2012–13 in English football

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Football in England
Season 2012–13
Premier League Manchester United
Championship Cardiff City
League One Doncaster Rovers
League Two Gillingham
Conference Premier Mansfield Town
FA Cup Wigan Athletic
League Cup Swansea City
Community Shield Manchester City
2011–12 England 2013–14

The 2012–13 season was the 133rd season of competitive football in England.

The season began on 4 August 2012 for The Football League,[1] 11 August 2012 for the Football Conference[2] and 12 August 2012 for the Premier League.[3] The regular season of the Football Conference season ended on 20 April 2013[2] followed by League One and League Two both ending on 27 April 2013[1] whilst The Championship ended on 4 May 2013[1] and finally the Premier League on 19 May 2013.[3]

Promotion and relegation[edit]

Pre Season[edit]

League Promoted to League Relegated from League
Premier League
Championship
League One
League Two

Post Season[edit]

League Promoted to League Relegated from League
Premier League
Championship
League One
League Two

New clubs[edit]

Clubs removed[edit]

  • Witney Town A.F.C. from the Hellenic Football League Premier Division (level 9, step 5) were evicted from their ground in early February 2013 for failing to pay the rent. The club subsequently folded due to lack of funds.[6]

England national football team[edit]

2014 FIFA World Cup qualification[edit]

International Friendlies[edit]

Premier League[edit]

In Sir Alex Ferguson's final season as manager, Manchester United comfortably won their 13th Premier League title and their 20th overall, topping the table in mid-November and never surrendering their lead, though a run of just three wins in their last eight matches meant that they squandered the chance to become the first ever top-flight side to earn a hundred points in a season. Neighbours and defending champions Manchester City finished in second place, though they never looked like seriously challenging for a second successive title, and this, combined with a humiliating FA Cup final defeat to Wigan Athletic, cost Roberto Mancini his job. Despite enduring a turbulent season in which Champions League-winning manager Roberto Di Matteo was dismissed early in the campaign and replaced by the unpopular appointment of Rafael Benítez, Chelsea did improve on the previous season's finish by three places, and also won the Europa League for the first time in their history. The final Champions League spot was taken by Arsenal; despite being well off the pace for much of the season following the £24 million departure of Robin Van Persie in the summer, they managed to snatch 4th place with an excellent late run of form, consigning rivals Tottenham Hotspur to the Europa League once again.

David Moyes ended 11 years in charge of Everton by guiding the Toffees to a solid finish of 6th place, finishing 2 points ahead of arch rivals Liverpool, who hit the headlines again for all the wrong reasons when striker Luis Suárez received a lengthy ban after biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during a league game. Swansea City qualified for the Europa League by winning the League Cup, becoming the first Welsh club to qualify for a major European club competition.

West Ham United fared the best out of the three promoted teams, losing just 4 home games all season and finishing impressively in 10th place, despite repeated speculation that manager Sam Allardyce would be sacked and replaced with a manager with a reputation for a more attractive style of play. Southampton finished 4 places below them, flirting with relegation all season before Nigel Adkins was sacked and replaced by the relatively unknown Mauricio Pochettino, who guided the Saints to 19 points from their remaining 16 games.

At the bottom of the table, Queens Park Rangers were relegated after a thoroughly dismal campaign in which they recorded the worst start in Premier League history, with not even Harry Redknapp's appointment as manager and a substantial investment in players during the January transfer window significantly improving their fortunes. Reading, who never quite adjusted to the pace of the top-flight after being promoted as champions the previous year, fared little better and were relegated in second-bottom place. Despite winning the FA Cup (and thereby qualifying for the following season's Europa League), Wigan Athletic finally succumbed to relegation after eight years of battling against the odds in the Premier League.

Team Pld W D L F A GD Pts
C Manchester United 38 28 5 5 86 43 +43 89
2 Manchester City 38 23 9 6 66 34 +32 78
3 Chelsea 38 22 9 7 75 39 +36 75
4 Arsenal 38 21 10 7 72 37 +35 73
5 Tottenham Hotspur 38 21 9 8 66 46 +20 72
6 Everton 38 16 15 7 55 40 +15 63
7 Liverpool 38 16 13 9 71 43 +28 61
8 West Bromwich Albion 38 14 7 17 53 57 −4 49
9 Swansea City 38 11 13 14 47 51 −4 46
10 West Ham United 38 12 10 16 45 53 −8 46
11 Norwich City 38 10 14 14 41 58 −17 44
12 Fulham 38 11 10 17 50 60 −10 43
13 Stoke City 38 9 15 14 34 45 −11 42
14 Southampton 38 9 14 15 49 60 −11 41
15 Aston Villa 38 10 11 17 47 69 −22 41
16 Newcastle United 38 11 8 19 45 68 −23 41
17 Sunderland 38 9 12 17 41 54 −13 39
R Wigan Athletic 38 9 9 20 47 73 −26 36
R Reading 38 6 10 22 43 73 −30 28
R Queens Park Rangers 38 4 13 21 30 60 −30 25
Premier League Champions
Qualifies for 2013–14 UEFA Champions League
Qualifies for 2013–14 UEFA Europa League
Relegation to Championship
Relegation to Championship and Qualifies for 2013–14 UEFA Europa League
Last updated: 20:00, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

Leading goalscorer: Robin Van Persie (Manchester United) - 26

Championship[edit]

After a decade of trying and play-off heartbreak, Cardiff City finally secured their long awaited promotion to the Premier League, leading the division for nearly the entire season and being promoted as champions. Hull City won automatic promotion as runners-up under manager Steve Bruce, returning to the top-flight after an absence of three years. This was despite a shaky end to the season which saw them fail to win any of their last four fixtures. Ian Holloway made it two promotions in three attempts as Crystal Palace were promoted through the play-offs, earning a record-breaking fourth promotion to the Premier League. The Eagles' victory in the play-off final ensured that they became the first club to win the second tier play-off final three times, and also the first club to win the play-off final at 3 separate venues - the old Wembley in 1997, the Millennium Stadium in 2004, and the new Wembley in 2013.

Bristol City, who had been in a gradual downward spiral since failing to win promotion to the Premier League in 2008, were relegated in bottom place after a dismal end to the season, not even the arrival of Sean O'Driscoll and a run of 5 home victories from 6 could save them. Making even bigger headlines were Wolverhampton Wanderers, who suffered their second successive relegation, giving them the unwanted distinction of having suffered successive relegations from the top and second tiers on two separate occasions (the first being in the 1983–84 and 1984–85 seasons). The final relegation spot was filled by Peterborough United, who despite recovering well from seven consecutive losses at the start of the season, ended up being relegated with the joint-highest ever points total for a relegated team.

League table[edit]

A total of 24 teams contest the division: 18 sides remaining in the division from last season, three relegated from the Premier League, and three promoted from the League One.

Pos
Team
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Promotion or relegation
1 Cardiff City (C) (P) 46 25 12 9 72 45 +27 87 Promotion to the 2013–14 Premier League
2 Hull City (P) 46 24 7 15 61 52 +9 79
3 Watford 46 23 8 15 85 58 +27 77 Qualification to the Championship Play-offs
4 Brighton & Hove Albion 46 19 18 9 69 43 +26 75
5 Crystal Palace (P) 46 19 15 12 73 62 +11 72
6 Leicester City 46 19 11 16 71 48 +23 68
7 Bolton Wanderers 46 18 14 14 69 61 +8 68
8 Nottingham Forest 46 17 16 13 63 59 +4 67
9 Charlton Athletic 46 17 14 15 65 59 +6 65
10 Derby County 46 16 13 17 65 62 +3 61
11 Burnley 46 16 13 17 62 60 +2 61
12 Birmingham City 46 15 16 15 63 69 −6 61
13 Leeds United 46 17 10 19 57 66 −9 61
14 Ipswich Town 46 16 12 18 48 61 −13 60
15 Blackpool 46 14 17 15 62 63 −1 59
16 Middlesbrough 46 18 5 23 61 70 −9 59
17 Blackburn Rovers 46 14 16 16 55 62 −7 58
18 Sheffield Wednesday 46 16 10 20 53 61 −8 58
19 Huddersfield Town 46 15 13 18 53 73 −20 58
20 Millwall 46 15 11 20 51 62 −11 56
21 Barnsley 46 14 13 19 56 70 −14 55
22 Peterborough United (R) 46 15 9 22 66 75 −9 54 Relegation to the 2013–14 Football League One
23 Wolverhampton Wanderers (R) 46 14 9 23 55 69 −14 51
24 Bristol City (R) 46 11 8 27 59 84 −25 41

Updated to games played on 4 May 2013.
Source: BBC Sport
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.

Leading goalscorer: Glenn Murray (Crystal Palace) - 30

League One[edit]

Despite the departure of manager Dean Saunders, Doncaster Rovers made an immediate return to the Championship, winning the title in dramatic fashion on the final day of the season. Bournemouth were promoted as runners-up; they had initially looked set to battle relegation this season following an awful start under previous manager Paul Groves, but the decision to re-employ successful former manager Eddie Howe paid off handsomely, and saw them promoted to the second tier for only the second time in their history, and the first time since 1990. Yeovil Town won promotion through the play-offs, entering the Championship for the first time ever, and also meaning that manager Gary Johnson (who returned for his own second spell late in the previous season) had earned his third promotion with the club, having gotten them promoted from the Football Conference and League Two in 2003 and 2005 respectively. Interestingly, none of the three promoted clubs have ever played in the top flight, be it the old Football League First Division or the current Premier League. The previous time this had happened was in 1979, when Shrewsbury Town, Watford and Swansea City were promoted (the latter two eventually competed in the top flight under both denominations).

Financially stricken Portsmouth finally hit rock-bottom, and were relegated to the Football League's lowest tier for the first time since 1980, just five years after winning the FA Cup, and three years after playing in the Premier League. They were consigned to bottom place after their second ten-point deduction in as many seasons, though unlike the previous season would have been relegated even without the deduction. Hartlepool United were relegated in second-bottom place, mostly due to a dreadful first half of the season which saw them win just once in their first 23 games, bringing an end to what had been the club's longest spell outside the bottom tier. Bury, who suffered their own financial problems and never quite recovered from the loss of manager Richie Barker days before the season began, also suffered relegation, and only finished above Hartlepool on goals scored. Scunthorpe United occupied the final relegation spot, being relegated for the second time in three seasons.

League table[edit]

A total of 24 teams contest the division: 17 sides remaining in the division from last season, three relegated from the Championship, and four promoted from League Two.

Pos
Team
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Promotion or relegation
1 Doncaster Rovers (C) (P) 46 25 9 12 62 44 +18 84 Promotion to the 2013–14 Football League Championship
2 Bournemouth (P) 46 24 11 11 76 53 +23 83
3 Brentford 46 21 16 9 62 47 +15 79 Qualification to the League One Playoffs
4 Yeovil Town (P) 46 23 8 15 71 56 +15 77
5 Sheffield United 46 19 18 9 56 42 +14 75
6 Swindon Town 46 20 14 12 72 39 +33 74
7 Leyton Orient 46 21 8 17 55 48 +7 71
8 Milton Keynes Dons 46 19 13 14 62 45 +17 70
9 Walsall 46 17 17 12 65 58 +7 68
10 Crawley Town 46 18 14 14 59 58 +1 68
11 Tranmere Rovers 46 19 10 17 58 48 +10 67
12 Notts County 46 16 17 13 61 49 +12 65
13 Crewe Alexandra 46 18 10 18 54 62 −8 64
14 Preston North End 46 14 17 15 54 49 +5 59
15 Coventry City 46 18 11 17 66 59 +7 055
16 Shrewsbury Town 46 13 16 17 54 60 −6 55
17 Carlisle United 46 14 13 19 56 77 −21 55
18 Stevenage 46 15 9 22 47 64 −17 54
19 Oldham Athletic 46 14 9 23 46 59 −13 51
20 Colchester United 46 14 9 23 47 68 −21 51
21 Scunthorpe United (R) 46 13 9 24 49 73 −24 48 Relegation to the 2013–14 League Two
22 Bury (R) 46 9 14 23 45 73 −28 41
23 Hartlepool United (R) 46 9 14 23 39 67 −28 41
24 Portsmouth (R) 46 10 12 24 51 69 −18 032

Updated to games played on 27 April 2013.
Source: BBC Sport
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.
Coventry City deducted 10 points for entering administration.
Portsmouth deducted 10 points for failing to pay footballing creditors

Leading goalscorer: Paddy Madden (Yeovil Town) - 23

League Two[edit]

Gillingham won the division and returned to League One after a three-year absence, as Martin Allen's appointment as manager brought immediate success. Rotherham United celebrated their return to their hometown (after three years of playing in Sheffield) by winning promotion as runners-up. Port Vale, whose promotion challenge had been derailed by a ten-point administration penalty in the previous season, took the final automatic promotion spot. The play-offs were won by Bradford City, who were victorious in their second Wembley appearance this season (their first being in the League Cup final).

Aldershot Town were relegated back to the Football Conference after five years, experiencing relegation for the first time since the club's formation in 1992. After surviving relegation on the last day for three seasons in a row, Barnet's luck finally ran out (despite their best points total in four years and the high-profile appointment of Edgar Davids as player-manager) and they were relegated from the Football League for the second time.

League table[edit]

Twenty-four teams contest the division: 18 sides remaining in the division from last season, four relegated from League One, and two promoted from Conference National.

Pos
Team
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Promotion or relegation
1 Gillingham (C) (P) 46 23 14 9 66 39 +27 83 Promotion to the 2013–14 League One
2 Rotherham United (P) 46 24 7 15 74 59 +15 79
3 Port Vale (P) 46 21 15 10 87 52 +35 78
4 Burton Albion 46 22 10 14 71 65 +6 76 Qualification to the League Two Playoffs
5 Cheltenham Town 46 20 15 11 58 51 +7 75
6 Northampton Town 46 21 10 15 64 55 +9 73
7 Bradford City (P) 46 18 15 13 63 52 +11 69
8 Chesterfield 46 18 13 15 60 45 +15 67
9 Oxford United 46 19 8 19 59 60 −1 65
10 Exeter City 46 18 10 18 63 62 +1 64
11 Southend United 46 16 13 17 61 55 +6 61
12 Rochdale 46 16 13 17 68 70 −2 61
13 Fleetwood Town 46 15 15 16 55 57 −2 60
14 Bristol Rovers 46 16 12 18 60 69 −9 60
15 Wycombe Wanderers 46 17 9 20 50 60 −10 60
16 Morecambe 46 15 13 18 55 61 −6 58
17 York City 46 12 19 15 50 60 −10 55
18 Accrington Stanley 46 14 12 20 51 67 −16 54
19 Torquay United 46 13 14 19 55 62 −7 53
20 AFC Wimbledon 46 14 11 21 54 76 −22 53
21 Plymouth Argyle 46 13 13 20 46 55 −9 52
22 Dagenham & Redbridge 46 13 12 21 55 62 −7 51
23 Barnet (R) 46 13 12 21 47 59 −12 51 Relegation to the 2013–14 Conference National
24 Aldershot Town (R) 46 11 15 20 42 60 −18 48

Updated to games played on 27 April 2013.
Source: BBC Sport
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.

Leading goalscorer: Tom Pope (Port Vale) - 31

Football Conference[edit]

Promoted as champions of the Football Conference were Mansfield Town, who coincidentally were one of the teams replaced by Aldershot at the end of the 2007–08 season. They were joined by 2013 Conference National play-off Final winners Newport County, who joined the Football League for the first time as the current incarnation of the club (their forerunners last played in the League in 1988). The play-off final between Newport County and Wrexham was the first Wembley Stadium final to feature two Welsh clubs.

AFC Telford United were relegated in bottom place after a terrible run of form which saw them win just one of their last 30 matches, along with getting through four different managers during the course of the season. Ebbsfleet United finished second-bottom amid financial worries caused by the collapse of their MyFootballClub ownership scheme. Barrow occupied third-bottom place, ultimately being cost dearly by their poor goalscoring record. Stockport County were the final relegated side, being relegated to the Conference North just three years after being in League Two, and eleven years after being in the second tier.

League table[edit]

Pos
Team
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Qualification or relegation
1 Mansfield Town (C) (P) 46 30 5 11 92 52 +40 95 Promotion to the 2013–14 League Two
2 Kidderminster Harriers 46 28 9 9 82 40 +42 93 Qualification to the Conference National play-offs
3 Newport County (P) 46 25 10 11 85 60 +25 85
4 Grimsby Town 46 23 14 9 70 38 +32 83
5 Wrexham 46 22 14 10 74 45 +29 80
6 Hereford United 46 19 13 14 73 63 +10 70
7 Luton Town 46 18 13 15 70 62 +8 67
8 Dartford 46 19 9 18 67 63 +4 66
9 Braintree Town 46 19 9 18 63 72 −9 66
10 Forest Green Rovers 46 18 11 17 63 49 +14 65
11 Macclesfield Town 46 17 12 17 65 70 −5 63
12 Woking 46 18 8 20 73 81 −8 62
13 Alfreton Town 46 16 12 18 69 74 −5 60
14 Cambridge United 46 15 14 17 68 69 −1 59
15 Nuneaton Town 46 14 15 17 55 63 −8 57
16 Lincoln City 46 15 11 20 66 73 −7 56
17 Gateshead 46 13 16 17 58 61 −3 55
18 Hyde 46 16 7 23 63 75 −12 55
19 Tamworth 46 15 10 21 55 69 −14 55
20 Southport 46 14 12 20 72 86 −14 54
21 Stockport County (R) 46 13 11 22 57 80 −23 50 Relegation to the 2013–14 Conference North/South
22 Barrow (R) 46 11 13 22 45 83 −38 46
23 Ebbsfleet United (R) 46 8 15 23 55 89 −34 39
24 AFC Telford United (R) 46 6 17 23 52 79 −27 35

Updated to games played on 20 April 2013.
Source: Football Conference
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.

Managerial changes[edit]

Name Club Date of departure Replacement Date of appointment
Sean Dyche Watford 3 July 2012[7] Gianfranco Zola 7 July 2012[8]
Steve Cotterill Nottingham Forest 12 July 2012[9] Sean O'Driscoll 19 July 2012[10]
Sean O'Driscoll Crawley Town 19 July 2012 Richie Barker 7 August 2012[11]
Richie Barker Bury 7 August 2012[11] Kevin Blackwell 26 September 2012[12]
Andy Thorn Coventry City 26 August 2012 Mark Robins 19 September 2012[13]
John Sheridan Chesterfield 28 August 2012 Paul Cook 25 October 2012[14]
Terry Brown AFC Wimbledon 19 September 2012 Neal Ardley 10 October 2012[15]
Gary Waddock Wycombe Wanderers 22 September 2012 Gareth Ainsworth 8 November 2012[16][17]
John Ward Colchester United 24 September 2012[18] Joe Dunne 27 September 2012[19]
Steve Kean Blackburn Rovers 28 September 2012 Henning Berg 31 October 2012[20]
Paul Groves Bournemouth 3 October 2012 Eddie Howe 12 October 2012[21]
Owen Coyle Bolton Wanderers 9 October 2012 Dougie Freedman 25 October 2012[22]
Eddie Howe Burnley 12 October 2012 Sean Dyche 30 October 2012[23]
Dougie Freedman Crystal Palace 23 October 2012 Ian Holloway 3 November 2012[24]
Paul Jewell Ipswich Town 24 October 2012 Mick McCarthy 1 November 2012[25]
Neale Cooper Hartlepool United 24 October 2012 John Hughes 13 November 2012[26]
Paul Cook Accrington Stanley 25 October 2012 Leam Richardson 1 November 2012[27]
Alan Knill Scunthorpe United 29 October 2012 Brian Laws 29 October 2012[28]
Ian Holloway Blackpool 3 November 2012[24] Michael Appleton 7 November 2012[29]
Michael Appleton Portsmouth 7 November 2012[29] Guy Whittingham 24 April 2013[30]
Roberto Di Matteo Chelsea 21 November 2012 Rafael Benítez 21 November 2012[31]
Mark Hughes Queens Park Rangers 23 November 2012 Harry Redknapp 24 November 2012[32]
Micky Mellon Fleetwood Town 1 December 2012 Graham Alexander 6 December 2012[33]
Mark McGhee Bristol Rovers 15 December 2012 John Ward 17 December 2012[34]
Sean O'Driscoll Nottingham Forest 26 December 2012[35] Alex McLeish 27 December 2012[36]
Henning Berg Blackburn Rovers 27 December 2012[37] Michael Appleton 11 January 2013[38]
Mark Robson Barnet 28 December 2012 Edgar Davids 28 December 2012[39]
Keith Hill Barnsley 29 December 2012[40] David Flitcroft 13 January 2013[41]
Carl Fletcher Plymouth Argyle 1 January 2013 John Sheridan 6 January 2013[42]
Ståle Solbakken Wolverhampton Wanderers 5 January 2013 Dean Saunders 7 January 2013[43]
Dean Saunders Doncaster Rovers 7 January 2013 Brian Flynn 17 January 2013[44][45]
Michael Appleton Blackpool 11 January 2013 Paul Ince 18 February 2013[46]
Derek McInnes Bristol City 12 January 2013 Sean O'Driscoll 14 January 2013[47]
Nigel Adkins Southampton 18 January 2013 Mauricio Pochettino 18 January 2013[48]
John Coleman Rochdale 21 January 2013 Keith Hill 22 January 2013[49]
Simon Grayson Huddersfield Town 24 January 2013 Mark Robins 14 February 2012[50]
Paul Dickov Oldham Athletic 3 February 2013 Lee Johnson 18 March 2013[51]
Keith Curle Notts County 3 February 2013[52] Chris Kiwomya 23 February 2013[53]
Alex McLeish Nottingham Forest 5 February 2013[36] Billy Davies 7 February 2013[54]
Graham Westley Preston North End 13 February 2013 Simon Grayson 18 February 2013[55]
Mark Robins Coventry City 14 February 2013 Steven Pressley 8 March 2013[56]
Paolo Di Canio Swindon Town 18 February 2013 Kevin MacDonald 28 February 2013[57]
Dean Holdsworth Aldershot Town 20 February 2013 Andy Scott 22 February 2013[58]
John Still Dagenham & Redbridge 26 February 2013[59] Wayne Burnett 2 May 2013
Gary Mills York City 2 March 2013 Nigel Worthington 4 March 2013[60]
Brian McDermott Reading 11 March 2013 Nigel Adkins 26 March 2013[61]
Michael Appleton Blackburn Rovers 19 March 2013[62] Gary Bowyer 24 May 2013[63]
Gary Smith Stevenage 20 March 2013[64] Graham Westley 30 March 2013[65]
Paul Sturrock Southend United 25 March 2013 Phil Brown 25 March 2013[66]
Martin O'Neill Sunderland 30 March 2013[67] Paolo Di Canio 31 March 2013[68]
Neil Warnock Leeds United 1 April 2013[69] Brian McDermott 12 April 2013[70]
Danny Wilson Sheffield United 10 April 2013[71] Chris Morgan 10 April 2013[71]
Martin Ling Torquay United 29 April 2013[72] Alan Knill 7 May 2013
Leam Richardson Accrington Stanley 30 April 2013[73] James Beattie 13 May 2013[74]
Brian Flynn Doncaster Rovers 3 May 2013[75] Paul Dickov 20 May 2013[76]
Dean Saunders Wolverhampton Wanderers 7 May 2013[77] Kenny Jackett 31 May 2013[78]
Kenny Jackett Millwall 7 May 2013[79] Steve Lomas 17 June[80]
John Hughes Hartlepool United 9 May 2013[81] Colin Cooper 24 May 2013[82]
Roberto Mancini Manchester City 13 May 2013[83] Manuel Pellegrini 14 June 2013[84]
Tony Pulis Stoke City 21 May 2013[85] Mark Hughes 30 May 2013[86]
Rafael Benítez Chelsea 28 May 2013[87] José Mourinho 3 June 2013[88]

Transfers[edit]

Diary of the season[edit]

  • 31 August: August ends with Chelsea looking to make up for their poor form the previous season as they stand top with 9 points from their first three games. Swansea City and Everton are joint second, having won their opening two matches. West Bromwich Albion, Manchester City, Fulham and Manchester United complete the top seven, while QPR, Southampton and Aston Villa prop up the table.[89] In the Championship, Blackpool appear to be unaffected by the previous season's play-off heartbreak and stand top with 9 points from three games; newly promoted Sheffield Wednesday and recently relegated Blackburn Rovers are joint second. Bristol City, Watford and Middlesbrough (joint sixth with Leeds United) make up the play-off places and Birmingham City, Peterborough United and Crystal Palace the relegation zone.[90]
  • 28 September: Under-fire Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean resigns after a turbulent 21 months in charge.[91]
  • 30 September: Chelsea remain top of the Premier League as September ends, undefeated in six matches and three points ahead of surprise title contenders Everton, in second. The two Manchester clubs, Tottenham Hotspur, West Brom and Arsenal make up the rest of the top seven and Norwich City, Reading and QPR the relegation zone.[92] Brighton, Cardiff City and Wolves are joint top of the Championship, joined by Blackburn, Leicester City and Huddersfield Town in the play-off places. Sheffield Wednesday, who lost all their games in September, have dropped from third to twenty-second, joined in the relegation zone by Ipswich Town and Peterborough.[93]
  • 9 October: Sheffield Wednesday chairman Milan Mandaric assures Dave Jones that his job is not under threat.[94] Bolton Wanderers sack boss Owen Coyle with the club 18th in the Championship table.[95] Meanwhile, Kettering Town are unable to name a team for their match against Leamington.[96]
  • 19 October: Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland is assaulted by a Leeds United fan during a derby match at Hillsborough. The incident leads to calls from Dave Jones and certain sections of the press for sanctions against Leeds and their fans, though the FA and Football League both state that they consider this a civil matter. The fan is subsequently apprehended and receives a four-month prison sentence.[97]
  • 30 October: Arsenal come from 4–0 down to defeat Reading 7–5 after extra time in the fourth round of the League Cup, with Theo Walcott scoring a hat-trick. The other fixtures played on the Tuesday night see several shocks, with Southampton, Wigan and Sunderland all knocked out by lower-league competitors.[98]
  • 31 October: October ends with Chelsea's lead at the top of the Premiership cut down to one point after a controversial home defeat to Manchester United, who are ahead of third-placed Manchester City on goal difference. Tottenham currently hold the coveted fourth spot, while Everton, Arsenal and Fulham are maintaining their challenge for European football. QPR remain bottom of the Premiership, joined in the bottom three by Southampton and Reading.[99] In the Championship, Cardiff are looking to end a 50-year exile from England's top flight, standing three points clear of Leicester and Middlesbrough. Crystal Palace, Blackburn and Hull City complete the top six. Ipswich, meanwhile, are five points adrift of safety at the foot of the Championship, with 22nd-placed Sheffield Wednesday and 23rd-placed Bristol City putting the pressure on Charlton and Peterborough.[100]
  • 22 November: Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo becomes the first Premier League manager to be sacked after a run of one win in their last eight matches in all competitions culminates in a 3–0 loss at Juventus that leaves Chelsea in peril of becoming the first reigning European champions to be eliminated in the Champions League group stage. Rafael Benítez, who twice masterminded Chelsea's elimination in the Champions League semi-finals at the hands of his former club Liverpool, takes over as interim manager until the end of the season.[101]
  • 30 November: November ends with Manchester United a point clear at the top of the Premiership, ahead of unbeaten Manchester City. Chelsea have gone November without a win and stand in third, seven points behind United. West Bromwich Albion have won four straight matches in November to stand fourth, behind Chelsea only on goal difference, giving fans hope of a shock title challenge just two seasons after promotion, or at the very least a charge for European qualification. Tottenham, Everton and Arsenal make up the rest of the top seven. The relegation zone remains unchanged from the end of October, although 18th-placed Southampton are piling the pressure on Aston Villa, Sunderland, Wigan and Newcastle. QPR are 8 points adrift in 20th place, although the appointment of Harry Redknapp, who arrived at Tottenham in similar circumstances in 2008 and led them to eighth place that season, has given Rangers fans hopes of an escape.[102] In the Championship, Cardiff continue to top the table, a point ahead of Crystal Palace; Middlesbrough, Leicester, Millwall and Hull complete the top six. Ipswich have responded well to the appointment of Mick McCarthy and are now two points clear of the relegation zone, at the expense of Bristol City, Sheffield Wednesday and Peterborough.[103]
  • 5 December: Chelsea become the first reigning European champions to be eliminated from the Champions League: in spite of a 6–1 home victory over Danish champions Nordsjælland, Juventus' 1–0 win at Shakhtar Donetsk means that the Italian and Ukrainian champions progress to the first knockout round. Chelsea are demoted to the Europa League.[104]
  • 31 December: 2012 ends with Manchester United looking well-placed to win a record 20th title as they stand seven points clear of second-placed Manchester City. Chelsea are four points behind in third with a game in hand, followed by Tottenham, Arsenal, Everton and West Brom. QPR prop the table at the end of the year, with Reading (who were bottom on Christmas Day) and Southampton also in the relegation zone, although the pressure is being felt by Aston Villa, Wigan, Newcastle and Fulham.[105] Cardiff are five points clear of second-placed Hull City and look safe bets for a return to the top tier. Middlesbrough, Crystal Palace, Leicester City and Watford make up the rest of the top six and Bristol City, Peterborough and Barnsley the bottom three.[106]
  • 23 January: Swansea City confirm their first appearance in a major Wembley cup final with victory over Chelsea in the semi final of the Football League Cup. The second leg match is marred however, by a bizarre incident involving Chelsea player Eden Hazard, who was sent off after appearing to kick a ball boy who was lying on top of the ball in an effort to retrieve it quickly.[107] Swansea will play Bradford City who became the first team from the bottom tier of English football to reach a major final since Rochdale in 1962, after knocking Aston Villa, Arsenal and Wigan, all of the Premier League, out of the competition during their run to the final.[108]
  • 26 January: Luton Town make the headlines by defeating Norwich City in the fourth round of the FA Cup, becoming the first non-league side to reach the fifth round since Sutton United in 1989.[109] Another upset is achieved by League One side MK Dons, who defeat Queens Park Rangers.[110]
  • 27 January: A week of shock cup results is capped off by a day which sees a series of successively bigger surprises. Firstly, FA Cup holders and European champions Chelsea are left needing a late equaliser to avoid being knocked out by League One side Brentford, setting up a replay at Stamford Bridge.[111] Two hours later, fellow London and Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur are eliminated by Leeds United, once Premier League giants themselves, but currently 11th in the Championship after a decade of minimal on-pitch success.[112] Two hours after that, another Premier League team, Liverpool are knocked out by League One side Oldham Athletic, who like Leeds were founder members of the Premier League but have had little to cheer about in recent years (having been in their current league since 1997, the longest period without promotion or relegation for a club outside the top-flight).[113]
  • 31 January: January ends with Manchester United seven points clear of second-placed Manchester City, and looking well-placed to win a record twentieth title. In spite of Chelsea's relatively mediocre (by their standards) form, the West London club stand four points ahead of fourth-placed Tottenham. Everton stand a point behind Spurs, while Arsenal and Liverpool have not given hopes of Champions League qualification.[114] In the Championship, Cardiff have extended their lead at the top of the Championship to seven points, ahead of Leicester City, although Hull, Watford, Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough are still with a chance of automatic promotion. Peterborough sit at the bottom of the Championship, two points adrift of Bristol City and Barnsley, who are in turn four points adrift of 21st-placed Ipswich.[115]
  • 24 February: Swansea City win the League Cup final in comprehensive fashion, defeating League Two side Bradford City 5–0, earning the Welsh club their first trophy from within the English league system.[116]
  • 28 February: The month ends with Manchester United a massive fifteen points (albeit having played a game more) ahead of second-placed Manchester City, with the question on most pundits' minds being not whether United will win the title, but how soon it will be, and whether they will set a new record points total. Despite being well adrift of their neighbours, City themselves have a comfortable five-point gap between them and Tottenham Hotspur, who have taken over third place and are two points in front of Chelsea. At the other end of the table, Queens Park Rangers are six points adrift in bottom place, with Reading second-bottom and Aston Villa a point ahead in third-bottom place, and Wigan Athletic ahead of Villa on goal difference alone.[117] The situation in the Championship is looking a similar procession for the leaders, with Cardiff City eight points ahead of second-placed Watford with a game in hand, though the race for the second automatic spot is much more competitive, with only five points separating Watford from fifth-place Leicester City. Peterborough United and Bristol City are falling further adrift of safety at the bottom, but in a surprise turn of events, Wolverhampton Wanderers are now occupying the last relegation spot following a revival by Barnsley, and are in serious danger of a second successive relegation.[118]
  • 5 March: Manchester United are eliminated from the Champions League second round in controversial fashion, after Nani is sent off during the second leg of their tie against Real Madrid at Old Trafford for a flying tackle on Álvaro Arbeloa, which most pundits agreed barely even merited a yellow card, much less a red. Following the red card, Real, who had been 2–1 down on aggregate, rally to score two quick goals and win the tie 3–2.[119]
  • 13 March: Despite a 2–0 victory over Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena, Arsenal exit the Champions League on the away goals rule. This means that for the first time since the 1995–96 season (and the first time overall since it began admitting more than one team per country), no English team will be in the quarter-finals of the competition.[120]
  • 19 March: Blackburn Rovers sack Michael Appleton their third permanent manager of the season and fifth manager overall after just 67 days in charge at Ewood Park.[121]
  • 28 March: League One Coventry City enter administration and are subsequently deducted 10 points. The team drops from tenth to fourteenth as a result.[122]
  • 31 March: As of Easter Sunday, little has changed in the Premier League; Manchester United are still fifteen points clear of neighbours Manchester City, who no longer even have the game in hand that they did a month previously. City in turn remain five points clear of Tottenham Hotspur, who are a further two points ahead of Chelsea. However, Arsenal and Everton are now starting to close in on the top four, being just two and four points behind Chelsea respectively. At the bottom, Reading have fallen to the foot of the table after a horrible month, and Queens Park Rangers have moved off the bottom on goal difference, though both teams are still a massive seven points away from safety. Aston Villa are still behind Wigan on goal difference, though Wigan can go above Sunderland by winning their game in hand.[123] In the Championship, Cardiff City's lead has been pegged back to four points, while Hull City have broken clear of the rest of the chasing pack, being four points ahead of third-placed Watford, who along with Crystal Palace look to be the only teams with any hope of catching the top two. Bristol City have fallen adrift at the bottom of the division and are looking increasingly doomed, but a revival in form has seen Peterborough United leap out of the relegation zone at the expense of Barnsley, with Wolverhampton Wanderers also still in the bottom three.[124] Doncaster Rovers are heading up an incredibly competitive race for promotion from League One, with just four points separating them from fifth-placed Sheffield United (who are arguably the best-placed club in this race, having played two games fewer than any of their rivals).[125] In League Two, Gillingham have a six-point lead, with Port Vale and Northampton Town (who both have games in hand) occupying second and third place. York City and Aldershot are three and four points from safety at the bottom of League Two.[126]
  • 20 April: Cardiff City and Gillingham secure the titles for the Championship and League Two respectively, while Bournemouth win promotion from League One, and Port Vale virtually assure promotion from League Two, barring an infeasibly large defeat in their final match of the season. In the Conference National, Mansfield Town end their five-year exile from the Football League, while Stockport County are relegated to the Conference North, just three years after they were playing in League One, and twelve years after playing in what is now the Championship. On top of that, their match against Conference runners-up Kidderminster Harriers is disrupted by a pitch invasion early in the second half.[131]
  • 22 April: Manchester United clinch a record 20th title by beating Aston Villa 3–0.[132]
  • 30 April: As the season draws to its conclusion, Manchester United have secured their title, but their hopes of setting a new records points total have been ended by dropping points in three of their matches this month. Manchester City are looking a solid bet to finish runners-up, being six points ahead of Chelsea, who have taken over third place. Arsenal are occupying the fourth Champions League spot, and Tottenham Hotspur have dropped into fifth place, though have a game in hand over Arsenal. Everton are not entirely out of the European race, but face a tall order to catch the leading pack. At the bottom, Reading and QPR are both doomed to the drop, with QPR being ahead of Reading by virtue of just a single goal. Wigan Athletic have fallen into the relegation zone following a terrible month, and are five points behind a clutch of sides including Newcastle United, Aston Villa and Sunderland, though do have a game in hand over that trio.[134] With one round of matches to go in the Championship, Cardiff City have already sealed top spot, and Hull City remain ahead of Watford in second place, but by just one point and with a far worse goal difference. Brighton have sealed fourth place and a play-off spot, and Crystal Palace are also looking almost certain to qualify for the play-offs. Bolton Wanderers occupy the final play-off place by virtue of a better goal difference than Nottingham Forest, and Leicester City are also in with a chance. At the other end of the table, Bristol City are ten points adrift and long-since relegated, and Wolverhampton Wanderers are also looking likely to suffer their second successive relegation, barring a highly unlikely set of results on the final day. Barnsley are in the final relegation spot, though any of the four sides above them could still be dragged down into League One.[135]
  • 4 May: On the final day of the Championship season, Hull City are promoted to the Premier League[136] while Wolverhampton Wanderers become the first team to be relegated from the top flight to the third flight of English football in successive seasons.[137] They are joined in League One by Peterborough United following their last minute defeat to Crystal Palace.[138][139]
  • 14 May: Three days after winning the FA Cup Wigan Athletic lose 4-1 at Arsenal and are relegated to The Championship after an eight-year stay in the Premier League. It is the first time that the FA Cup winners are relegated from the top flight in the same season.[142]
  • 15 May: Chelsea become the first English club to win all three European club competitions with a 2-1 victory over Benfica in the 2013 Europa League Final in Amsterdam.
  • 19 May: Yeovil are promoted to the Championship following their 2-1 win over Brentford.[143] It will be the first time that Yeovil have reached that level in the football league.

Deaths[edit]

Retirements[edit]

References[edit]

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