job has reportedly been on the line for weeks due to sub-standard form by his team.[114] Burnley appoint Brian Laws as their new manager.[115]

18 January 2010: Championship leaders Newcastle United announce a new four-year sponsorship deal with Northern Rock, the bank which has been nationalised for two years after almost collapsing due to the credit crunch which brought on the current recession.[116]

31 January 2010: January draws to a close with Chelsea a point ahead of nearest challengers Manchester United in the Premier League, with a game in hand. Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Manchester City complete the top six. Burnley, Hull City and Portsmouth occupy the bottom three.[117]

February[edit]

19 February 2010: Chester City, bottom of the Blue Square Premier League with minus 3 points due to a 25-point deduction imposed upon them for financial problems, are suspended from their league until further notice for breach of league rules. A takeover deal is still in the pipeline for the club, who last season were relegated from the Football League for the second time in a decade.[118]

23 February 2010: Portsmouth, bottom of the Premier League, are reported to be within 72 hours of receivership.[119]

26 February 2010: Portsmouth go into administration – the first Premier League club to do so. They are set to be deducted nine points and are already bottom of the table with 16 points. The points deduction would leave with just seven points and make relegation almost certain.[120] Chester City, bottom of the Conference National with −3 points after a 25-point deduction for similar financial problems, are expelled from the Conference a year after being relegated from the Football League and were wound-up shortly after. Their expulsion made them the first team at this level to fold mid-season since Newport County in February 1989.[121]

28 February 2010: Manchester United steal the first major silverware of the season by beating Aston Villa 2–1 in the Football League Cup final at Wembley, retaining the trophy. It is the fourth time they have won the trophy – all of the wins have been under the management of Alex Ferguson.[122] In the Premier League, United are still looking strong contenders for the title as they stand one point behind leaders Chelsea. Arsenal's good form has seen them occupy third place with just two points less than United and a nine-point gap outside their nearest contenders Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City.[107]

March[edit]

3 March 2010: Keith Alexander, manager of League Two strugglers Macclesfield Town, dies suddenly at the age of 53. Alexander had been manager of the Cheshire club since February 2008 and also been in charge of Lincoln City (twice), Peterborough United and non-league sides Ilkeston Town and Northwich Victoria in a managerial career which began in 1993. He had suffered a near fatal brain aneurysm in November 2003 during his second spell as Lincoln City manager.[123]

8 March 2010: Chester City's expulsion from the Blue Square Premier is confirmed and their record for this season is expunged, sparking a revised league table which sees Oxford United taking over from Stevenage Borough as leaders, while York City drop out of the playoff zone and Cambridge United move dangerously closer to the relegation zone.[124]

14 March 2010: England captain David Beckham suffers an Achilles tendon injury during a Serie A game for AC Milan (where he is on loan from Los Angeles Galaxy) and is expected to miss this summer's World Cup.[125]

15 March 2010: Newport County, the former Football League club who reformed in 1989 after going bankrupt and being expelled from the Conference, achieve an early promotion back to the highest division outside the Football League as Conference South champions.[126]

17 March 2010: Portsmouth's nine-point deduction for going into administration is confirmed, making relegation from the Premier League almost certain as they remain bottom of the table but are now 17 points adrift of safety with nine games left to play.[127]

18 March 2010: Fulham defeat Italian giants Juventus 4–1 on the night, and 5–4 on aggregate to progress to the quarter finals of the UEFA Europa League.

28 March 2010: Southampton beat Carlisle 1–4 at Wembley Stadium to win the Football League Trophy.

April[edit]

5 April 2010: The first of the promotions and relegations in the Football League are confirmed when Newcastle United seal promotion from the Championship to the Premier League after one season away, while the division's bottom club Peterborough United (in their last game under the management of Jim Gannon before the appointment of Gary Johnson) are relegated back to League One after just one season.[128][129]

6 April 2010: Arsenal's dreams of a first European Cup triumph are ended when they are eliminated by FC Barcelona in the quarter finals.[130]

7 April 2010: Manchester United's hopes of winning the European Cup are ended when they are eliminated in the quarter finals by Bayern Munich on away goals.[131]

8 April 2010: Fulham reach the UEFA Europa League semi finals with a 3–1 aggregate win over Wolfsburg in the quarter finals.[132] Liverpool also reach the semi finals by eliminating Benfica.[133]

10 April 2010: Portsmouth become the first Premier League club to be relegated this season when fellow relegation side West Ham United beat Sunderland 1–0, while West Bromwich Albion are promoted to the Premier League for the fourth time in nine seasons.[134] Chelsea's double hopes are given a massive boost when they defeat Aston Villa 3–0 in the FA Cup semi-final.[135]

11 April 2010: 24 hours after being relegated without kicking a ball, Portsmouth reach the FA Cup final with a surprise 2–0 win over Tottenham Hotspur in extra-time in the semi-final.[136] Manchester United's hopes of a unique fourth successive top division title are dealt a major blow when mid table Blackburn Rovers hold them to a goalless draw at Ewood Park.[137]

13 April 2010: Chelsea establish a four-point lead at the top of the Premier League by defeating Bolton 1–0 at Stamford Bridge with a Nicolas Anelka penalty against his former club being the only goal of the game.[138]

17 April 2010: The gap between leaders Chelsea and second placed Manchester United is narrowed down to a single point when a Paul Scholes goal gives United a 1–0 win over Manchester City at the City of Manchester Stadium,[139] while Chelsea suffer a 2–1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. The two results also see Tottenham Hotspur take the fourth and final Champions League off Manchester City with three games to go.[140] In the Championship, Nottingham Forest and Cardiff City are now certain of a playoff place, with Leicester City and Swansea City completing the top six and Blackpool being the only team able to get into the playoff zone. Plymouth Argyle now need a run of very good results to avoid joining Peterborough in the drop to League One, while QPR, Scunthorpe United, Watford, Crystal Palace and Sheffield Wednesday are the teams also battling to avoid the drop.[141] Norwich City seal promotion back to the Championship at the first time of asking with a 1–0 away win over fellow promotion contenders Charlton Athletic, and could be joined by any one of the five teams Leeds United, Millwall, Swindon Town, Charlton Athletic and Huddersfield Town. Colchester United and Southampton are the only two teams now capable of creeping into the playoffs.[142] Notts County seal promotion from the league's bottom tier after six years there, while Rochdale have gained promotion after a record 36 successive seasons at this level. Bournemouth now need only two points from their final three games to be sure of promotion. In contrast, Grimsby Town now need a miracle to avoid relegation from the Football League and the only teams they could leapfrog are Cheltenham Town, Lincoln City and Barnet.[143] Stevenage Borough seal the Blue Square Prmeier title to seal promotion to the Football League 14 years after they last won the title but were denied promotion because their stadium did not meet capacity requirements. Luton Town and Oxford – arguably the biggest clubs outside the Football League – have comfortably secured playoff qualification along with fellow former Football League members Rushden & Diamonds and York City.[144]

19 April 2010: Newcastle United take the Championship title with a 2–0 win against Plymouth Argyle, which consigns Plymouth to relegation to League One after 6 years in the Championship.

24 April 2010: Manchester United go top of the Premier League with a 3–1 home win over Tottenham Hotspur (in which 36-year-old Ryan Giggs scores his first two league penalties for them), although Chelsea will regain their lead tomorrow if they beat Stoke City at Stamford Bridge. Meanwhile, a 1–0 home defeat to Sunderland by Hull City means that the East Yorkshire club will need to record two comprehensive victories from their final two league games and hope that West Ham United are heavily beaten in both of theirs in order to achieve survival.[145] In the Championship, Watford's survival is confirmed and it is now down to Crystal Palace and Sheffield Wednesday to fight it out and try and avoid joining Plymouth Argyle and Peterborough United in the drop to League One.[141] In League One, Norwich City (already promoted) seal the division title with a 2–0 home win against relegation threatened Gillingham. Southend United are relegated after being held to a 2–2 draw by Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park. Although nobody can now muscle in on the top six for a playoff place, second placed Leeds United's automatic promotion hopes are still under threat from Millwall, Swindon Town and Charlton Athletic, while Huddersfield Town have achieved a playoff place at this level for the first time since their relegation from Division One (now the Championship) in 2001, thanks a 6–0 win at relegated Stockport County. Southampton would now be second if it hadn't been for their hefty points deduction at the start of the season, but as a result they have now been left unable to achieve even a playoff place.[142] In League Two, Bournemouth are promoted after two seasons in the division with a 2–0 win at Burton Albion. Grimsby Town's 2–0 away win over already relegated Darlington keeps their hopes of survival alive, though the only teams they are capable of leapfrogging are Barnet and Cheltenham Town.[143] In the Blue Square Premier, Stevenage Borough have already been confirmed champions, leaving four former Football League members (Luton Town, Oxford United, Rushden & Diamonds and York City) to contest the playoffs for the second promotion place, while Forest Green Rovers and Ebbsfleet United are relegated to the Conference South.[144] Forest Green Rovers was later reprieved following the demotion of Salisbury City due to a breach of Conference rules.[146]

25 April 2010: Chelsea return to the top of the Premier League with a 7–0 win over mid table Stoke City, giving themselves a one-point advantage over Manchester United as well as a considerably greater goal difference.[147] Burnley's first season back in the top flight for more than 30 years ends in relegation when they are beaten 4–0 at home by a Liverpool side who are now almost certain of Europa League qualification and still have a Champions League place in their sights.[148]

27 April 2010: Notts County take the League Two title with a 5–0 win against relegated Darlington.[149]

29 April 2010: Five men are found guilty of public order offences in connection to violent clashes at a game between Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion in West Bromwich town centre 15 months ago.[150]

May[edit]

1 May 2010: Tom Huddlestone scores the only goal of the game as Tottenham Hotspur defeat Bolton Wanderers 1–0 at White Hart Lane, meaning that a draw at Manchester City and a win on the final day of the season will end their 20-year wait for a top four finish and put themselves beyond the reach of Liverpool, who for the last four seasons have held a "big four" dominance with Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United.[151] Aston Villa, meanwhile, are left with no hope of Champions League qualification after they are beaten 3–1 by a Manchester City side still in the hunt for a place in the top four.[152] In League One, Leeds United remain in second place and needing a win from their final game of the season to guarantee automatic promotion despite losing 1–0 to a Charlton Athletic side who still have hope of automatic promotion thanks to this win.[153] Millwall blow the chance of creeping into the top two by losing 2–0 to relegation threatened Tranmere Rovers.[154] Swindon Town's 3–2 home win over Brentford keeps the West Country club in the hunt for an automatic return to the league's second tier after a decade away.[155] Huddersfield Town have an outside chance of automatic promotion thanks to an injury time winner by Lee Novak against Colchester United.[156] Wycombe Wanderers are relegated back to League Two after one season in League one after a 2–0 defeat by a Leyton Orient side who are now almost certainly safe.[157] Exeter City[158] and Gillingham are still at risk of relegation.[159] Grimsby Town defeat Barnet 2–0 to ensure that the battle against relegation for both clubs will go down to the last game of the season[160] Cheltenham Town are trounched 5–0 by champions Notts County and as a result are still at risk of losing their Football League status after 11 years, as well as suffering a second successive relegation.[161]

2 May 2010: Chelsea's 2–0 win at Liverpool leaves them needing only a win against Wigan Athletic in a week's time to confirm themselves as Premier League champions, and today's result also confirms the end of the "big four" which has dominated the top of the Premier League for the last four seasons – Liverpool will now finish sixth or seventh, while Tottenham Hotspur or Manchester City will seal the final Champions League place.[162] West Ham United's 3–2 defeat at Fulham means that they will go into the final game of the season knowing that a heavy defeat at home to Manchester City and a heavy win for Hull City at home to Liverpool could see them slide out of the Premier League on goal difference.[163] In the Championship relegation crunch, Sheffield Wednesday go down after only managing a 2–2 draw at home to Crystal Palace, whose safety is confirmed.[164] Blackpool, who last played in the top flight in 1971, qualify for the playoffs.[165] Newcastle United finish the season with 102 points (the highest points tally in their history) by beating mid table QPR 1–0 at Loftus Road.[166] Back in the Premier League, Chelsea could have sealed the title today but Manchester United's 1–0 win at Sunderland ensures that the title race will go down to the wire.[167]

3 May 2010: Hull City's relegation to the Premier League is confirmed after they are held to a 2–2 draw by Wigan Athletic. It is only the third time in 18 seasons of the Premier League that all of the relegation places have been confirmed before the last game of the season.[168] York City[169] and Oxford United reach the Blue Square Premier playoff final to compete for the second promotion place to the Football League.[170]

5 May 2010: Tottenham Hotspur win 1–0 at Manchester City to seal a Champions League place and take Liverpool's place in the "big four". It is Tottenham's highest finish in 20 years and they will be their first European Cup campaign for 49 years and only their second since the competition's inception.[171]

6 May 2010: Hartlepool United are deducted three points for fielding an ineligible player in their 2-0 win over Brighton on 5 April, meaning they can still be relegated from League One.[172]

8 May 2010: During a topsy-turvy final day, in which changing scores have Millwall, Charlton, Huddersfield and Swindon all in the automatic promotion places at one point, Leeds United seal promotion from League One after three years by winning their final game of the season 2–1 at home to Bristol Rovers, despite going down to 10 men and conceding the first goal.[173] Gillingham are relegated from League One when losing 3–0 at already relegated Wycombe Wanderers.[174] Grimsby Town are relegated from the Football League after 99 years.[175]

9 May 2010: Chelsea win the Premier League title with an 8–0 demolition of Wigan Athletic, meaning that Manchester United's hopes of a unique fourth successive title are ended despite a 4–0 home win over Stoke City.[176][177] Meanwhile, Liverpool finish in their lowest position for 11 years (seventh), though this season it is enough to achieve UEFA Europa League qualification due to second placed Manchester United being League Cup holders and champions Chelsea being FA Cup finalists.[178] Burnley, already relegated, bow out of the Premier League in style with a 4–2 home win over fourth placed Tottenham Hotspur.[179]

11 May 2010: Gianfranco Zola is sacked after less than two years as manager of West Ham United.[180] However, Steve McClaren, the former Middlesbrough and England manager whose name had been linked with the West Ham job amid previous speculation about Zola's future, is ruled out as a successor after ending his two-year spell at FC Twente of the Netherlands and accepting an offer to manage German side VfL Wolfsburg.[181] A London based manager makes the headlines for the right reasons as the League Managers Association votes Fulham's Roy Hodgson as manager of the year.[182]

12 May 2010: Fulham lose 2–1 to Atlético Madrid in the UEFA Europa League final at the Nordbank Arena in Hamburg, Germany. Diego Forlán, the former Manchester United striker, had put the Spaniards ahead in the 32nd minute, only for Fulham midfielder Simon Davies to equalise five minutes later. With the scores still level after 90 minutes, the match went into extra time and Forlan won the trophy with his second goal in the 116th minute.[183]

14 May 2010: Wayne Brown, the Leicester City defender, is forced to apologise to his team mates after revealing to them that he voted for the far right British National Party in last week's general election.[184]

15 May 2010: Chelsea beat Portsmouth 1–0 in the FA Cup final at Wembley. Didier Drogba scored the game's only goal from a second-half free kick, as Kevin-Prince Boateng and Frank Lampard missed penalties for Portsmouth and Chelsea, respectively. Chelsea's victory in the 2009–10 FA Cup secured the club's first league and cup double, as well as their third FA Cup victory in four years.

16 May 2010: Oxford United beat York City 3–1 in the Blue Square Premier playoff final at Wembley Stadium to secure a return to the Football League after four years away.[185]

21 May 2010: Avram Grant resigns as manager of Portsmouth.[186]

22 May 2010: Blackpool beat Cardiff City 3–2 in the Championship playoff final at Wembley Stadium to seal promotion to the Premier League, ending their 39-year exile from the top division of English football.[187]

24 May 2010: England beat Mexico 3–1 in a friendly at Wembley, with goals coming from Ledley King, Peter Crouch and Glen Johnson.[188]

26 May 2010: Following promotion to the Premier League, Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston announces that a new stand will be built at the Bloomfield Road stadium in order to achieve a 16,000 all-seated capacity.[189]

27 May 2010: Steve Cotterill resigns as manager of Notts County despite having led them to promotion from League Two, amid speculation that he is about to replace Avram Grant as manager of Portsmouth.[190]

29 May 2010: A Paul Robinson goal gives Millwall promotion to the Championship as they defeat Swindon Town in the League One playoff final.[191]

30 May 2010: Jon Nurse grabs the winner as Dagenham & Redbridge clinch promotion to League One following a 3-2 win over Rotherham United in the League Two playoff final.[192] England beat Japan

June[edit]

1 June 2010: England's 23-man World Cup squad is announced with Theo Walcott (who appeared in the 2006 squad despite being only 17) being the most notable exclusion.[193] Crystal Palace are saved from liquidaton by a last minute takeover deal.[194]

3 June 2010: Rafael Benítez resigns from Liverpool after six seasons as manager, during which time the Reds won the European Cup and the FA Cup, but failed to clinch the league title which has eluded them since 1990.[195] Meanwhile, Avram Grant is confirmed as manager of West Ham United.[196]

4 June 2010: England captain Rio Ferdinand is ruled out of the World Cup by a knee injury sustained during training.[197]

8 June 2010: Philippe Senderos leaves Arsenal after seven years and joins Fulham on a three-year contract.[198]

9 June 2010: Chelsea give free transfers to out of contract players Joe Cole and Michael Ballack.[199]

10 June 2010: Cardiff City pay off £1.9m debt with HM Revenue and Customs, removing any threat of club's existence from the High Court.[200] Swindon Town teenager, Alex Henshall joins Manchester City for an undisclosed fee.[201]

13 June 2010: England's World Cup campaign begins with a 1-1 draw against the USA.[202]

18 June 2010: England's World Cup hopes are thrown into doubt when they are held to a goalless draw with Algeria in their second group game.[203]

23 June 2010: England reach the last 16 of the World Cup with a 1-0 win over Slovenia in their final group game.[204]

27 June 2010: England go out of the World Cup in a 4-1 defeat by Germany.[205]

Retirements[edit]

22 October 2009: Marc Edworthy, a 36-year old right-back who last played for Burton Albion retired after playing over 500 senior appearances in 18-year career. He played for 8 clubs in his career which included spells in the Premier League with Crystal Palace, Coventry City, Norwich City and Derby County.[206][207]

8 December 2009: Linvoy Primus, 36-year-old Portsmouth defender, after failing to overcome a serious knee injury but now work ambassadorial role for Portsmouth. He Previously played for Charlton Athletic, Barnet and Reading.[citation needed]

11 December 2009: Dean Ashton, 26-year-old West Ham United striker, after failing to make a full recovery from an ankle injury suffered when training with the England team in August 2006.[208]

17 December 2009: Riccardo Scimeca, 34-year-old Cardiff City midfielder formerly of Aston Villa F.C., Leicester City and Nottingham Forest.[209]

6 January 2010: Neil Clement, 31-year-old West Bromwich Albion defender and club's longest serving player after 10 years there, after failing to make a full recovery from a knee injury suffered in August 2008.[210]

6 January 2010: Patrik Berger, 36-year-old Czech midfielder who had spells in England with Liverpool, Portsmouth and Aston Villa before returning to Sparta Prague.[211]

Notable debutants[edit]

National team[edit]

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

Friendly matches[213][edit]

12 August 2009
Netherlands  2–2  England
Kuyt Goal 10'
van der Vaart Goal 38'
(Report) Defoe Goal 49'77'
Amsterdam ArenA, Amsterdam
Attendance: 50,000
Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (Italy)

5 September 2009
England  2–1  Slovenia
Lampard Goal 31' (pen.)
Defoe Goal 63'
(Report) Ljubijankič Goal 85'
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 67,232
Referee: Jonas Eriksson (Sweden)

14 November 2009
England  0–1  Brazil
(Report) Nilmar Goal 48'

3 March 2010
England  3–1  Egypt
Crouch Goal 56'80'
Wright-Phillips Goal 75'
(Report) Zidan Goal 23'
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 80,602

24 May 2010
England  3–1  Mexico
King Goal 17'
Crouch Goal 35'
Johnson Goal 47'
(Report) Franco Goal 45'
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 88,638

30 May 2010
Japan  1–2  England
Tulio Goal 7' (Report) Tulio Goal 72' (o.g.)
Nakazawa Goal 83' (o.g.)
UPC-Arena, Graz
Attendance: 15,326
Referee: Rene Eisner (Austria)

World Cup qualifiers[edit]

England were in Group 6 of the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification process.[214]


9 September 2009
England  5–1  Croatia
Lampard Goal 7' (pen.)59'
Gerrard Goal 18'66'
Rooney Goal 77'
(Report) Eduardo Goal 72'
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 87,319
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (Spain)

10 October 2009
Ukraine  1–0  England
Nazarenko Goal 27' (Report)
Dnipro Stadium, Dnipropetrovsk
Attendance: 40,000
Referee: Damir Skomina (Slovenia)

14 October 2009
England  3–0  Belarus
Crouch Goal 4'76'
Wright-Phillips Goal 59'
(Report)
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 76,897
Referee: Lucilio Cardoso Cortez Batista (Portugal)

Honours[edit]

Trophy & League Champions[edit]

Competition Winner Details At Match Report
FA Cup Chelsea 2009–10 FA Cup
beat Portsmouth 1–0
Wembley Report
League Cup Manchester United 2009–10 Football League Cup
beat Aston Villa 2–1
Wembley Report
Premier League Chelsea 2009–10 Premier League Stamford Bridge Report
Football League Championship Newcastle United 2009–10 Football League Championship Home Park Report
Football League One Norwich City 2009–10 Football League One Carrow Road Report
Football League Two Notts County 2009–10 Football League Two The Darlington Arena Report
FA Community Shield Chelsea 2009 FA Community Shield
beat Manchester United 4–1 on penalties (2–2 final score)
Wembley Report
Football League Trophy Southampton 2009–10 Football League Trophy
beat Carlisle United 4–1
Wembley Report
FA Trophy Barrow 2009–10 FA Trophy
beat Stevenage Borough 2–1
Wembley Report

Playoff Winners[edit]

Competition Winner Details
Football League Championship Blackpool 2009–10 Football League Championship
Beat Cardiff 3–2
Football League One Millwall 2009–10 Football League One
Beat Swindon Town 1–0
Football League Two Dagenham & Redbridge 2009–10 Football League Two
Beat Rotherham 3–2
Conference National Oxford United 2009–10 Conference National
Beat York 3–1
Conference North Fleetwood Town 2009–10 Conference North
Beat Alfreton 2–1
Conference South Bath City 2009–10 Conference South
Beat Woking 1–0

League Tables[edit]

Premier League[edit]

In one of the most closely fought title races in recent history, Chelsea were crowned Premier League Champions for the third time in five years. Despite disappointment in the Champions League, the club managed to retain the FA Cup, recording their first domestic double under Carlo Ancelotti. The £80m departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid in the summer meant that Manchester United narrowly missed out on the title, though they managed to retain the League Cup. Arsenal took third place and once again qualified for the Champions League, while Tottenham Hotspur, under the threat of relegation just 18 months earlier, took the final spot for the Champions League by finishing 4th, with manager Harry Redknapp winning Premier League Manager of the Year.

3 teams took the Europa League spots; Manchester City whose controversial appointment of Roberto Mancini before Christmas 2009, shortly after the sacking of Mark Hughes, paid off as they finished in their best position in years, Aston Villa who made it a third top-6 finish in a row and Liverpool who suffered indifferent form throughout all of their competitions, including crashing out of the Champions League and FA Cup at the group stages and third round respectively, ultimately finishing in their lowest position for 11 years.

Fulham built on last season's finish of 7th place as they came close to Europa League glory in Hamburg, losing 2–1 in extra time to Atlético Madrid with ex-Manchester United striker Diego Forlán scoring the winning goal; however, critics universally praised manager Roy Hodgson for guiding a club threatened with relegation 2 seasons previously to coming close to European glory and by a wide margin, he won the LMA Manager of the Year award. Newly promoted Birmingham finished 9th, their highest Premier League finish in decades. Birmingham finished in their best position in the top-flight in years, finishing 9th with 50 points, whilst fellow promo-tees Wolverhampton Wanderers flirted with relegation several times but ultimately finished in 15th place with 38 points, including pulling off a league double over Tottenham.

Portsmouth endured a season of financial worries, a 9-point deduction and four different owners that effectively ended their 7-year stay in the top flight; however, their season ended on a high as former Chelsea manager Avram Grant led them on a fantastic FA Cup run which included a 4-1 victory at bitter rivals Southampton and ended with a narrow 1-0 loss against Chelsea. Hull City failed to emulate their previous season's success and were also relegated. After the departure of inspirational manager Owen Coyle at the turn of the year, Burnley's league form under Brian Laws declined rapidly and they were relegated to the Championship after just one season. West Ham United and Wigan Athletic both achieved a narrow survival, though Wigan suffered some of the worst away form seen in the Premier League with 2 heavy losses at Tottenham (9-1) and Chelsea (8-0).

P W D L F A GD Pts
C 1 Chelsea 38 27 5 6 103 32 +71 86
CL 2 Manchester United 38 27 4 7 86 28 +58 85
CL 3 Arsenal 38 23 6 9 83 41 +42 75
CLP 4 Tottenham Hotspur 38 21 7 10 67 41 +26 70
ELP 5 Manchester City 38 18 13 7 73 45 +28 67
ELP 6 Aston Villa 38 17 13 8 52 39 +13 64
ELQ 7 Liverpool 38 18 9 11 61 35 +26 63
  8 Everton 38 16 13 9 60 49 +11 61
  9 Birmingham City 38 13 11 14 38 47 −9 50
  10 Blackburn Rovers 38 13 11 14 41 55 −14 50
  11 Stoke City 38 11 14 13 34 48 −14 47
  12 Fulham 38 12 10 16 39 46 −7 46
  13 Sunderland 38 11 11 16 48 56 −8 44
  14 Bolton Wanderers 38 10 9 19 42 67 −25 39
  15 Wolverhampton Wanderers 38 9 11 18 32 56 −24 38
  16 Wigan Athletic 38 9 9 20 37 79 −42 36
  17 West Ham United 38 8 11 19 47 66 −19 35
R 18 Burnley 38 8 6 24 42 82 −40 30
R 19 Hull City 38 6 12 20 34 75 −41 30
R 20 Portsmouth 38 7 7 24 34 66 −32 19 A

A – Portsmouth deducted 9 points for entering administration.

Leading goalscorer: Didier Drogba (Chelsea) - 29

Football League Championship[edit]

Newcastle United put last season's relegation behind them as they returned to the Premier League at the first attempt, staying top for the majority of the season and losing just four games under the management of Chris Hughton. Roberto Di Matteo's first season in charge of West Bromwich Albion ended in automatic promotion for the Baggies for the 3rd time in eight years. They were joined by Blackpool, who were tipped by many as relegation favourites at the beginning of the season,[citation needed] but Ian Holloway's first season in charge of the Lancashire club saw them beat Cardiff City 3-2 in the play-off final, returning to the top flight for the first time since 1971.

Peterborough United went straight back down to League One, employing four different managers and propping up the table for the majority of the season. They were soon joined by Plymouth Argyle, who ended a six-year spell in the second tier. Crystal Palace, who had been on the brink of the play-offs before being penalised 10 points for entering administration, faced Sheffield Wednesday in the final match of the season as they both fought for survival. The game finished 2–2, which meant Palace survived and Wednesday were relegated to League One.

P W D L F A GD Pts
C 1 Newcastle United 46 30 12 4 90 35 +55 102
P 2 West Bromwich Albion 46 26 13 7 89 48 +41 91
  3 Nottingham Forest 46 22 13 11 65 40 +25 79
  4 Cardiff City 46 22 10 14 73 54 +19 76
  5 Leicester City 46 21 13 12 61 45 +16 76
P 6 Blackpool 46 19 13 14 74 58 +16 70
  7 Swansea City 46 17 18 11 40 37 +3 69
  8 Sheffield United 46 17 14 15 61 54 +7 65
  9 Reading 46 17 12 17 68 63 +5 63
  10 Bristol City 46 15 18 13 56 65 −9 63
  11 Middlesbrough 46 16 14 16 58 50 +8 62
  12 Doncaster Rovers 46 15 15 16 59 58 +1 60
  13 Queens Park Rangers 46 14 15 17 58 65 −7 57
  14 Derby County 46 15 11 20 53 63 −10 56
  15 Ipswich Town 46 12 20 14 50 61 −11 56
  16 Watford 46 14 12 20 61 68 −7 54
  17 Preston North End 46 13 15 18 58 73 −15 54
  18 Barnsley 46 14 12 20 53 69 −16 54
  19 Coventry City 46 13 15 18 47 64 −17 54
  20 Scunthorpe United 46 14 10 22 62 84 −22 52
  21 Crystal Palace 46 14 17 15 50 53 −3 49 A
R 22 Sheffield Wednesday 46 11 14 21 49 69 −20 47
R 23 Plymouth Argyle 46 11 8 27 43 68 −25 41
R 24 Peterborough United 46 8 10 28 46 80 −34 34

A – Crystal Palace deducted 10 points for entering administration

Leading goalscorers: Nicky Maynard (Bristol City) - 20, and Peter Whittingham (Cardiff City) - 20

Football League One[edit]

After recovering from an embarrassing 7–1 defeat to Colchester on the first day of the season, a turnaround under new manager Paul Lambert and the 24 goals from free-scoring striker Grant Holt saw Norwich City make an immediate return to the Championship. Leeds United secured automatic promotion in the runners-up spot; their season almost fell apart disastrously after they lead the table by eight points at the turn of the year and they also knocked Manchester United out of the FA Cup, but they rebounded in the final weeks of the season and a last day 2-1 victory over Bristol Rovers saw the Yorkshire side end their three-year spell in League One.

Millwall – who narrowly missed out on automatic promotion by just 1 point – beat Swindon in the play-off final, returning to the Championship after a 4-year absence.

Despite being deducted 10 points and missing out on the play-offs, Southampton managed to win the Football League Trophy and prolific striker Rickie Lambert was the league's top marksman with 31 goals.

Stockport spent the entire season in administration and were subsequently relegated. Southend were faced with financial problems, and were also relegated. Wycombe's first season at this level for six years proved a disappointment, and they were immediately relegated back to League Two. Gillingham also suffered an immediate relegation after their play-off victory the previous year, their inability to win an away fixture all season proved to be their downfall.

P W D L F A GD Pts
C 1 Norwich City 46 29 8 9 89 47 +42 95
P 2 Leeds United 46 25 11 10 77 44 +33 86
P 3 Millwall 46 24 13 9 76 44 +32 85
  4 Charlton Athletic 46 23 15 8 71 48 +23 84
  5 Swindon Town 46 22 16 8 73 57 +16 82
  6 Huddersfield Town 46 23 11 12 82 56 +26 80
  7 Southampton 46 23 14 9 85 47 +38 73 A
  8 Colchester United 46 20 12 14 64 52 +12 72
  9 Brentford 46 14 20 12 55 52 +3 62
  10 Walsall 46 16 14 16 60 63 −3 62
  11 Bristol Rovers 46 19 5 22 59 70 −11 62
  12 Milton Keynes Dons 46 17 9 20 60 68 −8 60
  13 Brighton & Hove Albion 46 15 14 17 56 60 −4 59
  14 Carlisle United 46 15 13 18 63 66 −3 58
  15 Yeovil Town 46 13 14 19 55 59 −4 53
  16 Oldham Athletic 46 13 13 20 39 57 −18 52
  17 Leyton Orient 46 13 12 21 53 63 −10 51
  18 Exeter City 46 11 18 17 48 60 −12 51
  19 Tranmere Rovers 46 14 9 23 45 72 −27 51
  20 Hartlepool United 46 14 11 21 59 67 −8 50*
R 21 Gillingham 46 12 14 20 48 64 −16 50
R 22 Wycombe Wanderers 46 10 15 21 56 76 −20 45
R 23 Southend United 46 10 13 23 51 72 −21 43
R 24 Stockport County 46 5 10 31 35 95 −60 25

A – Southampton deducted 10 points for administration entrance.

* – Hartlepool deducted 3 points for fielding an ineligible player.

Leading goalscorer: Rickie Lambert (Southampton) - 31

Football League Two[edit]

Notts County's season mostly made the headlines for all the wrong reasons, as they were involved in an abortive high-spending takeover by a consortium who bought in Sven-Göran Eriksson as Director of Football, and got through four managers during the course of the season. However, they managed to shake off their off-field problems and won the title. Bournemouth continued their revival under Eddie Howe and won promotion in the runners-up spot. The last automatic promotion spot was won by Rochdale, who were promoted for the first time since 1969

Dagenham and Redbridge won the play-offs, reaching the 2nd tier of the Football League for the first time in their 18-year history.

Darlington were unable to recover from losing many of their players during their spell in administration at the end of the previous season, and were relegated in bottom place, becoming only the third club (after Halifax Town and Chester City) to be relegated to the Football Conference on two separate occasions. Grimsby suffered the relegation that they only avoided the previous year due to Luton Town's points deduction; their form improved significantly in the final weeks of the season, but they were ultimately undone by an earlier run of nearly five months without a win, and were relegated to the Blue Square Premier after losing on the final day.

P W D L F A GD Pts
C 1 Notts County 46 27 12 7 96 31 +65 93
P 2 Bournemouth 46 25 8 13 61 44 +17 83
P 3 Rochdale 46 25 7 14 82 48 +34 82
  4 Morecambe 46 20 13 13 73 64 +9 73
  5 Rotherham United 46 21 10 15 55 52 +3 73
  6 Aldershot Town 46 20 12 14 69 56 +13 72
P 7 Dagenham & Redbridge 46 20 12 14 69 58 +11 72
  8 Chesterfield 46 21 7 18 61 62 −1 70
  9 Bury 46 19 12 15 54 59 −5 69
  10 Port Vale 46 17 17 12 61 50 +11 68
  11 Northampton Town 46 18 13 15 62 53 +9 67
  12 Shrewsbury Town 46 17 12 17 55 54 +1 63
  13 Burton Albion 46 17 11 18 71 70 +1 62
  14 Bradford City 46 16 14 16 59 62 −3 62
  15 Accrington Stanley 46 18 7 21 62 74 −12 61
  16 Hereford United 46 17 8 21 54 65 −11 59
  17 Torquay United 46 14 15 17 64 55 +9 57
  18 Crewe Alexandra 46 15 10 21 68 73 −5 55
  19 Macclesfield Town 46 12 18 16 49 58 −9 54
  20 Lincoln City 46 13 11 22 42 65 −23 50
  21 Barnet 46 12 12 22 47 63 −16 48
  22 Cheltenham Town 46 10 18 18 54 71 −17 48
R 23 Grimsby Town 46 9 17 20 45 72 −27 44
R 24 Darlington 46 8 6 32 33 87 −54 30

Leading goalscorer: Lee Hughes (Notts County) - 30

Clubs that folded[edit]

Club League Date of Dissolution
Newcastle Blue Star Northern Premier League Premier Division June 2009
King's Lynn Northern Premier League Premier Division 25 November 2009
Chester City Conference National 10 March 2010[215]
Farsley Celtic Conference North 10 March 2010[216]

Deaths[edit]

  • 31 July 2009 – Sir Bobby Robson, 76, former inside-forward and manager. As a player, he played for Fulham and West Bromwich Albion, and won 20 caps for England. As manager, he reached even greater heights, being appointed to Ipswich Town in 1969 and over the next 13 years taking them to FA Cup and UEFA Cup glory (also finishing second in the league in his final two seasons as manager), before leaving in 1982 to manage England for eight years during which they reached the quarter-final of the World Cup in 1986 and to the semi-final in 1990, only losing on penalties. He later managed PSV Eindhoven of the Netherlands, F.C. Porto of Portugal and FC Barcelona of Spain, before returning home to manage his boyhood favourites Newcastle United from 1999 to 2004, during which time they qualified for Europe on three occasions. He was knighted for his services to football in 2002. His death came after a 17-year battle against cancer which had gone into remission four times.[219]
  • 7 November 2009 – Billy Ingham, 57, former Burnley midfielder who spent eleven years with the Clarets, playing more than 250 games for the club before finishing his career with a spell at Bradford City.[233]
  • 23 November 2009 – Tony Parry, 64, former central defender who spent the majority of his nine-year professional career with Hartlepool United, and also had a brief spell with Derby County before dropping down to non-league football.[236]
  • 20 December 2009 – Jack Brownsword, 86, former left-back who spent nearly his entire career with Scunthorpe United, playing a club-record 597 league appearances for the Iron between 1950 and 1964. Also had a brief spell with Hull City prior to joining Scunthorpe.[243]
  • 3 March 2010 – Keith Alexander, 53, manager and former striker who was manager of Macclesfield Town at the time of his death, and had also managed Lincoln City and Peterborough United earlier in his career. As player, he was a journeyman striker who spent most of his career in non-league football, but also had a few spells in the Football League, primarily with Grimsby Town and Lincoln City.[254]
  • 4 March 2010 – Tony Richards, 75, former striker who is Walsall's second-leading scorer of all time with 185 league goals for the Saddlers between 1954 and 1963. Also spent three seasons with Port Vale.[255]
  • 21 April 2010 – Tony Ingham, 85, former full-back who spent most of his career at Queens Park Rangers, where he made a club-record 514 league appearances between 1950 and 1963, and later spent many years as QPR's commercial director after retiring as a player. Began his career at Leeds United.[263]

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