The Football League returned the following season. The English national team suffered two shock defeats in the early s: a 1—0 loss to the United States at the World Cup and a 6—3 defeat to Hungary at Wembley in Chelsea were persuaded against participating in the first season of the European Cup in —56 , but Manchester United ignored such advice and went on to reach the semi-final of the —57 edition , losing to the eventual winners Real Madrid.
In the following season's European Cup , Manchester United was involved in the Munich Air Disaster : this also affected the national team as three of the players who lost their lives — Roger Byrne , Tommy Taylor and Duncan Edwards — were established England internationals. Their manager Matt Busby was seriously injured but survived; he had already taken United to FA Cup glory in and another league title triumph in with an earlier side which featured the likes of Johnny Carey , Jack Rowley and Stan Pearson. Wolverhampton Wanderers were another highly successful English club side during the postwar years.
Under the management of Stan Cullis , they were league champions three times and FA Cup winners twice between and Although they failed to make a major impact in either of their European Cup campaigns, they did beat some of European football's most respected club sides in a series of friendlies at Molineux Stadium during the s.
Arsenal continued their run of success for several years after the resumption of league football, winning two league titles and an FA Cup between and Their North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur won the league title for the first time in , and by the end of the decade were challenging for honors once again under new manager Bill Nicholson and captain Danny Blanchflower.
Another London club, Chelsea , won the league title in Newcastle United were FA Cup winners three times in the s, while Portsmouth won back-to-back league titles in the early postwar years. The top half of each regional Third Division from the previous season formed a new Third Division, while the lower halves formed the new Fourth Division.
Modernisation followed in the s, with revolutions in the game such as the George Eastham case allowing players greater freedom of movement, and the abolition of the maximum wage in The most marked success of the era, however, was Alf Ramsey 's England team, which won the FIFA World Cup on home soil after controversially beating West Germany 4—2 after extra time , the only time the national team has won the trophy.
Manchester United became the first English club to win the European Cup in —68 when they beat Benfica 4—1 at Wembley in the final.
Liverpool four , Nottingham Forest two , and Aston Villa one won the European Cup in a successful period between and The first half of the s saw the promotion of two sides to the First Division who would achieve great success as this level for many years afterwards: Liverpool in and Leeds United in Liverpool, managed by Bill Shankly , won the league title in , two seasons after promotion, and followed this up with their first-ever FA Cup triumph a year later and a further league title in Among their players was Roger Hunt , who played in attack for England's World Cup winning side of Leeds United had appointed Don Revie , an FA Cup winner for Manchester City as a player in , as their new manager in , and he guided them to promotion in A year after promotion, they only missed out on the league title on goal average, finally winning it in , by which time they had already won the Football League Cup and Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.
Manchester United also faced competition from their local rivals Manchester City , who overcame a dismal first half of the decade which included three seasons in the Second Division to pip United to the league title in , win the FA Cup in and claim their first piece of European silverware in when they lifted the European Cup Winners' Cup. West Ham United also played a major role in English football in the s.
Liverpool enjoyed even more success during the s. His successor Bob Paisley took Liverpool to even greater heights; by the end of the decade, he had guided them to three league titles, another UEFA Cup triumph, and the club's first two European Cups. Liverpool's local rivals Everton , who had been league champions in and FA Cup winners in , began the s by winning another league titles, but failed to add any silverware to their list of honors for the rest of the decade, although they did hold onto their place in the First Division. Arsenal started the s on a winning note by lifting the penultimate Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, and then became the second team of the 20th century to win the double when they clinched the league title and FA Cup in Their next major trophy came in , when they fought off a late revival from Manchester United at Wembley to win the FA Cup final 3—2.
Leeds United added a further league title and Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, as well as their first FA Cup, before Don Revie departed to take over as manager of the England national football team in the summer of , after the Football Association terminated Sir Alf Ramsey's contract after 11 years, following England's failure to qualify for the World Cup.
Although Leeds United were still in the First Division at the decade's end, they failed to win any trophies after Revie left the club. The England team, meanwhile, continued to struggle, failing to qualify for the World Cup , with Revie defecting to coach the United Arab Emirates side just before this latest disappointment.
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Things began turn around under his successor Ron Greenwood , who ended the decade by securing England's qualification for the European Championships , the first major tournament England had qualified for in 10 years. Derby County , promoted to the First Division in after a lengthy absence, emerged as a force during the s, winning the league title in under the controversial but effective management of Brian Clough , and again in under Clough's successor Dave Mackay.
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Clough, after a disastrous day spell as Don Revie's successor at Leeds United, enjoyed even greater success at Nottingham Forest , taking the East Midlands club to promotion in , the league title and League Cup in and to a further League Cup and the European Cup in , before retaining their European crown in Also among his acquisitions was the goalkeeper Peter Shilton , who went on to win a record of full caps for England. The rise of football hooliganism marred the game throughout the s and s, which contributed to a decline in match attendance. Other factors in falling attendances were the dismal economic conditions and rising unemployment which plagued the British economy for most of the s and into the s, with many clubs in the north of England being hit particularly hard.
Many of English football's most famous and successful clubs reached low ebbs during the s and s, in many cases at least partly due to financial problems. Preston North End and Blackpool both fell into the Fourth Division and had to apply for re-election to the Football League between and Wolverhampton Wanderers found themselves on the verge of closure twice during the s and suffered three successive relegation which pushed them into the Fourth Division in Their local rivals Birmingham City dropped into the Third Division for the first time in Sunderland suffered the same fate as Birmingham two years previously, but achieved promotion at the first attempt and were soon challenging for a return to the First Division, while Wolves ended the decade back in the Second Division after two successive promotions.
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Bolton Wanderers, four times FA Cup winners, were relegated to the Fourth Division in , but were promoted at the first time of asking. The nadir came in May , when Liverpool fans hooliganism, combined with poor policing and infrastructure, led to the deaths of 39 Juventus fans before the European Cup final , in the Heysel Stadium disaster. The sequel to the tragedy was a ban on English clubs in European competitions, which was not lifted for five years. Due to the ban, many English star players transferred to continental clubs.
England's ageing and poorly built stadiums were responsible for two disasters, at Bradford in May just before the Heysel tragedy and Hillsborough in April , resulting in the deaths of 56 and 96 people respectively. In —87 automatic promotion and relegation between the Football League and non-league was introduced, with the bottom club in the league being relegated to the Conference. The first club to suffer automatic relegation from the Football League was Lincoln City , who were replaced by the GM Vauxhall Conference champions Scarborough , only to regain their league status a year later.
That first relegation place in had very nearly been occupied by Burnley , league champions 27 years earlier and First Division members until just over a decade earlier, but victory in their final league game of the season secured their league survival. Another major change which took place in English football during the second half of the s was a restructuring of the divisions.
During the close season, the Football League decided to reduce the First Division to 21 clubs for the —88 season and finally to 20 clubs for the —89 season, while the Second Division would be increased to 23 and finally to 24 clubs in the process. The s saw the FA Cup won twice by Second Division clubs, the first time in the postwar era that the trophy had been won by a club outside the First Division. First, Sunderland lifted the trophy in at the expense of Leeds United. Three years later, Southampton defeated Manchester United to claim the first silverware of their history.
In , the trophy was won by a Second Division club for the third time in eight seasons when West Ham United triumphed over holders Arsenal.
The s saw five different clubs reach the First Division for the first time. In , Swansea City reached the First Division after climbing from the Fourth Division in just four seasons — the fastest rise of any club throughout the league at the time. They topped the First Division more than once during the —82 season before finishing sixth. However, Swansea's successive story was short-lived, and their second season among the elite ended in relegation, and by they were back in the Fourth Division, having narrowly avoided going out of business.
They finished runners-up in the league in their first top division season and were FA Cup runners-up in their second, and survived in the First Division until Taylor later managed the England team, while Barnes went on to help Liverpool win five major trophies and was a regular member of the England side for the second half of the s and into the s. They survived for three seasons in the First Division and won the League Cup in their first season among the elite.
An even bigger success story emerged soon after Oxford's First Division arrival, when Wimbledon won promotion to the First Division in , a mere nine years after being elected to the Football League. They quickly established themselves in the First Division, finishing sixth in their first season at this level, and even more impressively won the FA Cup a year later, beating league champions Liverpool 1—0 in the Wembley final.
Wimbledon would enjoy the longest stay in the top flight of any of the First Division's new arrivals of the s, retaining their tenancy at this level for 14 years. Tipped by many to go straight back down, they actually topped the First Division briefly in its early stages before finishing 10th — the lowest position they occupied all season.
They briefly went top of the league again during the second month of the following season, but finished the season relegated after just two seasons in the First Division. Eventually, promotion and relegation between the Conference and the Football League was increased to two clubs in — In the s, play-offs were introduced throughout the Football League for promotion each season, with one club each season being promoted via the end of season play-offs in addition to those clubs promoted automatically. Liverpool remained the most successful club side in England during the s, winning the league title six times and the FA Cup twice including the double in They also won four successive League Cups, and before the Heysel disaster they won the European Cup in and again in , bringing their total number of victories in European football's biggest competition to four.
Everton also enjoyed a resurgence in the s. Following the appointment of Howard Kendall as manager in and the signing of inspirational striker Andy Gray in November , Everton won the FA Cup in and enjoyed even more success a year later, when they lifted the league title and their first European trophy — the European Cup Winners' Cup. Although they failed to win any trophies in , they did finish runners-up to Liverpool in the league and reached the FA Cup final, where they lost 3—1 to their close neighbours, in a season where Gray's successor in attack, Gary Lineker , found the net more than 40 times in all competitions.
Despite the sale of Lineker to Barcelona in the summer of , Everton retained their league title the following season.
Manchester United endured a difficult time in the s following the retirement of Matt Busby as manager. They suffered relegation to the Second Division in , but achieved instant promotion and went on to win the FA Cup in The s brought more success for the club, who won the FA Cup in and again in under the management of Ron Atkinson.
Atkinson was succeeded by Alex Ferguson as manager in November , but by the end of the decade United had gone more than 20 years without winning the league title, although they had finished in the top four on no less than seven times during the decade. Tottenham Hotspur also enjoyed success during the s and s. They achieved instant promotion under recently appointed manager Keith Burkinshaw , who then guided Spurs to back-to-back FA Cups and then another UEFA Cup triumph before stepping down as manager in Their North London rivals Arsenal won the League Cup in and ended their year wait for the league title in , when they beat Liverpool at Anfield in the final minute of the last game of the season to clinch the championship trophy on goal difference.
After spending an unsuccessful season in Italy with Juventus , Ian Rush headed back to Liverpool for a second spell with the club he had scored more than goals from during his first spell there. The England team made considerable progress during the s after the barren performances of the previous decade, qualifying for every major tournament between and , with the exception of the European Championships , although their best run in any of these competitions was a quarter-final appearance at the World Cup.
The post-Hillsborough Taylor Report forced the conversion of major to all-seater , which was a requirement at all clubs in the top divisions by the —95 season. At the same time, the money from television coverage was increasing rapidly, due to England reaching the semi-finals of the World Cup and a concerted effort to drive out hooliganism reinvigorated the national game.
The ban on English clubs in European competitions was lifted in July , although Liverpool still had to serve an additional year and it would be a further five years before all of the English places in European competitions were restored. Enjoying a run of success under Alex Ferguson, they clinched the League Cup in the —92 season, although a shortage of goals in the second half of that season did cost them the league title, which was instead won by a resurgent Leeds United.
Liverpool also enjoyed a good start to the s, winning their 18th league title in , but were then stunned by the resignation of Kenny Dalglish as manager in February His successor Graeme Souness , who had enjoyed great success with the club as a player a decade earlier, guided the Reds to FA Cup glory in Arsenal, the champions of the English First Division, won another league title in , losing just once all season. The FA Cup also headed to North London that year, although it was won by Tottenham Hotspur, who lifted the trophy for a record eighth time.
In the —92 season , following two years of widespread speculation about the leading clubs of English football forming a breakaway league from the Football League, the 22 clubs competing in the First Division resigned en masse from the Football League, forming a new top-level competition, The FA Premier League , overseen by the FA, largely to capitalize upon their status as the biggest and most wealthy clubs in the country, and negotiate more profitable television rights. The new league came into force for the —93 season.
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Its first champions were Manchester United, who ended their year wait for a top division title, while Aston Villa came second and Norwich City third. Thus, the First Division, while still the top level of the Football League, became the second level of the entire English football league system with the top clubs inheriting the promotion play-off system from the old Second Division.
The Premier League was reduced to 20 teams after the —95 season. The Premier League has been won by 6 clubs in its 24 seasons, with Manchester United winning on 13 occasions. They have set many precedents in the process, becoming the first team to win a second double of the league title and FA Cup in their first double being won in , and in they won a unique [[Treble treble of the league title, FA Cup and European Cup.
The final , for the first time, was played between two English teams, Manchester United and Chelsea. Manchester United won the final in Moscow on penalties after a 1—1 draw. The early Premier League years saw the transfer record fee in English football broken many times in a relatively short period of time, and rise at a rate barely comparable with even that of the late s. In , the record fee was broken three times in the space of six months. This fee, however, remained unsurpassed for more than four years.
Premier League clubs have been increasingly successful at attracting foreign players, particularly since the removal of the limit on fielding players from common market countries in the mid s. Despite the dominance of Manchester United for most of the Premier League era, a number of other clubs have enjoyed considerable success since The first team to interrupt Manchester United's dominance were Blackburn Rovers, who won the third Premier League title by a single point in They had only returned to the top flight of English football in , in time for the new league's formation, after a year exile, bankrolled by the wealth of steel baron owner Jack Walker , who had enabled Blackburn to compete for some of the best players in English football.
However, Blackburn failed to remain competitive with the best English clubs, their only subsequent major trophy being the League Cup in , and they have never finished higher than sixth in the Premier League since their title triumph. They endured a two-year exile from the Premier League after being relegated in , and since their second relegation in they have still yet to gain promotion. On the first two occasions, they completed the double of the league title and FA Cup, while on the third occasion they won the title without losing a single league game all season.
Chelsea made history in when they won the FA Cup under Dutch manager Ruud Gullit , the first foreign manager to win a major trophy in English football. Mourinho was in charge for more than three years until his sudden departure from the club in September , before returning for a second spell as manager six years later which lasted two years before getting sacked in December In the interim, Chelsea were managed by seven different managers over the course of six seasons, but continued to win trophies on a regular basis. Manchester City , bankrolled since August by wealthy Arab owners, ended their year wait for a major trophy by winning the FA Cup in , and then won their first league title in 44 years the following season, both under the management of Italian coach Roberto Mancini.
His Chilean successor Manuel Pellegrini became the first non-European manager to win a major trophy in English football when he guided City to the Premier League title and the League Cup in After narrowly avoiding relegation the previous season, outsiders Leicester City won an unprecedented league title in , having never previously won the top flight title. The winning squad was worth just one-tenth of that of Manchester City's. Leeds United, the last champions of English football before the creation of the Premier League, played in the first 12 seasons of the Premier League, peaking at third place in , before being relegated in in the midst of a serious financial crisis which was the direct result of heavy spending on players in the previous few seasons and a failure to net the extra revenue that successful challenges for domestic and European silverware would have brought them.
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They have yet to return to the Premier League more than a decade later, and even spent three seasons in the league's third tier. A spectacular decline in similar circumstances also befell Portsmouth , who reached the Premier League in and stayed there for seven seasons, lifting the FA Cup in The South Coast club were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the —10 season, having become the first club at this level to enter administration , and were deducted nine points at a result.
In , a third relegation in four seasons saw them relegated to the league's fourth tier for the first time in 35 years.
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