1990–91 Football League: Wikis

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Statistics of The Football League in season 1990/1991.

Contents

Overview

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First Division

Arsenal took their second league title in three seasons despite a season during which it often looked as though the good points would be outnumbered by the bad points. A player brawl in a league fixture against Manchester United in October saw Arsenal have two points deducted, and a few weeks later captain Tony Adams was given a four-month prison sentence for drink-driving (he ended up serving 8 weeks). But Arsenal managed to keep up a great run of form throughout the season and were crowned league champions having lost just one league game all season long.

Runners-up spot was achieved by Liverpool, who had led the table for much of the first half of the season but had been shell-shocked in February by the sudden resignation of manager Kenny Dalglish. Rangers boss Graeme Souness was brought in as his successor but was unable to bring a major trophy to Anfield. Third place in the league went to Crystal Palace, who occupied their highest-ever finish, but were denied qualification for the UEFA Cup due to Liverpool being readmitted to European competition a year earlier than anticipated.

Newly promoted Leeds United had a good season back in the First Division as they finished fourth but never really looked like challenging for the title. They did, however, reach the semi-finals of the League Cup, where they lost to Manchester United.

Down at the bottom end of the table, Derby County went down in bottom place with just five wins all season despite the 17 league goals of Welsh striker Dean Saunders, who was then sold to Liverpool. The final relegation place went to Sunderland on the last day of the season.

On 1 November, Everton had sacked manager Colin Harvey after three-and-a-half years at the helm. Manchester City's Howard Kendall returned to Everton for his second spell as manager, with Harvey returning as assistant.

15 November saw two First Division clubs appoint player-managers. Peter Reid, 34, stepped up to the manager's seat at Manchester City. Terry Butcher, still only 31, was recruited from Glasgow Rangers to take over from John Sillett at Coventry City, making him the youngest manager in the Football League.

Bobby Campbell quit his managerial duties at Chelsea at the end of his fourth season in charge, becoming personal assistant to chairman Ken Bates and handing over managerial duties to Ian Porterfield.

Jimmy Ryan was sacked by Luton Town just after achieving a second successive last-day escape from relegation. He was replaced by David Pleat, who had previously been at Kenilworth Road from 1978 to 1986.

Jozef Venglos left Aston Villa after one season to be succeeded by Sheffield Wednesday's Ron Atkinson, who himself was succeeded by Trevor Francis.

Queen's Park Rangers sacked Don Howe at the end of the season, replacing him with Gerry Francis from Bristol Rovers.

Southampton's Chris Nicholl was dismissed at the end of his sixth season with the club, being replaced by Crystal Palace coach Ian Branfoot.

Second Division

Joe Royle's cavalier Oldham Athletic side dramatically won the Second Division championship — an injury-time penalty completing a 3-2 come-from-behind win against Sheffield Wednesday in their final game, edging them the title from previous leaders West Ham United, who would be promoted as runners-up. Joining them were League Cup winners Sheffield Wednesday, who finished in third place. Neil Warnock guided Notts County to a second successive victory in the promotion playoffs.

Hull City struggled throughout the 1990-91 season and not even the appointment of new manager Terry Dolan could save their Second Division status. They were joined on the last day of the season by West Bromwich Albion, who went down to the Third Division for the first time in their history. Leicester City were saved from suffering the same humiliation by winning their final game of the season. Albion had sacked player-manager Brian Talbot in January following an FA Cup exit at the hands of non-league Woking, but his successor Bobby Gould was unable to save Albion from the dreaded drop.

Newly-promoted Bristol Rovers attained their highest league finish in years, finishing 13th. But manager Gerry Francis then resigned to take over at Queen's Park Rangers, handing over the reins to Martin Dobson, who was just weeks into his job as Northwich Victoria manager.

Jim Smith left Newcastle United in March after more than two years at the helm, making a swift return to management with Portsmouth as successor to Frank Burrows, while Ossie Ardiles was the new man in charge on Tyneside after leaving Swindon Town. 33-year-old Glenn Hoddle was named as Swindon's new manager.

Colin Todd departed from Middlesbrough after their failure to succeed in the playoffs, being replaced by Lennie Lawrence who called time on nine years with Charlton Athletic, who appointed Alan Curbishley and Steve Gritt as joint player-managers.

David Pleat was sacked by Leicester City in February, with Gordon Lee taking charge until the end of the season and being replaced by Brian Little.

Third Division

Champions Cambridge United, runners-up Southend United and third-placed Grimsby Town occupied the automatic promotion places and all achieved second successive promotions. The fourth promotion place went to playoff winners Tranmere Rovers, who ended a 53-year absence from the Second Division and made it clear they were prepared to stay there when they signed ex-Liverpool striker John Aldridge.

Going down to the Fourth Division were Crewe Alexandra, Rotherham United and Mansfield Town.

Dave Mackay was sacked by Birmingham City in January, with Lou Macari taking over until the end of the season before replacing Alan Ball at Stoke City. Birmingham then turned to Exeter's Terry Cooper, who replaced him with Alan Ball.

Reading sacked Ian Porterfield after 18 months in charge, and signed Newcastle striker Mark McGhee as player-manager.

Leyton Orient manager Frank Clark stepped up to the role of Managing Director at the end of the season, with Peter Eustace being appointed Head Coach.

Fourth Division

Brian Little's Darlington won the Fourth Division championship to earn a second successive promotion, while the other four promotion places went to Stockport County, Hartlepool United, Peterborough United and Torquay United. Torquay were the eventual winners, beating Blackpool in a penalty shootout.

Wrexham finished bottom of the league for the first time since 1965-66, but due to League expansion they avoided relegation into the Conference.

Brian Little left Darlington just after their promotion success, taking over at Leicester City, leaving Frank Gray to pick up the pieces at the Feethams.

Manager Cyril Knowles departed from Hartlepool on sick leave three months before their promotion, with player-coach Alan Murray overseeing the final stages of the campaign. Murray took over on a permanent basis when Knowles confirmed that he would be unable to return to the club following brain surgery.

League standings

First Division

P W D L F A W D L F A Pts Notes
1 Arsenal 38 15 4 0 51 10 9 9 1 23 8 83 European Cup 1991–92
First round
2 Liverpool 38 14 3 2 42 13 9 4 6 35 27 76 UEFA Cup 1991–92
First round
3 Crystal Palace 38 11 6 2 26 17 9 3 7 24 24 69 [1]
4 Leeds United 38 12 2 5 46 23 7 5 7 19 24 64 [1]
5 Manchester City 38 12 3 4 35 25 5 8 6 29 28 62
6 Manchester United 38 11 4 4 34 17 5 8 6 24 28 59 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1991–92
First round
[2]
7 Wimbledon 38 8 6 5 28 22 6 8 5 25 24 56
8 Nottingham Forest 38 11 4 4 42 21 3 8 8 23 29 54
9 Everton 38 9 5 5 26 15 4 7 8 24 31 51
10 Tottenham Hotspur 38 8 9 2 35 22 3 7 9 16 28 49 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1991–92
Qualifying round
[3]
11 Chelsea 38 10 6 3 33 25 3 4 12 25 44 49
12 Queens Park Rangers 38 8 5 6 27 22 4 5 10 17 31 46
13 Sheffield United 38 9 3 7 23 23 4 4 11 13 32 46
14 Southampton 38 9 6 4 33 22 3 3 13 25 47 45
15 Norwich City 38 9 3 7 27 32 4 3 12 14 32 45
16 Coventry City 38 10 6 3 30 16 1 5 13 12 33 44
17 Aston Villa 38 7 9 3 29 25 2 5 12 17 33 41
18 Luton Town 38 7 5 7 22 18 3 2 14 20 43 37
19 Sunderland 38 6 6 7 15 16 2 4 13 23 44 34
20 Derby County 38 3 8 8 25 36 2 1 16 12 39 24
  • Arsenal deducted two points; Manchester United deducted one point due to a brawl in a game between both teams.
  1. ^ a b English teams were still affected by the 1985 UEFA ban, imposed upon the Heysel Disaster, in that they had to earn back
    additional places to the UEFA Cup. The teams that missed out on this competition due to UEFA regulations are marked here with grey.
  2. ^ Manchester United qualified as defending champions of the Cup Winners' Cup.
  3. ^ Tottenham Hotspur were this season's FA Cup winners.
Key
League Champions, qualified for the European Cup
FA Cup winners, qualified for the Cup Winners' Cup
Qualified for UEFA Cup
Previous UEFA Cup spot, but not qualified
Relegated

Second Division

P W D L F A W D L F A Pts Notes
1 Oldham Athletic 46 17 5 1 55 21 8 8 7 28 32 88
2 West Ham United 46 15 6 2 41 18 9 9 5 19 16 87
3 Sheffield Wednesday 46 12 10 1 43 23 10 6 7 37 28 82 [1][2]
4 Notts County 46 14 4 5 45 28 9 7 7 31 27 80
5 Millwall 46 11 6 6 43 28 9 7 7 27 23 73
6 Brighton & Hove Albion 46 12 4 7 37 31 9 3 11 26 38 70
7 Middlesbrough 46 12 4 7 36 17 8 5 10 30 30 69
8 Barnsley 46 13 7 3 39 16 6 5 12 24 32 69
9 Bristol City 46 14 5 4 44 28 6 2 15 24 43 67
10 Oxford United 46 10 9 4 41 29 4 10 9 28 37 61
11 Newcastle United 46 8 10 5 24 22 6 7 10 25 34 59
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers 46 11 6 6 45 35 2 13 8 18 28 58
13 Bristol Rovers 46 11 7 5 29 20 4 6 13 27 39 58
14 Ipswich Town 46 9 8 6 32 28 4 10 9 28 40 57
15 Port Vale 46 10 4 9 32 24 5 8 10 24 40 57
16 Charlton Athletic 46 8 7 8 27 25 5 10 8 30 36 56
17 Portsmouth 46 10 6 7 34 27 4 5 14 24 43 53
18 Plymouth Argyle 46 10 10 3 36 20 2 7 14 18 48 53
19 Blackburn Rovers 46 8 6 9 26 27 6 4 13 25 39 52
20 Watford 46 5 8 10 24 32 7 7 9 21 27 51
21 Swindon Town 46 8 6 9 31 30 4 8 11 34 43 50
22 Leicester City 46 12 4 7 41 33 2 4 17 19 50 50
23 West Bromwich Albion 46 7 11 5 26 21 3 7 13 26 40 48
24 Hull City 46 6 10 7 35 32 4 5 14 22 53 45
  1. ^ Sheffield Wednesday were promoted to the First Division. The were also this season's League Cup winners but did not
    earn a place in the UEFA Cup.
  2. ^ English teams were still affected by the 1985 UEFA ban, imposed upon the Heysel Disaster, in that they had to earn back
    additional places to the UEFA Cup. The teams that missed out on this competition due to UEFA regulations are marked here with grey.
Key
Division Champions
Promoted
League Cup winners, not qualified for UEFA Cup, but promoted
Into play-offs
Relegated

Third Division

P W D L F A W D L F A Pts Notes
1 Cambridge United 46 14 5 4 42 22 11 6 6 33 28 86
2 Southend United 46 13 6 4 34 23 13 1 9 33 28 85
3 Grimsby Town 46 16 3 4 42 13 8 8 7 24 21 83
4 Bolton Wanderers 46 14 5 4 33 18 10 6 7 31 32 83
5 Tranmere Rovers 46 13 5 5 38 21 10 4 9 26 25 78
6 Brentford 46 12 4 7 30 22 9 9 5 29 25 76
7 Bury 46 12 4 8 31 21 9 9 4 28 26 76
8 Bradford City 46 13 3 7 36 22 7 7 9 26 32 70
9 Bournemouth 46 14 6 3 37 20 5 7 11 21 38 70
10 Wigan Athletic 46 14 3 6 40 20 6 6 11 31 34 69
11 Huddersfield Town 46 13 3 7 37 23 5 10 8 20 28 67
12 Birmingham City 46 8 9 6 21 21 8 8 7 24 28 65
13 Leyton Orient 46 15 2 6 35 19 3 8 12 20 39 64
14 Stoke City 46 9 7 7 36 29 7 5 11 19 30 60
15 Reading 46 11 5 7 34 28 6 3 14 19 38 59
16 Exeter City 46 12 6 5 35 16 4 3 16 23 36 57
17 Preston North End 46 11 5 7 33 29 4 6 13 21 38 56
18 Shrewsbury Town 46 8 7 8 29 22 6 3 14 32 46 52
19 Chester City 46 10 3 10 27 27 4 6 13 19 31 51
20 Swansea City Wales 46 8 6 9 31 33 5 3 15 18 39 48 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1991–92
First round
21 Fulham 46 8 8 7 27 22 2 8 13 14 34 46
22 Crewe Alexandra 46 6 9 8 35 35 5 2 16 27 45 44
23 Rotherham United 46 5 10 8 31 38 5 2 16 19 49 42
24 Mansfield Town 46 5 8 10 23 27 3 6 14 19 36 38
Key
Division Champions
Promoted
Welsh Cup winners, qualified for Cup Winners' Cup
Into play-offs
Relegated

Fourth Division

P W D L F A W D L F A Pts
1 Darlington 46 13 8 2 36 14 9 9 5 32 24 83
2 Stockport County 46 16 6 1 54 19 7 7 9 30 28 82
3 Hartlepool United 46 15 5 3 35 15 9 5 9 32 33 82
4 Peterborough United 46 13 9 1 38 15 8 8 7 29 30 80
5 Blackpool 46 17 3 3 55 17 6 7 10 23 30 79
6 Burnley 46 17 5 1 46 16 6 5 12 24 35 79
7 Torquay United 46 14 7 2 37 13 4 11 8 27 34 72
8 Scunthorpe United 46 17 4 2 51 20 3 7 13 20 42 71
9 Scarborough 46 13 5 5 36 21 6 7 10 23 35 69
10 Northampton 46 14 5 4 34 21 4 8 11 23 37 67
11 Doncaster Rovers 46 12 5 6 36 22 5 9 9 20 24 65
12 Rochdale 46 10 9 4 29 22 5 8 10 21 31 62
13 Cardiff City Wales 46 10 6 7 26 23 5 9 9 17 31 60
14 Lincoln City 46 10 7 6 32 27 4 10 9 18 34 59
15 Gillingham 46 9 9 5 35 27 3 9 11 22 33 54
16 Walsall 46 7 12 4 25 17 5 5 13 23 34 53
17 Hereford United 46 9 10 4 32 19 4 4 15 21 39 53
18 Chesterfield 46 8 12 3 33 26 5 2 16 14 36 53
19 Maidstone United 46 9 5 9 42 34 4 7 12 24 37 51
20 Carlisle United 46 12 3 8 30 30 1 6 16 17 59 48
21 York City 46 8 6 9 21 23 3 7 13 24 34 46
22 Halifax Town 46 9 6 8 34 29 3 4 16 25 50 46
23 Aldershot 46 8 7 8 38 43 2 4 17 23 58 41
24 Wrexham Wales 46 8 7 8 33 34 2 3 18 15 40 40
Key
Division Champions
Promoted
Into play-offs
Failed re-election

See also

References


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