2008–09 in English football


The 2008–09 season was the 129th season of competitive football in England. The Premier League started on 16 August 2008, while the Championship, League One, and League Two matches started on 9 August 2008. The regular season of the Football League ended on 3 May 2009, while the Premier League ended on 24 May 2009.

Football in England
Season2008–09
Men's football
Premier LeagueManchester United
ChampionshipWolverhampton Wanderers
League OneLeicester City
League TwoBrentford
Conference NationalBurton Albion
FA CupChelsea
League CupManchester United
Community ShieldManchester United
 2007–08 2009–10 

Overview


Managerial changes


In-season managerial changes

NameClubDate of departureReplacementDate of appointment
Kevin BondBournemouth1 September 2008[1]Jimmy Quinn2 September 2008[2]
Alan CurbishleyWest Ham United3 September 2008[3]Gianfranco Zola11 September 2008[4]
Kevin KeeganNewcastle United4 September 2008[5]Joe Kinnear126 September 2008[6]
Keith DowningCheltenham Town13 September 2008[7]Martin Allen15 September 2008[8]
Alan BuckleyGrimsby Town15 September 2008[9]Mike Newell6 October 2008[10]
Geraint WilliamsColchester United22 September 2008[11]Paul Lambert9 October 2008[12]
Lee SinnottPort Vale22 September 2008[13]Dean Glover26 October 2008[14]
Iain DowieQueens Park Rangers24 October 2008[15]Paulo Sousa19 November 2008[16]
Juande RamosTottenham Hotspur25 October 2008[17]Harry Redknapp26 October 2008[17]
Harry RedknappPortsmouth26 October 2008[17]Tony Adams328 October 2008[18]
John WardCarlisle United3 November 2008[19]Greg Abbott45 December 2008[20]
Aidy BoothroydWatford3 November 2008[21]Brendan Rodgers24 November 2008[22]
Stan TernentHuddersfield Town4 November 2008[23]Lee Clark11 December 2008[24]
Simon DaviesChester City11 November 2008[25]Mark Wright14 November 2008[26]
Maurice MalpasSwindon Town14 November 2008[27]Danny Wilson26 December 2008[28]
Steve HollandCrewe Alexandra18 November 2008[29]Gudjon Thordarson24 December 2008[30]
Alan PardewCharlton Athletic22 November 2008[31]Phil Parkinson531 December 2008[32]
Roy KeaneSunderland4 December 2008[33]Ricky Sbragia627 December 2008[34]
Danny WilsonHartlepool United15 December 2008[35]Chris Turner15 December 2008
Gary McAllisterLeeds United21 December 2008[36]Simon Grayson23 December 2008[37]
Simon GraysonBlackpool23 December 2008[37]Ian Holloway21 May 2009
Colin CalderwoodNottingham Forest26 December 2008[38]Billy Davies1 January 2009[39]
Paul FaircloughBarnet28 December 2008[40]Ian Hendon921 April 2009
Paul JewellDerby County29 December 2008[41]Nigel Clough6 January 2009[42]
Jimmy QuinnBournemouth31 December 2008[43]Eddie Howe719 January 2009[44]
Jimmy MullenWalsall10 January 2009[45]Chris Hutchings20 January 2009[46]
Glenn RoederNorwich City14 January 2009[47]Bryan Gunn821 January 2009[48]
Martin LingLeyton Orient18 January 2009[49]Geraint Williams5 February 2009[50]
Jan PoortvlietSouthampton23 January 2009[51]Mark Wotte23 January 2009[51]
Tony AdamsPortsmouth9 February 2009[52]Paul Hart3 March 2009[53]
Luiz Felipe ScolariChelsea9 February 2009[54]Guus Hiddink11 February 2009[55]
Russell SladeYeovil Town16 February 2009[56]Terry Skiverton18 February 2009[57]
Micky AdamsBrighton & Hove Albion21 February 2009[58]Russell Slade6 March 2009[59]
John SheridanOldham Athletic15 March 2009[60]Joe Royle15 March 2009[61]
Paulo SousaQueens Park Rangers9 April 2009[62]Jim Magilton3 June 2009
Jim MagiltonIpswich Town21 April 2009Roy Keane22 April 2009
Graham TurnerHereford United24 April 2009John Trewick24 April 2009
Joe RoyleOldham Athletic30 April 2009Dave Penney30 April 2009
Dave PenneyDarlington30 April 2009Colin Todd20 May 2009

End-of-season managerial changes

NameClubDate of departureReplacementDate of appointment
Dean GloverPort Vale2 May 2009Micky Adams1 June 2009
Jim GannonStockport County6 May 2009Gary Ablett8 July 2009
Lee RichardsonChesterfield6 May 2009John Sheridan9 June 2009
Steve CoppellReading12 May 2009Brendan Rodgers5 June 2009
Ricky SbragiaSunderland24 May 2009Steve Bruce2 June 2009
Guus HiddinkChelsea30 May 2009Carlo Ancelotti1 June 2009
Steve BruceWigan Athletic2 June 2009Roberto Martínez16 June 2009
Brendan RodgersWatford5 June 2009Malky Mackay15 June 2009
Ronnie MooreTranmere Rovers5 June 2009John Barnes15 June 2009
Roberto MartínezSwansea City16 June 2009Paulo Sousa29 June 2009
Tony MowbrayWest Bromwich Albion17 June 2009Roberto Di Matteo1 July 2009
Mark WrightChester City22 June 2009Mick Wadsworth29 June 2009
Roberto Di MatteoMilton Keynes Dons1 July 2009Paul Ince3 July 2009
Mark WotteSouthampton9 July 2009Alan Pardew17 July 2009

Notes

  • 1 Joe Kinnear was named interim manager on 26 September, and signed as permanent manager on 28 November.
  • 2 Dean Glover had previously been caretaker manager at Port Vale since Sinnott's departure.
  • 3 Tony Adams had previously been caretaker manager at Portsmouth since Redknapp's departure.
  • 4 Greg Abbott had previously been caretaker manager at Carlisle United since Ward's departure.
  • 5 Phil Parkinson had previously been caretaker manager at Charlton Athletic since Pardew's departure.
  • 6 Ricky Sbragia had previously been caretaker manager at Sunderland since Keane's departure.
  • 7 Eddie Howe had previously been caretaker manager at Bournemouth since Quinn's departure.
  • 8 Bryan Gunn had previously been caretaker manager at Norwich City since Roeder's departure.
  • 9 Ian Hendon had previously been caretaker manager at Barnet since Fairclough's departure.

Diary of the season


1 July 2008: Luiz Felipe Scolari, who managed Brazil to World Cup glory in 2002, is appointed manager of Chelsea.

22 July 2008: Luke McCormick, on bail after being charged with causing death by dangerous driving, has his contract terminated by Plymouth Argyle.[63]

29 July 2008: Liverpool pay £20.3million for 28-year-old Tottenham Hotspur and Ireland striker Robbie Keane.

9 August 2008: The first Football League matches of the season are played.

10 August 2008: The FA Community Shield is won by Manchester United on penalties against Portsmouth after a goalless draw at Wembley Stadium.

16 August 2008: The first Premier League matches of the season are played.

31 August 2008: The first month of the Premier League season ends with Chelsea top of the league under their new manager Luiz Felipe Scolari and West Bromwich Albion being bottom of the table.[64] The race to get into the Premier League is being headed by Wolverhampton Wanderers, Preston North End and Birmingham City who are level on 10 points at the top of the Football League Championship after four games.[65]

1 September 2008: Manchester City are taken over by the Abu Dhabi group to become the richest club in England, and pay a national record £32.4million for Real Madrid and Brazil striker Robinho, while Manchester United pay a club record £30.75million for Tottenham Hotspur and Bulgaria striker Dimitar Berbatov. In League Two, Kevin Bond becomes the first manager to be removed of the season when his contract is terminated by Bournemouth after two years in charge.

3 September 2008: West Ham United manager Alan Curbishley resigns after 21 months in charge, the first Premier League managerial resignation of the season.

5 September 2008: Kevin Keegan resigns after eight months back in charge at Newcastle United, leading to dissatisfaction from fans at Chairman Mike Ashley, who allegedly forced Keegan out of the club with a series of disputes about team selection and transfers.[citation needed]

11 September 2008: Gianfranco Zola, former Chelsea and Italy striker, becomes West Ham United's first non-British manager.

26 September 2008: Joe Kinnear, 61, returns to football as interim manager of Newcastle United, four years after leaving Nottingham Forest due to health reasons.

27 September 2008: Hull City win 2–1 over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. Their first win against Arsenal in English football.

30 September 2008: Chelsea and Liverpool finish September level on points at the top of the Premier League, with Aston Villa, Arsenal and West Ham United completing the top five. Blackburn Rovers, sixth in the league making Paul Ince the most successful Ethnic Minority manager to start a Premier League season. Hull City, playing top division football for the first time are seventh in the Premier League. Defending champions Manchester United are ninth in the league, with a game in hand over the teams above them, while Tottenham Hotspur are bottom of the table.[66] Wolverhampton Wanderers and Birmingham City are first and second respectively in the Championship.[67]

6 October 2008: Luke McCormick is found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving at Stoke Crown Court and sentenced to 7 years and 4 months in prison.[68]

26 October 2008: Tottenham Hotspur, bottom of Premier League, terminate the contract of manager Juande Ramos and hire Portsmouth's Harry Redknapp to fill the vacancy.

28 October 2008: Portsmouth promote assistant manager Tony Adams to manager following Harry Redknapp joining Tottenham Hotspurs.

31 October 2008: Liverpool finish October as Premier League leaders, with Chelsea, Arsenal, Aston Villa and Hull City completing the top five. Manchester United are sixth with a game in hand over the top five clubs.[69] Wolverhampton Wanderers and Birmingham City are first and second respectively in the Championship.[70]

22 November 2008: Charlton Athletic, bottom of the Football League Championship 18 months after being relegated from the Premier League, sack manager Alan Pardew after nearly two years in charge.

30 November 2008: Chelsea and Liverpool are level on points at the top of the Premier League, with Manchester United in third place. Aston Villa and Arsenal complete the top five, with Hull City in sixth place in the league. Tottenham Hotspur are bottom of the table with West Bromwich Albion second-bottom in the league. Blackburn Rovers complete the bottom three relegation places.[71] Wolverhampton Wanderers lead the Championship by 6 points ahead of second placed Birmingham City and 13 points ahead of third placed Reading.[72]

6 December 2008: Darren Anderton retires from playing after a career of nearly 20 years in his final game Anderton scores AFC Bournemouth's winning goal against Chester City in League Two.

16 December 2008:Blackburn Rovers terminate the contract of Paul Ince after six months as manager.

17 December 2008: Sam Allardyce is appointed manager of Blackburn Rovers.

22 December 2008: Leeds United terminate the contract of manager Gary McAllister after 11 months as manager.

23 December 2008: Simon Grayson resigns as Blackpool manager to take the managers job at Leeds United.

25 December 2008: Sheffield United striker Jordan Robertson, 20, suffers minor injuries in a car crash on the M1 motorway in Leicestershire in which a 38-year-old Coventry man is seriously injured.

26 December 2008: Nottingham Forest, 22nd in Football League Championship, terminate the contract of manager Colin Calderwood after two and a half years in charge. Omar Mohammed, the man injured in the car crash which also involved Jordan Robertson, dies in hospital.

29 December 2008: Paul Jewell resigns as Derby County manager after one year, with the East Midlands side 18th in the Football League Championship.

31 December 2008: Liverpool end 2008 as Premier League leaders, three points ahead of second placed Chelsea, while third placed Manchester United are 10 points off the top of the table but have three games in hand. Arsenal and Aston Villa complete the top five, while Everton and Wigan Athletic occupy sixth and seventh place respectively. West Bromwich Albion, Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City occupy the relegation places.[73] Wolverhampton Wanderers remain top of the Championship, with Reading and Birmingham level on points in second and third respectively.[74]

3 January 2009: Billy Davies returns to management by accepting an offer to take over as Nottingham Forest manager.

6 January 2009: Nigel Clough ends 10 years as manager of Conference National leaders Burton Albion to take the managers jobs at Derby County. Tottenham Hotspur pay a club record £15million for Portsmouth striker Jermain Defoe, a year after he left them for half that fee.

20 January 2009: Four Tottenham Hotspur fans are banned from all football grounds in England for four years after being found guilty of making indecent chants at the club's former defender Sol Campbell in reference to his transfer to Arsenal in 2001. The incidents took place at Fratton Park, where Tottenham were playing Campbell's current club Portsmouth, on 28 September the previous year.[75]

31 January 2009: Manchester United are top of the Premier League while the rest of the top seven remains unchanged from the end of December. West Bromwich Albion, Stoke City and Middlesbrough are in the relegation places all on 21 points at the bottom of the Premier League.[76] Wolverhampton Wanderers, Reading and Birmingham City continue occupy the top three positions in the Championship.[77]

2 February 2009: Robbie Keane returns to Tottenham Hotspur after six months at Liverpool for a fee of £12million.

8 February 2009: Portsmouth terminate the contract of Tony Adams after 14 weeks as manager. Paul Hart is appointed caretaker manager.

9 February 2009: Chelsea terminate the contract of Luiz Felipe Scolari after eight months as manager.[78]

11 February 2009: Dutchman Guus Hiddink, manager of the Russia national football team, accepts an offer to manage Chelsea until the end of the season.[79]

28 February 2009: Manchester United end February as Premier League leaders ahead of Chelsea by seven points and with a game in hand. Liverpool, Arsenal, Everton and Wigan Athletic complete the top seven. West Bromwich Albion, Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City occupy the relegation places.[80] Wolverhampton Wanderers, Birmingham City and Reading continue in the top threeplaces respectively in the Championship.[81]

1 March 2009: Manchester United win the 2008–09 Football League Cup defeating Tottenham Hotspur 4–1 on penalties, following a 0–0 draw after extra time.

14 March 2009: Liverpool beat Manchester United 4–1 at Old Trafford.[82]

31 March 2009: Manchester United's lead at the top of the Premier League is one point over Liverpool, with a game in hand. The whole top seven remains unchanged again at the end of the month. West Bromwich Albion, Middlesbrough and Newcastle United occupy the relegation zone.[83] Wolverhampton Wanderers, Birmingham City and Reading continue in the top three places in the Championship.[84]

5 April 2009: Luton Town win the 2008–09 Football League Trophy by defeating Scunthorpe United 3–2 in extra time.[85]

13 April 2009: The first two relegations of the season take place, with Hereford United relegated from League One to League Two one season after promotion and Luton Town are relegated from League Two into the Conference National. Their third successive relegation resulting in the loss of league status.

18 April 2009: Wolverhampton Wanderers are promoted to the Premier League and Leicester City are promoted to the Football League Championship, while Charlton Athletic are relegated to League One.

21 April 2009: Ipswich Town sack manager Jim Magilton after failing to reach the Play-offs.

22 April 2009: Roy Keane appointed new manager of Ipswich Town on a two-year contract.

25 April 2009: Peterborough United are promoted to the Football League Championship.

25 April 2009: Brentford are promoted to League One as well as winning the League Two title with a 3–1 win over Darlington.

25 April 2009: Cardiff City played their last ever game at Ninian Park.

30 April 2009: Manchester United end April with a three-point lead over Liverpool with a game in hand in the Premier League, with Chelsea the only other team still in contention for the title. Arsenal, Aston Villa, Everton and Fulham complete the top seven who will qualify for Europe club competitions for next this season. West Bromwich Albion, Newcastle United and Middlesbrough occupy the relegation zone.[86] Birmingham City and Sheffield United the final two teams in contention for automatic promotion to the Premier League, while playoff qualification is being contested between Reading, Cardiff City, Burnley and Preston North End.[87]

2 May 2009: Chester City are relegated to the Conference. resulting in the loss of league status for second time.

2 May 2009: Wycombe Wanderers and Exeter City won promotion to League One.

3 May 2009: Birmingham City are Promoted to The Premier League after a last day 2–1 Win over Reading. Norwich City are relegated to League One, and Crewe Alexandra and Northampton Town are relegated to League Two.

5 May 2009: Manchester United win 4–1 on aggregate over Arsenal in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals to reach the final.

6 May 2009: Chelsea lose on away goals in the Champions League semi-final with FC Barcelona, ending their hopes of a final against Manchester United.

16 May 2009: Manchester United earn a 0–0 draw with Arsenal at Old Trafford to win the Premier League.

17 May 2009: West Bromwich Albion are relegated from the Premier League to the Championship.

23 May 2009: Gillingham win promotion to League One after defeating Shrewsbury Town 1–0 in the League Two play-off final.

24 May 2009: On the final day of the Premiership season Newcastle United and Middlesbrough are relegated to the Championship after both lost away at Aston Villa and West Ham United respectively. This ends Newcastle United's 16-year spell in the Premier League. Also Scunthorpe United win promotion to the Championship with a 3–2 win over Millwall in the League One play-off final at Wembley.

25 May 2009: Burnley win promotion to the Premier League, defeating Sheffield United 1–0 at Wembley in the Championship play-off final.

27 May 2009: Manchester United lose 2–0 to Barcelona in 2009 UEFA Champions League Final

30 May 2009: Chelsea win the FA Cup final beating Everton 2–1.

National team


The home team is on the left column; the away team is on the right column.

Friendly matches

England 2–2 Czech Republic
Brown  45'
J. Cole  90'
(Report) Baroš  22'
Jankulovski  48'
Attendance: 69,738
Referee: Terje Hauge (Norway)

Germany 1–2 England
Helmes  63' (Report) Upson  23'
Terry  84'
Attendance: 74,224

Spain 2–0 England
Villa  36'
Llorente  82'
(Report)

England 4–0 Slovakia
Heskey  6'
Rooney  70', 90'
Lampard  82'
(Report)
Attendance: 85,512

World Cup qualifiers

England is currently in Group 6 of the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification process.[88]

Andorra 0–2 England
(Report) J. Cole  49', 55'

Croatia 1–4 England
Mandžukić  78' (Report) Walcott  26', 59', 82'
Rooney  63'
Attendance: 35,218

England 5–1 Kazakhstan
Ferdinand  52'
Kuchma  65' (o.g.)
Rooney  77', 86'
Defoe  90'
(Report) Kukeev  68'
Attendance: 89,107

Belarus 1–3 England
Sitko  28' (Report) Gerrard  11'
Rooney  50', 74'
Attendance: 32,000

England 2–1 Ukraine
Crouch  29'
Terry  85'
(Report) Shevchenko  74'
Attendance: 87,548

Kazakhstan 0–4 England
(Report) Barry  39'
Heskey  45'
Rooney  73'
Lampard  77' (pen.)

England 6–0 Andorra
Rooney  4', 39'
Lampard  29'
Defoe  73', 75'
Crouch  80'
(Report)
Attendance: 57,897
Referee: Hendrikus Nijhuis (Netherlands)

Honours


Competition Winner Details Match Report
FA Cup Chelsea FA Cup 2008–09
Beat Everton 2–1
Report
League Cup Manchester United Football League Cup 2008–09
Beat Tottenham Hotspur 4–1 on penalties (0–0 final score)
Report
Premier League Manchester United Premier League 2008–09 Report
Football League Championship Wolverhampton Wanderers Football League Championship 2008–09 Report
Football League One Leicester City Football League One 2008–09 Report
Football League Two Brentford Football League Two 2008–09 Report
FA Community Shield Manchester United 2008 FA Community Shield
Beat Portsmouth 3–1 on penalties (0–0 final score)
Report
Football League Trophy Luton Town Football League Trophy 2008–09
Beat Scunthorpe United 3–2 a.e.t
Report
FA Trophy Stevenage Borough FA Trophy 2008–09
Beat York City 2–0
Report
Conference League Cup A.F.C. Telford United Conference League Cup 2008–09
Beat Forest Green Rovers 3–0 on penalties. (0–0 final score)
Report

League tables


Premier League

Manchester United won their 18th league title, drawing level with Liverpool for the record of most league titles. Liverpool pushed them all the way; they actually had a superior goal difference and completed the double over United, even winning 4-1 at Old Trafford in March, but also suffered 11 draws which enabled United to overtake and win the title. Chelsea broke records for all the wrong reasons as their 86-game unbeaten home record finally came to an end, with several surprise away losses effectively ending their title challenge (as well as resulting in manager Luiz Felipe Scolari being sacked), though they did win the FA Cup under caretaker manager Guus Hiddink. Arsenal finished fourth to claim the final Champions League spot, which meant that last season's top 4 all qualified for Europe's elite for the fifth time in six seasons.

Aston Villa had looked like breaking into the Champions League spots for most of the season, but a late collapse that saw them win just twice in their last 13 league games saw them join FA Cup finalists Everton in qualifying for the newly formed UEFA Europa League (which replaced the UEFA Cup). Fulham were the other team to qualify for Europe, marking a remarkable turnaround since Roy Hodgson had taken over 18 months earlier when relegation from the Premier League looked a certainty. This was not only the first time they had qualified for Europe via their league position, but in finishing 7th in the first tier, this was also the highest ever league finish in the club's history. Stoke City, despite being pre-season relegation favourites for many, defied their critics and finishing comfortably in mid-table.

West Bromwich Albion made an immediate return to the championship after propping up the table for most of the season. Joinining them on the final day were Middlesbrough and Newcastle United, ending 11 and 16 year spells in the top flight respectively, the latter going through four managers in Kevin Keegan, Joe Kinnear, Chris Hughton and even former striker Alan Shearer during the campaign. Sunderland survived relegation, thanks to the efforts of caretaker manager Ricky Sbragia after Roy Keane's surprise resignation in December; meaning next season they would be the only North-East team in top flight football. Despite a brilliant start to the season (Which included victories at Arsenal and Tottenham, a draw at Liverpool and a narrow 4-3 loss at Manchester United, and climbing as high as third place in October), Hull City won just one league game after the new year, but avoided relegation by a single point.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification or relegation
1 Manchester United (C) 38 28 6 4 68 24 +44 90 Qualification for the Champions League group stage[lower-alpha 1]
2 Liverpool 38 25 11 2 77 27 +50 86
3 Chelsea 38 25 8 5 68 24 +44 83
4 Arsenal 38 20 12 6 68 37 +31 72 Qualification for the Champions League play-off round
5 Everton 38 17 12 9 55 37 +18 63 Qualification for the Europa League play-off round[lower-alpha 1]
6 Aston Villa 38 17 11 10 54 48 +6 62
7 Fulham 38 14 11 13 39 34 +5 53 Qualification for the Europa League third qualifying round[lower-alpha 1]
8 Tottenham Hotspur 38 14 9 15 45 45 0 51
9 West Ham United 38 14 9 15 42 45 3 51
10 Manchester City 38 15 5 18 58 50 +8 50
11 Wigan Athletic 38 12 9 17 34 45 11 45
12 Stoke City 38 12 9 17 38 55 17 45
13 Bolton Wanderers 38 11 8 19 41 53 12 41
14 Portsmouth 38 10 11 17 38 57 19 41
15 Blackburn Rovers 38 10 11 17 40 60 20 41
16 Sunderland 38 9 9 20 34 54 20 36
17 Hull City 38 8 11 19 39 64 25 35
18 Newcastle United (R) 38 7 13 18 40 59 19 34 Relegation to the Football League Championship
19 Middlesbrough (R) 38 7 11 20 28 57 29 32
20 West Bromwich Albion (R) 38 8 8 22 36 67 31 32
Source: Premier League
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.
(C) Champion; (R) Relegated
Notes:
  1. Since both finalists of the FA Cup (Chelsea and Everton) and the League Cup winners (Manchester United) qualified for the European competitions based on their league position, the sixth-placed team (Aston Villa) received a berth in the Europa League play-off round and the seventh-placed team (Fulham) received a berth in the Europa League third qualifying round.

Leading goalscorer: Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea) – 19

Football League Championship

Five years after being relegated from the Premier League, Wolverhampton Wanderers returned to the top flight in style as champions, having been in the top 2 for virtually all the season since August. Birmingham City were runners-up, making this the fourth season in a row that they had swapped divisions. Burnley joined them by beating Sheffield United in the play-off final, earning their place in the top flight after a 33-year absence.

Cardiff City occupied a play-off position for much of the season, but agonisingly slipped out of them on the final day after obtaining just one point in their final four league games. Preston North End in contrast, took twelve points from their final four league games, including a 6-0 win over Cardiff to finish ahead of them by courtesy of having scored one goal more throughout the season. Doncaster Rovers who were favourites to go straight back down and in the second tier after half a century out, achieved a respectable mid-table finish ahead of former Premier League teams in Crystal Palace, Coventry City, Blackpool, Derby County, Nottingham Forest and Barnsley.

Charlton suffered their second relegation in three years, despite a run of just one loss out of eight games at the end of the season. Southampton also crashed out of the division amid financial worries, which also meant they would be starting the 2009–10 season in League One with a ten-point deduction for entering administration. Norwich were the third relegated club, meaning that all three relegated clubs had been in the Premier League as recently as 2005 and had long left the third tier (Charlton last competed in the third tier in 1981, Southampton and Norwich in 1960).

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Promotion, qualification or relegation
1 Wolverhampton Wanderers (C, P) 46 27 9 10 80 52 +28 90 Promotion to the Premier League
2 Birmingham City (P) 46 23 14 9 54 37 +17 83
3 Sheffield United 46 22 14 10 64 39 +25 80 Qualification for Championship play-offs
4 Reading 46 21 14 11 72 40 +32 77
5 Burnley (O, P) 46 21 13 12 72 60 +12 76
6 Preston North End 46 21 11 14 66 54 +12 74
7 Cardiff City 46 19 17 10 65 53 +12 74
8 Swansea City 46 16 20 10 63 50 +13 68
9 Ipswich Town 46 17 15 14 62 53 +9 66
10 Bristol City 46 15 16 15 54 54 0 61
11 Queens Park Rangers 46 15 16 15 42 44 2 61
12 Sheffield Wednesday 46 16 13 17 51 58 7 61
13 Watford 46 16 10 20 68 72 4 58
14 Doncaster Rovers 46 17 7 22 42 53 11 58
15 Crystal Palace 46 15 12 19 52 55 3 56[lower-alpha 1]
16 Blackpool 46 13 17 16 47 58 11 56
17 Coventry City 46 13 15 18 47 58 11 54
18 Derby County 46 14 12 20 55 67 12 54
19 Nottingham Forest 46 13 14 19 50 65 15 53
20 Barnsley 46 13 13 20 45 58 13 52
21 Plymouth Argyle 46 13 12 21 44 57 13 51
22 Norwich City (R) 46 12 10 24 57 70 13 46 Relegation to Football League One
23 Southampton (R) 46 10 15 21 46 69 23 45[lower-alpha 2]
24 Charlton Athletic (R) 46 8 15 23 52 74 22 39
Updated to match(es) played on 3 May 2009. Source: The Football League
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.
(C) Champion; (O) Play-off winner; (P) Promoted; (R) Relegated
Notes:
  1. Crystal Palace were give a one-point deduction for using an ineligible player during a match against Sheffield United on 3 May 2009.[89]
  2. Southampton were given a ten-point deduction for breaching insolvency regulations, regarding their holding company. As they finished in the bottom three in the 2008–09 season, the points deduction was applied during the 2009–10 season in League One.[90]

Leading goalscorer: Sylvan Ebanks-Blake (Wolverhampton Wanderers) – 25

Football League One

Leicester comfortably won promotion in their first-ever season at this level, leading the table for virtually the entire season, going half the season (23 consecutive games) unbeaten and losing just 4 games in the process. Nigel Pearson brought stability to the club in becoming their first manager in five years to last an entire season as they looked to turn the corner after several years of struggle. Peterborough were runners-up, winning their second successive promotion and entering the second tier for only the second time in their history. Scunthorpe grabbed the final play-off place on the last day of the season in a winner takes all match v 7th place Tranmere Rovers and won promotion through them, making an immediate return to the Championship after being relegated the previous year.

Stockport went into administration before the final match of the season and so suffered a 10-point penalty; however, there was no real chance of them being relegated as a result of this penalty, barring an extremely unlikely set of results on the final day.

Hereford made an immediate return to League Two, finishing bottom in their first campaign at this level for thirty years. Cheltenham improved late in the season, but it proved too late to prevent relegation. Crewe suffered a late collapse and went down to League Two, having looked safe a few weeks previously. Northampton were relegated on the final day of the season after losing at Leeds and other results went against them. Brighton had looked certainties for relegation in the closing weeks, but the appointment of Russell Slade as manager saw them claim 16 points out of a possible 21 to survive. Carlisle and Hartlepool both survived on the last day.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Promotion or relegation
1 Leicester City (C, P) 46 27 15 4 84 39 +45 96 Promotion to Football League Championship
2 Peterborough United (P) 46 26 11 9 78 54 +24 89
3 Milton Keynes Dons 46 26 9 11 83 47 +36 87 Qualification for League One play-offs
4 Leeds United 46 26 6 14 77 49 +28 84
5 Millwall 46 25 7 14 63 53 +10 82
6 Scunthorpe United (O, P) 46 22 10 14 82 63 +19 76
7 Tranmere Rovers 46 21 11 14 62 49 +13 74
8 Southend United 46 21 8 17 58 61 3 71
9 Huddersfield Town 46 18 14 14 62 65 3 68
10 Oldham Athletic 46 16 17 13 66 65 +1 65
11 Bristol Rovers 46 17 12 17 79 61 +18 63
12 Colchester United 46 18 9 19 58 58 0 63
13 Walsall 46 17 10 19 61 66 5 61
14 Leyton Orient 46 15 11 20 45 57 12 56
15 Swindon Town 46 12 17 17 68 71 3 53
16 Brighton & Hove Albion 46 13 13 20 55 70 15 52
17 Yeovil Town 46 12 15 19 41 66 25 51
18 Stockport County 46 16 12 18 59 57 +2 50[lower-alpha 1]
19 Hartlepool United 46 13 11 22 66 79 13 50
20 Carlisle United 46 12 14 20 56 69 13 50
21 Northampton Town (R) 46 12 13 21 61 65 4 49 Relegation to Football League Two
22 Crewe Alexandra (R) 46 12 10 24 59 82 23 46
23 Cheltenham Town (R) 46 9 12 25 51 91 40 39
24 Hereford United (R) 46 9 7 30 42 79 37 34
Updated to match(es) played on 2 May 2009. Source: The Football League
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.
(C) Champion; (O) Play-off winner; (P) Promoted; (R) Relegated
Notes:
  1. Stockport County deducted 10 points;[91]

Leading goalscorer: Simon Cox (Swindon Town) – 29, and Rickie Lambert (Bristol Rovers) – 29

Football League Two

Brentford made a return to League One as champions, the second club to win the fourth tier three times since Doncaster Rovers. Exeter won their second successive promotion, and on the final day of the season managed to pip Wycombe Wanderers for the runners-up spot. Wycombe themselves managed the final automatic promotion spot by virtue of a single goal over Bury. The play-offs were won by Gillingham, who made an immediate return to League One after the previous season's relegation.

Several teams suffered heavy points deductions during the season. Rotherham were docked 17 points at the start of the season and Darlington 10 points later on. Without these penalties they would have both qualified for the play-offs, but instead managed only mid table. Bournemouth also suffered a 17-point deduction pre-season, and halfway through it looked to be enough to cost them their League status; however, a fightback under new manager Eddie Howe saw them climb to safety and secure survival with a game to spare.

Luton suffered the heaviest deduction however, and the loss of 30 points proved too much for them to survive (though they would still have been relegated, albeit while finishing a place higher, had they only suffered the same 17-point deduction as Bournemouth and Rotherham). They suffered their third successive relegation and dropped out of the league, making them only the third English team to suffer three successive relegations, and the first to drop from the second tier to the Conference in successive years. The other relegated team was Chester City, who were statistically the worst team in the division and returned to the Conference after only five years. This would ultimately be the final season that the club completed, as they folded in March 2010, before the end of the following campaign. Grimsby would also have suffered relegation, if not for Luton's points deduction.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Promotion, qualification or relegation
1 Brentford (C, P) 46 23 16 7 65 36 +29 85 Promotion to Football League One
2 Exeter City (P) 46 22 13 11 65 50 +15 79
3 Wycombe Wanderers (P) 46 20 18 8 54 33 +21 78
4 Bury 46 21 15 10 63 43 +20 78 Qualification for League Two play-offs
5 Gillingham (O, P) 46 21 12 13 58 55 +3 75
6 Rochdale 46 19 13 14 70 59 +11 70
7 Shrewsbury Town 46 17 18 11 61 44 +17 69
8 Dagenham & Redbridge 46 19 11 16 77 53 +24 68
9 Bradford City 46 18 13 15 66 55 +11 67
10 Chesterfield 46 16 15 15 62 57 +5 63
11 Morecambe 46 15 18 13 53 56 3 63
12 Darlington 46 20 12 14 61 44 +17 62[lower-alpha 1]
13 Lincoln City 46 14 17 15 53 52 +1 59
14 Rotherham United 46 21 12 13 60 46 +14 58[lower-alpha 2]
15 Aldershot Town 46 14 12 20 59 80 21 54
16 Accrington Stanley 46 13 11 22 42 59 17 50
17 Barnet 46 11 15 20 56 74 18 48
18 Port Vale 46 13 9 24 44 66 22 48
19 Notts County 46 11 14 21 49 69 20 47
20 Macclesfield Town 46 13 8 25 45 77 32 47
21 Bournemouth 46 17 12 17 59 51 +8 46[lower-alpha 3]
22 Grimsby Town 46 9 14 23 51 69 18 41
23 Chester City (R) 46 8 13 25 43 81 38 37 Relegated to Conference National
24 Luton Town (R) 46 13 17 16 58 65 7 26[lower-alpha 4]
Source: The Football League
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.
(C) Champion; (O) Play-off winner; (P) Promoted; (R) Relegated
Notes:
  1. Darlington deducted 10 points for entering administration.[92]
  2. Rotherham United deducted 17 points for leaving administration without a Company Voluntary Agreement.[93]
  3. Bournemouth deducted 17 points for leaving administration without a Company Voluntary Agreement.[94]
  4. Luton Town deducted 30 points; 20 points for leaving administration without a Company Voluntary Agreement, and 10 points for making illegal payments to agents.[95]

Leading goalscorers: Simeon Jackson (Gillingham) – 20, Grant Holt (Shrewsbury Town) – 20, and Jack Lester (Chesterfield) - 20

Movements for the 2009–10 season

Competition Promoted Playoffs Relegated
Premier League N/A N/A Newcastle, Middlesbrough, West Bromwich Albion
Football League Championship Wolverhampton Wanderers, Birmingham City Burnley Charlton Athletic, Southampton, Norwich City
Football League One Leicester City, Peterborough United Scunthorpe United Northampton Town, Crewe Alexandra, Cheltenham Town, Hereford United
Football League Two Brentford, Exeter City, Wycombe Wanderers Gillingham Chester City, Luton Town
Conference National Burton Albion Torquay United Woking, Northwich Victoria, Weymouth, Lewes
Conference North Tamworth Gateshead King's Lynn (demoted), Burscough, Hucknall Town
Conference South AFC Wimbledon Hayes & Yeading United Team Bath (folded),[96] Bognor Regis Town, Fisher Athletic

Clubs removed

Transfer deals


Notable debutants


  • 1 November 2008 – Jordan Henderson, 18-year-old midfielder, makes his debut as a substitute in Sunderland's 5–0 Premier League defeat at Chelsea.[97]

Retirements


Deaths


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