List of Cardiff City F.C. seasons
Cardiff City Football Club, a professional association football club based in Cardiff, Wales, was founded in 1899 as Riverside A.F.C. by members of Riverside Cricket Club. The club's first year was made up of friendlies before they were admitted to the Cardiff & District League in 1900 and later the South Wales Amateur League in 1907. The following year, the club were granted permission to adopt the name Cardiff City, having been denied the previous year as they were deemed not to be playing at a high enough level, and moved into the English football league system for the first time by joining Division Two of the Southern Football League. They won promotion to Division One in the 1912–13 season and remained there until 1920, playing just three seasons during this time due to the outbreak of the First World War when league football was abandoned. In 1920, they were elected to The Football League, joining the Second Division for one season, winning promotion in their first season after finishing second. The club also competed regularly in the Welsh Cup, winning the trophy 22 times during their history, second only to Wrexham's 23, before they were denied entrance into the competition from 1995 onward by the Football Association of Wales, along with all other clubs playing in the English league pyramid.
The following decade is regarded as the most successful in the club's history as they finished second during the 1923–24 season, losing out on winning the league title on the goal average system used at the time to Huddersfield Town. During this period, they reached two FA Cup finals, losing 1–0 to Sheffield United in 1925 before returning to the final two years later, beating Arsenal 1–0 at Wembley Stadium in 1927. They also won the FA Charity Shield after beating amateur side Corinthians 2–1. Cardiff remain the only non-English side to have ever won the FA Cup or FA Charity Shield.
Cardiff were relegated for the first time in their history in 1929 and entered a period of decline, dropping into the third tier two years later. The club did manage to return to the top tier in 1952, but their relegation in 1962 led to a decline in the club's fortunes that saw them outside the top division for 51 years, the longest absence in the club's history, not returning until 2013. Relegation from Division Two in the 1984–85 season saw the club enter a downward period that culminated with their joint lowest ever finish in the Football League, 22nd in the fourth tier in the 1995–96 season.
In 2000, the club was purchased by Lebanese businessman Sam Hammam, who invested money into the side and saw them rise from the fourth tier to the second tier in just three seasons. Although Hammam left the club in 2006, they continued their progress, reaching the Football League Championship play-offs for three consecutive seasons between 2009 and 2012, suffering defeat on all three occasions. The following season, under the ownership of new owner Vincent Tan, they finished first in the Championship, winning promotion back into the top tier for the first time since 1962. However, they suffered relegation in their only season and returned to the Championship.
As of the end of the 2016–17 season, the club had spent 11 seasons in the top tier of English football, 48 in the second, 22 in the third and 5 in the fourth. This list details their achievements in first-team competitions, and records their top goalscorer, for each completed season since their first appearance in the English football pyramid as members of the Southern Football League in 1910–11. Due to the unavailability of complete statistics, seasons prior to 1910 in the amateur Welsh leagues are not included.
Key to league record:
Key to divisions:
Key to rounds:
Key to colours and symbols:
|1st or W||Winners|
|2nd or RU||Runners-up|
|*||Promoted via play-offs|
|♦||Top league scorer in Cardiff's division|
|Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup[a]||Welsh Cup[b]||Other||Top scorer[c]|
|1910–11||SL Div 2||22||12||4||6||48||29||28||4th||1QR||2R||Richard Peake||19|
|1911–12||SL Div 2||26||15||4||7||55||26||34||3rd||2QR||W||Harry Featherstone||16|
|1912–13||SL Div 2||24||18||5||1||54||14||41||1st||5QR||SF||John Burton||16|
|1913–14||SL Div 1||38||13||12||13||46||42||38||10th||n/a[e]||3R||George West||10|
|1914–15||SL Div 1||38||21||7||10||72||38||48||3rd||1R||3R[f]||George West||13|
|1915–19||The Southern League was suspended until after the First World War.|
|1919–20||SL Div 1||42||18||17||7||70||43||53||4th||3R||W||Arthur Cashmore||14|
|1920–21||Div 2[g]||42||24||10||8||59||32||58||2nd||SF||n/a[h]||Jimmy Gill||20|
|1921–22||Div 1||42||19||10||13||61||53||48||4th||QF||W||Len Davies||30|
|1922–23||Div 1||42||18||7||17||73||59||43||9th||3R||W||Len Davies||28|
|1923–24||Div 1||42||22||13||7||61||34||57||2nd[i]||QF||5R||Len Davies||24|
|1924–25||Div 1||42||16||11||15||56||51||43||11th||RU||5R||Len Davies||22|
|1925–26||Div 1||42||16||7||19||61||76||39||16th||4R||5R||Hughie Ferguson||21|
|1926–27||Div 1||42||16||9||17||55||65||41||14th||W||W||Hughie Ferguson||31|
|1927–28||Div 1||42||17||10||15||70||80||44||6th||5R||W||FA Charity Shield||W[j]||Hughie Ferguson||25|
|1928–29||Div 1||42||8||13||21||43||59||29||22nd||3R||RU||Hughie Ferguson||15|
|1929–30||Div 2||42||18||8||16||61||59||44||8th||4R||W[k]||Len Davies||15|
|1930–31||Div 2||42||8||9||25||47||87||25||22nd||3R||SF||Walter Robbins||12|
|1931–32||Div 3S||42||19||8||15||87||73||46||9th||1R||6R||Jimmy McCambridge||28|
|1932–33||Div 3S||42||12||7||23||69||99||31||19th||1R||SF||Jimmy McCambridge||18|
|1933–34||Div 3S||42||9||6||27||57||105||24||22nd[l]||1R||6R||Third Division South Cup||1R||Jim Henderson & Eli Postin||13|
|1934–35||Div 3S||42||13||9||20||62||82||35||19th||1R||7R||Third Division South Cup||2R||Reg Keating||19|
|1935–36||Div 3S||42||13||10||19||60||73||36||20th||1R||7R||Third Division South Cup||1R||Reg Keating||11|
|1936–37||Div 3S||42||14||7||21||54||87||35||18th||3R||6R||Third Division South Cup||2R||George Walton||9|
|1937–38||Div 3S||42||15||12||15||67||54||42||10th||3R||6R||Third Division South Cup||2R||Jimmy Collins||28|
|1938–39||Div 3S||42||15||11||16||61||65||41||13th||4R||RU||Third Division South Cup||2R[m]||Jimmy Collins||21|
|1939–40||Div 3S||3||2||0||1||5||5||4||6th[n]||—||6R[o]||Jimmy Collins||4|
|1939–45||The Football League was suspended until after the Second World War.[p]|
|1946–47||Div 3S||42||30||6||6||93||30||66||1st||3R||5R||Stan Richards||30|
|1947–48||Div 2||42||18||11||13||61||58||47||5th||3R||5R||Billy Rees||12|
|1948–49||Div 2||42||19||13||10||62||47||51||4th||5R||SF||Ernie Stevenson||14|
|1949–50||Div 2||42||16||10||16||41||44||42||10th||5R||7R||Elfed Evans||12|
|1950–51||Div 2||42||17||16||9||53||45||50||3rd||3R||RU||Wilf Grant||18|
|1951–52||Div 2||42||20||11||11||72||54||51||2nd||3R||6R||Wilf Grant||27|
|1952–53||Div 1||42||14||12||16||54||46||40||12th||3R||SF||Ken Chisholm||15|
|1953–54||Div 1||42||18||8||16||51||71||44||10th||4R||SF||Wilf Grant||15|
|1954–55||Div 1||42||13||11||18||62||76||37||20th||3R||SF||Trevor Ford||24|
|1955–56||Div 1||42||15||9||18||55||69||39||17th||4R||W||Gerry Hitchens||28|
|1956–57||Div 1||42||10||9||23||53||88||29||21st||4R||6R||Gerry Hitchens||25|
|1957–58||Div 2||42||14||9||19||63||77||37||15th||5R||5R||Ron Hewitt||15|
|1958–59||Div 2||42||18||7||17||65||65||43||9th||4R||W||Ron Hewitt||17|
|1959–60||Div 2||42||23||12||7||90||62||57||2nd||3R||RU||Derek Tapscott||21|
|1960–61||Div 1||42||13||11||18||60||85||37||15th||3R||2R||SF||Derek Tapscott||30|
|1961–62||Div 1||42||9||14||19||50||81||32||21st||3R||3R||SF||Dai Ward||21|
|1962–63||Div 2||42||18||7||17||83||73||43||10th||3R||2R||6R||Peter Hooper||24|
|1963–64||Div 2||42||14||10||18||56||81||38||15th||3R||2R||RU||Mel Charles||17|
|1964–65||Div 2||42||13||14||15||64||57||40||13th||3R||2R||W||Cup Winners' Cup||QF||Ivor Allchurch||19|
|1965–66||Div 2||42||12||10||20||71||91||34||20th||4R||SF||5R||Cup Winners' Cup||1R||George Johnston||23|
|1966–67||Div 2||42||12||9||21||61||87||33||20th||4R||2R||W||Bobby Brown||17|
|1967–68||Div 2||42||13||12||17||60||66||38||13th||3R||2R||W||Cup Winners' Cup||SF||Peter King||18|
|1968–69||Div 2||42||20||7||15||67||54||47||5th||3R||2R||W||Cup Winners' Cup||1R||John Toshack[r]||31 ♦|
|1969–70||Div 2||42||18||13||11||61||41||49||7th||3R||2R||W||Cup Winners' Cup||2R||Brian Clark||28|
|1970–71||Div 2||42||20||13||9||64||41||53||3rd||4R||2R||W||Cup Winners' Cup||QF||Brian Clark||22|
|1971–72||Div 2||42||10||14||18||56||69||34||19th||5R||2R||RU||Cup Winners' Cup||1R||Brian Clark||27|
|1972–73||Div 2||42||11||11||20||43||58||33||20th||4R||1R||W||Andrew McCulloch||19|
|1973–74||Div 2||42||10||16||16||49||62||36||17th||3R||2R||W||Cup Winners' Cup||1R||Andrew McCulloch||14|
|1974–75||Div 2||42||9||14||19||36||62||32||21st||3R||1R||RU||Cup Winners' Cup||1R||Gil Reece||10|
|1975–76||Div 3||46||22||13||11||69||48||57||2nd||4R||1R||W||Tony Evans||29|
|1976–77||Div 2||42||12||10||20||56||67||34||18th||5R||2R||W||Cup Winners' Cup||1R||Tony Evans||24|
|1977–78||Div 2||42||13||12||17||51||71||38||19th||3R||2R||SF||Cup Winners' Cup||1R||John Buchanan||14|
|1978–79||Div 2||42||16||10||16||56||70||42||9th||3R||1R||5R||Anglo-Scottish Cup||GS||John Buchanan||18|
|1979–80||Div 2||42||16||8||18||41||48||40||15th||3R||2R||4R||Ray Bishop & Gary Stevens||11|
|1980–81||Div 2||42||12||12||18||44||60||36||19th||3R||3R||4R||Peter Kitchen||19|
|1981–82||Div 2 [s]||42||12||8||22||45||61||44||20th||3R||1R||RU||Gary Stevens||18|
|1982–83||Div 3||46||25||11||10||76||50||86||2nd||2R||2R||3R||Jeff Hemmerman||26|
|1983–84||Div 2||42||15||6||21||53||66||51||15th||3R||2R||5R||Gordon Owen||18|
|1984–85||Div 2||42||9||8||25||47||79||35||21st||3R||2R||4R||Nigel Vaughan||17|
|1985–86||Div 3||46||12||9||25||53||83||45||22nd||1R||1R||SF||Associate Members' Cup||GS||Nigel Vaughan||17|
|1986–87||Div 4||46||15||16||15||48||50||61||13th||4R||4R||4R||Associate Members' Cup||GS||Paul Wimbleton||11|
|1987–88||Div 4||46||24||13||9||66||41||85||2nd||1R||1R||W||Associate Members' Cup||1R||Jimmy Gilligan||25|
|1988–89||Div 3||46||14||15||17||44||56||57||16th||3R||2R||5R||Jimmy Gilligan||23|
|1989–90||Div 3||46||12||14||20||57||70||50||21st||3R||1R||SF||Associate Members' Cup||GS||Chris Pike||23|
|1990–91||Div 4||46||15||15||16||43||54||60||13th||1R||2R||3R||Associate Members' Cup||GS||Chris Pike||16|
|1991–92||Div 4||42||17||15||10||66||53||66||9th||1R||1R||W||Associate Members' Cup||1R||Carl Dale & Chris Pike||28|
|1992–93||Div 3 [t]||42||25||8||9||77||47||83||1st||1R||1R||W||Phil Stant||18|
|1993–94||Div 2||46||13||15||18||66||79||54||19th||5R||1R||RU||Football League Trophy||2R||Phil Stant||22|
|1994–95||Div 2||46||9||11||26||46||74||38||22nd||1R||1R||RU||Phil Stant||15|
|1995–96||Div 3||46||11||12||23||41||64||45||22nd||2R||2R||Football League Trophy||1R||Carl Dale||30|
|1996–97||Div 3||46||20||9||17||56||54||69||7th||2R||1R||Football League Trophy||2R||Steve White||14|
|1997–98||Div 3||46||9||23||14||48||52||50||21st||4R||1R||Andy Saville||14|
|1998–99||Div 3||46||22||14||10||60||39||80||3rd||1R||1R||Kevin Nugent||22|
|1999–2000||Div 2||46||9||17||20||45||67||44||21st||3R||2R||Jason Bowen & Kevin Nugent||17|
|2000–01||Div 3||46||23||13||10||95||58||82||2nd||3R||1R||Robert Earnshaw||25|
|2001–02||Div 2||46||23||14||9||75||50||83||4th[v]||4R||1R||Graham Kavanagh||16|
|2002–03||Div 2||46||23||12||11||68||43||81||6th*[w]||3R||2R||Robert Earnshaw[x]||35 ♦|
|2003–04||Div 1||46||17||14||15||68||58||65||13th||3R||2R||FAW Premier Cup||SF||Robert Earnshaw||26|
|2004–05||Champ[y]||46||13||15||18||48||51||54||16th||3R||4R||FAW Premier Cup||QF||Peter Thorne||14|
|2005–06||Champ||46||16||12||18||58||59||60||11th||3R||3R||FAW Premier Cup||QF||Cameron Jerome||20|
|2006–07||Champ||46||17||13||16||57||53||64||13th||3R||1R||FAW Premier Cup||SF||Michael Chopra||22|
|2007–08||Champ||46||16||16||14||59||55||64||12th||RU||4R||FAW Premier Cup||SF||Joe Ledley & Paul Parry||11|
|2009–10||Champ||46||22||10||14||73||54||76||4th[z]||5R||3R||Peter Whittingham[aa]||25 ♦|
- The Football League Cup was founded in the 1960–61 season
- Cardiff City were denied entry to the competition from 1995 onward along with all other Welsh clubs playing in the English pyramid system.
- Goals in all competitions (Football League or Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup, Football League Trophy, European, Welsh Cup and Football League Third Division South Cup) are counted
- Divisions are sorted according to their level within the English football league system at the time.
- Cardiff City did not enter the FA Cup during the 1913–14 season
- Cardiff City entered the competition in the third round, being drawn against Pontypridd Town, but withdrew from the tournament, handing the opposition a walkover victory.
- Cardiff were invited to join The Football League in 1920
- Cardiff City entered their reserve side in the Welsh Cup for the 1920–21 season.
- Cardiff City finished second to Huddersfield Town due to the goal average system used at the time.
- As winners of the FA Cup during the previous season, Cardiff City entered the FA Charity Shield, defeating amateur side Corinthian 2–1.
- Cardiff City won the tournament by defeating Rhyl in a replay which was not played until 8 October 1930, during the following season.
- Cardiff City were forced to apply for re-election after finishing bottom of the Third Division South.
- The Third Division South Cup semi-final replay and final were postponed until the following season. However, due to the outbreak of Second World War, the competition was abandoned at the semi-final stage.
- The Football League season was abandoned in September 1939 after three matches had been played and all results were annulled.
- The 1939–40 Welsh Cup tournament was completed.
- The club played 254 competitive games in regional league and cup football between 1939 and 1946. Guest players were permitted, and results and records from this period are not included in official statistics.
- The FA Cup competition resumed for the 1945–46 season, however league football did not resume until the following season.
- Scored 22 goals in Division Two.
- This season saw the introduction of three points for a win instead of two.
- The Fourth Division was renamed Division Three after the Premier League broke away from the Football League.
- The Associate Members' Cup was renamed the Football League Trophy from the 1992–93 season.
- Defeated in the Division Two play-off semi-final by Stoke City.
- Promoted to Division One after beating Queens Park Rangers 1–0 in the play-off final.
- Scored 31 goals in Division Two.
- Division One was renamed The Championship from the 2004–05 season.
- Defeated in the Championship play-off final by Blackpool.
- Scored 20 goals in the Championship.
- Defeated in the Championship play-off semi-final by Reading.
- Defeated in the Championship play-off semi-final by West Ham United.
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