1973–74 in English football
|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (May 2008)|
The 1973–74 season was the 94th season of competitive football in England.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Player awards
- 3 Top goalscorers
- 4 Diary of the season
- 5 Honours
- 6 League table
- 7 References
Don Revie marked his last season as Leeds United's manager by guiding them to the league championship, before taking over from Sir Alf Ramsey as the England national team manager, with England having failed to qualify for the 1974 World Cup. Revie's Leeds side beat Liverpool to the title by five points to win it for the second time in their history. Newly promoted Burnley finished in sixth place.
Manchester United were relegated from the First Division just six years after winning the European Cup at the end of a season which had seen goalkeeper Alex Stepney as joint top scorer with two goals at Christmas. United's 37-year stay at the top ended after their penultimate game of the season, a 1–0 home defeat against Manchester City; former United striker Denis Law scored City's winning goal. Despite this, the board kept faith in manager Tommy Docherty as the man to regain the club's top flight place.
Former Leeds United player Jack Charlton had managed Middlesbrough to the Second Division title and a place in the First Division. Second in the table were Luton Town, who finished 15 points behind the champions. Third-placed Carlisle United, managed by Alan Ashman, gained a place in the First Division for the first, and so far only, time in their history, completing a rapid rise from the Fourth Division to the First Division. Crystal Palace, Preston North End and Swindon Town were all relegated.
Promotion was secured by champions Oldham Athletic, Bristol Rovers and York City, which at the time represented York's highest ever League finish. Cambridge United, Shrewsbury Town, Southport and Rochdale were all relegated.
Peterborough United won Division Four and were promoted along with Gillingham, Colchester United and Bury. The league's re-election system voted in favour of the bottom four league clubs and there were no departures from or arrivals into the league in 1974.
The FA Cup Final was won by Liverpool, who beat Newcastle United 3–0 with two goals from Kevin Keegan and one from Steve Heighway. Burnley beat Leicester City 1-0 at Filbert Street in the fifth and final third-place playoff, held five days after the final.
Surprises in the earlier rounds included a first round defeat for Exeter City by Alvechurch F.C. and a 4–0 second round replay win for a Walton & Hersham team that included Dave Bassett over a Brighton & Hove Albion side managed by Brian Clough.
Bill McGarry's Wolverhampton Wanderers beat Manchester City 2–1 in the final at Wembley Stadium with Kenny Hibbitt and John Richards getting the Wolves goals and Colin Bell replying for City. It was a first-ever League Cup win for Wolves, and their first major trophy since the Stan Cullis era more than a decade earlier.
Plymouth Argyle of the Third Division reached the semi-finals before losing to Manchester City.
- Veteran Liverpool winger Ian Callaghan won the FWA Footballer of the Year award for his contribution to his club's successful season.
- This season also saw the inauguration of two new awards by the Professional Footballers' Association, both of which were voted for by footballers. The PFA Players' Player of the Year award was won by Norman Hunter of Leeds United, whilst the PFA Young Player of the Year award was won by Kevin Beattie of Ipswich Town.
Diary of the season
25 July 1973: Leeds United and Birmingham City are fined £3000 each because of their bad disciplinary record. The sentence has been suspended for a year and will be revised in light of the players' future conduct.
5 August 1973: In a sensational article in the Sunday Express, Brian Clough attacks the FA's decision to fine Leeds £3000 and suspend the punishment. According to the Derby County manager, Leeds should have been relegated to the Second Division and Don Revie fined for his part in the club's bad disciplinary record. "The men who run soccer have missed the most marvellous chance of cleaning up the game in one swoop," writes Clough.
7 August 1973: Two famous players have announced their retirements from football due to eye injuries. Tostão, the 26-year-old Brazilian World Cup star, and Gordon Banks will not play again. Banks will be offered a job on Stoke City's coaching staff
11 August 1973: Bristol Rovers beat West Ham United 6-5 on penalties in the Watney Cup. Stoke win 1-0 at Plymouth Argyle and the two Second Division clubs, Hull City and Bristol City, are safely through to the semi-finals.
13 August 1973: Following a wave of violence at football matches during the week, police will film crowds leaving stations and car parks at Coventry City's home game against Spurs on 25 August. Len Shipman, president of the League says, "Violence on the terraces must be strangled at birth early this season. The League, police and local authorities must get together to work out a plan to stop this type of behaviour."
14 August 1973: Hull beat Bristol Rovers 1-0 in the semi-final of the Watney Cup through a goal scored by Malcolm Lord...Arsenal are beaten 1-0 in a friendly by the Norwegian amateurs Frigg Oslo. Peter Storey is sent off, Pat Rice booked and Alan Ball injured.
15 August 1973: A Sunday League amateur side play at Mainz, West Germany where they are mistakenly billed as 'Wolverhampton'. The locals put out their strongest side, thinking that they will face 'Wolves' with Derek Dougan and Co. In front of a sizeable crowd, Mainz win 21-0!...Stoke reach the Watney Cup final by beating Bristol City 4-1.
17 August 1973: Millwall's League game at Preston North End on 10 September is put back a day because Preston manager Bobby Charlton has to to attend a dinner given to him and his brother Jack at the National Sporting Club and Prime Minister Edward Heath is among the guests.
18 August 1973: The FA emergency committee will decide whether to accuse Brian Clough of bringing the game into disrepute. They send him a letter asking about an article he wrote in the Sunday Express concerning the suspended fine imposed on Leeds. Clough says, "They are leaving a loophole but I shall not take it"...Gordon Banks officially confirms that he is retiring from active football. Banks, capped 73 times, will stay in football as a coach...Cambridge United walk off in the 58th minute of a pre-season friendly against Colchester United but complete the match after two minutes' stoppage. Manager Bill Leivers says that he lost his temper after a goal against his team was allowed to stand but decided to finish the game for the crowd's sake...Wolverhampton Wanderers beat Arsenal 3-1 in the FA Cup third place play-off at Highbury and Burnley win the Charity Shield match 1-0 against Manchester City at Maine Road...Trouble spots in England - Huddersfield, York and Hereford. 34 people are arrested after the Huddersfield Town v Leeds game, fighting on the terraces at Bootham Crescent spreads on to the pitch and 95 Oxford United fans are held by the police when their train back to Oxford is stopped at Worcester.
25 August 1973: A good start for the pre-season favourites in the First Division. Leeds, Liverpool, Arsenal and Derby all win their home matches. Brian Hornsby comes on as substitute for Arsenal three seconds before the final whistle...Denis Law scores twice for Manchester City against Birmingham and Derek Dougan gets two goals v Norwich City...Burnley win 2-0 at Sheffield United but the other promoted team, Queens Park Rangers, only draw at home with Southampton...The first League goal of the season is scored by John Woodward of York City who nets after 70 seconds...Sadly, football hooliganism still makes the front pages. At the Baseball Ground, there is fighting between Derby and Chelsea supporters on the pitch. The police are powerless to stop it but later eight youths are arrested. Manchester United fans cause damage at Euston station and there are other trouble spots...Hugh Curran (Oxford) and Ian Lawther (Stockport County) are sent off...The official attendance figures show a drop of 35,000 compared with last season.
1 September 1973: Leeds beat Tottenham 3-0, their second win in London in five days, and they are the only 100-percenters in the First Division. Allan Clarke is carried off in the second half with a bad leg injury...Two players are sent off - Billy Wilson (Portsmouth) and Barry Murphy (Barnsley)...A missile thrown from the crowd after the final whistle at Millwall knocks out Jim Cumbes, the Aston Villa goalkeeper.
4 September 1973: Sheffield United register the new season's biggest First Division win - 5-0 v Arsenal.
8 September 1973: Leeds beat Birmingham 3-0 with a Peter Lorimer hat-trick and lead the First Division with maximum points after five matches...Rotherham United inflict an 8-1 beating on Crewe Alexandra. "Go home, go to bed, just keep out of sight," says the Crewe manager Jimmy Melia to his players after the match...Everton coach Stewart Imlach is booked by referee Pat Partridge after his team lose 2-1 at Derby. Imlach admits that he called the official "a cheat."
11 September 1973: Eddie Kelly, the Arsenal player who threw his shirt at the trainer's bench in disgust when he was substituted on Saturday, comes on to the field bare-chested against Sheffield United at Highbury. To the crowd's amusement, he pulls on the number 11 jersey just before the start of the game which the Gunners win 1-0 with a late Ray Kennedy goal...Malcolm Allison decides to move the touchline three yards and narrows the pitch at Selhurst Park. Crystal Palace draw 0-0 with Aston Villa - their first point and first 'shut-out' of the season...Leeds win 2-0 at Molineux and still have a 100% record.
14 September 1973: Bobby Moore is pressing for a transfer from West Ham. The England captain tells manager Ron Greenwood that he "would not be against a move." According to reports, Brian Clough would like to sign Moore and move Colin Todd to midfield.
15 September 1973: Bobby Moore is dropped against Manchester United and West Ham lose 3-1 at Old Trafford...In the Second Division, five clubs are joint top with seven points - among them are Aston Villa and Sunderland, both pre-season favourites for promotion.
17 September 1973: Jim Hall scores four goals for Peterborough United against Doncaster - the best individual haul of the season. Other hat-tricks are registered by Bobby Shinton (Walsall) and Terry Eccles (Mansfield Town).
18 September 1973: Bobby Moore is not for sale. That is the latest announcement from the West Ham board. The England captain is included in Sir Alf Ramsey's squad for the Austrian match next week together with team-mate Trevor Brooking. Other comparative newcomers besides the Hammers' midfielder are Peter Osgood and Kevin Hector...Bristol City goalkeeper Ray Cashley scores a freak goal against Hull in a League match. His huge 100 yard clearance bounces past the Hull 'keeper Jeff Wealands into the net. The Robins win 3-1 and are top of the Second Division table. Their neighbours Bristol Rovers win 2-0 at Shrewsbury Town and are leading the Third Division.
19 September 1973: A good start for British teams in European football. Althought Leeds and Liverpool only draw their away fixtures, Sunderland win 2-0 against Vasas in Budapest and Spurs beat Grasshoppers 5-1 in Zürich.
22 September 1973: Kevin Hector scores a hat-trick in Derby's 6-2 win over Southampton...Leeds drop a point for the first time this season - Manchester United draw 0-0 at Elland Road. Jim Holton and Joe Jordan are booked so Leeds blot their record in that respect as well...Still without a win are West Ham, Birmingham and Stoke in Division One and Crystal Palace in Division Two. Palace are 2-0 up at home against Cardiff City but the teams finish level at 3-3...A Notts County penalty at Portsmouth is taken by three different players and all fail to score. The first retake is ordered because the goalkeeper moves, the second because the referee didn't give a signal...All three Liverpool goals against Tottenham are scored by their full-backs - Chris Lawler gets two and Alec Lindsay one.
3 October 1973: All six English teams progress to the second round in the European competitions. Tottenham have the highest aggregate win - 9-2 over Grasshoppers. Leeds are the highest scorers of the evening, 6-1 against Strømsgodset of Norway, but Ipswich Town earn most praise for their 0-0 draw against Real in Madrid.
4 October 1973: Alan Ball sustained a serious injury against Tranmere and might be out of football for six weeks.
6 October 1973: Four players are sent off and 40 cautioned in the English League...Leeds, Bristol Rovers and Reading remain unbeaten while Birmingham and West Ham still haven't won a match in the First Division...Crystal Palace lose again and are trailing five points behind the field. Malcolm Allison says that he must build a reasonably good team by Christmas, otherwise his future with the club will have to be reviewed.
9 October 1973: Stockport beat Crystal Palace 1-0 in the League Cup and Malcolm Allison accuses his own players of cheating. "I was disgusted. Our performance was terrible," he says.
13 October 1973: Leeds preserve their unbeaten record at Leicester where they draw 2-2 after being 2-0 down after 20 minutes. Bristol Rovers and Reading are the other unbeaten teams in the League.
15 October 1973: Brian Clough and Peter Taylor resign at Derby, the reaction to a letter that Clough receives from chairman Sam Longson telling him to discontinue his newspaper and TV work...George Best plays brilliantly for Manchester United in a friendly against Shamrock Rovers. Hundreds of youngsters invade the pitch to congratulate him and the match is abandoned in the 81st minute with United leading 2-1.
17 October 1973: Don Shaw, a playwright, and Bill Holmes, an ex-footballer, initiate moves to reinstate the Clough-Taylor partnership at Derby. Chairman Sam Longson says, "We will go into the Second Division with our heads in the air rather than winning the First Division wondering whether the club will be expelled from the Football League."
20 October 1973: A large crowd demonstrates for the reinstatement of Brian Clough at Derby before the start of their game against Leicester. Clough is at the ground but leaves shortly after the kick-off. Derby win 2-1 and are four points behind leaders Leeds who beat Liverpool 1–0 with a Mick Jones goal...George Best plays for Manchester United and a near 50,000 crowd gives him a great reception. United win 1-0 against Birmingham with an Alex Stepney penalty. The goalkeeper is now the club's joint top scorer...West Ham win their first League match of the season when they defeat Coventry away.
22 October 1973: Derby's first team openly declare their allegiance to Brian Clough. The players hold a special meeting and skipper Roy McFarland hands to chairman Sam Longson a letter signed by the entire first team squad asking for the reinstatement of Clough and his assistant Peter Taylor...Brighton and Hove Albion sack Pat Saward but the manager says that he still considers himself in charge of the club.
23 October 1973: The dramatic Derby saga continues. The Board announces that they have engaged Dave Mackay, the club's former player, as manager. As a response, the players stage a sit-in at the ground, asking for a meeting with the management, but their request is refused and the police are called in to clear the crowd. As the players leave, one of them - an England international - says, "Now everyone can see who was right. Clough or Longson!"
24 October 1973: 'We might not play, Derby team warn confident Mackay' reports the Daily Telegraph...British teams have a mediocre start in the second round of the European competitions. Liverpool lose 2-1 to Red Star in Belgrade and in the Cup Winners' Cup Sunderland have a narrow victory over Sporting Lisbon. Trevor Whymark scores four goals against Lazio in Ipswich's 4-0 win over the Italians.
25 October 1973: The Derby players announce that they will honour their contractual obligations and travel to London to face West Ham.
27 October 1973: Derby draw 0-0 with West Ham at Upton Park and new manager Dave Mackay says that he is delighted with the players' professional attitude. Chairman Sam Longson adds, "I could manage this lot!"...Alan Durban is cautioned at Southend after 30 seconds' play...Manchester City manager Johnny Hart is taken ill hours before the kick-off against Leeds. His deputy Tony Book takes over and promptly drops himself from the team.
29 October 1973: Middlesbrough chairman Charles Amer criticises Benny Fenton for remarks he made before last Saturday's match. The Millwall manager had warned his players that Middlesbrough were a "tough lot and if they dish it out we must not stand around and take it."
30 October 1973: Surprise result in the League Cup - Burnley 1 Plymouth 2. A happy return to his old club for Tony Waiters as manager of Plymouth...Francis Lee scores a hat-trick in Manchester City's 4-0 replay win over Walsall.
31 October 1973: Six of the seven third round League Cup ties end in draws and the seventh produces a shock result - West Bromwich Albion 1 Exeter City 3. Fred Binney scores twice, bringing his season's Cup total to six.
1 November 1973: Frank O'Farrell settles his his dispute with his former club Manchester United and receives a £50,000 golden handshake for the termination of his contract which had three and a half years to run. It is understood that this is the largest sum ever paid to a manager in lieu of his salary...Brian Clough is the new manager of Brighton. After days of negotiations, Clough and Peter Taylor agree to take over the Third Division club. Chairman Mike Bamber says that it is the greatest day of this life and that Brighton will soon be a force in football.
3 November 1973: The Clough-Taylor partnership receives a rapturous welcome from the Brighton crowd and the home team draw 0-0 with York. Over 16,000 people turn up - three times this season's average attendance - and there are banners greeting the new manager and his assistant...The young Chelsea player Graham Wilkins breaks a leg at Manchester United...Reading lose at home to Gillingham but Leeds and Bristol Rovers are still unbeaten..John Cozens of Peterborough scores after 16 seconds play against Exeter. The Posh are top of the Fourth Division and haven't conceded a goal for six matches.
5 November 1973: Tommy Smith, who walked out on Liverpool half an hour before the Arsenal game last weekend when he was told that he wasn't in the team, has been dropped by Bill Shankly from the European Cup squad.
6 November 1973: Liverpool are out of the European Cup. They are beaten 2-1 at Anfield by a superlative Red Star Belgrade side...QPR score eight goals in the League Cup against Sheffield Wednesday at Loftus Road.
7 November 1973: Sunderland are eliminated from the Cup Winners' Cup...Hibernian accuse Leeds of breaking the rules of a European competition, claiming that while the penalty kicks were taken after a stalemate (no goals in 210 minutes of football), Don Revie and Les Cocker were on the pitch coaching their players.
10 November 1973: Tottenham beat Manchester United in a match which brings George Best back to London after 14 months' absence...Peter Osgood scores his 100th (and 101st) League goals in Chelsea's 3-1 win over Everton...Crystal Palace get their first win of the season - 1-0 away at Bristol City.
12 November 1973: Oxford's chairman accuses Jack Charlton of promoting 'anti-football'. "I'm sick and tired of the negative tactics employed by teams like Middlesbrough. They stink. They are traitors to the game," he says. Middlesbrough beat Oxford 2-0 last Saturday.
14 November 1973: All League matches will kick off at 2:15 pm next Saturday to avoid power cuts.
15 November 1973: The proposed Tommy Smith loan transfer to Stoke is off. The League insists that Smith must stay with Stoke for the agreed loan period but Liverpool indicate that they might recall him at any time. "This is against the spirit of the rule," says League president Len Shipman.
16 November 1973: Don Revie is suspended for one match by the European Union - he mustn't act in an official capacity in the first leg tie against Vitória Setubal. Leeds also forfeit their deposit of 3000 Swiss francs (approximately £400)...Johnny Hart has offically resigned as Manchester City manager for health reasons.
17 November 1973: Ron Saunders resigns at Norwich. The manager has an argument with chairman Arthur South after the Everton match, which Norwich lose 3-1, and his subsequent resignation is immediately accepted...Paddy Mulligan is sent off in the Crystal Palace v Millwall local derby. Over 30,000 people see the teams draw 1-1.
19 November 1973: Dennis Tueart puts in a written transfer request at Sunderland...Dave Mackay holds a press conference and hits out at the Derby Protest Movement: "I am not saying that Brian Clough is interfering with the club. He has a job at Brighton and certainly won't be coming back here. All the Protest Movement is doing is distracting the players at a time when they need help to get back to their best form"...Newcastle's Scottish international forward Tony Green has to give up football on medical advice.
20 November 1973: Plymouth beat QPR 3-0 at Loftus Road in the League Cup - Rangers' first home defeat for just over a year.
21 November 1973: The Derby players are planning a mutiny against Dave Mackay's management. A round-robin is prepared in which the first team squad notifies the club that they will not train any longer under Mackay and will turn up 75 minutes before the League fixture against Leeds at the Baseball Ground. However, after Cliff Lloyd, on behalf of the Players' Union, points out that the players would be in breach of contract, the rebellion fizzles out. In the meantime, Mackay signs Rod Thomas from Swindon Town for £100,000.
22 November 1973: Brian Clough states that he had nothing to do with the Derby players' revolt and assures Brighton that he has no intention of leaving his new club...Ron Saunders is the new manager of Manchester City. A player deputation ensures that Tony Book is also officially appointed as assistant to Saunders.
24 November 1973: Bob Latchford scores his second hat-trick in four days in Birmingham's 3-0 win over Leicester...In the FA Cup, Exeter, Newport and Hartlepool United are beaten by non-League clubs.
1 December 1973: Bristol Rovers beat Brighton 8-2 at the Goldstone Ground and thus establish a new Third Division record of remaining unbeaten in the first 19 games of the season. Brian Clough says that he feels ashamed of his team's performance and that several of the players lacked heart...Cardiff beat Orient 2-1, their first away win since October 1971...20 League games and 13 Scottish matches are postponed. Consequently, the pools panel is brought into action. Arthur Ellis, Stan Mortensen, Neil Franklin, Raich Carter, George Swindin and Ronnie Simpson meet under the chairmanship of Lord Bath in a London hotel and decide what would have happened if the matches had been played.
5 December 1973: Tony Want of Birmingham is carried off on a stretcher after 60 seconds play at Newcastle United with a double fracture of the left leg. Jimmy Smith is sent off for the tackle which apparently caused the injury. Newcastle win this Texaco Cup match with 10 men - 3-1.
8 December 1973: A day of records in the Football League - attendances are the worst for a Saturday this season and Tottenham have their lowest gate, 14,034, for 20 years. Yet the Merseyside derby draws 56,098 people to Goodison Park...Two players are carried off and five booked in the grudge match between Birmingham and Newcastle...Leeds equal Liverpool's 24-year-old record by remaining unbeaten in the First Division for 19 games...York equal a record of 47 years standing by not conceding a goal in 11 consecutive matches...Bristol Rovers are the other record breakers - an unbeaten start of 20 games in Division Three.
10 December 1973: Birmingham manager Freddie Goodwin advocates the introduction of a 'sin-bin' in football. He thinks that Saturday's scandalous game between his club and Newcastle might have been saved if a few players were put in the 'cooler'. FA secretary Ted Croker says, "There were one or two players on the pitch in that game who made me feel ashamed to be a member of the same profession"...Peter Baldwin, who refereed the Notts County v Orient match, was apparently attacked and spat upon after the game by several Notts supporters.
12 December 1973: Five headed goals give Tottenham a 5-1 UEFA Cup third round second leg win over Dynamo Tbilisi of Russia...Ipswich are also through to the quarter-finals thanks to a 2-1 at Enschede against Twente but Leeds lose to Setúbal on a 3-2 aggregate.
13 December 1973: Football loses the 'generator game'. Strict instructions are issued by the Government that all matches must be played off in daylight and no private generators can be used...Wolves' attempt to suspend the League programme is not backed up by other Midlands clubs. Wolves call a meeting in order to draft a proposal but the majority of clubs in the area decide to abide by the League's decisions.
16 December 1973: A special meeting of the League Management Committee decides to carry on with the programme as scheduled despite the energy crisis and railway strike.
19 December 1973: The Football Association asks the Home Office for special permission to stage matches on Sundays. It has been pointed out that due to the three-day working week regulations, games might have to be played off during every day of the week, whenever electricity is available for the dressing rooms, offices etc. On Sundays, there will be more guaranteed access to power, although the current railway go-slow might still affect attendances.
20 December 1973: The Government turns down the request for Sunday football. Alan Hardaker, who is not in favour of the move, is angry, not with the decision but at the general attitude to football. "We have been classed as an industry for the purpose of the Industrial Relations Act but not for the purpose of using generators."
21 December 1973: Some clubs might still consider playing on Sundays and selling programmes at higher prices instead of charging for admission...Preston have been fined £200 and had one point deducted from their League total for fielding an unregistered player in a match against Oxford on 17 November. David Carrick, signed during the same week from Witton Albion, was the substitute but his registration wasn't yet endorsed by the League. This is only the fourth time that the League has taken points away from clubs. Sunderland once lost two points, Stockport two and Peterborough 18.
22 December 1973: Burnley and Arsenal attack the FA's decision to sanction Sunday football. Bob Lord: "Clubs are bringing the game into disrepute if they are getting round the Sunday Observance Act by selling programmes." Bob Wall: "Playing football and making profits on Sundays is wrong. We will not disturb the peace and quiet of the neighbourhood of Highbury on that day"...Billy Bremner is presented with a silver salver to mark his 500th League appearance for Leeds...The usual drop in attendances immediately before Christmas is even more marked today than in other years. Several clubs have their lowest gates of the season and at Hartlepool only 832 people turn up - the worst attendance in the club's history.
26 December 1973: An unexpected boom in attendances on Boxing Day - 727,110 people see the 46 League games, easily the best total of the season...Brian Yeo scores a hat-trick for Gillingham and is the first player to register 20 goals this season...Leeds win at Newcastle and stretch their lead to nine points on top of the table. In the other divisions, Middlesbrough lead by seven points, Bristol Rovers by three and Peterborough by one...Martin Chivers is droppped by manager Bill Nicholson but comes on as a sub 20 minutes from the end of the 0-0 draw at home against QPR.
29 December 1973: Middlesbrough establish a new club record of 22 consecutive unbeaten League matches...Nearly 50 players are booked and two sent off on the last Saturday of 1973.
1 January 1974: The first ever full New Year's Day programme is welcomed by huge attendances. 668,942 fans see the 44 League matches.
3 January 1974: Sensational news from Chelsea - both Osgood and Alan Hudson are put on the transfer list. They were left out of the team's New Year's Day match at Sheffield United and told to train with the reserves. Manager Dave Sexton asks them to join the first team squad in preparation for the Cup tie against QPR on Saturday - both players refuse and are immediately suspended for one week. In retaliation, they ask for a transfer, and after consulting his board of directors, Sexton agrees...It is reported from Manchester that George Best has failed to turn up for training.
6 January 1974: An historic day for British professional football. Four FA Cup ties are played on this Sunday and are welcomed by large attendances. Nearly 40,000 people see the tie at Bolton Wanderers against Stoke - a staggering 20,000 above the normal gate figures of the Lancashire club. The first ever Sunday match kicks off at 11 o'clock at Cambridge where 8479 people - easily the club's best crowd of the season - see the home club draw 2-2 with Oldham. FA secretary Ted Croker says, "Football is the national game and we should be concerned to give the public what they want when they want it. A lot of people do want to watch football on Sundays." Alan Hardaker is less enthusiastic: "We must not have our heads too high in the clouds. Bolton, for example, played the only game in Lancashire and it was a novelty. I would want to see a lot more Sunday football in other parts of the country before I become convinced."
9 January 1974: Holders Sunderland are out of the FA Cup. They are beaten 1-0 by Carlisle United at Roker Park...Hereford beat West Ham 2-1 but amateurs Hendon lose against Newcastle...Bob Stokoe and Bill McGarry complain about the referees in strong terms after the Cup replays. Stokoe says that as Pat Partridge hails from only 30 miles from Sunderland he should not have been appointed. Wolves manager McGarry says, "Roger Kirkpatrick caused us to lose the tie against Leeds. He should have given us two penalties."
10 January 1974: Derby bid £300,000 for Peter Osgood. The deal would involve Roger Davies, valued at £125,000. Chelsea accept the offer but the England forward would like to consider all enquiries first.
13 January 1974: Stoke sign Alan Hudson for £240,000 and are back in the race for Peter Osgood. Osgood plays for Chelsea reserves at Stamford Bridge and is taken off after 18 minutes with a groin injury...Leeds and Bristol Rovers are still unbeaten...International full-back Terry Cooper plays his first game since breaking a leg, coming through a reserve game without injury...Manchester United suspend George Best for two weeks and put him on the transfer list...At Portsmouth, the floodlights are switched on, powered by mains electricity after the generators fail. As this is against Government regulations, the Chief Constable of the County has reported the club.
14 January 1974: The Football League notifies clubs that during the emergency they can play their League matches on Sundays but must notify the League before the previous Wednesday, and both clubs must agree.
15 January 1974: Chelsea agree to play their League game at Stoke on Sunday 27 January - the first Division One match to be staged on a Sunday in England.
16 January 1974: Sidney Brickman, the wealthy chairman of Southern League club Tonbridge, wants to sign George Best and has offered £100,00 for him. Tommy Docherty has spoken to Brickman but regards the bid as a publicity stunt.
18 January 1974: The Football League asks clubs to vote on a new deal offered by the TV companies which would guarantee £3½ million in the next three seasons. ITV's chief negotiator Gerry Loftus emphasises that the companies cannot offer more money: "Clubs do not appreciate how much is brought into football by advertising - mainly from TV coverage."
19 January 1974: Eight of the 11 matches in the First Division end as draws...Both Leeds and Bristol Rovers are still unbeaten after 26 games each but York are beaten for the first time in 21 matches...Mick Channon is Division One's current top scorer with 16 League goals.
20 January 1974: The first ever Sunday Football League matches have attracted large gates. All 12 clubs have recorded above average figures and several more Sunday fixtures are planned during the emergency.
24 January 1974: TV sports executives have delivered a blunt ultimatum to the Football League clubs. Sam Leitch of the BBC says, "We have tendered our final offer to the clubs. There isn't a single penny left in the kitty. If the clubs say 'no' to the new contract then there will be no more League matches on the screens of either BBC or ITV."
25 January 1974: "If I can't get into a struggling team like Manchester United, it is time to quit," says George Best, who has retired from football...Bob Lord slams the TV companies for their high-handed ultimatum: "If it has come to a showdown, then let's have a showdown. I am not against soccer on TV but we are giving this facility for far too little money."
26 January 1974: Generally a bad day for First Division clubs in the fourth round of the FA Cup. Newcastle draw with Scunthorpe and Liverpool draw with Carlisle at Anfield...A John Richards goal against Norwich puts Wolves in the League Cup final - their first appearance at Wembley since 1960...Ernie Hunt has signed for Bristol City and leads the team to a 1-0 win over Hereford...Terry Cooper plays for the Leeds first team for the first time since April 1972.
27 January 1974: Another massive vote for Sunday football - increased attendances at every ground. Coventry have their highest Cup gate for 11 years...Alan Hudson, playing for his new club Stoke against Chelsea, is brought down in the 81st minute and Geoff Hurst converts the hotly disputed penalty. It is enough to give victory to Stoke.
29 January 1974: League clubs are pushing ahead with plans to play on Sundays despite the fact that Saturday is no longer an emergency working day.
30 January 1974: Newcastle reach the fifth round of the FA Cup for the first time for 13 years with a 3-0 win at Scunthorpe...20-year-old Swindon goalkeeper Jimmy Allan is the first League player to refuse to play on Sundays for religious reasons.
2 February 1974: Only 18 goals are scored in the First Division and seven of the matches end in a draw. Ipswich beat Southampton 7-0 - their best ever win in Division One...Leeds are still unbeaten but Bristol Rovers are defeated at Wrexham...Wolves defender Frank Munro is sent off at Molineux during the match against Stoke...Derek Dougan says that if club chairmen veto TV for next season, members of the PFA might withdraw their labour. They have collected £25,000 each year from this source and the money is used for the education of players in different trades. Dougan has complained that the PFA was not consulted concerning a possible TV blackout.
3 February 1974: The Football League has rejected the three-year offer from the BBC and ITV. The voting is 28 against and 18 for the offer and it means an end to Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon football on TV next season. Both companies have expressed their disappointment over the decision but have restated that they are not in a position to make an increased offer...Once again, above average crowds attend today's (Sunday) 17 League matches.
7 February 1974: Brian Clough accuses his Brighton players of not knowing their own trade. He has also said that the players have shirked all moral responsibilities. He is backed up by assistant manager Peter Taylor.
8 February 1974: Derek Dougan responds to Brian Clough's attack on his players: "He shouldn't criticise his players publicly unless he allows them to answer back."
9 February 1974: 60,025 people - the largest League attendance this season - see Leeds beat Manchester United 2-0 at Old Trafford. United are bottom of the First Division and Leeds lead the field by nine points.
14 February 1974: Bob Latchford signs for Everton for an estimated record transfer fee of £350,000 - Everton's Howard Kendall and Archie Styles plus £80,000 cash make up the fee. Freddie Goodwin, who a few weeks ago vowed that he would not sell Latchford or Trevor Francis, defends the move by saying that no players are available for money and he had to settle for an exchange deal...Peter Osgood will play for Chelsea against Aberdeen in a friendly but remains on the transfer list.
16 February 1974: David Smallman scores the winning goal for giantkillers Wrexham in the FA Cup fifth round tie at Southampton. Leeds draw at Bristol City but Liverpool beat Ipswich 2-0 at Anfield.
18 February 1974: The Football v Television war continues. QPR ban the cameras from their replay against Coventry because they feel that an early announcement on TV might harm the gates. Bob Lord of Burnley demands £10,000 for the televising of his club's sixth round tie against Wrexham: "I have never said that we should not have TV football, but if matches are screened, the TV companies must pay adequate compensation. There is no possibility of the figure being reduced." Both the BBC and ITV have a written agreement with the FA that all four quarter-finals of the Cup will be covered but apparently Burnley do not feel obliged to comply with this contract.
19 February 1974: Bristol City beat Leeds at Elland Road in a sensational FA Cup replay. Donnie Gillies scores the only goal of the match in the 73rd minute...In London, QPR beat Coventry 3-2 - the winning goal is scored from a free-kick by Stan Bowles seconds before the final whistle.
20 February 1974: Ted Croker states that club's must honour the FA's contracts with the TV companies or opt out of the competitions - but the FA will not put pressure on Burnley because it is understood that clubs have the option on whether to allow cameras into their grounds.
23 February 1974: Leeds' unbeaten League record ends at Stoke. The visitors take a two-goal lead early in the match but Stoke equalise before half-time. Denis Smith heads the winning goal in the 67th minute...Liverpool draw at Newcastle and are now eight points behind Leeds with one game in hand.
28 February 1974: The saga of discontent at Chelsea continues. Tommy Baldwin is fined two weeks wages and Ian Hutchinson is on the transfer list. Hutchinson says, "This thing has been dragging on for weeks. Chelsea have not told me how much they think I'm worth on the market." Osgood has confirmed that he is also determined to get away and is worried about the approaching transfer deadline.
2 March 1974: Wolves win the League Cup with a dramatic late goal by John Richards. It brings the first major honour to manager Bill McGarry, skipper Mike Bailey and star striker Derek Dougan. After the final whistle, Rodney Marsh walks to the dressing room, snubbing the usual presentation of tankards to the runners-up...Billy Bonds scores his first ever hat-trick against Chelsea on an afternoon when he is presented with 'Player of the Month' awards by both London evening newspapers...Two players, Bobby Kerr and Dennis Tueart, are sent off at Sunderland in the local derby against Middlesbrough, and Millwall manager Benny Fenton is warned by the referee at Portsmouth where he runs on to the pitch to remonstrate with one of the Pompey players. Fenton is told to leave the bench and take a seat in the stand.
4 March 1974: After a four hour board meeting at Chelsea, it is reported that the club has decided to keep Osgood and dismiss manager Dave Sexton, who during his six years at the London club won the FA Cup and European Cup-Winners' Cup. With several star players on the transfer list and the team just above the relegation zone, the situation has reached crisis point and the directors appear to have sided with the discontented few. As one player put it to an Evening Standard reporter, "Osgood has proved to be greater than the club - and Dave Sexton"...The PFA have announced the selections for their awards. Player of 1973 is Norman Hunter and Young Player is Kevin Beattie. Special awards for services to football go to Bobby Charlton and Cliff Lloyd.
5 March 1974: The situation at Chelsea changes completely. Brian Mears states that Sexton is staying with the club and there has been a misunderstanding by the Press. Later, the manager confirms that he has no intention of leaving and Osgood is still available for transfer. The break between the club and player seems final as the England international asks for his cards and says that he'll retire from football.
6 March 1974: Both Ipswich and Tottenham win their matches in the UEFA Cup.
8 March 1974: West Ham put Bobby Moore up for sale. The former England captain says that he would like to find a new club and a fresh challenge before next Thursday's transfer deadline. Manager Ron Greenwood pays this tribute to Moore: "Grateful is hardly the word for what he has done for the club and football. He is a splendid advertisement for the game."
9 March 1974: Cup drama at Newcastle. Nottingham Forest are awarded a penalty in the second half and the vehemently protesting Pat Howard is sent off. George Lyall scores from the spot to put the visitors 3-1 up and the crowd invades the pitch. Referee Gordon Kew takes the players off the field but play resumes after an eight-minute break. 10-man Newcastle then score three times to win the quarter-final 4-3!...At QPR, third-choice Leicester midfielder Joe Waters, a 20-year-old Republic of Ireland youth international, scores both goals in a 2-0 victory. It is Waters' first ever game for the first team...Burnley and Liverpool end the Cup runs of Wrexham and Bristol City respectively...Leeds are back on the winning trail. They beat Manchester City 1-0 through a disputed penalty.
10 March 1974: Three Plymouth players are sent off in a League match at Port Vale. Referee Kevin McNally gives marching orders to Steve Davey in the 17th minute, and David Provan and Bobby Saxton in injury time.
11 March 1974: Nottingham Forest ask for the annulment of last Saturday's Cup result at Newcastle. The draw for the semi-finals includes Newcastle and a decision will be made later. Leonard Conroy, one of the pitch invaders, is sentenced to six months' imprisonment for breach of the peace and assaulting a police officer...Another substantial package deal takes Dennis Tueart (£250,000) and Micky Horswill (£100,000) from Sunderland to Manchester City and Tony Towers moves from City to Sunderland for £125,000.
13 March 1974: Peter Osgood signs for Southampton in a £275,000 deal. Other transfers to beat the deadline: Nigel Cassidy, Oxford to Cambridge for £28,000 and Dave Simmons, Cambridge to Brentford for £12,000...Cardiff qualify for next season's Cup Winners' Cup by reaching the Welsh Cup final - opponents Stourbridge are English...Brian Clough is back from Iran where the Shah offered him a £400 per week job to run the national team. Clough has decided to stay with Brighton...Chelsea beat Burnley 3-0 in front of their lowest League gate for 36 years - 8171...Trouble at Manchester where City and United draw 0-0. Mike Doyle and Lou Macari are sent off after a fracas but both refuse to leave the field. Referee Clive Thomas takes both teams off the Maine Road pitch but the game resumes after seven minutes with 10 men on each side. Four other players (Holton, Mike Summerbee, Alex Forsyth and Paul Bielby) are also cautioned.
14 March 1974: On the last day of transfer deals, the move of Bobby Moore to Fulham creates the biggest sensation. After 16 years service with West Ham, Moore is sold at the giveaway price of £25,000. Moore himself collects a hefty £20,000 signing-on fee and is guaranteed about £17,500 wages for the next two seasons...Swindon sign Wolves striker Peter Eastoe for a club record fee of £100,000 and Jim McCalliog moves to Manchester United from Wolves for £60,000. Tony Bailey (Derby) goes to Oldham for £8000, Cambridge pay £30,000 for Bobby Shinton of Walsall and young Manchester United full-back Ray O'Brien joins Notts County for £40,000. Sheffield United manager Ken Furphy buys Chesterfield goalkeeper Jim Brown for £60,000 and Blackburn Rovers striker Tony Field for £75,000...A special FA commission annuls the result of the Newcastle v Nottingham Forest Cup tie and orders the match to be replayed on a neutral ground.
15 March 1974: Newcastle are fuming over the FA's decision. Manager Joe Harvey says, "Diabolical! If the result doesn't stand, how can the sending off and booking still stand?" In a BBC radio interview, Malcolm Macdonald says, "My reaction is one of disgust but not surprise. I half expected a ridiculous solution and they came up with one. The FA have taken all integrity away from referee Gordon Kew."
16 March 1974: Liverpool beat Leeds 1–0 at Anfield and narrow the gap at the top of the table...Four players are sent off - John Dunn (Charlton Athletic), Steve Piper (Brighton), Kenny Stephens and Bruce Bannister (both Bristol Rovers)...Sunday football is banned for the rest of the season by the FA - only four games, which have already been arranged for 24 March, are exempt.
18 March 1974: Newcastle draw 0-0 with Nottingham Forest at extra time at Everton and the teams will meet again at the same venue on Thursday...Brighton are holding both Brian Clough and Peter Taylor to their contracts. Clough says, "Of course I wanted to go to Iran, but the board vetoed the move. I'm staying at Brighton to do a job. I am not saying I'm happy here."
21 March 1974: After 300 minutes of football, Newcastle fight their way into the semi-finals of the FA Cup. They defeat Nottingham Forest 1-0 with a Malcolm Macdonald goal.
23 March 1974: Middlesbrough make certain of promotion with a 1-0 home win against Oxford. Jack Charlton, in his first season as manager, leads the club back into the First Division after 20 years and is chaired off the field by his players...Leeds lose 4-1 at home to Burnley - their worst home defeat under Don Revie. Liverpool win at Wolves and the gap at the top of the table is now only four points...Referee Iorwerth Jones is attacked by fans after the Orient v Sheffield Wednesday (0-1) match and will report the home club to the FA.
27 March 1974: Celtic decide not to play a benefit match for Tony Green at Newcastle because of the recent crowd troubles at the ground...Deputy referee Bob Armstrong books seven players at the Crewe v Reading game in Division Four.
28 March 1973: Newport are fined £200 and have a point deducted by the Football League for playing an ineligible player.
30 March 1974: Middlesbrough are champions of the Second Division after winning 1-0 at Luton Town...Newcastle reach the Cup final for a record 11th time by beating Burnley 2-0 with two Malcolm Macdonald goals. Leicester and Liverpool draw the other semi-final and, as they will replay on Wednesday, several players withdraw from Ramsey's Portugal-bound England squad...Leeds lose their third successive League match - 3-1 at West Ham.
20 April 1974: Liverpool draw 0–0 at home to Everton, allowing Leeds United to move to the verge of the title with a 3–2 win over Ipswich Town. Norwich City are relegated to the Second Division.
22 April 1974: In response to the events in Nottingham in March, Newcastle are banned by the Football Association from hosting home cup games during next season.
27 April 1974: Manchester United go into the Manchester derby at Old Trafford needing to beat neighbours City to stand any chance of avoiding relegation, six years after winning the European Cup. They lose 1–0 with former club hero Denis Law scoring City's only goal, but would have been relegated even if they had won due to Birmingham City winning. Birmingham's win also relegates Southampton, despite the Saints' 3–0 win away to Everton. Leeds United end the season with a 1–0 away win over Queens Park Rangers.
30 July 1974: Brian Clough leaves Brighton & Hove Albion to become the new manager of Leeds United, but his assistant Peter Taylor remains at the Goldstone Ground and steps into the manager's seat there.
|First Division||Leeds United (2)||Liverpool|
|Second Division||Middlesbrough||Luton Town|
|Third Division||Oldham Athletic||Bristol Rovers|
|Fourth Division||Peterborough United||Gillingham|
|FA Cup||Liverpool (2)||Newcastle United|
|League Cup||Wolverhampton Wanderers (1)||Manchester City|
|Charity Shield||Burnley||Manchester City|
|Home Championship||Shared by England and Scotland|
Notes = Number in parentheses is the times that club has won that honour. * indicates new record for competition
|8||Queens Park Rangers||42||13||17||12||56||52||1.077||43|
|18||West Ham United||42||11||15||16||55||60||0.917||37|
|8||West Bromwich Albion||42||14||16||12||48||45||1.067||44|
|21||Preston North End||42||9||14||19||40||62||0.645||31*|
* Preston North End had one point deducted for fielding an ineligible player.
|19||Brighton & Hove Albion||46||16||11||19||52||58||0.897||43|
||Qualification or relegation
|1||Peterborough United (C)||46||27||11||8||75||38||1.974||65||Promoted to the Third Division|
|3||Colchester United (P)||46||24||12||10||73||36||2.028||60|
† Newport County had one point deducted for fielding an ineligible player.
‡ Scunthorpe United – Exeter City was never played; Exeter failed to turn up and Scunthorpe were awarded the points.
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.
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