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The 1976-77 season was the 97th season of competitive football in Englandmarker.

Overview

The Football League revamped the tie-breaking criteria for teams level of points, replacing the traditional goal average tie-breaker with one based on goal difference to try and encourage more scoring. Coloured yellow and red cards were introduced for the first time in domestic English football.

First Division

After a season long neck and neck battle with Manchester City that came down to the final game, Liverpool retained their league championship trophy and won their first European Cup to confirm Bob Paisley as a successful replacement for Bill Shankly in his third season at the helm. Tottenham Hotspur and Stoke City's long spells in the First Division came to an end with relegation. Stoke sacked their manager Tony Waddington. On the last day of the season, Coventry City and Bristol City played out a controversial 2-2 draw, with play virtually stopping when it was heard that Sunderland had lost to Everton. Both clubs survived while Sunderland was relegated.

After Manchester United manager Tommy Docherty had admitted his affair with the wife of the club's physiotherapist, the club's directors decided that he had broken their moral code and he was sacked.

Second Division

Wolverhampton Wanderers, Chelsea and Nottingham Forest gained promotion to the First Division. Brian Clough's Forest would achieve success beyond the dreams of most supporters over the next few seasons. Carlisle United, Plymouth Argyle and Hereford United occupied the three relegation places. Hereford became the first club to finish bottom of the Second Division after winning the Third Division the previous season.

Third Division

Mansfield Town, Brighton & Hove Albion and Crystal Palace were the three teams promoted to the Second Division. Palace's manager was a certain Terry Venables who would enjoy more success at Palace and elsewhere over the next 20 years. Going down were Reading, Northampton Town, Grimsby Town and York City.

Fourth Division

Cambridge United, Exeter City, Colchester United and Bradford City occupied the four promotion places in the league's lowest division. A terrible season for Workington was compounded by their failure to gain re-election to the Football League, a humiliation which saw them slip into the Northern Premier League. In their place were Southern League champions Wimbledon, who would make amazing progress over the next decade.

The British pop star Elton John took over Fourth Division side Watford and installed Graham Taylor as manager. Former Arsenal manager Bertie Mee came out of retirement to work at Watford as assistant to Graham Taylor. John immediately asserted his ambition by promising to bring First Division football to Watford.

FA Cup

Tommy Docherty guided Manchester United to a 2-1 win over Liverpool in the FA Cup final, but was sacked within weeks after announcing his affair with the wife of the club's physiotherapist.

A new competition, the Debenhams Cup, was introduced to reward the two teams from outside the top two divisions to progress furthest in the FA Cup. Chester beat Port Vale in the final but it was only competed for once more.

League Cup

Ron Saunders took Aston Villa to their second League Cup victory in three seasons as the midlanders continued to re-establish themselves as a top club.

Star players



Star managers



Transfers

  • Liverpool sold Kevin Keegan to West German side Hamburger SV in a £500,000 deal. They replaced him with Celtic striker Kenny Dalglish, who cost a British record fee of £440,000 and was rated alongside Keegan as one of Europe's top strikers.


Diary of the season

12 March 1977: The Football League Cup final ends in a 0-0 draw between Aston Villa and Everton at Wembley Stadiummarker.

16 March 1977: The Football League Cup final replay at Hillsboroughmarker ends in a 1-1 draw.

20 March 1977: Peter Houseman, who helped Chelsea win the FA Cup in 1970 and the Cup Winners' Cup a year later, dies in a car crash at the age of 31. His wife is among the four people who die in the crash, which takes place near Oxford.

13 April 1977: The Football League Cup final is decided at the third attempt when Aston Villa beat Everton 3-2 in the second replay. A last minute goal from Villa's Brian Little sent the trophy to Villa Parkmarker and prevented the game from going to a third replay.

14 May 1977: Liverpool are confirmed champions of the Football League First Division for the second season running and for the tenth time in total.

21 May 1977: Liverpool's treble bid ends when they lose 2-1 to Manchester United in the FA Cup final. It is United's first major trophy since they won the European Cup nine years ago.

25 May 1977: Liverpool win the European Cup for the first time, defeating Borussia Monchengladbach of West Germanymarker 3-1 Stadio Olimpicomarker in Romemarker.

28 May 1977: Wimbledon, champions of the Southern League, are elected to the Football League Fourth Division at the expense of Workington, who drop into the Northern Premier League. [247790]

1 July 1977: Liverpool sell striker Kevin Keegan for a European record fee of £500,000. [247791]

3 July 1977: Just six weeks after managing Manchester United to FA Cup glory, Tommy Docherty is sacked after admitting to having an affair with Mary Brown, wife of club phsyiotherapist Laurie Brown. [247792]

11 July 1977: Don Revie announces his resignation as England national football team manager after three years.

Deaths

  • 22 October 1976 – Willie Hamilton, 38, former Scottish international forward who had played for Sheffield United, Middlesbrough and Aston Villa as well as several Scottish clubs. Died in Canada as a result of a heart attack.
  • 20 March 1977 – Peter Houseman, 31, Oxford United midfielder who had previously played for Chelsea when they won the F.A Cup in 1970 and the Cup Winners Cup a year later. Houseman died in a car crash near Oxford. His wife also died in the crash.


Honours

Competition Winner Runner-up
First Division Liverpool Manchester City
Second Division Wolverhampton Wanderers Chelsea
Third Division Mansfield Town Brighton & Hove Albion
Fourth Division Cambridge United Exeter City
FA Cup Manchester United Liverpool
League Cup Aston Villa Everton
Charity Shield Liverpool Southampton
Debenhams Cup Chester Port Vale
Home Championship &


League table

First Division

P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 42 23 11 8 62 33 +29 57
2 Manchester City 42 21 14 7 60 34 +26 56
3 Ipswich Town 42 22 8 12 66 39 +27 52
4 Aston Villa 42 22 7 13 76 50 +26 51
5 Newcastle United 42 18 13 11 64 49 +15 49
6 Manchester United 42 18 11 13 71 62 +9 47
7 West Bromwich Albion 42 16 13 13 62 56 +6 45
8 Arsenal 42 16 11 15 64 59 +5 43
9 Everton 42 14 14 14 62 64 -2 42
10 Leeds United 42 15 12 15 48 51 -3 42
11 Leicester City 42 12 18 12 47 60 -13 42
12 Middlesbrough 42 14 13 15 40 45 -5 41
13 Birmingham City 42 13 12 17 63 61 +2 38
14 Queens Park Rangers 42 13 12 17 47 52 -5 38
15 Derby County 42 9 19 14 50 55 -5 37
16 Norwich City 42 14 9 19 47 64 -17 37
17 West Ham United 42 11 14 17 46 65 -19 36
18 Bristol City 42 11 13 18 38 48 -10 35
19 Coventry City 42 10 15 17 48 59 -11 35
20 Sunderland 42 11 12 19 46 54 -8 34
21 Stoke City 42 10 14 18 28 51 -23 34
22 Tottenham Hotspur 42 12 9 21 48 72 -24 33

Second Division

P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 42 22 13 7 84 45 +39 57
2 Chelsea 42 21 13 8 73 53 +20 55
3 Nottingham Forest 42 21 10 11 77 43 +34 52
4 Bolton Wanderers 42 20 11 11 75 54 +21 51
5 Blackpool 42 17 17 8 58 42 +16 51
6 Luton Town 42 21 6 15 67 48 +19 48
7 Charlton Athletic 42 16 16 10 71 58 +13 48
8 Notts County 42 19 10 13 65 60 +5 48
9 Southampton 42 17 10 15 72 67 +5 44
10 Millwall 42 15 13 14 57 53 +4 43
11 Sheffield United 42 14 12 16 54 63 -9 40
12 Blackburn Roversmarker 42 15 9 18 42 54 -12 39
13 Oldham Athletic 42 14 10 18 52 64 -12 38
14 Hull City 42 10 17 15 45 53 -8 37
15 Bristol Rovers 42 12 13 17 53 68 -15 37
16 Burnley 42 11 14 17 46 64 -18 36
17 Fulham 42 11 13 18 54 61 -7 35
18 Cardiff City 42 12 10 20 56 67 -11 34
19 Orient 42 9 16 17 37 55 -18 34
20 Carlisle United 42 11 12 19 49 75 -26 34
21 Plymouth Argyle 42 8 16 18 46 65 -19 32
22 Hereford United 42 8 15 19 57 78 -21 31

Third Division

P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Mansfield Town 46 28 8 10 78 42 +36 64
2 Brighton & Hove Albion 46 25 11 10 83 40 +43 61
3 Crystal Palace 46 23 13 10 68 40 +28 59
4 Rotherham United 46 22 15 9 69 44 +25 59
5 Wrexham 46 24 10 12 80 54 +26 58
6 Preston North End 46 21 12 13 64 43 +21 54
7 Bury 46 23 8 15 64 59 +5 54
8 Sheffield Wednesday 46 22 9 15 65 55 +10 53
9 Lincoln City 46 19 14 13 77 70 +7 52
10 Shrewsbury Town 46 18 11 17 65 59 +6 47
11 Swindon Town 46 15 15 16 68 75 -7 45
12 Gillingham 46 16 12 18 55 64 -9 44
13 Chester City 46 18 8 20 48 58 -10 44
14 Tranmere Rovers 46 13 17 16 51 53 -2 43
15 Walsall 46 13 15 18 57 65 -8 41
16 Peterborough United 46 13 15 18 55 65 -10 41
17 Oxford United 46 12 15 19 55 65 -10 39
18 Chesterfield 46 14 10 22 56 64 -8 38
19 Port Vale 46 11 16 19 47 71 -24 38
20 Portsmouth 46 11 14 21 53 70 -17 36
21 Reading 46 13 9 24 49 73 -24 35
22 Northampton Town 46 13 8 25 60 75 -15 34
23 Grimsby Town 46 12 9 25 45 69 -24 33
24 York City 46 10 12 24 50 89 -39 32

Fourth Division

P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Cambridge United 46 26 13 7 87 40 +47 65
2 Exeter City 46 25 12 9 70 46 +24 62
3 Colchester United 46 25 9 12 77 43 +34 59
4 Bradford City 46 23 13 10 78 51 +27 59
5 Swansea City 46 25 8 13 92 68 +24 58
6 Barnsley 46 23 9 14 62 39 +23 55
7 Watford 46 18 15 13 67 50 +17 51
8 Doncaster Rovers 46 21 9 16 71 65 +6 51
9 Huddersfield Town 46 19 12 15 60 49 +11 50
10 Southend United 46 15 19 12 52 45 +7 49
11 Darlington 46 18 13 15 59 64 -5 49
12 Crewe Alexandramarker 46 19 11 16 47 60 -13 49
13 Bournemouth 46 15 18 13 54 44 +10 48
14 Stockport County 46 13 19 14 53 57 -4 45
15 Brentford 46 18 7 21 77 76 +1 43
16 Torquay United 46 17 9 20 59 67 -8 43
17 Aldershot 46 16 11 19 49 59 -10 43
18 Rochdale 46 13 12 21 50 59 -9 38
19 Newport County 46 14 10 22 42 58 -16 38
20 Scunthorpe United 46 13 11 22 49 73 -24 37
21 Halifax Town 46 11 14 21 47 58 -11 36
22 Hartlepool 46 10 12 24 47 73 -26 32
23 Southportmarker 46 3 19 24 33 77 -44 25
24 Workington 46 4 11 31 41 102 -61 19
P = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points

References




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