1994–95 in English football

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The 1994-1995 season was the 115th season of competitive football in England.

Overview[edit]

Premiership[edit]

Blackburn Rovers ended their 81-year wait for the league title thanks to the strike partnership of Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton which scored a total of more than 50 league goals. Manchester United would have made it three league titles in a row if they had been able to turn a 1-1 draw with West Ham United into a win on the final day of the season. Newly promoted Nottingham Forest finished third and qualified for the UEFA Cup along with fourth placed Liverpool (also League Cup winners) and fifth placed Leeds United.

After this season the Premier League would be reduced to 20 clubs, so there would be four relegation places this time round. They were occupied by Crystal Palace, Norwich City (who had finished third two seasons earlier), Leicester City and Ipswich Town.

Division One[edit]

The streamlining of the Premier League meant that just two clubs would be promoted from Division One in 1995. Middlesbrough won the Division One title in their first season under Bryan Robson, while Reading were the club that were to fail to win promotion despite finishing second in the table. Instead, they competed in the playoffs, losing to Bolton Wanderers in the final, who achieved their second promotion in three years under Bruce Rioch - as well as being League Cup runners-up.

1995 saw four clubs relegated from Division One - Swindon Town (relegated for the second straight season), Burnley, Bristol City and Notts County. Sunderland narrowly avoided the drop following the arrival of enthusiastic new manager Peter Reid, who over the next few years would bring dramatic improvements to the Wearsiders.

Division Two[edit]

There would only be two promotion places in Division Two for 1994-95. They were occupied by champions Birmingham City and playoff winners Huddersfield Town, both enjoying success after seasons of disappointment. Birmingham City also won the Football League Trophy and completed the "lower-league Double".

Going down were Cambridge United, Plymouth Argyle, Cardiff City, Chester City and Leyton Orient

Division Three[edit]

This season saw three clubs go up from Division Three instead of four clubs. They were champions Carlisle United, runners-up Walsall and playoff winners Chesterfield.

Exeter City, who almost went out of business in mid-season, finished bottom of Division Three but kept their league status because Conference champions Macclesfield Town were unable to meet the league's stadium capacity requirements.

Successful players[edit]

Alan Shearer was the English league's top scorer with 34 Premiership goals for champions Blackburn Rovers.

20-year-old Robbie Fowler collected a League Cup winner's medal with Liverpool as well as the PFA Young Player of the Year award, following another season of strong goalscoring, and team mate Steve McManaman capped the cup final with a man of the match display in a season where he charted 20 assists in the league.

Peter Schmeichel established himself as a world-class goalkeeper by conceding just 4 goals in 18 home Premiership fixtures with Manchester United.

Stan Collymore scored 22 Premiership goals for Nottingham Forest and was soon on his way to Liverpool for an English record fee of £8.4million.

Experienced Scottish striker John Hendrie was the driving force in Middlesbrough's return to the Premiership after a two-year absence.

36-year-old Tranmere Rovers striker John Aldridge was Division One's leading goalscorer with 24 league goals.

Bolton Wanderers midfielder Jason McAteer established himself as one of the most exciting young talents in England and would soon be on his way to Liverpool.

Wrexham striker Gary Bennett scored a staggering 39 goals in all competitions.

Huddersfield Town striker Andy Booth who scored an impressive 30 goals during this season as well as make international honours with the England Under 21 squad.

Walsall wingers Scott Houghton and Martin O'Connor almost single handedly earned their club's promotion to Division Two.

Successful managers[edit]

Kenny Dalglish become only the third manager to win the English league title with different clubs after he guided Blackburn Rovers to their first league title since 1914.

Joe Royle completed his first season as Everton manager by winning the FA Cup.

Roy Evans won the League Cup in his first full season as Liverpool manager.

Frank Clark took newly promoted Nottingham Forest to third place in the Premiership to achieve UEFA Cup qualification and bring European football to the club for the first time since the early 1980s.

Bryan Robson made an excellent start to his management career by winning the Division One championship and gaining promotion to the Premiership with Middlesbrough.

Bruce Rioch won the Division One playoffs and took Bolton Wanderers to their first cup final in nearly 40 years.

Jimmy Quinn took Reading to a second-place finish in Division One and only the streamlining of the Premiership prevented them from reaching the top flight for the very first time.

Neil Warnock achieved his fourth promotion in less than a decade as he guided Huddersfield Town to glory in the Division Two playoffs.

John Duncan helped Chesterfield F.C. win the Division Three playoffs and brought some long-awaited success to Saltergate.

Chris Nicholl had a strong first season as Walsall F.C. manager by gaining promotion to Division Two.

Barry Fry won the Division Two title with Birmingham City, who were also Auto Windscreen Shield winners.

Attendances[edit]

The 1994–95 season was the first season in which clubs in the top two tiers were required to have all-seater stadia.[citation needed] A total of 26,150,028 attended matches in competitions organised by The Football Association and the Football League and hosted by league clubs. Of that number, 21,856,223 attended Premiership and Football League matches. This ensured that attendance at league matches had increased for the ninth consecutive season.[1]

In the Premiership, 11,213,371 attended the 420 matches held in 1994-95, the highest attendance in the top division since the 1980-81 season. Meanwhile, Football League clubs attracted 10,583,498, a decline of half a million from the previous season.

The ten most supported teams in league matches this season were as follows:

Rank Team Stadium Average attendance League division
1 Manchester United Old Trafford 43,682 Premier League
2 Arsenal Highbury 35,505 Premier League
3 Newcastle United St James' Park 34,690 Premier League
4 Liverpool Anfield 34,176 Premier League
5 Leeds United Elland Road 32,925 Premier League
6 Everton Goodison Park 31,294 Premier League
7 Aston Villa Villa Park 29,280 Premier League
8 Tottenham Hotspur White Hart Lane 27,259 Premier League
9 Sheffield Wednesday Hillsborough Stadium 26,572 Premier League
10 Wolverhampton Wanderers Molineux Stadium 25,940 Endsleigh League Division One

The attendance at FA Cup matches from the First Round to the Final was 2,015,261, an increase of 25,641 from the previous season. The attendance at the Final was 79,592.[2]

Events[edit]

Walker's title dream comes true for Blackburn[edit]

The five-year revival of Blackburn Rovers under the ownership of Jack Walker paid off as they were crowned Premiership champions and finished top of the English league for the first time in 81 years. A key force in the title glory was striker Alan Shearer, who scored 34 League goals and was named PFA Players' Player of the Year. His strike partner Chris Sutton also had a major influence on Blackburn's success, as did defenders Colin Hendry and Graeme Le Saux. Manager Kenny Dalglish, who had won three titles as a manager with Liverpool, became only the third manager in English football to win the league title with different clubs.[citation needed]

Everton's triumph leaves United with nothing[edit]

Everton had a terrible start to the 1994-95 season. Failure to win any of their first twelve Premiership games cost manager Mike Walker his job, but the appointment of Oldham Athletic's Joe Royle as his successor and the signing of controversial striker Duncan Ferguson helped to revive Everton's fortunes. Their Premiership survival was confirmed at the end of April and on 20 May they beat Manchester United 1–0 in the FA Cup final thanks to a Paul Rideout goal. Rideout's goal - and the brilliant goalkeeping of veteran Neville Southall - meant that Everton had won their first major honour in eight years, while United endured their first trophyless season in six years. To date, this remains Everton's last major trophy.

The Eric Cantona kung-fu incident[edit]

On 25 January 1995, Eric Cantona, the Manchester United and France forward, was sent off in a Premiership game against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park for lashing out at Eagles defender Richard Shaw. Cantona then kicked Palace supporter Matthew Simmons, who taunted him from the stands.

His club fined him two weeks wages and banned him from playing for the rest of the season. The FA fined Cantona £10,000 and extended his ban from football to 30 September 1995, for a total of eight months - one of the longest suspensions ever handed out in English football. FIFA later confirmed that this ban was worldwide. A jury at Croydon Magistrates Court found him guilty of common assault and the judge sentenced him to fourteen days in prison, although he was immediately released on bail pending an appeal - which was successful in quashing his prison sentence. He received a 120-hour community service order instead, opting to coach children in the Greater Manchester area.

Cantona was not the only player facing jail. Chelsea captain Dennis Wise was convicted of assaulting a taxi driver and jailed for three months, although a successful appeal saw both his conviction and his prison sentence quashed.

Arsenal caught up in bungs scandal and drugs controversy[edit]

Arsenal were another Premiership club to be hit by controversy in the 1994-95 season. In November 1994, winger Paul Merson admitted that he was addicted to alcohol, cocaine and gambling. He went on a three-month rehabilitation course before resuming his career. Just before Merson's return, it was revealed that manager George Graham had accepted £425,000 worth of illegal payments from a Scandinavian agent who had overseen the signings of Pål Lydersen and John Jensen three years earlier. Graham, one of the most successful managers in the club's history, was sacked after nine years at the helm.

Nayim ends Arsenal's Euro dream[edit]

Despite the controversy of George Graham's sacking and Paul Merson's personal problems, Arsenal reached the European Cup Winners' Cup final under caretaker manager Stewart Houston, where they faced Real Zaragoza of Spain. The scores were level at 1–1 after 90 minutes, but a freak goal from 40 yards out in the last minute of extra-time by Nayim - a former Tottenham Hotspur player - won the trophy for the Spaniards.

Honours[edit]

Competition Winner
FA Cup Everton (5)
League Cup Liverpool (5*)
FA Premier League Blackburn Rovers (3/1)
Football League First Division Middlesbrough
Football League Second Division Birmingham City
Football League Third Division Carlisle United

Notes = Number in parentheses is the times that club has won that honour (First Division & Premier League). Number after slash is Premier League only. * indicates new record for competition

English national team[edit]

Date Opposition Venue Competition Result Score
7 September 1994 USA Wembley Stadium Friendly Won 2-0
12 October 1994 Romania Wembley Stadium Friendly Drew 1-1
16 November 1994 Nigeria Wembley Stadium Friendly Won 1-0
15 February 1995 Rep of Ireland Lansdowne Road, Dublin, Ireland Friendly 0-1 ab
29 March 1995 Uruguay Wembley Stadium Friendly Drew 0-0
3 June 1995 Japan Wembley Stadium Umbro Cup Won 2-1
8 June 1995 Sweden Elland Road, Leeds Umbro Cup Drew 3-3
11 June 1995 Brazil Wembley Stadium Umbro Cup Lost 1-3


ab = Abandoned after 27 minutes because of crowd violence with the Republic leading 1-0 and no official result recorded, although caps were awarded.

League tables[edit]

FA Premier League[edit]

Blackburn Rovers were crowned champions of the English league for the first time since 1914 after four years of heavy spending on and off the pitch. Strikers Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton scored more than 60 goals between them during the course of the season, while centre half Colin Hendry and full back Graham Le Saux ensured that there was solidity and consistency away from the attack.

Manchester United narrowly missed out on a third successive league title, and were also on the losing side in the FA Cup final, although their fortunes were not helped by the loss of several players including Eric Cantona, Andrei Kanchelskis, Roy Keane and Paul Parker for considerable periods due to suspension or injury.

Newly promoted Nottingham Forest made a huge impact and finished third to qualify for Europe for the first time since 1984. Liverpool showed signs of a return to their former glory with a fourth-place finish and a Coca-Cola Cup triumph. The final European place went to Leeds United.

Ipswich Town and Leicester City were relegated by a wide margin, while Norwich City were the next to go down due to a terrible second half to the season, which dragged them out of the Premiership just two years after they had been challenging for the championship. Norwich had been seventh at Christmas and appeared capable of qualifying for Europe, but won only one of their final 20 league games.

The final relegation place went to Crystal Palace, who found it difficult to score goals all season long, although they did manage to reach the semi-finals of both domestic cups. Their relegation was confirmed of the final day of the season; despite a thrilling comeback against sixth-placed Newcastle United, they lost 3-2 and went down from the Premiership just 12 months after winning promotion.

Pos
Team
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Qualification or relegation
1 Blackburn Rovers (C) 42 27 8 7 80 39 +41 89 1995–96 UEFA Champions League Group stage
2 Manchester United 42 26 10 6 77 28 +49 88 1995–96 UEFA Cup First round
3 Nottingham Forest 42 22 11 9 72 43 +29 77
4 Liverpool 42 21 11 10 65 37 +28 74
5 Leeds United 42 20 13 9 59 38 +21 73
6 Newcastle United 42 20 12 10 67 47 +20 72
7 Tottenham Hotspur 42 16 14 12 66 58 +8 62
8 Queens Park Rangers 42 17 9 16 61 59 +2 60
9 Wimbledon 42 15 11 16 48 65 −17 56
10 Southampton 42 12 18 12 61 63 −2 54
11 Chelsea 42 13 15 14 50 55 −5 54
12 Arsenal 42 13 12 17 52 49 +3 51
13 Sheffield Wednesday 42 13 12 17 49 57 −8 51
14 West Ham United 42 13 11 18 44 48 −4 50
15 Everton 42 11 17 14 44 51 −7 50 1995–96 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup First round 1
16 Coventry City 42 12 14 16 44 62 −18 50
17 Manchester City 42 12 13 17 53 64 −11 49
18 Aston Villa 42 11 15 16 51 56 −5 48
19 Crystal Palace (R) 42 11 12 19 34 49 −15 45 Relegation to 1995–96 Football League First Division
20 Norwich City (R) 42 10 13 19 37 54 −17 43
21 Leicester City (R) 42 6 11 25 45 80 −35 29
22 Ipswich Town (R) 42 7 6 29 36 93 −57 27

Updated to games played on 21 September 2012.
Source: Barclays Premier League
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored
1 Everton qualified for the Cup Winners' Cup as FA Cup winners.
(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: Alan Shearer (Blackburn Rovers) - 34

First Division[edit]

A dream start in management saw Bryan Robson guide Middlesbrough to the Division One title and regain the Premiership place that was lost two years ago. Reading finished second - the highest in their history - but the streamlining of the Premiership prevented them from winning promotion and they lost 4-3 to Bolton Wanderers after extra time in the playoff final, having led 2-0 at half time. Losing semi-finalists were Wolverhampton Wanderers and Tranmere Rovers. who had made the Play-Offs this there 3rd time Division One semi-final lost

Barnsley and Watford were the unlucky sides to narrowly miss out on the playoffs, while an expensively-assembled Derby County side finished a disappointing ninth at the end of what many fans had hoped would be a promotion winning season.

Portsmouth, West Bromwich Albion and Sunderland - three famous clubs which had seen better days - narrowly avoided relegation to Division Two, but managerial changes at each of these clubs gave fans hope that a return to the elite might not be far away.

Swindon Town suffered a second consecutive relegation in a row, despite reaching the League Cup semi-finals on their best cup run for 15 years, joining Bristol City, Burnley and Notts County in Division Two.

Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Middlesbrough (C, P) 46 23 13 10 67 40 +27 82
2 Reading 46 23 10 13 58 44 +14 79
3 Bolton Wanderers (P) 46 21 14 11 67 45 +22 77
4 Wolverhampton Wanderers 46 21 13 12 77 61 +16 76
5 Tranmere Rovers 46 22 10 14 67 58 +9 76
6 Barnsley 46 20 12 14 63 52 +11 72
7 Watford 46 19 13 14 52 46 +6 70
8 Sheffield United 46 17 17 12 74 55 +19 68
9 Derby County 46 18 12 16 66 51 +15 66
10 Grimsby Town 46 17 14 15 62 56 –7 65
11 Stoke City 46 16 15 15 50 53 –3 63
12 Millwall 46 16 14 16 60 60 0 62
13 Southend United 46 18 8 20 54 73 –19 62
14 Oldham Athletic 46 16 13 17 60 60 0 61
15 Charlton Athletic 46 16 11 19 58 66 –8 59
16 Luton Town 46 15 13 18 61 64 –3 58
17 Port Vale 46 15 13 18 58 64 –6 58
18 Portsmouth 46 15 13 18 53 63 –10 58
19 West Bromwich Albion 46 16 10 20 51 57 –6 58
20 Sunderland 46 12 18 16 41 45 –7 54
21 Swindon Town (R) 46 12 12 22 54 73 –12 48
22 Burnley (R) 46 11 13 22 49 74 –25 46
23 Bristol City (R) 46 11 12 23 42 63 –21 45
24 Notts County (R) 46 9 13 24 45 66 –21 40

Leading goalscorer: John Aldridge (Tranmere Rovers) - 24

Second Division[edit]

Birmingham City sealed an immediate return to Division One by lifting the Division Two championship trophy, joined by playoff winners Huddersfield Town. The unlucky sides in the playoffs were Brentford, Crewe Alexandra and Bristol Rovers. Wycombe Wanderers finished sixth and would have had a playoff place - and the chance of a unique third successive promotion - had it not been for the restructuring of the league. Their distant neighbours Oxford United fell away to finish seventh after topping the table at Christmas.

Leyton Orient, Chester City and Cardiff City were perhaps unsurprisingly relegated to Division Three. But the other two relegated teams were surprise candidates for the drop. Plymouth Argyle had almost won promotion to Division One a year earlier. Cambridge United had narrowly missed out on a place in the then-new Premier League three years earlier and poor form in the run in sealed their fate after Bournemouth avoided the drop in the final two games of the season after spending most of it in the bottom five. This sparked pitch invasion scenes and has been called the team's Great Escape season.

Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Birmingham City (C, P) 46 25 14 7 84 37 +47 89
2 Brentford 46 25 10 11 81 39 +42 85
3 Crewe Alexandra 46 25 8 13 80 68 +12 83
4 Bristol Rovers 46 22 16 8 70 40 +30 82
5 Huddersfield Town (P) 46 22 15 9 79 49 +30 81
6 Wycombe Wanderers 46 21 15 10 60 46 +14 78
7 Oxford United 46 21 12 13 66 52 +14 75
8 Hull City 46 21 11 14 70 57 +13 74
9 York City 46 21 9 16 67 51 +16 72
10 Swansea City 46 19 14 13 57 45 +12 71
11 Stockport County 46 19 8 19 63 60 +3 65
12 Blackpool 46 18 10 18 64 70 –6 64
13 Wrexham 46 16 15 15 65 64 +1 63
14 Bradford City 46 16 12 18 57 64 –7 60
15 Peterborough United 46 14 18 14 54 69 –15 60
16 Brighton & Hove Albion 46 14 17 15 54 53 +1 59
17 Rotherham United 46 14 14 18 57 61 –4 56
18 Shrewsbury Town 46 13 14 19 54 62 –8 53
19 Bournemouth 46 13 11 22 49 69 –20 50
20 Cambridge United (R) 46 11 15 20 52 69 –17 48
21 Plymouth Argyle (R) 46 12 10 24 45 83 –38 46
22 Cardiff City (R) 46 9 11 26 46 74 –28 38
23 Chester City (R) 46 6 11 29 37 84 –47 29
24 Leyton Orient (R) 46 6 8 32 30 75 –45 26

Leading goalscorer: Gary Bennett (Wrexham) - 29

Third Division[edit]

Ambitious Carlisle United sealed the Division Three title to end eight years of basement division football, joined by runners-up Walsall and playoff winners Chesterfield.

Debt-ridden Exeter City finished joint bottom of the league with Scarborough, but retained their league status due to Conference champions Macclesfield Town lacking a stadium adequate for Football League capacity standards.

Fulham finished eighth under new manager Ian Branfoot in their first season in the fourth tier of English football.

Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Carlisle United (C, P) 42 27 10 5 67 31 +36 91
2 Walsall (P) 42 24 11 7 75 40 +35 83
3 Chesterfield (P) 42 23 12 7 62 37 +25 81
4 Bury 42 23 11 8 73 36 +37 80
5 Preston North End 42 19 10 13 58 41 +17 67
6 Mansfield Town 42 18 11 13 84 59 +25 65
7 Scunthorpe United 42 18 8 16 68 63 +5 62
8 Fulham 42 16 14 12 60 54 +6 62
9 Doncaster Rovers 42 17 10 15 58 43 +15 61
10 Colchester United 42 16 10 16 56 64 –8 58
11 Barnet 42 15 11 16 56 63 –7 56
12 Lincoln City 42 15 11 16 54 55 –1 56
13 Torquay United 42 14 13 15 54 57 –3 55
14 Wigan Athletic 42 14 10 18 53 60 –7 52
15 Rochdale 42 12 14 16 44 67 –23 50
16 Hereford United 42 12 13 17 45 62 –17 49
17 Northampton Town 42 10 14 18 45 67 –22 44
18 Hartlepool United 42 11 10 21 43 69 –26 43
19 Gillingham 42 10 11 21 46 64 –18 41
20 Darlington 42 11 8 23 43 57 –14 41
21 Scarborough 42 8 10 24 49 70 –21 34
22 Exeter City 42 8 10 24 36 70 –34 34

Leading goalscorer: Dougie Freedman (Barnet) - 24

Transfer deals[edit]

For subsequent transfer deals see 1995-96 in English football.

Diary of the season[edit]

6 July 1994 - Tottenham Hotspur's 12-point penalty is reduced to 6 points on appeal at a Football Association hearing, while the £600,000 fine is increased to £1.5million and the FA Cup ban remains in place.[3]

10 July 1994 - Graham Barrow, manager of newly promoted Chester City, stuns the club by handing in his resignation, after being told that he must break up and sell off his promotion-winning side.

11 July 1994 - Graham Taylor prepares for a Division One promotion challenge with Wolverhampton Wanderers, signing defender Steve Froggatt from Aston Villa for £1million, while Clayton Blackmore (Manchester United's longest-serving player) signs for Middlesbrough on a free transfer to join Bryan Robson's fellow promotion hopefuls.

12 July 1994 - Sheffield Wednesday sign midfielder Ian Taylor from Port Vale for £1million.

13 July 1994 - Blackburn Rovers pay a national record £5million for Norwich City's 21-year-old striker Chris Sutton.

16 July 1994 - Chester City announce former England international and Port Vale coach Mike Pejic as their new manager.

18 July 1994 - Blackpool appoint Preston North End assistant manager Sam Allardyce as their new manager.

19 July 1994 - Bryan Robson further bolsters Middlesbrough's squad with a £1million move for Aston Villa defender Neil Cox.

22 July 1994 - Leicester City, newly promoted to the Premier League and in the top flight for the first time since 1987, pay a club record £1.25million for Notts County midfielder Mark Draper.

2 August 1994 - Tottenham Hotspur sell winger Vinny Samways to Everton for £2.2million.

3 August 1994 - Tottenham Hotspur pay a club record £2.6million for Romania winger Ilie Dumitrescu.

4 August 1994 - Aston Villa pay Wimbledon £1.35million for long-serving striker John Fashanu.

4 August 1994 - Tottenham Hotspur pay Monaco £2million for German striker Jürgen Klinsmann.

6 August 1994 - A second Romanian World Cup star, defender Dan Petrescu, joins a Premier League club. Petrescu, 27, signs for Sheffield Wednesday in a £1.3million deal.

10 August 1994 - Newcastle United pay a club record £2.65million for Belgium and Anderlecht defender Philippe Albert.

11 August 1994 - After more than 13 years at Liverpool, goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar signs for Southampton on a free transfer.

12 August 1994 - Chelsea sign midfielder David Rocastle from Manchester City for £1.25million. A tribunal orders Sheffield Wednesday to pay £1million for Port Vale midfielder Ian Taylor.[4]

20 August 1994 -

24 August 1994 - A late surge by Newcastle United in the final 15 minutes of their home clash with Coventry City in the Premier League sees them break the deadlock to win 4-0 after Coventry striker Micky Quinn (a former Newcastle player) was sent off.

27 August 1994 - National record signing Chris Sutton scores a hat-trick for Blackburn Rovers as they beat Coventry City 4-0. Andy Cole and Steve Watson are both on the scoresheet twice for Newcastle United in their 5-1 home win over Southampton, as are Uwe Rosler and Paul Walsh for Manchester City in a 4-0 home win over Everton.

28 August 1994 - 19-year-old striker Robbie Fowler scores a hat-trick for Liverpool in less than five minutes as they beat Arsenal 3-0 in the league at Anfield.

31 August 1994 - Newcastle United finish the first month of the league season as Premier League leaders with four wins from their opening four games, with defending champions Manchester United and newly promoted Nottingham Forest bracketed together as their nearest rivals. With four teams going down this season due to the reduction of the Premier League from 22 clubs to 20, the relegation places are occupied by Everton, Leicester City, West Ham United and Coventry City. [5] In Division One, Bryan Robson has made a perfect start to his managerial career by guiding Middlesbrough to the top of Division One after winning their first four games of the season. Oldham Athletic occupy second place - but for the first time in 100 years of the Football League's second tier the runners-up of the division will not gain automatic promotion. Due to a reorganisation of the Premier League and Football League for next season, the second to fifth placed teams in Division One will go into the playoffs, which are also currently occupied by Portsmouth, Millwall and Reading.[5]

1 September 1994 - Liverpool pay a club record fee of £3.6million for Coventry City and Republic of Ireland defender Phil Babb.

2 September 1994 - Liverpool further enhance their defence with a £3.5million move for Wimbledon's John Scales.

3 September 1994 - Former Wolverhampton Wanderers and England captain Billy Wright dies of cancer aged 70.

5–6 September 1994 - Dean Holdsworth – dismayed by the departures of John Fashanu and John Scales over the past two months – submits a transfer request at Wimbledon, who strip him of the club captaincy, awarding it to Vinnie Jones.[6]

9 September 1994 - Romanian World Cup midfielder Gheorghe Popescu signs for Tottenham Hotspur in a club record £2.9million deal from PSV Eindhoven.

10 September 1994 - Manchester United sell striker Dion Dublin to Coventry City for £2million (a record buy for Phil Neal's team). Dublin's value doubled in two years at Old Trafford after signing from Cambridge United but a broken leg in his first season - coupled with the arrival of Eric Cantona - saw his first team opportunities limited.

11 September 1994 - Leeds United beat Manchester United for the first time in more than a decade, defeating them 2-1 in the league at Elland Road.

17 September 1994 - Dion Dublin scores on his Coventry City debut, a 2-1 home league win over Leeds United. Leicester City achieve their first Premier League win - 3-1 at home to Tottenham Hotspur, with young striker Julian Joachim scoring twice.

21 September 1994 - Gary Lineker, England's second highest goalscorer of all time, announces his retirement from playing. Since leaving Tottenham in 1992, he has played for Nagoya Grampus Eight of Japan.

23 September 1994 - UEFA announces that the Summer Cup will be re-introduced next year and will now be known as the Intertoto Cup. It will feature 40 clubs and at least one Premier League team (the highest placed applicant or applicants who failed to qualify for one of the three major European competitions) will be able to compete.[7]

25 September 1994 - Wigan Athletic sack manager Kenny Swain after an appalling start to the season, which has seen them lose 8 of their first 9 games and already left the side four points adrift at the bottom of Division Three with most of the teams above them having a game in hand. Former player Graham Barrow, who resigned as Chester City manager two months prior, is announced as Swain's successor.

30 September 1994 - September draws to a close with Newcastle United still top after winning six of their first seven games, while Blackburn Rovers and Nottingham Forest have leapfrogged Manchester United into fourth place. Completing the top five are a Chelsea side who are showing some of their best form in years under the management of Glenn Hoddle. Manchester City are also giving the top five a run for their money after last season's close shave with relegation. Everton are bottom of the division with no wins from their first seven games, while Crystal Palace, Coventry City and West Ham United are all still in the bottom four as well. [6] Graham Taylor is rebuilding his managerial career well at Wolverhampton Wanderers, who have leapfrogged Middlesbrough on goals scored at the top of Division One. Swindon Town, Tranmere Rovers and Reading complete the top five. [7]

1 October 1994 - Everton manager Mike Walker looks to pull his side together by making a triple loan bid for Rangers striker Duncan Ferguson and midfielder Ian Durrant as well as Trevor Steven, who was sold from Everton to Rangers by Colin Harvey in 1989.

2 October 1994 - Duncan Ferguson and Ian Durrant complete their loan moves from Rangers to Everton, but Trevor Steven's move falls through, on the same day that Everton's winless start to the league season extends to eight matches as they lose 2-0 to Manchester United at Old Trafford.

4 October 1994 - In the second legs of the second round League Cup ties, Mansfield Town of Division Three eliminate Premier League high-flyers Leeds United, while extra-time goals from Chris Armstrong and Bruce Dyer help top-flight Crystal Palace see off the challenge of Lincoln City, also of the fourth tier.[8]

15 October 1994 - Division Three side Northampton Town move into the new Sixfields Stadium. Their first game is against Barnet, ending in a 1-1 draw with 19-year-old striker Martin Aldridge scoring the first goal at the new stadium.

23 October 1994 - Title contenders Blackburn Rovers and Manchester United clash in the league at Ewood Park, with Alex Ferguson's side finishing 4-2 winners.

31 October 1994 - October draws to a close with Newcastle United still top, with Nottingham Forest, Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers, Liverpool and Leeds United their nearest contenders. Everton are still bottom of the league and it currently looks like something little short of a miracle will save their 41-year top flight tenure as they have yet to win a league game after their opening 12 games. Leicester City, Wimbledon and Ipswich Town have also joined Everton in the relegation zone. [8] Wolverhampton Wanderers and Middlesbrough remain level at the top of Division One, with Tranmere Rovers, Reading and Swindon Town complete the top five. [9]

1 November 1994 - Osvaldo Ardiles is sacked after 16 months as manager of Tottenham Hotspur.

8 November 1994 - Mike Walker is sacked after 10 months as manager of Everton.

9 November 1994 - The Times reports that 16 Football League clubs are set to break away from the league to form a second tier of the Premier League.

10 November 1994 - Ron Atkinson is sacked as manager of Aston Villa, while Tottenham Hotspur appoint Gerry Francis from Queens Park Rangers. Manchester United crush Manchester City 5-0 in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford, with Andrei Kanchelskis scoring a hat-trick.

11 November 1994 - Joe Royle, the longest-serving manager in England with 12 years at Oldham Athletic, is named as the new manager of Everton.

13 November 1994 - The third round of the FA Cup is highlighted by Division Two promotion chasers Oxford United's 2-0 defeat at non-league Marlow Town.

14 November 1994 - Ray Wilkins, 38, quits as Crystal Palace player-coach to return to Queens Park Rangers as their new player-manager, while Brian Little resigns as manager of Leicester City, sparking rumours that he will take over at Aston Villa.

21 November 1994 - Joe Royle has a dream start to his reign as Everton manager as they triumph 2-0 over Liverpool in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park.

25 November 1994 - Brian Little is named as the new Aston Villa manager on his 41st birthday.

26 November 1994 - Alan Shearer scores a hat-trick and Chris Sutton nets once as Blackburn Rovers beat Queen's Park Rangers 4-0 in the league at Ewood Park.

30 November 1994 - Blackburn Rovers are the new month-end Premier League leaders, ahead of second-placed Manchester United by a single point, while they are two points ahead of former leaders Newcastle United who have dipped to third place. Liverpool, Nottingham Forest and Leeds United are continuing to put up a strong challenge along with a Manchester City side who spent last season battling to avoid relegation. Everton's new manager Joe Royle has taken them off bottom place over the last month with their first three league wins of the season, with Ipswich Town and Leicester City now propping up the league. Also in the relegation zone are League Cup holders Aston Villa, who almost won the league title two seasons ago. [10] Middlesbrough finish the month as outright leaders of Division One with a two-point lead over Wolverhampton Wanderers. Tranmere Rovers, Bolton Wanderers and Luton Town complete the top five, while Swindon Town's drastic loss of form over the last month has seen them slump from the playoff zone into 19th place and manager John Gorman sacked to be replaced by 33-year-old Manchester City midfielder Steve McMahon, who takes over as player-manager. Portsmouth, another side who were looking like promotion contenders not so long ago, have slumped even further into the relegation zone.[11]

3 December 1994 - Teddy Sheringham scores a hat-trick as Tottenham Hotspur beat Newcastle United 4-2 in the league at White Hart Lane.

5 December 1994 - John Lyall resigns after four-and-a-half years in charge of Ipswich Town, who stand bottom of the FA Premier League. While Ipswich's struggle shows no sign of easing, Everton's revival continues as they crush Leeds United 3-0 at Goodison Park.

9 December 1994 - The Football Association quashes Tottenham's FA Cup ban and 6-point deduction.

11 December 1994 - Arsenal manager George Graham denies allegations that he received an illegal £285,000 payment as part of a transfer deal. Everton pay a club record fee of £4million for Rangers striker Duncan Ferguson who has been on loan at Goodison Park for two months.

12 December 1994 - Scarborough, who are bottom of Division Three, sack manager Billy Ayre, with former manager Ray McHale returning to the club for his second spell in charge. Though the vast majority of the clubs in the Football Conference still do not have grounds suitable for hosting League football, current Conference leaders Macclesfield Town's Moss Rose ground was used by Chester City from 1990 to 1992, making it seem likely that they will be promoted if they win the Conference.

15 December 1994 - Mark McGhee leaves Reading to take charge of Leicester City. He is replaced at Elm Park by 35-year-old players Jimmy Quinn and Mick Gooding.

17 December 1994 - Manchester United suffer their first home league defeat of the season when they go down 2-1 at home to Nottingham Forest, who win the game with goals from Stuart Pearce as well as Stan Collymore, who is reportedly a Manchester United transfer target. Tony Cottee scores a hat-trick for West Ham United in their 3-0 home league win over Manchester City.

18 December 1994 - John Lyall resigns after four-and-a-half years in charge of Ipswich Town, who are currently bottom of the Premier League.

19 December 1994 - Former Liverpool manager Graeme Souness denies allegations that he received a £30,000 illegal payment in connection with a player transfer.

21 December 1994 - Brian Little's rebuilding of Aston Villa begins when he signs midfielder Ian Taylor from Sheffield Wednesday, with striker Guy Whittingham moving in the opposite direction[9] in a deal worth £1million.[10]

28 December 1994 -

    • - Ipswich Town appoint their former player George Burley as their new manager. Burley, 38, had recently quit Colchester United and without a proven track record he was perhaps a surprise candidate for the job.
      • - Manchester United are held to a surprise 1-1 home draw by struggling Leicester City, preventing them from going top of the Premier League.

31 December 1994 - 1994 draws to a close with Blackburn Rovers still top and now with a three-point lead over Manchester United as well as a game in hand. Liverpool and Nottingham Forest are still in distant contention while a resurgent Tottenham Hotspur are now putting pressure on the top five, while Leeds United and Manchester City's challenges are practically dead and buried as they have slid down the table considerably. Norwich City, meanwhile, finish 1994 in seventh place as manager John Deehan looks set to defy the critics who felt he could never successfully replace Mike Walker and mount a challenge for another European place. The month-end bottom four of Everton, Aston Villa, Ipswich Town and Leicester City remain unchanged from last month. [12] Middlesbrough continue to lead the Division One promotion race, now five points ahead of their nearest rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers. Tranmere Rovers, Reading and Sheffield United complete the top five, while the change of manager at Swindon Town has made little difference to their league form (though they continue to progress well in the League Cup) as they are only outside the relegation zone on goal difference. [13]

2 January 1995 - Alan Shearer adds another hat-trick for Blackburn Rovers in their 4-2 home win over West Ham United in the league. Ipswich Town give their survival hopes a boost with a 4-1 home win over fellow strugglers Leicester City.

6 January 1995 - Aston Villa sign striker Tommy Johnson and defender Gary Charles from Derby County for £1.45million each.

7 January 1995 - Division Three Walsall hold Premier League Leeds United to a 1-1 draw the Bescot Stadium in the FA Cup third round to force a replay. Enfield's hopes of achieving an upset against Leicester City are ended when they lose 2-0 to the home side at Filbert Street. Marlow's FA Cup dream ends in a 2-0 defeat at Swindon Town. Wrexham shock Ipswich Town 2-0, while Aylesbury United's dream ends in a 4-0 thrashing by Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road. Birmingham City hold Liverpool to a goalless draw.

8 January 1995 - Chester City sack manager Mike Pejic, with the club having lost 17 of their 24 games this season and being ten points adrift of safety. Physiotherapist Derek Mann is appointed as caretaker manager.

9 January 1995 - Manchester United meet Sheffield United in the FA Cup at Bramall Lane for the second season running, and triumph 2-0.

10 January 1995 - Manchester United break the English transfer fee record by signing Andy Cole from Newcastle United in a deal worth £7million; £6million cash plus £1million-rated winger Keith Gillespie, 19.

11 January 1995 - Everton are reported to be in the process of making a £2.5million bid for 31-year-old Manchester United striker Mark Hughes, whose future at Old Trafford has been threatened by the arrival of Andy Cole.

12 January 1995 - Howard Kendall makes his return to management with Division One's basement side Notts County, who have been under the caretaker management of Russell Slade since early September.

13 January 1995 - Arsenal pay Luton Town £2.5million for 19-year-old Welsh striker John Hartson.

14 January 1995 - Ipswich Town collect three priceless points in a shock 1-0 win over Liverpool at Anfield, in which 21-year-old winger Adam Tanner scores the only goal.

15 January 1995 - Mark Hughes suffers a knee injury as he scored Manchester United's goal in their 1-1 league draw at Newcastle United. It is feared that he has suffered cruciate ligament damage and will be out of action until next season, effectively ending Everton's hopes of signing him any time soon.

16 January 1995 - Tests show that the knee injury suffered by Mark Hughes yesterday is less serious than feared, and he is expected to return to action before the end of next month.

17 January 1995 - Walsall's FA Cup dream is ended in a 5-2 defeat by Leeds United at Elland Road in the third round replay.

20 January 1995 - Steve Nicol, Liverpool's longest serving player, joins Notts County on a free transfer.

21 January 1995 - Leeds United pay a club record £3.4million for Eintracht Frankfurt's Ghanaian striker Tony Yeboah.

22 January 1995 - Blackburn Rovers are now just one point ahead of Manchester United at the top of the Premier League after Alex Ferguson's men beat them 1-0 at Old Trafford with Eric Cantona's 12th league goal of the season.

25 January 1995 - After being sent off for kicking an opponent in Manchester United's 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace, Eric Cantona leaps into the crowd and kicks spectator Matthew Simmons, who had allegedly been making racist remarks to the Frenchman.

26 January 1995 - Blackburn Rovers beat Ipswich Town 4-1 in the league at Ewood Park, with Alan Shearer scoring yet another hat-trick.

27 January 1995 - Eric Cantona is suspended by his employers for the rest of the season and fined £20,000 after being charged with bringing the game into disrepute.

28 January 1995 - In the first game after the Eric Cantona incident, Manchester United beat Wrexham 5-2 in the FA Cup fourth round at Old Trafford. Brian Flynn's Division Two underdogs gave United a scare after taking an early lead, but United soon blew them apart.

30 January 1995 - Brian Little continues his reshaping of the Aston Villa squad with the £1.7million sale of defender Earl Barrett to Everton.

31 January 1995 - The month ends with Blackburn Rovers still leading the Premier League, while Manchester United have cut their lead to a single point Kenny Dalglish's men have a two-game advantage of their Old Trafford rivals. Liverpool, Nottingham Forest and Newcastle United complete the top five. Ipswich Town and Leicester City continue to prop up the top flight, while Aston Villa and Everton have surged clear of the drop zone at the expense of Coventry City and West Ham United. [14] Middlesbrough are now two points ahead of Wolverhampton Wanderers (who are level with Bolton Wanderers) at the top of Division One, with Reading and Tranmere Rovers completing the top five. [15]

4 February 1995 - Andy Cole scores his first goal for Manchester United in a 1-0 home win over Aston Villa in the Premier League.

7 February 1995 - Leyton Orient co-manager John Sitton takes the bizarre move of sacking defender Terry Howard at half-time during a 1-0 defeat by Blackpool.

11 February 1995 - Aston Villa match the record for a Premier League victory when they beat Wimbledon 7-1 at Villa Park. Recently signed striker Tommy Johnson scores a hat-trick. The Manchester derby at Maine Road is won 3-0 by United.

13 February 1995 - Less than six months after leaving them to return to West Ham United, Tony Cottee scores twice against Everton in a 2-2 league draw at Upton Park.

14 February 1995 - George Graham, whose job as Arsenal manager is reportedly under threat due to sub-standard Premier League form as well as allegations of illegal payments, pays Vitesse Arnhem £2million for the Netherlands winger Glenn Helder.

15 February 1995 - England's friendly international against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin is cancelled, with the Republic 1-0 in the lead thanks to Wolverhampton Wanderers striker David Kelly, due to rioting by England hooligans believed to be member of the Combat 18 organisation.[11]

21 February 1995 - George Graham is sacked as Arsenal manager after he admits to receiving an illegal payment of £425,000 from Norwegian agent Rune Hauge when Arsenal signed Pal Lydersen in 1991 and John Jensen in 1992. Assistant manager Stewart Houston will take over as manager until the end of the season before Arsenal find a permanent manager to succeed Graham, who had been in charge at Highbury since May 1986 and had won six major trophies.

22 February 1995 - In Brian Little's first game against old club Leicester City since leaving them for Aston Villa, the two sides draw 4-4 in the league at Villa Park.

24 February 1995 - The Football Association extends Eric Cantona's suspension until 30 September and he is fined a further £10,000.

25 February 1995 - Manchester United's hopes of a third successive league title win are damaged by a 1-0 defeat to a resurgent Everton, with Duncan Ferguson scoring the only goal.

26 February 1995 - Peter Taylor resigns as manager of Southend United, who were considered one of the pre-season favourites for promotion, but have fallen to being just one place outside the relegation zone after a disastrous run of losses. Former Lincoln City manager Steve Thompson is announced as caretaker manager until the end of the season.

28 February 1995 - Blackburn Rovers remain month-end leaders of the Premier League, but failed to take maximum advantages of the two games they had in hand and are still only three points ahead of second-placed Manchester United. The challenge from the remainder of the top five - Newcastle United, Liverpool and particularly Nottingham Forest - is becoming more and more distant, while Norwich City's challenge for a UEFA Cup place has collapsed into a battle to avoid relegation in the space of a few weeks. The bottom four remain unchanged apart from West Ham United climbing out of the drop zone at the expense of a goal-shy Crystal Palace. [16] Tranmere Rovers have stormed to the top of Division One at the expense of Middlesbrough, with the top five being completed by Bolton Wanderers, Sheffield United and Wolverhampton Wanderers. [17]

4 March 1995 - Andy Cole becomes the first player to score five goals in a Premier League game in Manchester United's 9-0 home win over Ipswich Town - which is also the biggest win yet in the Premier League.

10 March 1993 - Aston Villa sign defender Alan Wright from Blackburn Rovers for £1million.

11 March 1995 - Liverpool's faint hopes of a unique domestic treble are ended when they lose 2-1 at home to Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup quarter-final.

12 March 1995 - Everton's season which began with a 12-match winless start in the league is showing signs of turning into a success after they beat Newcastle United 1-0 at Goodison Park in the FA Cup quarter-final. Manchester United reach the semi-finals with a 2-0 win over Queens Park Rangers, managed by former United player Ray Wilkins and ending his hopes of beginning his managerial career with FA Cup glory.

13 March 1995 - Chelsea captain Dennis Wise (28) is sentenced to three months in prison for assault and criminal damage, but is released on bail pending an appeal against his conviction and sentence. The court case follows an alleged attack on a taxi driver in London.

14 March 1995 - Liverpool's hopes of making a late run to the title are virtually ended when they lose 3-2 at home to Coventry City, with Peter Ndlovu scoring a hat-trick for the Sky Blues.

15 March 1995 - Blackburn Rovers strengthen themselves for the title run-in with a £1.5million move for Southampton defender Jeff Kenna.

17 March 1995 - Southampton pay a club record £1.2million for Sheffield Wednesday striker Gordon Watson.

21 March 1995 - Liverpool pay Millwall £1.5million for 18-year-old Irish winger Mark Kennedy.

23 March 1995 - A judge at Croydon Crown Court sentences Eric Cantona to 14 days in prison for his attack on Matthew Simmons. He is released on bail, pending an appeal against the sentence. Meanwhile, Cantona's team-mate Paul Ince faces charges relating to the incident, while Matthew Simmons will also face prosecution.

31 March 1995 - Eric Cantona's prison sentence is quashed on appeal and he is sentenced to 120 hours of community service. Meanwhile, his Manchester United side are still second in the league to a Blackburn Rovers team who have a three-point lead and a game in hand. The threat from Liverpool, Newcastle United and Nottingham Forest is now even more distant to the point that it could be mathematically ended within a couple of weeks. At the other end of the table, Ipswich Town and Leicester City continue to prop up the rest of the Premier League and will now need a practical miracle to beat the drop. Meanwhile, Crystal Palace are sinking deeper and deeper into hot water, while Southampton have fallen into the bottom four. A first win of 1995 has helped ease Norwich City's worries as they stand 12th, but they are just six points ahead of 19th-placed Southampton who have two games in hand. Arsenal, still reeling from the George Graham and Paul Merson scandals, are suddenly under surprise threat of relegation from a division they traditionally compete at the top end of. [18] Middlesbrough have regained their lead of Division One, where Bolton Wanderers, Tranmere Rovers, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Reading complete the top five. [19]

1 April 1995 - Nottingham Forest achieve a record Premier League away win when they beat Sheffield Wednesday 7-1 at Hillsborough. Meanwhile, Ipswich Town and Leicester City's survival hopes are virtually ended by home defeats.

2 April 1995 - Liverpool beat Bolton to win the League Cup with a brace from man of the match, Steve McManaman. A thrilling game at The Dell sees Southampton move closer to safety with a 4-3 win over Tottenham, with Matt Le Tissier scoring twice for the hosts and Teddy Sheringham scoring twice for the visitors.

3 April 1995 - Howard Kendall is sacked as Notts County manager. While results briefly improved following his appointment, it's clear by now that the club have no hope of avoiding relegation. Previous caretaker Russell Slade is also dismissed, and veteran player Steve Nicol, who was signed by Kendall shortly into his brief reign, is handed control of the team for the remainder of the season.

5 April 1995 - On-loan Ghanaian striker Tony Yeboah scores a hat-trick for Leeds United in a 4-0 home win over Ipswich Town - a result which relegates the visitors. Leicester City cling onto their Premier League status with a 1-0 home win over a Norwich City who are heading towards the relegation zone just three months after being in close contention for a UEFA Cup place.

6 April 1995 - It is announced that Eric Cantona's community service order will take place in the form of coaching football to young boys in the Manchester area.

8 April 1995 - Norwich City fall closer to the relegation zone in a 3-0 defeat at Newcastle United. Leicester City's relegation is confirmed by a 1-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday. Chester City become the first Football League side to be relegated this season, due to their failure to defeat Bristol Rovers.

9 April 1995 - 35-year-old Crystal Palace supporter Paul Nixon is crushed to death by a coach outside a Walsall public house before the FA Cup semi-final at Villa Park between Crystal Palace and Manchester United. Mr Nixon had been trying to escape a brawl between supporters of the two teams, after being stabbed and seriously injured by a brick. The semi-final ended in a 2-2 draw, while Everton crush Tottenham Hotspur 4-1 in the other semi-final.

10 April 1995 - Derek Mann resigns as Chester City manager after failing to save the club from relegation, and reverts to his previous role as club physio. Everton veteran Kevin Ratcliffe takes over as player-manager of the club, who are now looking almost certain to finish bottom of Division Two.

12 April 1995 - Manchester United reach the FA Cup final after beating Crystal Palace 2-0 in the semi-final replay. Their opponents will be Everton, who crushed Tottenham Hotspur 4-1 in the other semi-final.

15 April 1995 - Ian Wright keeps up his strong record of goals against Ipswich Town by scoring in a 4-1 league win for Arsenal at Highbury. Manchester United keep their title hopes alive with a 4-0 win at relegated Leicester City, while Southampton continue their surge up the table with a 2-1 home win over Queen's Park Rangers.

17 April 1995 - Manchester United's title bid is made harder when Chelsea hold them to a goalless draw at Old Trafford. However, their neighbour's City do them a favour by beating leaders Blackburn Rovers 3-2 at Ewood Park, a result which boosts their own battle against relegation.

20 April 1995 - New Leyton Orient owner Barry Hearn dismisses co-managers John Sitton and Chris Turner, and replaces them with Tottenham Hotspur coach Pat Holland.

23 April 1995 - The day after being confirmed as Football Conference champions, Macclesfield Town's celebrations are dashed in devastating fashion when the Football League announces that they will not be promoted into Division Three due to their Moss Rose ground not meeting safety requirements. While Chester City and Crewe Alexandra both offer the use of their respective Deva Stadium and Gresty Road grounds, the League refuse to waive their rule that new clubs must own their own ground (introduced to avoid a repeat of the situation which led to the demise of Maidstone United three years prior). This announcement also means that Scarborough and Exeter City, who had been battling to avoid bottom spot (with Northampton Town also having been not entirely out of danger), are guaranteed safety regardless of where they finish.

30 April 1995 - Middlesbrough clinch the Division One championship - and the only automatic promotion place to the Premier League for this season - by beating Luton Town in the final game at 93-year-old Ayresome Park and at the end of Bryan Robson's first season in management. Middlesbrough will relocate to the new 30,000-seat Riverside Stadium in August. Meanwhile, up in the Premier League, the final full month of the season ends with Manchester United still pushing Blackburn Rovers hard, with the margin now five points wide with four games to go, as Blackburn blew a chance to extend their lead today as they lost 2-0 at West Ham. Liverpool are the only other team now in with a mathematical chance of winning the title, and all minds at Anfield are focused on the final day of the season when they welcome former manager Kenny Dalglish and his Blackburn Rovers side for what could very well be the title decider. At the other end of the table, Ipswich Town and Leicester City both had their relegation confirmed earlier in the month, while Norwich City have sunk into the relegation zone and Crystal Palace are still in it - but only on goal difference, and they have a game in hand over 18th-placed West Ham United. [20]

1 May 1995 - Manchester United cut Blackburn's Premier League lead to two points with a 3-2 away win over relegation threatened Coventry City, with Andy Cole scoring twice - taking his tally for United to 11 goals in 15 league games.

6 May 1995 - Norwich City's relegation is confirmed as they lose 2-1 at Leeds United.

7 May 1995 - Manchester United continue to put the pressure on Blackburn Rovers as a David May goal gives them a 1-0 home win over Sheffield Wednesday.

8 May 1995 - Blackburn Rovers maintain their lead at the top of the Premier League when Alan Shearer scores the only goal of a 1-0 win against his hometown club Newcastle United.

9 May 1995 - Everton confirm their survival with a 1-0 away win over doomed Ipswich Town at Portman Road. Coventry City are virtually safe thanks to a 3-1 away win over Tottenham, as are West Ham United after a 3-0 home win over Liverpool.[12]

14 May 1995 - Blackburn Rovers are crowned league champions for the first time in 81 years, despite losing 2-1 at Liverpool on the final day of the season. Blackburn's title status was confirmed after their nearest contenders Manchester United could only manage a 1-1 draw with West Ham United. The final Premier League relegation place goes to Crystal Palace, despite their dynamic fightback from being 3-0 down at Newcastle United they still lose 3-2. Aston Villa's safety is confirmed by a 1-1 draw with already-relegated Norwich at Carrow Road.

19 May 1995 - Trevor Francis is sacked after four years as manager of Sheffield Wednesday.

20 May 1995 - Everton win the FA Cup thanks to a Paul Rideout goal in the final, which leaves Manchester United (who narrowly missed out on repeating the double) without a major trophy for the first time since 1989. Rideout's goal came in the 30th minute, and United made a few late attempts to equalise (including two extremely close attempts by Paul Scholes in the dying minutes of the game) but all shots were foiled by a courageous Neville Southall.

24 May 1995 - Paul Ince is cleared of assaulting a Crystal Palace supporter in the skirmish that followed Eric Cantona's attack on Matthew Simmons four months ago. It was already known that the spectator who accused Ince of assault had a history of football-related violence dating back to the early 1970s.

30 May 1995 - Manchester City, still looking for a new manager following the dismissal of Brian Horton, agree to sell striker Niall Quinn to Sporting Lisbon of Portugal in a £2million deal.

31 May 1995 - Dutch superstar Ruud Gullit accepts an offer to join Chelsea on a free transfer from Sampdoria.

5 June 1995 - Niall Quinn's transfer to Sporting Lisbon falls through after he fails to agree a contract.

5 June 1995 - Newcastle United sign Warren Barton from Wimbledon for £4million - a national record for a defender.

6 June 1995 - Relegated Notts County appoint Colin Murphy as their new manager. Steve Thompson resigns as Southend United manager to become Murphy's assistant at Meadow Lane, and Southend in turn appoint Ronnie Whelan as player-manager.

23 June 1995 - Manchester United announce the sale of striker Mark Hughes to Chelsea for £1.5million and midfielder Paul Ince to Inter Milan for £7.5million.

26 June 1995 - Aston Villa play a club record £3.5million for Partisan Belgrade's 22-year-old Serbian striker Savo Milošević, taking the place of Dean Saunders, who had linked up with his former Liverpool manager Graeme Souness at Turkish side Galatasaray along with Newcastle United's Barry Venison and Coventry City's Mike Marsh.

Notable debutants[edit]

20 August 1994: Kevin Gallen, 18-year-old striker, makes his debut for Queen's Park Rangers on the opening day of the Premier League season as they lose 2-0 to Manchester United at Old Trafford. [21]

21 September 1994: Paul Scholes, 19-year-old midfielder, scores twice on his debut for Manchester United in their 2-1 win over Port Vale in the Football League Cup second round first leg at Vale Park. [22]

28 January 1995: Phil Neville, 18-year-old defender, makes his debut for Manchester United in their 5-2 home win over Wrexham in the FA Cup fourth round. [23]

8 March 1995: Emile Heskey, 17-year-old striker, makes his debut for Leicester City in their 2-0 defeat by Queen's Park Rangers at Loftus Road in the Premier League. [24]

Retirements[edit]

21 September 1994: Gary Lineker, 33-year-old former England striker, announces his retirement from playing after two years in Japan with Grampus Eight, having previously played for Tottenham Hotspur, FC Barcelona, Everton and Leicester City. He is also England's second highest scorer of all time, having scored 48 times before his international retirement in 1992. [25]

29 March 1995: Peter Reid, 38-year-old Bury midfielder and former England international, retires from playing after accepting an offer to manage Sunderland. [26]

14 May 1995: Glenn Hoddle, 37-year-old Chelsea player-manager and former England midfielder, retires from playing. [27]

Top goalscorers[edit]

Premier League[edit]

Division One[edit]

Division Two[edit]

Division Three[edit]

[28]

Deaths[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ News of the World: "The News of the World Football Annual 1995-6, p.6. London: Invincible Press, 1995
  2. ^ News of the World: "The News of the World Football Annual 1995-6, p. 89. London: Invincible Press, 1995.
  3. ^ "Tottenham win six-point victory: Sugar is sweet and sour over FA verdict". Independent.co.uk. The Independent. 7 July 1994. Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  4. ^ "Football: Rocastle off to Chelsea for 1.25m pounds". The Independent. London. 12 August 1994. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  5. ^ Entertainment & Sports Agency Limited. "Middlesbrough FC News - Boro MAD". Archived from the original on 20 May 2009. Retrieved 17 May 2009. 
  6. ^ "Dons make Jones skipper". New Straits Times. Kuala Lumpur. 8 September 1994. p. 44. Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  7. ^ INM (24 September 1994). "MIDDLESBROUGH were yesterday ordered by a Football League transfer tribunal to pay pounds 325,000 for Alan Miller, the goalkeeper they signed from Arsenal last month, plus a further pounds 100,000 when the 24-year-old makes his 50th appearance.". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 11 May 2009. Retrieved 8 April 2009. 
  8. ^ "10-man Mansfield knock Leeds out of League Cup". New Straits Times. Agence France-Presse. 6 October 1994. Retrieved 28 December 2014. 
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ [2]
  11. ^ Hopkins, Nick (20 April 1999). "Splinter group that found the BNP too soft". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 20 October 2010. Retrieved 13 October 2010. 
  12. ^ [3]
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 2010-10-13. 
  14. ^ [4]