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2007-08 in English Football

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Title: 2007-08 in English Football  
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2007-08 in English Football

The 2007–08 season was the 128th season of competitive football in England.

Club football

European competitions

In October 2007 Arsenal equalled the UEFA Champions League record victory with a 7–0 win over Slavia Prague at the Emirates Stadium.[1] The record was broken the following month when Liverpool defeated Beşiktaş 8–0 at Anfield.[2] All four English clubs competing in the Champions League reached the quarter-finals, resulting in three all-English ties during the competition's latter stages. Liverpool eliminated Arsenal in the quarter-finals, but lost the semi-final to Chelsea, who went on to meet Manchester United in the final in Moscow. United completed the European Double, winning the Premier League two points ahead of Chelsea and winning the UEFA Champions League, again against Chelsea 6–5 on penalties (1–1 after extra time) to lift the European Cup for the third time. This was a unique occurrence – the first time two English clubs had met in the final of the European Cup/Champions League. It was also a repeat of the opening game of the season, the FA Community Shield, which also finished 1–1 and saw a United win on penalties, 3–0.

In the UEFA Cup, none of the English teams taking part reached the quarter-final stage. Blackburn Rovers, who had qualified for the competition via the Intertoto Cup, were beaten in the first round by Larissa F.C.. The three other English clubs progressed through the group stages, with Bolton Wanderers losing to Sporting Clube de Portugal, while Tottenham Hotspur and Everton were both eliminated on penalty shootouts in the round of 16, by PSV Eindhoven and Fiorentina respectively. The 2008 UEFA Cup Final was held at the City of Manchester Stadium, the first time that the UEFA Cup Final had been held in England since being reduced to a single match. The event was marred by riots in Manchester city centre prior to the game.[3] In the match itself, Zenit Saint Petersburg beat Rangers 2–0 to lift the trophy.[4]

Premier League

Manchester United retained the Premier League title, winning the competition for the tenth time and becoming champions of England for the seventeenth time in all. The title was decided on the final day of the season as United's 2–0 win at Wigan Athletic saw them crowned champions and consigned Chelsea to the runners-up spot regardless of their result at home to Bolton Wanderers. Arsenal and Liverpool qualified for the UEFA Champions League 2008–09 third qualifying round by finishing third and fourth respectively, while Everton's fifth position gave them a place in the 2008–09 UEFA Cup first round. Reading, Birmingham City and Derby County were relegated. Derby became the first team in Premier League history to be relegated before the end of March.[5] They eventually finished on the lowest points tally ever, amassing only 11 points, including just one victory all season.

The Premier League underwent a major rebranding; changing its sponsored name from the Barclays Premiership to the Barclays Premier League, introducing a revamped logo and new typeface for players' jerseys.

Football League


After the disappointment of a play-off final defeat the previous year, West Bromwich Albion won the Football League Championship title and returned to the Premier League. Stoke City secured the other automatic promotion spot, after a 23-year absence from the top flight. Hull City followed them by winning the play-off final, beating Bristol City 1–0 at Wembley Stadium in the final to reach the top division of English football for the first time in their 104-year history.[6] It was the first time that Hull had played at either the original or rebuilt Wembley Stadium. Despite impressing on their Championship debut in 2006–07, Colchester United finished bottom this season and were relegated back to League One. Scunthorpe United's first journey into the Championship since the 1960s proved short-lived, and they also went back down. The biggest story however was Leicester City's relegation, as a lack of stability at the club (with no fewer than eight men, including caretakers, occupying the manager's seat over the season) proved their undoing and sent them down to League One for the first time in their history.

League One

In a season mired by controversy and points deductions at both ends of the table, Swansea City were the clear champions in League One. In terms of results, Leeds United were actually the best team behind Swansea, but had started the season on –15 points following their failure to reach an agreement with HM Revenue & Customs on their Creditors Voluntary Arrangement. This was the first time in the league's history that such a penalty had been imposed. Nottingham Forest therefore took the second automatic promotion spot on the final day of the season after a late surge of form, culminating in Forest defeating Yeovil 3–2 (Who ironically defeated them in the Play-off semi final the previous season), whilst Doncaster lost to Cheltenham 2–1, which saved them from relegation. Doncaster Rovers won promotion to the Championship by beating Leeds United 1–0 at Wembley Stadium in the League One play-off final, thus returning to the top two tiers for the first time since 1958. At the opposite end of the table, Port Vale were in fact the worst team going by results, but Luton Town went into administration and lost 10 points causing them to finish bottom, though they would have been relegated even without this penalty. Bournemouth also received a 10 point deduction for going into administration, and in their case it did prove fatal, sending the club down by to League Two. If the points deduction did not occur then Crewe would have gone down. Gillingham were the other team to suffer relegation. Leeds United played in the third tier of English football for the first time in their history, six years after competing in the Champions League.

League Two

Milton Keynes Dons won their first honours as a club, winning the League Two title and the Football League Trophy. The other clubs automatically promoted were runners-up Peterborough United, who had pushed the Dons close for most of the season, and Hereford United, who returned to the third level of English football for the first time in 30 years. Stockport County won promotion to League One by beating Rochdale 3–2 at Wembley Stadium in the League Two play-off final. There was to be no repeat of Wrexham's last day heroics of the 2006–07 season, and this time they finished bottom and went out of the League. Despite a good run late in the season, Mansfield Town joined them. Both Dagenham & Redbridge and Morecambe played in The Football League for the first time, after securing promotion to League Two from the Conference National.

Cup competitions and Community Shield

Portsmouth won the FA Cup with a 1–0 victory over Cardiff City. Tottenham Hotspur won the League Cup, beating the holders Chelsea 2–1 after extra time. It was the first League Cup final to be played at the new Wembley Stadium.[7] MK Dons won the Football League Trophy after beating Grimsby Town 2–0 in the final.[8] Manchester United took the first silverware of the season when they beat Chelsea 3–0 on penalties in the FA Community Shield.

Non-League football

The Conference National became known as the Blue Square Premier upon the announcement of a three-year sponsorship deal. The two regional feeder leagues became known as the Blue Square North and South respectively.[9] The deal signalled the end of a nine-year association between the Conference and the Nationwide Building Society. Aldershot Town won the Conference National to gain automatic promotion to the Football League, while Exeter City beat Cambridge United 1–0 in the play-off final at Wembley Stadium to secure the other promotion place. Aldershot also won the Conference League Cup, beating Rushden & Diamonds in a penalty shootout after a 3–3 draw. The FA Trophy was won by Ebbsfleet United, who beat Torquay United 1–0 at Wembley.

Events off the field

Deloitte reported in September 2007 that transfer spending by all Premier League and Football League clubs had exceeded £500 million, compared to £300 million spent the season before. Deloitte attributed the rise in spending to the huge increase in broadcasting revenue and new owners buying into Premier League clubs.[10]

Two league clubs moved to new grounds for 2007–08. Shrewsbury Town moved to the New Meadow for the start of this season, after leaving their old stadium, Gay Meadow. Milton Keynes Dons moved to their new 22,000 all seater stadium at Denbigh, Milton Keynes, known as Stadium:mk. The stadium was officially opened on 29 November 2007 by The Queen.[11]

Sheffield, the world's oldest football club, celebrated their 150th anniversary; events included a friendly match against Inter Milan.[12]

Diary of the season

1 July 2007: Tottenham Hotspur pay a club record £16.5million for Charlton Athletic striker Darren Bent.

2 July 2007: Manchester United shell out a combined total of £30million for Brazilian midfielder Anderson (from F.C. Porto) and Portuguese winger Nani (from Sporting Lisbon).

4 July 2007: Everton pay £4 million for Sheffield United defender Phil Jagielka.

5 July 2007: Aston Villa sign West Ham United midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker for £8.5 million.

10 July 2007: West Ham United pay a club record £7.5 million for Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy, while Wigan Athletic break their own record fee with a £5.3 million deal for West Bromwich Albion midfielder Jason Koumas.

13 July 2007: Liverpool pay £11.5 million to Ajax Amsterdam for winger Ryan Babel.

23 July 2007: Fredrik Ljungberg, Arsenal's longest-serving player, leaves after nearly nine years in a £3 million move to West Ham United.

24 July 2007: Robbie Fowler leaves Liverpool for a second time to join Cardiff City on a free transfer.

3 August 2007: Manchester United sell striker Alan Smith to Newcastle United for £6 million.

4 August 2007: Leeds United, who have spent the summer on the brink of expulsion from the Football League due to their financial problems, are told that they will be allowed to take their place in League One, but will start on -15 points for exiting administration without a CVA. Leeds chairman Ken Bates immediately announces his intention to appeal against the penalty.

5 August 2007: Manchester United beat Chelsea on penalties after a 1–1 draw to seal the Community Shield at Wembley Stadium.

15 August 2007: Long-serving Aston Villa defender Mark Delaney retires from playing at the age of 31 after failing to fully recover from a succession of injuries.

25 August 2007: Ray Jones, 18-year-old QPR striker, dies in a car crash in east London which claims the lives of two other people.

28 August 2007: Manchester United's long-serving Norwegian striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer retires from playing at the age of 34.

29 August 2007: Martin Allen, who was appointed manager of Leicester City only three months ago, is dismissed from his job. Everton pay a club record £11.25 million to Middlesbrough for striker Yakubu Aiyegbeni.

31 August 2007: August ends with Chelsea top after four matches and looking to reclaim their title from Manchester United, who currently stand 10th after a slow start. Manchester City and Wigan Athletic are surprise members of the current top four, along with Liverpool. Everton, Arsenal and Newcastle United complete the top seven while Bolton Wanderers, Fulham and Derby County make up the relegation zone. In the Championship, Coventry City and Ipswich Town are joint leaders of the division while Wolverhampton Wanderers, Stoke City, recently relegated Watford and Colchester United stand in the play-offs. The table is propped up by QPR, Preston North End and Sheffield Wednesday.

11 September 2007: Ian Porterfield, who scored the winning goal for Sunderland in the 1973 FA Cup Final, dies of cancer aged 61. Porterfield was managing Armenia at the time of his death, and earlier in his management career he had been in charge of teams including Sheffield United and Chelsea.

13 September 2007: Gary Megson, former West Bromwich Albion and Nottingham Forest manager, ends his 18-month exile from football to take over at Leicester City.

20 September 2007: José Mourinho, who in the last three years has guided Chelsea to two Premier League titles, two League Cups and an FA Cup triumph, resigns as manager after falling out with owner Roman Abramovich. Director of Football Avram Grant takes over control of the first team, becoming the first Israeli manager in English football.

30 September 2007: At the end of September Arsenal have leaped to the top of the Premiership, followed closely by Manchester United. Manchester City are making a surprise title push and stand in third, while Liverpool, Everton, Portsmouth and Blackburn Rovers are also attempting to make their mark in the push for Europe. Tottenham Hotspur, Bolton and Derby are joint bottom of the Premiership, although Derby's vastly inferior goal difference makes them appear the most vulnerable of the three sides. In the Championship, Watford and Charlton Athletic, relegated from the Premiership last season, are pushing for an immediate return to the top flight and stand first and third respectively, sandwiching West Bromwich Albion. Newly promoted sides Bristol City (4th) and Scunthorpe United (6th) are pushing for a second consecutive promotion, while fifth-placed Stoke City are pushing for a return to the top tier after a 20-year absence. The same three teams from August stand in the bottom three, although now QPR has dropped below Preston and Sheffield Wednesday to stand bottom.

8 October 2007: Peter Taylor is sacked as manager of Crystal Palace after just 16 months in charge.

11 October 2007: Neil Warnock returns to management with Crystal Palace, just 5 months after leaving Sheffield United.

17 October 2007: Bolton Wanderers, bottom of the Premier League, sack manager Sammy Lee after six months in charge.

19 October 2007: Steve Bruce resigns after six years as manager of Birmingham City. Speculations mounts that he is about to take over from Chris Hutchings as manager of Wigan Athletic, where he had a brief spell in 2001.

25 October 2007: Gary Megson defects from Leicester City after six weeks as manager to take over at Bolton Wanderers, while Martin Jol is sacked as manager of Tottenham Hotspur (battling relegation from the Premier League after two successive fifth-place finishes) after three years.

31 October 2007: Arsenal are continuing their bid for a first title in four years and finish October joint top with Manchester United, but with a game in hand. Manchester City are also continuing their push for European qualification and stand in third, although they are facing pressure from Chelsea, Blackburn, Liverpool and Portsmouth. The relegation zone is unchanged from the end of September, although only three points separate 14th-placed Fulham from 20th-placed Derby. In the Championship, Watford stand six points clear of nearest challengers Bristol City and look well-placed for a quick return to the Premiership, while West Brom, Ipswich, Wolves and Stoke (joint sixth with Plymouth Argyle) compete for the play-off places. Norwich City now prop up the Championship, and are three points adrift of the nearest two sides, QPR and Crystal Palace.

5 November 2007: Chris Hutchings is sacked as manager of Premier League strugglers Wigan Athletic after less than six months in charge.

21 November 2007: England fail to qualify for Euro 2008 after losing 3–2 to Croatia in their final qualifying game at Wembley Stadium.

22 November 2007: Steve McClaren is dismissed as England manager by the Football Association after 16 months in charge.

26 November 2007: Billy Davies is sacked as manager of Derby County, bottom of the Premier League with just one win so far.

28 November 2007: Paul Jewell returns to management with Derby County, six months after leaving Wigan Athletic. Alex McLeish resigns as Scotland manager to take over at Birmingham City.

30 November 2007: Arsenal finish November three points ahead of Manchester United with a game still in hand, although only seven points separate Arsenal from seventh-placed Portsmouth, and the teams in between - United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Aston Villa - all look capable of sustaining a title bid if they can string together a few good results. Derby remain bottom of the Premiership, but are now joined in the bottom three by Wigan and Sunderland. In the Championship, West Brom have cut Watford's lead to only two points. Charlton have recovered from a poor October to stand third, joined in the top six by Wolves, Ipswich and Bristol City. Norwich remain bottom, along with Preston, but are now only a point adrift of 21st-placed Blackpool, who lead QPR only by goal difference.

14 December 2007: Fabio Capello, 61-year-old Italian who has achieved great success with several top European clubs, accepts an offer from the Football Association to take charge of the England team.

21 December 2007: Premier League strugglers Fulham sack manager Lawrie Sanchez after eight months in charge.

29 December 2007: Phil O'Donnell, former Sheffield Wednesday midfielder, dies from a heart attack during a Scottish Premier League game for Motherwell.

30 December 2007: Roy Hodgson returns to English football, nine years after being sacked by Blackburn Rovers, to take over as Fulham manager.

31 December 2007: The year closes with Arsenal still top, although they have failed to take advantage of their game in hand and are only two points clear of Manchester United. It appears now that the title will end up either at Old Trafford or the Emirates - Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Everton and Aston Villa appear to be now competing just for European qualification. At the other end of the table, Derby are ten points adrift of safety and look certain for relegation. They are joined in the drop zone by Wigan and Fulham. A division below, West Brom have leapfrogged Watford into first. Bristol City are ramping up the pressure on their Hertfordshire rivals and are below them only by goal difference. Stoke, Charlton and Plymouth complete the top six. Norwich have escaped the relegation zone after a good run of results and their local rivals Colchester now prop up the table, along with Sheffield Wednesday and Preston.

7 January 2008: Fabio Capello officially takes over as England manager.

9 January 2008: Sam Allardyce is sacked after eight months in charge of Newcastle United.

11 January 2008: Chelsea pay Bolton Wanderers £15 million for French striker Nicolas Anelka.

16 January 2008: Kevin Keegan is appointed manager of Newcastle United for the second time, having previously been their manager from 1992 until 1997.

24 January 2008: George Burley quits Southampton to take over as Scotland manager.

29 January 2008: Dennis Wise resigns as manager of Leeds United (who replace him with former captain Gary McAllister) to become executive director of Newcastle United.

30 January 2008: Tottenham Hotspur pay £9 million for Rangers and Scotland defender Alan Hutton.

31 January 2008: Manchester United lead Arsenal by goal difference as January closes, although Chelsea have undergone a renaissance under Avram Grant and are only four points off the Premiership summit. The West London club are ten points clear of fourth-placed Everton, who, along with Aston Villa, Manchester City and Liverpool, are now competing for the final Champions League place. The relegation zone is unchanged from the end of December. West Brom and Bristol City are joint top of the Championship, with Watford, Stoke, Charlton and Crystal Palace in the top six and Preston, Scunthorpe and Colchester in the bottom three.

6 February 2008: England beat Switzerland 2–1 in a home friendly in Fabio Capello's first game in charge.

24 February 2008: Tottenham Hotspur end their nine-year trophy drought with a 2–1 win over Chelsea in the Football League Cup final.

28 February 2008: Arsenal have regained their three-point advantage over Manchester United at the top of the Premiership, with Chelsea nine points behind their London rivals in third. Everton, Liverpool, Aston Villa and Portsmouth continue their European push. At the other end of the table, Derby are 14 points adrift of safety and appear effectively relegated. With eleven games left to play, Reading and Fulham join the Midlands club in the bottom three. In the Championship, Stoke have jumped to the top of the table and are fighting with Bristol City and Watford for the Football League title. West Brom, Plymouth and Charlton compete for the play-off places. The Championship relegation zone is unchanged.

1 March 2008: Colchester United's former England striker Teddy Sheringham, who turns 42 next month and is the oldest professional footballer in the country, announces that he will retire from playing at the end of the season, calling time on a 26-year playing career.

29 March 2008: Derby County's relegation is confirmed after they can only manage a 2–2 draw at home to fellow Premier League strugglers Fulham - the earliest relegation to be confirmed in all 16 seasons of the Premier League.

31 March 2008: Manchester United have established a five-point lead over Chelsea with six games left to play; Arsenal have suffered a slump in form and are in third. Liverpool have also established a five-point lead, but ahead of Everton in the race for the final Champions League place. Everton, Portsmouth and Blackburn now appear to be competing for UEFA Cup qualification. For Fulham and Bolton the challenge is to escape the drop zone, although with only six games left their hopes are becoming increasingly slimmer. Derby are already relegated, and are playing now only to avoid breaking Sunderland's record - set two seasons ago - of the lowest points tally ever accrued in a Premiership season. In the Championship, only two points separate Bristol City, Stoke and a Hull City side making a late bid for promotion, although West Brom are only four points off the top with two games in hand. Watford and Wolves make up the rest of the top six. Colchester United appear doomed, being 13 points behind 21st-placed Southampton with only 15 left to play for. Scunthorpe United, while above Colchester, also seem destined for the drop. Sheffield Wednesday, however, are only a point behind Southampton and with two games in hand they still have a good chance of survival.

29 April 2008: Tottenham Hotspur match their club record fee with a £16.5 million move for Dinamo Zagreb and Croatia midfielder Luka Modrić.

30 April 2008: With two matches left Manchester United and Chelsea are level on 81 points; Arsenal are four points behind and look like they will be settling for third. Liverpool have sealed their fourth-place finish, while Everton seem destined for fifth despite late pressure from Aston Villa and Portsmouth. Derby have confirmed their 20th-place finish, but Fulham and Birmingham City are still hopeful of securing their top-flight survival at the expense of Reading, Bolton or Middlesbrough. The Championship has one round of matches left to play: West Brom's superior goal difference makes it likely that they will be automatically promoted, barring a 12-goal swing in the favour of third placed Hull. Second-placed Stoke need to avoid defeat or hope that Hull loses on the final day to seal automatic promotion. Bristol City have sealed their place in the play-offs, while Watford, Crystal Palace, Wolves, Ipswich and Sheffield United fight for the final two play-off spots. Scunthorpe and Colchester are relegated, while Southampton are 22nd, but Leicester, Sheffield Wednesday, Coventry and Blackpool could all still be relegated.

11 May 2008: Manchester United seal their 10th Premier League title and their 17th top division title overall, while Derby County finish the season in bottom place with a record top division low of one win and 11 points. Joining them in the Football League Championship for next season are Birmingham City and Reading.

12 May 2008: F.C. Porto and Portugal defender José Bosingwa agrees to join Chelsea in a £16.2 million deal.

17 May 2008: Portsmouth's 58-year wait for a major trophy ends with a 1–0 win over Cardiff City in the FA Cup final. Kanu scores the only goal of the game.

21 May 2008: In the first all-English Champions League final, Manchester United beat Chelsea on penalties after a 1–1 draw in Moscow. Edwin van der Saar saves Nicolas Anelka's penalty kick to give the trophy to United, while earlier in the shoot-out John Terry misses the penalty that would have given Chelsea the trophy for the very first time.

24 May 2008: Hull City reach the top flight for the first time in their history with a 1–0 win over Bristol City in the Football League Championship play-off final, with 39-year-old striker Dean Windass scoring the winning goal. It is Hull's third promotion in five seasons - the second quickest rise from the league's fourth tier to the highest. On the same day, Avram Grant is sacked as manager of Chelsea (without a major trophy for the first time in four years) despite having taken them to the brink of Premier League and Champions League glory this season.

25 May 2008: Doncaster Rovers reach the second tier of the English league for the first time in 50 years with a 1–0 win over Leeds United in the League One playoff final. Just six years ago, Leeds were a top-five Premier League club playing European football, while Doncaster were still in the Conference.

2 June 2008: Sven-Göran Eriksson is sacked after one season as manager of Manchester City.

5 June 2008: Mark Hughes leaves Blackburn Rovers after four years to take over at Manchester City.

7 June 2008: Plymouth Argyle goalkeeper Luke McCormick, 24, is involved in a car crash on the M6 motorway in Cheshire in which two children are killed and four other people are injured.[13]

22 June 2008: Paul Ince becomes manager of Blackburn Rovers, ending his season-long spell in charge of Milton Keynes Dons (where he won the League Two title and the Football League Trophy.

Clubs Removed

Managerial changes

Name Club Date of departure Replacement Date of appointment
Neil McDonald Carlisle United 13 August 2007[14] John Ward 2 October 2007[15]
Martin Allen Leicester City 29 August 2007[16] Gary Megson 13 September 2007[17]
Ronnie Jepson Gillingham 9 September 2007[18] Mark Stimson 1 November 2007[19]
José Mourinho Chelsea 20 September 2007[20] Avram Grant 20 September 2007[21]
Martin Foyle Port Vale 26 September 2007[22] Lee Sinnott 5 November 2007[23]
John Gregory Queens Park Rangers 1 October 2007[24] Luigi De Canio 29 October 2007[25]
John Ward Cheltenham Town 2 October 2007[15] Keith Downing1 2 November 2007[26]
Willie Donachie Millwall 8 October 2007[27] Kenny Jackett 6 November 2007[28]
Peter Taylor Crystal Palace 8 October 2007[29] Neil Warnock 11 October 2007[30]
Peter Grant Norwich City 9 October 2007[31] Glenn Roeder 30 October 2007[32]
John Schofield Lincoln City 15 October 2007[33] Peter Jackson 30 October 2007[34]
Steve Thompson Notts County 16 October 2007[35] Ian McParland 18 October 2007[36]
Sammy Lee Bolton Wanderers 17 October 2007[37] Gary Megson 25 October 2007[38]
Gary Megson Leicester City 24 October 2007[39] Ian Holloway 22 November 2007[40]
Martin Jol Tottenham Hotspur 25 October 2007[41] Juande Ramos 27 October 2007[42]
Chris Hutchings Wigan Athletic 5 November 2007[43] Steve Bruce 26 November 2007[44]
Steve Cotterill Burnley 8 November 2007[45] Owen Coyle 22 November 2007[46]
Paul Simpson Preston North End 13 November 2007[47] Alan Irvine 20 November 2007[48]
Brian Carey Wrexham 15 November 2007[49] Brian Little 15 November 2007[49]
Steve Bruce Birmingham City 19 November 2007[50] Alex McLeish 28 November 2007[51]
Ian Holloway Plymouth Argyle 21 November 2007[52] Paul Sturrock 27 November 2007[53]
Billy Davies Derby County 26 November 2007[54] Paul Jewell 28 November 2007[55]
Paul Sturrock Swindon Town 27 November 2007[53] Maurice Malpas 15 January 2008[56]
Terry Butcher Brentford 11 December 2007[57] Andy Scott2 4 January 2008[58]
Lawrie Sanchez Fulham 21 December 2007[59] Roy Hodgson 30 December 2007[60]
Sam Allardyce Newcastle United 9 January 2008[61] Kevin Keegan 16 January 2008[62]
Chris Casper Bury 14 January 2008[63] Alan Knill 4 February 2008[64]
Kevin Blackwell Luton Town 16 January 2008[65] Mick Harford3 16 January 2008[66]
George Burley Southampton 24 January 2008[67] Nigel Pearson 18 February 2008[68]
Dennis Wise Leeds United 29 January 2008[69] Gary McAllister 29 January 2008[70]
Iain Dowie Coventry City 11 February 2008[71] Chris Coleman 19 February 2008[72]
Bryan Robson Sheffield United 14 February 2008[73] Kevin Blackwell4 14 February 2008[73]
Ian Brightwell Macclesfield Town 27 February 2008[74] Keith Alexander 27 February 2008[74]
Bobby Williamson Chester City 2 March 2008[75] Simon Davies5 11 March 2008[76]
Gary Peters Shrewsbury Town 3 March 2008[77] Paul Simpson 12 March 2008[78]
Billy Dearden Mansfield Town 8 March 2008[79] Paul Holland6 25 March 2008[80]
Andy Ritchie Huddersfield Town 1 April 2008[81] Stan Ternent 24 April 2008[82]
Richard Money Walsall 22 April 2008[83] Jimmy Mullen7 22 May 2008[84]
Dean Wilkins Brighton & Hove Albion 8 May 2008[85] Micky Adams 8 May 2008[85]
Luigi De Canio Queens Park Rangers 8 May 2008[86] Iain Dowie 14 May 2008[87]
Paul Lambert Wycombe Wanderers 20 May 2008[88] Peter Taylor 29 May 2008[89]
Ian Holloway Leicester City 23 May 2008[90] Nigel Pearson 20 June 2008[91]
Avram Grant Chelsea 24 May 2008[92] Luiz Felipe Scolari 1 July 2008[93]
Nigel Pearson Southampton 30 May 2008[94] Jan Poortvliet 30 May 2008[94]
Sven-Göran Eriksson Manchester City 2 June 2008[95] Mark Hughes 5 June 2008[96]
Mark Hughes Blackburn Rovers 5 June 2008[96] Paul Ince 22 June 2008[97]
Paul Ince Milton Keynes Dons 22 June 2008[97] Roberto Di Matteo 2 July 2008[98]


  • 1 Downing was previously caretaker manager after Ward's departure.
  • 2 Scott was previously caretaker manager after Butcher's departure.
  • 3 Harford was named caretaker manager for the remainder of the season.
  • 4 Blackwell was named caretaker manager for the remainder of the season.
  • 5 Davies' caretaker role was extended until the end of the season.
  • 6 Holland's caretaker role was extended until the end of the season.
  • 7 Mullen was previously caretaker manager after Money's departure.

Promotion and relegation

Playoff winners in bold.

Premier League

  • Champions: Manchester United
  • Champions League 2008–09 Qualifiers : Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool
  • UEFA Cup 2008–09 Qualifiers : Tottenham Hotspur, Everton, Manchester City and Portsmouth
  • Relegated to The Championship : Derby County, Birmingham City and Reading


  • Champions: West Bromwich Albion
  • Promoted: Stoke City
  • Playoffs : Hull City, Bristol City, Watford and Crystal Palace
  • Relegated: Leicester City, Scunthorpe United and Colchester United

League One

  • Champions: Swansea City
  • Promoted: Nottingham Forest
  • Playoffs : Doncaster Rovers, Leeds United, Southend United and Carlisle United
  • Relegated: AFC Bournemouth, Gillingham, Port Vale and Luton Town

League Two

  • Champions: Milton Keynes Dons
  • Promoted: Peterborough United, Hereford United
  • Playoffs : Stockport County, Rochdale, Darlington and Wycombe Wanderers
  • Relegated: Mansfield Town and Wrexham

Conference National

  • Champions: Aldershot Town
  • Play-offs: Cambridge United, Torquay United, Exeter City and Burton Albion
  • Relegated: Altrincham*, Farsley Celtic, Stafford Rangers and Droylsden
  • Promoted to: Kettering Town, Lewes, Eastbourne Borough and Barrow

*Altrincham avoided relegation after Halifax Town went into liquidation

National team

The England played their first international match on a synthetic pitch against Russia. England lost the game 2–1[99] leaving qualification for Euro 2008 out of their hands. England failed to qualify for Euro 2008 after losing 3–2 to Croatia on 21 November 2007.[100] As a result, England manager Steve McClaren was sacked the following day.[101] Fabio Capello was confirmed as the new England manager on 14 December 2007. Capello was unveiled by The FA on 17 December 2007, and took up his new role on 7 January 2008.[102]

Friendly matches

The home team is listed on the left; the visiting one on the right.

22 August 2007
England England 1 – 2 Germany Germany
Lampard Goal 9'
Cole Booked 34'
(Report) Kurányi Goal 26'
Pander Goal 40'
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 86,133
Referee: Switzerland Massimo Busacca

16 November 2007
Austria Austria 0 – 1 England England
(Report) Crouch Goal 44'

6 February 2008
England England 2 – 1 Switzerland Switzerland
Jenas Goal 40'
Wright-Phillips Goal 62'
(Report) Derdiyok Goal 58'
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 86,857
Referee: Germany Felix Brych

26 March 2008
France France 1 – 0 England England
Ribéry Goal 32' (pen.) (Report)
Stade de France, Paris
Attendance: 78,500
Referee: Germany Florian Meyer

28 May 2008
England England 2 – 0 United States United States
Terry Goal 38'
Gerrard Goal 59'
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 71,233
Referee: Greece Kyros Vassaras

1 June 2008
Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago 0 – 3 England England
(Report) Barry Goal 12'
Defoe Goal 16'49'
Gerrard Booked 30'

Euro 2008 qualifiers

8 September 2007
England England 3 – 0 Israel Israel
Wright-Phillips Goal 20'
Owen Goal 49'
Richards Goal 66'
Terry Booked 67'
(Report) Gershon Booked 15'
Benado Booked 45'
Ziv Booked 55'
Aouate Booked 66'
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 85,372
Referee: Netherlands Pieter Vink

12 September 2007
England England 3 – 0 Russia Russia
Owen Goal 7'31'
Cole Booked 79'
Ferdinand Goal 84'
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 86,106
Referee: Sweden Martin Hansson

13 October 2007
England England 3 – 0 Estonia Estonia
Wright-Phillips Goal 11'
Rooney Goal 32'
Rähn Goal 33' (o.g.)
(Report) Rähn Booked 12'
Lindpere Booked 73'
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 86,655
Referee: Denmark Nicolai Vollquartz

17 October 2007
Russia Russia 2 – 1 England England
Berezutskiy Booked 12'
Pavlyuchenko Goal 69' (pen.)73' Booked 74'
(Report) Rooney Goal 29'
Ferdinand Booked 59'
Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
Attendance: 84,700
Referee: Spain Luis Medina Cantalejo

21 November 2007
England England 2 – 3 Croatia Croatia
Lampard Goal 56' (pen.)
Crouch Goal 65'
(Report) Kranjčar Goal 8'
Olić Goal 14'
Petrić Goal 77'
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 88,091
Referee: Sweden Peter Frojdfeldt

League Tables

Premier League

Manchester United were crowned league champions for the second year in succession, the 10th time in the history of the Premier League and the 17th time overall. They also won the European Cup for the third time. Their league title glory was sealed on the final day of the season ahead of a Chelsea side who finished two points behind them on the league and were also their opponents in the European Cup final in Moscow, which United won on penalties. Arsenal finished third to secure Champions League qualification for the 11th season in succession, while Liverpool's fourth place finish ensured that they would be in the competition for a fifth successive season.

Everton and Aston Villa occupied the two qualification places for the UEFA Cup, where they were joined by FA Cup winners Portsmouth (who had collected their first silverware for 58 years) and League Cup winners Tottenham Hotspur.

Newly promoted Derby County were relegated straight back to the Championship after just one season in the Premier League, winning just one game and collecting a mere 11 points (a new Premier League low and the worst top division record for over 100 years) all season. Fellow newly promoted side Birmingham City also went down, but at least had the satisfaction of staying alive until the very last game - going down with a Reading side who had just missed out on Europe a year earlier and had appeared safe until the final weeks of this season.

P W D L F A GD Pts
C 1 Manchester United 38 27 6 5 80 22 +58 87
CL 2 Chelsea 38 25 10 3 65 26 +39 85
CL 3 Arsenal 38 24 11 3 74 31 +43 83
CL 4 Liverpool 38 21 13 4 67 28 +39 76
UC 5 Everton 38 19 8 11 55 33 +22 65
UC 6 Aston Villa 38 16 12 10 71 51 +20 60
  7 Blackburn Rovers 38 15 13 10 50 48 +2 58
UC 8 Portsmouth 38 16 9 13 48 40 +8 57
UC 9 Manchester City 38 15 10 13 45 53 -8 55
  10 West Ham United 38 13 10 15 42 50 -8 49
UC 11 Tottenham Hotspur 38 11 13 14 66 61 +5 46
  12 Newcastle United 38 11 10 17 45 65 -20 43
  13 Middlesbrough 38 10 12 16 43 53 -10 42
  14 Wigan Athletic 38 10 10 18 34 51 -17 40
  15 Sunderland 38 11 6 21 36 59 -23 39
  16 Bolton Wanderers 38 9 10 19 36 54 -18 37
  17 Fulham 38 8 12 18 38 60 -22 36
R 18 Reading 38 10 6 22 41 66 -25 36
R 19 Birmingham City 38 8 11 19 46 62 -16 35
R 20 Derby County 38 1 8 29 20 89 -69 11

Leading goalscorer: Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United) - 31

Football League Championship

West Bromwich Albion won the Championship title and sealed promotion to the Premier League after a two-year absence. Stoke City joined them, clinching promotion on the last day of the season and returning to the top flight of English football after an absence of 23 years. Hull City reached the top flight for the first time in their history after beating Bristol City 1–0 in the playoff final. It is their third promotion in five seasons.

Colchester United couldn't build on last seasons 10th place finish and were relegated back to League One in bottom place after 2 years in this league. Scunthorpe United's return to the 2nd tier was short lived as they made an immediate return to League One. The final relegated team were Leicester City, who would be playing in the 3rd tier of English football for the first time in their history.

P W D L F A GD Pts
C 1 West Bromwich Albion 46 23 12 11 88 55 +33 81
P 2 Stoke City 46 21 16 9 69 55 +14 79
P 3 Hull City 46 21 12 13 65 47 +18 75
  4 Bristol City 46 20 14 12 54 53 +1 74
  5 Crystal Palace 46 18 17 11 58 42 +16 71
  6 Watford 46 18 16 12 62 56 +6 70
  7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 46 18 16 12 53 48 +5 70
  8 Ipswich Town 46 18 15 13 65 56 +9 69
  9 Sheffield United 46 17 15 14 56 51 +5 66
  10 Plymouth Argyle 46 17 13 16 61 49 +12 64
  11 Charlton Athletic 46 17 13 16 63 58 +5 64
  12 Cardiff City 46 16 16 14 59 55 +4 64
  13 Burnley 46 16 14 16 60 67 -7 62
  14 Queens Park Rangers 46 14 16 16 60 66 -6 58
  15 Preston North End 46 15 11 20 50 55 -5 56
  16 Sheffield Wednesday 46 14 13 19 54 55 -1 55
  17 Norwich City 46 15 10 21 49 59 -10 55
  18 Barnsley 46 14 13 19 52 65 -13 55
  19 Blackpool 46 12 18 16 59 64 -5 54
  20 Southampton 46 13 15 18 56 72 -16 54
  21 Coventry City 46 14 11 21 52 64 -12 53
R 22 Leicester City 46 12 16 18 42 45 -3 52
R 23 Scunthorpe United 46 11 13 22 45 69 -24 46
R 24 Colchester United 46 7 17 22 62 86 -24 38

Leading goalscorer: Sylvain Ebanks-Blake (Wolverhampton Wanderers) - 23

Football League One

Swansea City won the League One title after amassing 92 points - the highest by a Welsh club in the Football League. Nottingham Forest moved back up to the Championship after a 3 season absence. Doncaster made amends for missing out on automatic promotion by winning the playoffs to enter the Championship after a half century absence.

Luton Town suffered their second consecutive relegation as they finished bottom and sat in administration for the entire season - resulting in a 10 point deduction. Port Vale, who were statistically the worst team in the division, joined them. Gillingham were relegated on the last day of the season as were Bournemouth as they also entered administration and a 10 point deduction proved costly. Crewe escaped relegation due to Bournemouth's point deduction.

P W D L F A GD Pts
C 1 Swansea City 46 27 11 8 82 42 +40 92
P 2 Nottingham Forest 46 22 16 8 64 32 +32 82
P 3 Doncaster Rovers 46 23 11 12 65 41 +24 80
  4 Carlisle United 46 23 11 12 64 46 +18 80
  5 Leeds United 46 27 10 9 72 38 +34 76 F
  6 Southend United 46 22 10 14 70 55 +15 76
  7 Brighton and Hove Albion 46 19 12 15 58 50 +6 69
  8 Oldham Athletic 46 18 13 15 58 45 +13 67
  9 Northampton Town 46 17 15 14 60 55 +5 66
  10 Huddersfield Town 46 20 6 20 50 62 -12 66
  11 Tranmere Rovers 46 18 11 17 52 47 +5 65
  12 Walsall 46 16 16 14 52 46 +6 64
  13 Swindon Town 46 16 13 17 63 56 +7 61
  14 Leyton Orient 46 16 12 18 49 63 -14 60
  15 Hartlepool United 46 15 9 22 62 65 -3 54
  16 Bristol Rovers 46 12 17 17 45 53 -8 53
  17 Millwall 46 14 10 22 45 61 -16 52
  18 Yeovil Town 46 14 10 22 38 59 -21 52
  19 Cheltenham Town 46 13 12 21 42 64 -22 51
  20 Crewe Alexandra 46 12 14 20 47 65 -18 50
R 21 Bournemouth 46 17 7 22 62 72 -10 48 A
R 22 Gillingham 46 11 13 22 44 73 -29 46
R 23 Port Vale 46 9 11 26 47 81 -34 38
R 24 Luton Town 46 11 10 25 43 63 -20 33 A

F Leeds deducted 15 points for failure to comply with rules on insolvency.

A Luton and Bournemouth both deducted 10 points a piece for administration entrance.

Leading goalscorer: Jason Scotland (Swansea City) - 24

Football League Two

MK Dons won the League Two title, returning to the 3rd tier after a two season absence and earning their first major achievement in their 4 year history. New boss Darren Ferguson led Peterborough United to promotion. Hereford United climbed out of the bottom division meaning they would be playing 3rd tier football for first time in thirty years next season. The final promotion place went to Stockport County, who won the playoffs.

At the bottom, Wrexham lost their 87 year old league status. Mansfield had a good FA Cup run, but could not cope in the league and were also relegated out of the league after 77 years.

Entering the Football League for next season were Aldershot Town - the successor of the original Aldershot who folded during the 1991–92 season - and Exeter City.

P W D L F A GD Pts
C 1 Milton Keynes Dons 46 29 10 7 82 37 +45 97
P 2 Peterborough United 46 28 8 10 84 43 +41 92
P 3 Hereford United 46 26 10 10 72 41 +31 88
P 4 Stockport County 46 24 10 12 72 54 +18 82
  5 Rochdale 46 23 11 12 77 54 +23 80
  6 Darlington 46 22 12 12 67 40 +27 78
  7 Wycombe Wanderers 46 22 12 12 56 42 +14 78
  8 Chesterfield 46 19 12 15 76 56 +20 69
  9 Rotherham United 46 21 11 14 62 58 +4 64 A
  10 Bradford City 46 17 11 18 63 61 +2 62
  11 Morecambe 46 16 12 18 59 63 -4 60
  12 Barnet 46 16 12 18 56 63 -7 60
  13 Bury 46 16 11 19 58 61 -3 59
  14 Brentford 46 17 8 21 52 70 -18 59
  15 Lincoln City 46 18 4 24 61 77 -16 58
  16 Grimsby Town 46 15 10 21 55 66 -11 55
  17 Accrington Stanley 46 16 3 27 49 83 -34 51
  18 Shrewsbury Town 46 12 14 20 56 65 -9 50
  19 Macclesfield Town 46 11 17 18 47 64 -17 50
  20 Dagenham & Redbridge 46 13 10 23 49 70 -21 49
  21 Notts County 46 10 18 18 37 53 -16 48
  22 Chester City 46 12 11 23 51 68 -17 47
R 23 Mansfield Town 46 11 9 26 48 68 -20 42
R 24 Wrexham 46 10 10 26 38 70 -32 40

A Rotherham deducted 10 points for administration entrance.

Leading goalscorer: Aaron McLean (Peterborough United) - 29

Transfer deals




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