1998–99 FA Premier League
||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (September 2012)|
5th Premier League title
12th English title
|Champions League||Manchester United (first group stage)
Arsenal (first group stage)
Chelsea (third qualifying round)
|UEFA Cup||Leeds United (first round)
Newcastle United (first round)
Tottenham Hotspur (first round)
|Intertoto Cup||West Ham United (third round)|
|Goals scored||963 (2.53 per match)|
|Top goalscorer|| Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (Leeds, 18)
Michael Owen (Liverpool, 18)
Dwight Yorke (Manchester United, 18)
|Biggest home win||Liverpool 7–1 Southampton (16 January 1999)
Everton 6–0 West Ham United (8 May 1999)
|Biggest away win||Nottingham Forest 1–8 Manchester United (6 February 1999)|
|Highest scoring||Nottingham Forest 1–8 Manchester United (6 February 1999)|
|Longest winning run||Leeds United (7)|
|Longest unbeaten run||Chelsea (21)|
|Longest losing run||Charlton Athletic (8)|
|Highest attendance||Manchester United vs Southampton (55,316) (27 February 1999)|
|Lowest attendance||Nottingham Forest vs Sheffield Wednesday (20,480) (1 May 1999)|
The 1998–99 FA Premier League season was the seventh season of the Premier League, the top division of English football, since its establishment in 1992. The season will always be remembered as the one in which Manchester United won a unique treble of the league title, the FA Cup and the European Cup. They secured their fifth league championship in seven seasons after losing just three league games all season.
Arsenal, who failed to regain their title, despite having the same points tally as last season 78 points, and had at one point looked as though they were on the brink of winning the title, after beating fellow rivals Tottenham Hotspur, while Manchester United had drawn against Liverpool, 2–2. However, Manchester United pushed on and took advantage of Arsenal's 1–0 defeat at Leeds United in the penultimate match of the season and despite going 1–0 down against Tottenham on the final day, came back to win 2–1 and clinch the title. Should they have failed to win, Arsenal would have been crowned champions once more.
In order to achieve their success, the Manchester United playing squad had been altered substantially during the close season. A total of more than £28 million had been spent on Dwight Yorke, Jaap Stam and Jesper Blomqvist, while several older players left the club; Gary Pallister returned to Middlesbrough after nine years for £2.5 million, while Brian McClair returned to Motherwell on a free transfer. In December, however, McClair was back in the Premier League as Brian Kidd's assistant at Blackburn Rovers.
At the end of 1998–99, the Premiership would have three Champions League places. As well as Manchester United, runners-up Arsenal and third placed Chelsea would be playing in the following season's Champions League. There would only be one automatic UEFA Cup place from the league – taken by fourth-placed Leeds United. Fifth-placed West Ham United qualified for the UEFA Cup via the Intertoto Cup. Also qualifying were Newcastle United via the FA Cup final, and Tottenham Hotspur via the League Cup.
Bottom of the Premiership in the final table came Nottingham Forest, who suffered their third relegation in seven seasons. One notable low for Forest this season was an 8–1 drubbing at home, by Manchester United. Second from bottom came Blackburn Rovers, who just four seasons earlier had been Premiership champions. The final relegation place went to Charlton Athletic, who went down at the end of their first spell in the top flight for nine seasons. The only newly promoted club to survive was Middlesbrough, who finished in a respectable ninth place.
None of the teams relegated from the Premiership the previous season regained their top division status in 1999, although First Division champions Sunderland regained their Premiership place after a two-year exile. The other two relegation places went to long-term absentees from the top division. Playoff winners Watford regained their top division place after an absence of 11 years, but runners-up Bradford had been outside of the top division for 77 years. These two promotion winners surprised the observers more than any other Division One side during 1998–99.
Personnel and kits
(as of 16 May 1999)
Everton appointed Walter Smith as Howard Kendall's successor.
Blackburn Rovers sacked Roy Hodgson in November, with the club bottom of the table. Manchester United assistant Brian Kidd replaced him. Ironically relegation was confirmed in the penultimate game of the season against Kidd's former club.
Nottingham Forest sacked Dave Bassett in January and put Ron Atkinson in charge until the end of the season. Atkinson retired after failing to save Forest from relegation and former England captain David Platt, 33, was named as player-manager.
Wimbledon manager Joe Kinnear was effectively forced to step down due to health problems in March, and did not return to the club. Coaches Mick Harford and Terry Burton took charge until the end of the season, when Norwegian coach Egil Olsen was appointed manager.
Final league table
||Qualification or relegation
|1||Manchester United (C)||38||22||13||3||80||37||+43||79||1999–2000 UEFA Champions League Group stage|
|3||Chelsea||38||20||15||3||57||30||+27||75||1999–2000 UEFA Champions League Third qualifying round|
|4||Leeds United||38||18||13||7||62||34||+28||67||1999–2000 UEFA Cup First round|
|5||West Ham United||38||16||9||13||46||53||−7||57||1999 UEFA Intertoto Cup Third round|
|11||Tottenham Hotspur||38||11||14||13||47||50||−3||47||1999–2000 UEFA Cup First round 1|
|13||Newcastle United||38||11||13||14||48||54||−6||46||1999–2000 UEFA Cup First round 2|
|18||Charlton Athletic (R)||38||8||12||18||41||56||−15||36||Relegation to 1999–2000 Football League First Division|
|19||Blackburn Rovers (R)||38||7||14||17||38||52||−14||35|
|20||Nottingham Forest (R)||38||7||9||22||35||69||−34||30|
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.
1 Tottenham Hotspur qualified for the UEFA Cup as League Cup winners.
2 As Manchester United qualified for the Champions League, their UEFA Cup place as FA Cup winners defaulted to Newcastle United, the losing finalists.
(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.
|Average goals per game:||2.53|
|Home \ Away||ARS||AST||BLB||CHA||CHE||COV||DER||EVE||LEE||LEI||LIV||MNU||MID||NEW||NOT||SHW||SOT||TOT||WHU||WDN|
|West Ham United||0–4||0–0||2–0||0–1||1–1||2–0||5–1||2–1||1–5||3–2||2–1||0–0||4–0||2–0||2–1||0–4||1–0||2–1||3–4|
|1||Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink||Leeds United||18|
|Dwight Yorke||Manchester United||18|
|Andy Cole||Manchester United||17|
|7||Dion Dublin||Aston Villa||14|
|Julian Joachim||Aston Villa||14|
|Alan Shearer||Newcastle United||14|
|Month||Manager of the Month||Player of the Month|
|August||Alan Curbishley (Charlton Athletic)||Michael Owen (Liverpool)|
|September||John Gregory (Aston Villa)||Alan Shearer (Newcastle United)|
|October||Martin O'Neill (Leicester City)||Roy Keane (Manchester United)|
|November||Harry Redknapp (West Ham United)||Dion Dublin (Aston Villa)|
|December||George Graham (Tottenham Hotspur)||David Ginola (Tottenham Hotspur)|
|January||Alex Ferguson (Manchester United)||Dwight Yorke (Manchester United)|
|February||Alan Curbishley (Charlton Athletic)||Nicolas Anelka (Arsenal)|
|March||David O'Leary (Leeds United)||Ray Parlour (Arsenal)|
|April||Alex Ferguson (Manchester United)||Kevin Campbell (Everton)|