Manager Ron Atkinson stepped up to the role of Director of Football at struggling Coventry City in early November, with assistant Gordon Strachan stepping up to the manager's seat. A good run of form saw Coventry climb to 11th place in January, but then a decline set in and defeat in the penultimate game of the season made Coventry's 30-year stay in the top flight appear to be over. However, with a win over Tottenham Hotspur on the final day of the season and losses for Sunderland and Middlesbrough, the Sky Blues pulled off a miraculous survival act to book themselves a 31st successive top flight campaign. The key player in the great escape act was striker Dion Dublin, who scored 14 Premier League goals to attract attention from several larger clubs and encourage calls for an international call-up from many observers.
However, Coventry only ultimately avoided relegation due to the three-point deduction imposed upon Middlesbrough, who had been penalised in mid-season for cancelling a fixture at short notice.
Updated to games played on 11 May 1997.
Source: Premier League
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored 1 Chelsea qualified for the Cup Winners' Cup as FA Cup winners. 2 Leicester City qualified for the UEFA Cup as League Cup winners. 3 Middlesbrough were docked three points for failing to fulfil a fixture. (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. Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points