1996–97 FA Premier League
The 1996–97 FA Premier League (known as the FA Carling Premiership for sponsorship reasons) was the fifth season of the competition, since its formation in 1992. The majority of the season was contested by the reigning champions, Manchester United, along with Newcastle United, Arsenal and Liverpool. The title was eventually won by Manchester United, after Liverpool and Newcastle's failure to win in their penultimate games of the season; at 75 points it is the lowest points total for a Premier League champion and lowest since the 3-1-0 points system was introduced in the 1981–82 season.
|Aston Villa||Birmingham||Villa Park||39,399|
|Blackburn Rovers||Blackburn||Ewood Park||31,367|
|Coventry City||Coventry||Highfield Road||23,489|
|Derby County||Derby||Baseball Ground||18,300|
|Leeds United||Leeds||Elland Road||40,204|
|Leicester City||Leicester||Filbert Street||22,000|
|Manchester United||Manchester||Old Trafford||55,314|
|Newcastle United||Newcastle upon Tyne||St James' Park||36,649|
|Nottingham Forest||Nottingham||City Ground||30,539|
|Tottenham Hotspur||London||White Hart Lane||36,230|
|West Ham United||London||Boleyn Ground||28,000|
Personnel and kits
(as of 11 May 1997)
- Arsenal appointed Arsène Wenger in September as permanent successor to Bruce Rioch, after Stewart Houston and Pat Rice had both temporarily served as caretaker managers.
- Blackburn Rovers manager Ray Harford resigned in October and long-serving coach Tony Parkes was put in charge of the team for the remainder of the season, after which Roy Hodgson was named as manager.
- Chelsea replaced Glenn Hoddle with 34-year-old Ruud Gullit as player-manager at the start of the season after Hoddle took the job as England coach.
- Coventry City promoted Ron Atkinson from manager to director of football in October and gave the manager's job to 39-year-old player-coach Gordon Strachan.
- Everton manager Joe Royle resigned in March and 35-year-old captain Dave Watson was named as manager on a temporary basis. After the season, Howard Kendall began his third spell as Everton manager.
- Leeds United sacked manager Howard Wilkinson in September and replaced him with George Graham.
- Newcastle United appointed Kenny Dalglish after Kevin Keegan quit in January 1997 after five years in charge.
- Nottingham Forest manager Frank Clark resigned in December 1996 and Stuart Pearce was given the job on a temporary basis before Dave Bassett of Crystal Palace took over three months later.
- Southampton manager Graeme Souness quit after just one season in charge and was replaced by Dave Jones of Stockport County.
Player and managerial awards
- PFA Players' Player of the Year was Alan Shearer of Newcastle.
- PFA Young Player of the Year was David Beckham of Manchester United.
- FWA Footballer of the Year was Gianfranco Zola of Chelsea.
- Premier League Manager of the Year was Alex Ferguson of Manchester United.
- Premier League Player of the Year was Juninho of Middlesbrough.
Middlesbrough – despite spending millions of pounds on high-profile foreign players like Emerson, Fabrizio Ravanelli (who scored 31 goals in all competitions), Branco and Gianluca Festa – were relegated on the final day of the season and were on the losing side in both the FA Cup and League Cup finals. Middlesbrough finished in 19th place, but they would have been placed outside the relegation zone without a three-point deduction imposed for cancelling a December 1996 fixture against Blackburn Rovers, with the Middlesbrough board blaming the decision on the absence of 23 players ill or injured. This sanction meant Coventry City, who had been in the top division since 1967, finished in 17th place and avoided relegation. The decision was controversial and later resurfaced in 2006–07 when West Ham escaped a points deduction and subsequently avoided relegation.
The other relegation places went to Nottingham Forest, who sacked manager Frank Clark in December. Stuart Pearce took over as temporary player-manager, spending three months in charge and winning the January 1996 Manager of the Month award. In March, Pearce quit as manager to be replaced by Dave Bassett, formerly of Crystal Palace. Also relegated, due to a 1–0 defeat to Wimbledon in their last game of the season, were Sunderland, who were leaving Roker Park after 99 years and relocating to the 42,000-seat Stadium of Light on the banks of the River Wear for the start of the 1997–98 season in Division One.
Final league table
|Pos||Team||Pld||W||D||L||GF||GA||GD||Pts||Qualification or relegation|
|1||Manchester United (C)||38||21||12||5||76||44||+32||75||1997–98 UEFA Champions League group stage|
|2||Newcastle United||38||19||11||8||73||40||+33||68||1997–98 UEFA Champions League Second qualifying round|
|3||Arsenal||38||19||11||8||62||32||+30||68||1997–98 UEFA Cup First round|
|6||Chelsea||38||16||11||11||58||55||+3||59||1997–98 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup First round[a]|
|9||Leicester City||38||12||11||15||46||54||−8||47||1997–98 UEFA Cup First round[b]|
|14||West Ham United||38||10||12||16||39||48||−9||42|
|18||Sunderland (R)||38||10||10||18||35||53||−18||40||Relegation to 1997–98 Football League First Division|
|20||Nottingham Forest (R)||38||6||16||16||31||59||−28||34|
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.
(C) Champion; (R) Relegated.
|Average goals per game:||2.55|
|Home \ Away||ARS||AST||BLB||CHE||COV||DER||EVE||LEE||LEI||LIV||MUN||MID||NEW||NOT||SHW||SOU||SUN||TOT||WHU||WDN|
|West Ham United||1–2||0–2||2–1||3–2||1–1||1–1||2–2||0–2||1–0||1–2||2–2||0–0||0–0||0–1||5–1||2–1||2–0||4–3||0–2|
Top goal scorers
|1||Alan Shearer||Newcastle United||25|
|Ole Gunnar Solskjær||Manchester United||18|
|5||Dwight Yorke||Aston Villa||17|
|6||Les Ferdinand||Newcastle United||16|
|8||Dion Dublin||Coventry City||13|
|Matt Le Tissier||Southampton||13|
|Steve Claridge||Leicester City||12|
|Month||Manager of the Month||Player of the Month|
|August||David Pleat||Sheffield Wednesday||David Beckham||Manchester United|
|September||Joe Kinnear||Wimbledon||Patrik Berger||Liverpool|
|October||Graeme Souness||Southampton||Matt Le Tissier||Southampton|
|November||Jim Smith||Derby County||Ian Wright||Arsenal|
|December||Gordon Strachan||Coventry City||Gianfranco Zola||Chelsea|
|January||Stuart Pearce||Nottingham Forest||Tim Flowers||Blackburn Rovers|
|February||Alex Ferguson||Manchester United||Robbie Earle||Wimbledon|
|March||Bryan Robson||Middlesbrough||Juninho Paulista||Middlesbrough|
|April||Graeme Souness||Southampton||Mickey Evans||Southampton|
References and notes
- "English Premier League 1996–97". statto.com. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
- "England Player Honours – Professional Footballers' Association Players' Players of the Year". Retrieved 20 September 2006.
- "England Player Honours – Professional Footballers' Association Young Players of the Year". Retrieved 20 September 2006.
- "England Player Honours – Football Writers' Association Footballers of the Year". Retrieved 20 September 2006.
- "Seasonal Awards 1996/97" Archived 18 March 2006 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 20 September 2006.
- "Football's biggest punishments". Retrieved 20 September 2006.
- "Funny Old Game|Happened on this day – 20 December". Retrieved 20 September 2006.