After a Kevin Campbell hat-trick earnt Nottingham Forest an impressive 3-0 away win at Coventry City on the season's opening game, an appalling 4-1 home defeat to Premiership newcomers Sunderland prompted a dismal start to the season which saw them fail to win any of their next 16 league games until a shock 2-1 home win over title contenders Arsenal on 21 December 1996. Ultimately, Forest were bottom of the Premiership by Christmas, and their manager Frank Clark gone, with Stuart Pearce taking over as player-manager on a temporary basis. A good run of form in January saw Pearce receive the Manager of the Month award, but, by the time he stepped down to make way for Dave Bassett in March, Forest had endured another setback and were left needing a miracle to beat the drop. The acquisition of Dutch striker Pierre van Hooijdonk did little to change the club's fortunes, and they were relegated in bottom place.
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