1993–94 in English football

1993–94 in English football

The 1993-1994 season was the 114th season of competitive football in England.


From the start of this season, the FA Premier League would be sponsored by Carling Breweries - an association which would last for eight years. The premier league was without a sponsor for the previous season.


Keane joins United in record breaking deal

Manchester United broke the English transfer record before the start of the season by paying relegated Nottingham Forest £3.75million for promising young midfielder Roy Keane. The 22-year-old Irishman was signed by Alex Ferguson as a long-term replacement for Bryan Robson, who at 36 was in the twilight of his illustrious Old Trafford career.

Taylor out, Venables in

Graham Taylor resigned as England manager after their failure to qualify for the World Cup. He was succeeded by Terry Venables, the former Tottenham manager. Taylor had already been branded a Turnip by the Sun newspaper, after England lost 2-1 to the Swedish team in 1992, with their headline "Swedes 2, Turnip 1".

ir Matt Busby dies

Sir Matt Busby died on 20 January at the age of 84. He had been associated with Manchester United since being appointed manager at the end of the Second World War, and remained at the club as a director after calling time on his glorious managerial career in 1969. Busby was regarded by many as the greatest football manager who ever lived, as he built three great United sides in the quarter of a century which followed.

United do the double

Manchester United won the Premiership title and F.A Cup to become only the fourth club this century to be league champions and F.A Cup winners in the same season. Only a 3-1 defeat against Aston Villa in the League Cup final prevented them from winning a unique treble of domestic trophies. They led the Premiership from the fourth game onwards and in the final table had an eight-point lead over second-placed Blackburn Rovers.French striker Eric Cantona scored 25 goals in all competitions and was voted PFA Player of the Year. Ryan Giggs, Lee Sharpe and Andrei Kanchelskis also hit the headlines with their brilliant form. In the F.A Cup final, United crushed Chelsea 4-0 thanks to two penalties from Eric Cantona and single goals from Mark Hughes and Brian McClair.

A sticky time for the Toffees

Howard Kendall resigned three years into his second spell as Everton manager and was replaced by Norwich City's Mike Walker. They looked set for relegation from the Premiership on the final day of the season as they were 2-0 down to Wimbledon - just seven years after they had been league champions - but turned the tables on their opponents to win 3-2 and beat the drop. Sheffield United went down instead.

windon's record breaking relegation

Swindon Town, in the top division for the first time, were relegated from the Premiership after collecting just five wins and conceding 100 goals in 42 games. Many fans pointed the finger of blame at the club's directors for giving the manager's job to the inexperienced John Gorman. Swindon were joined in the drop zone by Sheffield United and Oldham Athletic.

Robson quits Old Trafford

Bryan Robson left Manchester United after 13 years to become player-manager of Middlesbrough in place of Lennie Lawrence. Robson was impressed by the club's ambitions, which included plans for a new 30,000-seat stadium on the banks of the River Tees scheduled for completion in the summer of 1995. Robson brought in former Manchester United team-mate Viv Anderson as his assistant.

Huddersfield move into a new home

Huddersfield Town relocated from Leeds Road to the new Alfred McAlpine Stadium at Kirklees. Their new home was initially a two-sided 15,000-seat stadium, with plans for an eventual capacity of 25,000. It took its name from the world famous building company, with which it had a 10-year sponsorship deal.

Bungs scandal hits Tottenham hard

After the end of the season, Tottenham Hotspur were found guilty of financial irregularities dating back to the 1980s and hit with the most severe punishment handed down on any English club: a £600,000 fine, 12 league points deducted for the 1994-95 season, and a one-year ban from the F.A Cup. The points deduction and F.A Cup were eventually quashed after a series of appeals, although the fine was increased to £1.5million.

Northampton have a close shave

Northampton Town, who spent one season in the top division during the 1960s, finished bottom of Division Three but retained their league status because Conference champions Kidderminster Harriers were unable to meet the Football League's minimum stadium capacity requirements. This was the first time that there had been no exits or arrivals in the Football League since the re-election system was scrapped in 1986.

uccessful managers

Manchester United's Alex Ferguson became only the fourth manager of the 20th century to win the double of the league title and F.A Cup.

George Graham gave Arsenal only the second European trophy of their history by guiding them to glory in the Cup Winners Cup.

Aston Villa's Ron Atkinson added the League Cup to his already-impressive personal honours list.

Kevin Keegan guided Newcastle United to third place in the Premiership - and a place in the UEFA Cup - just one season after winning promotion.

It was third time lucky for Brian Little as his Leicester City side won the Division One playoff final to win a place in the Premiership after two successive Wembley final defeats.

Mark McGhee delivered the Division Two title and Division One football to Reading, who finished top of their division.

Jimmy Mullen guided Burnley to their second promotion in three seasons as they won the Division Two playoffs.

Dario Gradi achieved promotion to Division Two with his promising young Crewe side.

Martin O'Neill enjoyed another successful season with Wycombe Wanderers as they won the Division Three playoffs to claim a second successive promotion.

Graham Allner won the Conference title with Kidderminster Harriers, but they were unable to claim a place in the Football League because their stadium was not deemed to be up to the required standards.

uccessful players

Tim Flowers pulled off some super saves in a bid to justify his name as England's most expensive goalkeeper after his £2million move from Southampton to Blackburn Rovers.

Eric Cantona received the PFA Player of the Year award after scoring 25 goals in all competitions (including 2 penalties in the F.A Cup final) for double winners Manchester United.

Alan Shearer, who returned from injury to score 31 Premiership goals for runners-up Blackburn Rovers, was voted FWA Player of the Year.

Chris Sutton, 21, scored 25 Premiership goals for Norwich City and was then sold to Blackburn Rovers for an English record fee of £5million.

Andy Cole, 23, scored 41 goals in all competitions for Newcastle United (setting an all-time club record) and was voted PFA Young Player of the Year.

Experienced striker Peter Beardsley had a superb return to Newcastle United by scoring 25 Premiership goals.

Newcastle-born striker Chris Armstrong was almost single handedly responsible for getting Crystal Palace promoted to the Premiership as Division One champions.

Promising young midfielder Mark Draper helped Notts County reach the fringe of the Division One playoffs.

Veteran striker Jimmy Quinn was the English league's top scorer with 34 goals for Division Two champions Reading.

Young players Ashley Ward and Neil Lennon were two of the latest impressive products of Crewe Alexandra's youth system, helping their team win promotion to Division Two as well as attracting interest from larger clubs.


League tables

FA Carling Premiership

* For more detail on the Premiership this season see FA Premier League 1993-94

Endsleigh League Division Three

Shrewsbury Town, Chester City and Crewe Alexandra occupied the three promotion places in Division Three, while Martin O'Neill's Wycombe Wanderers won the playoffs in their first season of league football.

Northampton Town finished bottom of the league but were saved from demotion because Conference champions Kidderminster Harriers did not meet the league's stadium capacity requirements.

Transfer deals

For subsequent transfer deals see 1994-95 in English football.

uccessful players

Eric Cantona received the PFA Player of the Year award after his 25 goals in all competitions were the key force in Manchester United's double glory.

Alan Shearer was voted FWA Player of the Year after returning from injury to score 31 Premier League goals for runners-up Blackburn Rovers.

Andy Cole was voted PFA Young Player of the Year after finishing top scorer in the Premier League with 34 goals for newly promoted Newcastle United, who finished third and qualified for Europe for the first time since the 1970s.

Cole's veteran partner Peter Beardsley scored 25 league goals in his first season back on Tyneside.

Dean Saunders was once again a consistent goalscorer for Aston Villa, who dipped to 10th in the league a year after finishing runners-up, but booked themselves another UEFA Cup campaign thanks to glory in the League Cup.

21-year-old striker Chris Sutton attracted huge attention from England's top clubs before his record-breaking transfer from Norwich City to Blackburn Rovers.

Stan Collymore established himself as one of the country's top marksmen as he powered Nottingham Forest back into the Premier League at the first attempt.

Veteran Reading striker Jimmy Quinn scored 35 league goals to lead his side to the Division Two title.

uccessful managers

Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest gained promotion to the Premiership in their first season under the respective management of Alan Smith and Frank Clark.

Brian Little finally got it right with Leicester City as he helped them win promotion to the Premiership.

Jimmy Mullen inspired Burnley's third promotion in two years as they won the Division Two playoffs.

Martin O'Neill helped Wycombe gain their second successive promotion and earn a place in Division Two.

Diary of the season

17 July 1993 - The domestic transfer record is broken when Roy Keane signs for Manchester United from Nottingham Forest in a £3.75million deal.

7 August 1993 - Frank Clark is named as manager of Nottingham Forest, replacing Brian Clough, who retired earlier in the summer after 18 years at the helm. His first task is to guide Forest back into the Premier League after last season's relegation.

17 August 1993 - Sheffield Wednesday pay a club record fee £2.7million for QPR midfielder Andy Sinton.

19 August 1993 - Tony Barton, who managed Aston Villa to European Cup glory in 1982, dies of a heart attack aged 56.

26 August 1993 - Peter Reid is sacked by Manchester City, who have lost three of their four opening FA Premier League games.

27 August 1993 - Brian Horton leaves Oxford United to become the new manager of Manchester City.

3 September 1993 - Paul Warhurst moves from Sheffield Wednesday to Blackburn Rovers in a £2.75million deal - the fifth highest fee between English clubs.

15 September 1993 - Manchester United beat Honved of Hungary 3-2 away in their first European Cup fixture for 25 years.

22 September 1993 - Mark Stein scores twice for Stoke City in their surprise 2-1 over Manchester United in the first leg of the Coca-Cola Cup second round at the Victoria Ground. South African born Stein, 27, is a target for several Premier League clubs.

25 September 1993 - Everton, fourth in the Premier League, suffer a 5-1 defeat at home to Norwich City in one of the most thrilling league games so far this season.

4 October 1993 - Jim Holton, who played for Manchester United at centre-half in the 1970s, dies from a heart attack at the wheel of his car. He was 42 years old.

7 October 1993 - Newcastle United manager Kevin Keegan rules him out of the running to take over as England manager if Graham Taylor's reign is ended by failure to qualify for the World Cup.

13 October 1993 - England are left with little hope of qualifying for the 1994 World Cup after suffering a 2-0 defeat to Holland in their penultimate qualifying game.

18 October 1993 - Lou Macari walks out on Stoke City to succeed Liam Brady as manager of Glasgow Celtic.

3 November 1993 - Manchester United are eliminated from the European Cup on away goals by Turkish side Galatasaray, while Arsenal progress to the next stage of the European Cup Winners' Cup with a 7-0 away victory over Standard Liege of Belgium.

5 November 1993 - Tim Flowers becomes the most expensive goalkeeper in England when he moves from Southampton to Blackburn Rovers for £2.4million.

17 November 1993 - England beat San Marino 7-1 in their final World Cup qualifying game, but fail to qualify for the finals because of Holland's victory over Norway.

24 November 1993 - Graham Taylor announces his resignation as England manager after being vilified by the media (notably The Sun newspaper, who branded him a "turnip") for failing to achieve qualification for the 1994 World Cup. On the same day, Swindon Town finally win a Premier League game at the 16th attempt in their first-ever top division campaign.

7 December 1993 - Lazio deny rumours that Paul Gascoigne is due to return to English football in a move to either Leeds United or Manchester United.

14 January 1994 - Mike Walker, the manager who took Norwich City to a club best of third place in the Premier League last season, departs Carrow Road to take over at Everton.

20 January 1994 - Legendary former Manchester United manager Sir Matt Busby dies at the age of 84.

28 January 1994 - Graeme Souness quits as Liverpool manager after their shock FA Cup exit at the hands of Bristol City.

2 February 1994 - Newcastle United pay a club record £2.5million for Norwich City winger Ruel Fox.

16 February 1994 - Tranmere Rovers, who have never played in an FA Cup or Football League Cup final, move closer to their Wembley dream with a 3-1 win over Aston Villa in the first leg of the League Cup semi-final.

7 March 1994 - New England manager Terry Venables announces that David Platt, who currently plays for Sampdoria of Italy, will be the captain of the national team.

9 March 1994 - England beat Denmark 1-0 in a friendly at Wembley in their first game under Terry Venables.

27 March 1994 - Manchester United's bid for a unique domestic treble ends when they lost 3-1 to Aston Villa in the Football League Cup final.

3 April 1994 - Blackburn Rovers draw level on points with leaders Manchester United after beating them 2-0 at Ewood Park, three months after United had established a 16-point lead.

9 April 1994 - Chelsea beat Luton Town 2-0 in the FA Cup semi-final to reach their first FA Cup final since 1970.

10 April 1994 - A late equaliser by Mark Hughes forces a replay for Manchester United as they draw 1-1 with Oldham Athletic in the FA Cup semi-final, on the same day that Eric Cantona (suspended for today's game) is voted PFA Player of the Year - the first foreign player to receive this accolade.

13 April 1994 - Manchester United beat Oldham Athletic 4-1 in the FA Cup semi-final replay at Maine Road.

2 May 1994 - Manchester United complete a back-to-back FA Premier League title triumph after their nearest rivals Blackburn Rovers lost 2-1 to Coventry City in their penultimate game of the season.

8 May 1994 - Sheffield United and Oldham Athletic join Swindon Town in the Premier League relegation zone, while Everton (league champions just seven years ago) pull off a remarkable escape by beating Wimbledon 3-2 after being 2-0 down.

14 May 1994 - Manchester United complete the 'double' by beating Chelsea 4-0 in the FA Cup final.

20 May 1994 - QPR give a free transfer to 37-year-old midfielder Ray Wilkins, the veteran midfielder who played 84 times for England between 1978 and 1986.

24 May 1994 - Matt Le Tissier, who has been linked with a move to several big clubs including Manchester United, signs a new contract to stay at Southampton until at least 1997.

10 June 1994 - Bobby Charlton, record goalscorer for both Manchester United and England, receives a knighthood.

14 June 1994 - Tottenham Hotspur are found guilty of financial irregularities and receive the heaviest punishment ever imposed on an English club. The Football Association fines Tottenham £600,000, bans them from the 1994-95 FA Cup, and deducts them 12 league points from the start of next season.


*Sir Matt Busby, 84, won F.A Cup as player with Manchester City in 1934. Became one of the most famous names in world football when manager of Manchester United from 1945 to 1969. Built three great teams. The first great team made its name in the postwar years with an F.A Cup victory and a league title. Busby replaced the ageing members of this teams with exciting young players who were known as the 'Busby Babes'. They won two straight league titles before eight players died and two had their careers ended by the Munich Air Disaster in 1958. Busby himself was gravely injured but made a full recovery against all the odds. He then built a third great team for the 1960s which won an F.A Cup and two league titles before reaching its pinnacle with the European Cup in 1968. He retired a year later but remained as a director and later as president until his death, which marked the end of his association with the club which had lasted 49 years.
*Tony Barton, 57, was manager of Aston Villa when they won the European Cup in 1982. Had taken over from Ron Saunders earlier during the 1981-82 season. He remained in charge for two more seasons at Villa Park and later in his career he managed Northampton Town as well as being assistant manager of Portsmouth and finally Southampton before retiring from football in 1991.
*Danny Blanchflower, 67, was centre-half and captain of Tottenham Hotspur when they won the double in 1961, F.A Cup in 1962 and Cup Winners Cup in 1963. He retired through injury in 1964. During the late 1970s he managed Chelsea but was unable to sustain himself as a successful football manager, although he did make a successful living as a football manager.
*Tony Waddington, 68, was manager of Stoke City from 1960 to 1977 and guided them to League Cup glory in 1972 - still their only major trophy to date.

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