1991–92 Football League First Division
Statistics of Football League First Division in the 1991–92 season.
|Champions||Leeds United (3rd English title)|
West Ham United
|Champions League||Leeds United|
|Cup Winners' Cup||Liverpool|
|UEFA Cup||Manchester United|
|Goals scored||1,166 (2.52 per match)|
|Top goalscorer||Ian Wright (29 goals)|
|Biggest home win||Arsenal 7–1 Sheffield Wednesday|
(15 February 1992)
|Biggest away win||Sheffield Wednesday 1–6 Leeds United|
(12 January 1992)
|Highest scoring||Oldham Athletic 3–6 Manchester United|
(26 December 1991)
|Longest winning run||6 games|
|Longest unbeaten run||17 games|
|Longest losing run||6 games|
Leeds United won the last ever league championship before the Premier League was born, thanks to the efforts of players like Gordon Strachan, Lee Chapman, David Batty and Gary McAllister. On 26 April 1992, Leeds beat Sheffield United 3–2 at Bramall Lane and with the news that their challengers Manchester United lost 2–0 to Liverpool at Anfield, it confirmed them as champions.
The previous season's defending champions Arsenal slipped to 4th place and never made a serious threat to retain their title. The previous season’s runners-up Liverpool slipped to 6th in their first full season under the management of Graeme Souness, although they did win the FA Cup. Liverpool's Merseyside rivals Everton finished a disappointing 12th - a three-place setback on their finish the previous season.
Newly promoted West Ham United were relegated in bottom place. On 25 April 1992, West Ham's relegation was confirmed when they lost 1–0 at Coventry City. This win for Coventry also relegated Notts County — another newly promoted side — rendering their 2–0 defeat at Manchester City on the same day as academic. The last day of the season saw Luton Town lose their top flight status after ten seasons. They needed to win at Notts County and for Coventry to lose at Aston Villa. Coventry did lose 2–0 at Villa Park but unfortunately for Luton, they lost 2–1 which kept Coventry up and sent Luton down. Seventeen years later The Hatters would fall into the Conference (the 5th level of the English football system), while Notts County fell into it 10 years after them.
For much of the season, Southampton's 21-year-old striker Alan Shearer was the target of much media speculation about a move to a leading First Division club. The likes of Liverpool and Manchester United were strongly linked with his signature during the autumn, but Shearer decided to stay put on the south coast before making a decision about his future at the end of the season. Shearer was capped for the senior England side for the first time in February 1992, and scored on his debut. Another English striker who established himself as a top scorer at this level this season was the Sheffield Wednesday striker David Hirst, who had actually played in the First Division as long ago as 1986, but was now on the fringes of the England national team after scoring the goals that helped the Owls win the League Cup and an instant return to the First Division in 1990-91, and finishing among the First Division's leading scorers in 1991-92.
Manchester United's teenage winger Ryan Giggs, who had played twice for the first team the previous season, received plaudits for his outstanding performances and picked up the PFA Young Player of the Year award as well as a League Cup winner's medal, establishing himself as a regular player before his 18th birthday. Other young players who made the headlines this season were Liverpool's teenage winger Steve McManaman and new signing Rob Jones, Aston Villa's Trinidadian striker Dwight Yorke and Nottingham Forest midfielder Roy Keane.
As a wave of new names began to dominate the English game, Tottenham Hotspur's high scoring striker Gary Lineker announced in November that he would be leaving the club at the end of the season to sign for the Japanese side Grampus Eight, and also confirmed his decision to retire from the England team after the European championships that summer.
|Team||Outgoing manager||Manner of departure||Date of vacancy||Position in table||Incoming manager||Date of appointment|
|Aston Villa||Jozef Vengloš||Mutual consent||28 May 1991||Pre-season||Ron Atkinson||8 June 1991|
|Queens Park Rangers||Don Howe||Sacked||31 May 1991||Gerry Francis||1 June 1991|
|Tottenham Hotspur||Terry Venables||Became general manager||1 June 1991||Peter Shreeves||1 June 1991|
|Sheffield Wednesday||Ron Atkinson||Signed by Aston Villa||8 June 1991||Trevor Francis||8 June 1991|
|Luton Town||Jim Ryan||Sacked||13 June 1991||David Pleat||15 June 1991|
|Wimbledon||Ray Harford||Signed by Blackburn Rovers||7 October 1991||8th||Peter Withe||10 October 1991|
|Coventry City||Terry Butcher||Sacked||6 January 1992||17th||Don Howe||7 January 1992|
|Wimbledon||Peter Withe||Sacked||19 January 1992||19th||Joe Kinnear||19 January 1992|
|Norwich City||Dave Stringer||Resigned||1 May 1992||18th||David Williams||1 May 1992|
|Pos||Team||Pld||W||D||L||GF||GA||GD||Pts||Qualification or relegation|
|1||Leeds United (C)||42||22||16||4||74||37||+37||82||Qualification for the UEFA Champions League first round|
|2||Manchester United||42||21||15||6||63||33||+30||78||Qualification for the UEFA Cup|
|6||Liverpool||42||16||16||10||47||40||+7||64||Qualification for the European Cup Winners' Cup first round|
|11||Queens Park Rangers||42||12||18||12||48||47||+1||54|
|20||Luton Town (R)||42||10||12||20||39||71||−32||42||Relegation to the Football League First Division|
|21||Notts County (R)||42||10||10||22||40||62||−22||40|
|22||West Ham United (R)||42||9||11||22||37||59||−22||38|
Rules for classification: 1) Points; 2) Goal difference; 3) Goals scored
(C) Champion; (R) Relegated
- Since the winners of the 1991–92 Football League Cup, Manchester United, qualified for the UEFA Cup by league position, the spot given to the Football League Cup winners was passed down to the third-placed team.
- The first tier became the Premier League from the 1992–93 season, therefore the Second Division was renamed to the First Division.
|1||Ian Wright||Crystal Palace/Arsenal||29|
|2||Gary Lineker||Tottenham Hotspur||28|
|David Hirst||Sheffield Wednesday|
|Brian McClair||Manchester United|
|David White||Manchester City|
|7||Mark Bright||Crystal Palace||17|
|8||Lee Chapman||Leeds United||16|
|Carlton Palmer||Sheffield Wednesday||Queens Park Rangers||4–1 (H)||31 August 1991|
|Peter Beardsley||Everton||Coventry City||3–0 (H)||21 September 1991|
|Gary Lineker (4)||Tottenham Hotspur||Wimbledon||5–3 (A)||21 September 1991|
|Ian Wright||Arsenal||Southampton||4–0 (A)||28 September 1991|
|Tony Cottee||Everton||Tottenham Hotspur||3–1 (H)||5 October 1991|
|Ian Wright (4)||Arsenal||Everton||4–2 (H)||21 December 1991|
|Dennis Bailey||Queens Park Rangers||Manchester United||4–1 (A)||1 January 1992|
|Lee Chapman||Leeds United||Sheffield Wednesday||6–1 (A)||12 January 1992|
|Lee Chapman||Leeds United||Wimbledon||5–1 (H)||14 March 1992|
|Darren Beckford||Norwich City||Everton||4–3 (H)||21 March 1992|
|Gordon Durie||Tottenham Hotspur||Coventry City||4–3 (H)||28 March 1992|
|Gary Lineker||Tottenham Hotspur||West Ham United||3–0 (H)||1 April 1992|
|Paul Merson||Arsenal||Crystal Palace||4–1 (H)||11 April 1992|
|Graeme Sharp (4)||Oldham Athletic||Luton Town||5–1 (H)||11 April 1992|
|David White||Manchester City||Oldham Athletic||5–2 (A)||2 May 1992|
|Ian Wright||Arsenal||Southampton||5–1 (H)||2 May 1992|
|Frank McAvennie||West Ham United||Nottingham Forest||3–0 (H)||2 May 1992|
- Note: (H) – Home; (A) – Away