In their new 27,000-seat stadium, Bolton Wanderers began the season as the strongest-looking of the newly promoted side, particularly after paying a club record fee of £3.5 million for Wimbledon striker Dean Holdsworth and holding Manchester United to a 0–0 draw. But it was a season-long struggle for Colin Todd and his men, who lost their battle on the final day of the season and occupied the final relegation place – on goal difference – to complete a hat-trick of newly promoted clubs suffering relegation. Controversially Bolton had a goal against Everton disallowed in the belief that the ball had not crossed the line after crashing down off the Everton crossbar. Television replays showed the ball had indeed crossed the line. The game finished goal-less and the two sides finished level on points with Everton surviving on their superior goal difference. Bolton fans complained bitterly that the goal and resulting 1–0 win would have kept them in the Premier League at Everton's expense. Everton fans countered by pointing to Bolton's inability to hold onto a lead during the season while Everton had a good record of coming from behind to draw or even win against their fellow strugglers. With an hour to play it is impossible to say with any degree of confidence that Bolton would indeed have been able to hold on to their goal lead.
Updated to games played on 10 May 1998.
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 defending champions and were the League Cup winners. 2 As Arsenal qualified for the Champions League, their Cup Winners' Cup place as FA Cup winners defaulted to Newcastle United, the losing finalists. 3 Despite being relegated, Crystal Palace qualified for the 1998 Intertoto Cup. (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.