|Champions||West Bromwich Albion|
|New Clubs in League||Coventry City|
West Ham United
Port Vale (Mid-season)
Compared to 1914–15, the number of Football League member clubs increased from 40 to 44, initially with five new clubs.
Resuming after four years, the Football League expanded its numbers by four, maintaining competition in two Divisions of equal size. During previous such expansions, 1898 and 1905, the relegated clubs from the previous season were re-elected, while the top Second Division sides were promoted as usual.
Following that precedent, the two top Second Division sides in 1915, Derby and Preston did move on up. Chelsea, who had finished 19th that First Division season, were, as expected, re-elected.
Discussion of how the expansion should be handled began on 13 January 1919 when James Catton published an article in Athletic News raising the issue of match-fixing which had dogged the 1914/15 League season and been left unresolved because of the cessation of the League for the duration of the war.
In the article, Catton argued one of the two teams that ought to be returned to the first division (if that league was to be expanded, as had already been proposed), should be Chelsea as they had been relegated due to the match-fixing. Catton then considered the argument that Tottenham, who had also been relegated with Chelsea should likewise be reinstated, although he noted there was nothing to link Tottenham's relegation with anything amiss in the final season before the cessation of the League for the duration.
In 1915, Manchester United avoided relegation by winning a game against Liverpool 2–0 on 2 April 1915 which was fixed in United's favour, with players from both sides benefiting from bets placed upon the result 1915 British football betting scandal. At the end of the season, Manchester United finished one point and one place ahead of Chelsea. Had the game against Liverpool ended in a draw Chelsea would have finished ahead of United on goal average, if Liverpool had won then Chelsea would have finished one place and one point ahead of Manchester United.
Arsenal, who had finished 6th in the Second Division in 1914-15 (later amended to 5th place in 1975 after an error in the calculation of goal average was discovered) were also elected to the First Division.
It has been alleged that Arsenal Chairman Sir Henry Norris bribed or in some way unduly influenced the voting members of the Football League, in particular, Football League President John McKenna at the League's AGM and that McKenna made a speech recommending Arsenal's promotion ahead of Spurs thanks to the formers' longer spell in the League (Arsenal joined in 1893, Spurs in 1908), although Barnsley and Wolves, who both finished ahead of Arsenal, had been members of the league longer than Arsenal; Wolves since its inception in 1888. However, detailed reports of the meeting in The Sportsman, Athletic News, Daily Mirror and The Times the following day made no mention of this. They did report that Football League Management Committee member C.E. Sutcliffe made a speech stating that the expansion would give them an opportunity to do right by Chelsea. It would seem strange if such a speech were made by the League President and somehow all the media failed to report it. Arsenal have not been relegated from the top flight of the English game since, the only club in continuous membership since 1919.
In the Second Division, Port Vale took over from Leeds City after 4 October 1919, when Leeds were disbanded by F.A. order following alleged irregular practices. Port Vale then inherited Leeds' record up to that date.
After the season, Grimsby Town were relegated to the newly formed Third Division. Lincoln City was not re-elected to Second Division and Leeds United was elected to replace it. Cardiff City were elected to take the second available place in Second Division.
Final league tables
Beginning in the 1894–95 season, clubs finishing level on points were separated according to goal average (goals scored divided by goals conceded). In case one or more teams had the same goal difference, this system favoured those teams who had scored fewer goals. The goal average system was eventually scrapped beginning with the 1976–77 season.
During the first six seasons of the league, (up to the 1893–94 season), re-election process concerned the clubs which finished in the bottom four of the league. From the 1894–95 season and until the 1920–21 season the re-election process was required of the clubs which finished in the bottom three of the league.
|Champions||West Bromwich Albion|
1st English title
|Goals scored||1,332 (2.88 per match)|
|Top goalscorer||Fred Morris|
|Biggest home win||West Bromwich Albion 8–0 Notts County|
(25 October 1919)
|Biggest away win||Preston North End 1–5 Bradford City|
(1 September 1919)
Burnley 2–6 Bradford Park Avenue
(22 November 1919)
Derby County 0–4 West Bromwich Albion
(20 December 1919)
Bradford Park Avenue 0–4 West Bromwich Albion
(3 April 1920)
|Highest scoring||Manchester City 8–2 Blackburn Rovers|
(8 November 1919)
|1||West Bromwich Albion (C)||42||28||4||10||104||47||2.213||60|
|11||Bradford Park Avenue||42||15||12||15||60||63||0.952||42|
|19||Preston North End||42||14||10||18||57||73||0.781||38|
|21||Notts County (R)||42||12||12||18||56||74||0.757||36||Relegation to the Second Division|
|22||The Wednesday (R)||42||7||9||26||28||64||0.438||23|
Rules for classification: 1) Points; 2) Goal average; 3) Goals scored
(C) Champions; (R) Relegated
|Champions||Tottenham Hotspur (1st title)|
|Failed re-election||Lincoln City|
|Goals scored||1,285 (2.78 per match)|
|Top goalscorer||Sammy Taylor (Huddersfield Town), 35|
|Biggest home win||Birmingham – Nottingham Forest 8–0 (10 Mar 1920)|
|Biggest away win||Barnsley – Birmingham 0–5 (14 Feb 1920)|
Leicester City – Bury 0–5 (10 Apr 1920)
|Highest scoring||Hull City – Wolverhampton Wanderers 10–3 (27 Dec 1919)|
|Pos||Team||Pld||HW||HD||HL||HGF||HGA||AW||AD||AL||AGF||AGA||GAv||Pts||Promotion or relegation|
|1||Tottenham Hotspur||42||19||2||0||60||11||13||4||4||42||21||3.188||70||Division Champions, promoted|
|7||West Ham United[a]||42||14||3||4||34||14||5||6||10||13||26||1.175||47|
|21||Lincoln City||42||8||6||7||27||30||1||3||17||17||71||0.436||27||Failed re-election[f]|
- New club in the league; elected from Southern League
- New club in the league; elected from North Eastern League
- New club in the league; elected from Central League
- Leeds City were expelled from the league after 8 games; Port Vale, formerly Burslem Port Vale, took their place and inherited their record.
- New club in the league; elected from Midland League
- Lincoln City were not re-elected, but they returned to the league later, for the season 1921–22, surfacing this time in 3rd Division North, after having been absent only for one season.
- Grimsby Town participated in the Football League Third Division during the following season.
- "Norris at the Arsenal: The first suggestion that Arsenal could be elected to the 1st division. | the History of Arsenal". 21 December 2017.
- Spurling (2004). Rebels for the Cause. p. 40.
- Ian Laschke: Rothmans Book of Football League Records 1888–89 to 1978–79. Macdonald and Jane’s, London & Sydney, 1980.
- "English League Leading Goalscorers". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 31 October 2010.
- Ian Laschke: Rothmans Book of Football League Records 1888–89 to 1978–79. Macdonald and Jane's, London & Sydney, 1980.