1919–20 Football League

Last updated

The Football League
Season 1919–20
Champions West Bromwich Albion
Relegated Lincoln City
Expelled Leeds City
New Clubs in League Coventry City
West Ham United
South Shields
Rotherham County
Port Vale (Mid-season)

The 191920 season was the 28th season of The Football League, and the first season after football was suspended after outbreak of World War I


Compared to 1914–15, the number of Football League member clubs increased from 40 to 44, initially with five new clubs.

Team changes

Resuming after four years, the Football League expanded its numbers by four, maintaining competition in two Divisions of equal size. During previous such expansions, 1898 and 1905, the relegated clubs from the previous season were re-elected, while the top Second Division sides were promoted as usual.

Following that precedent, the two top Second Division sides in 1915, Derby and Preston did move on up. Chelsea, who had finished 19th that First Division season, were, as expected, re-elected.

Discussion of how the expansion should be handled began on 13 January 1919 when James Catton published an article in Athletic News raising the issue of match fixing which had dogged the 1914/15 League season and been left unresolved because of the cessation of the League for the duration of the war.

In the article Catton argued one of the two teams that ought to be returned to the first division (if that league was to be expanded, as had already been proposed), should be Chelsea as they had been relegated due to the match fixing. Catton then considered the argument that Tottenham, who had also been relegated with Chelsea should likewise be reinstated, although he noted there was nothing to link Tottenham’s relegation with anything amiss in the final season before the cessation of the League for the duration. [1]

In 1915, Manchester United had, to avoid relegation, fixed their last game against Liverpool. They won 2–0 and sent Chelsea into the relegation places instead, but the new league president and former Liverpool chairman John McKenna must have felt some guilt, because at the League's AGM in 1919 he gave a speech insisting on the continued presence in the top flight of the Stamford Bridge club.

More controversially though, Tottenham Hotspur - who came 20th in 1915 - were not re-elected and arch-rivals Arsenal, who had finished fifth in the Second Division had their promotion engineered by Sir Henry Norris. It has been alleged that Norris bribed or in some way unduly influenced the voting members of the Football League, in particular McKenna at the League's AGM. [2] [3] McKenna made a speech recommending Arsenal's promotion ahead of Spurs thanks to the former's longer spell in the League (Arsenal joined in 1893, Spurs in 1908), although Barnsley and Wolves, who both finished ahead of Arsenal, had been members of the league longer than Arsenal; Wolves since its inception in 1888. [2] Arsenal have never been relegated from the top flight of the English game since.

In the Second Division, Port Vale took over from Leeds City after 4 October 1919, when Leeds were disbanded by F.A. order following alleged irregular practices. Port Vale then inherited Leeds’ record up to that date. [4]

After the season, Grimsby Town were relegated to the newly formed Third Division. Lincoln City was not re-elected to Second Division and Leeds United was elected to replace it. Cardiff City were elected to take the second available place in Second Division.

Final league tables

The tables and results below are reproduced here in the exact form that they can be found at The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation website [5] and in Rothmans Book of Football League Records 1888–89 to 1978–79, [4] with home and away statistics separated.

Beginning with the season 1894–95, clubs finishing level on points were separated according to goal average (goals scored divided by goals conceded), or more properly put, goal ratio. In case one or more teams had the same goal difference, this system favoured those teams who had scored fewer goals. The goal average system was eventually scrapped beginning with the 1976–77 season. From the 1894–95 season and until the 1920–21 season the re-election process was required of the clubs which finished in the bottom three of the league.

First Division

Football League
First Division
Champions West Bromwich Albion (1st English title)
Relegated Notts County,
The Wednesday
Matches played462
Goals scored1,332 (2.88 per match)
Top goalscorer Fred Morris (West Bromwich Albion), 37 [6]
Biggest home win West Bromwich AlbionNotts County 8–0 (25 Oct 1919)
Biggest away win BurnleyBradford Park Avenue 2–6 (22 Nov 1919)
Preston North EndBradford City 1–5 (1 Sep 1919)
Bradford Park AvenueWest Bromwich Albion 0–4 (3 Apr 1920)
Derby CountyWest Bromwich Albion 0–4 (20 Dec 1919)
Highest scoring Manchester CityBlackburn Rovers 8–2 (8 Nov 1919)
PosTeamPldHWHDHLHGFHGAAWADALAGFAGAGAvPtsQualification or relegation
1 West Bromwich Albion 4217136521113739262.21360League Champions
2 Burnley 421353432784922321.10251
3 Chelsea 4215333310721223411.09849
4 Liverpool 421254351875924261.34148
5 Sunderland 4217224516521427431.22048
6 Bolton Wanderers 421137352986737361.10847
7 Manchester City 4214525227441319351.14545
8 Newcastle United 4211553113641113261.12843
9 Aston Villa 4211374936731126371.02742FA Cup Winners
10 Arsenal 4211553221471024370.96642
11 Bradford Park Avenue 42867312676829370.95242
12 Manchester United 42687201776834331.08040
13 Middlesbrough 4210563523551126420.93840
14 Sheffield United 4214524320231616490.85540
15 Bradford City 4210653625451218380.85739
16 Everton 42867422948927391.01538
17 Oldham Athletic 4212453319341416330.94238
18 Derby County 4212543618171311390.82538
19 Preston North End 429663527541222460.78138
20 Blackburn Rovers 4211464830271216470.83137
21 Notts County 429843925341417490.75736Relegated
22 The Wednesday 4264111423151514410.43823
Source: RSSSF


Arsenal 0–10–12–21–23–02–0 1–1 1–01–11–02–20–32–10–13–13–20–03–03–23–11–0
Aston Villa 2–11–23–63–11–02–25–22–22–20–10–12–05–34–03–13–02–44–00–33–12–4
Blackburn Rovers 2–25–12–24–13–32–33–12–03–20–21–45–00–22–01–10–14–04–03–01–01–5
Bolton Wanderers 2–22–12–11–11–21–11–23–00–20–36–23–52–10–31–01–04–11–01–02–01–2
Bradford City 1–13–13–10–1 0–0 2–13–13–13–31–31–02–10–11–03–41–12–21–22–01–13–0
Bradford Park Avenue 0–06–15–22–0 0–0 0–11–01–10–21–22–11–41–10–10–12–03–31–02–23–00–4
Burnley 2–10–03–12–11–12–62–32–05–01–22–02–15–31–02–12–11–12–22–12–02–2
Chelsea 3–1 2–12–12–31–04–00–10–00–11–01–01–03–10–02–01–04–01–02–01–12–0
Derby County 2–11–00–01–23–00–00–25–02–13–00–01–11–21–03–11–12–05–13–12–10–4
Everton 2–31–13–03–34–12–02–22–34–0 0–0 2–00–05–24–01–20–20–13–01–31–12–5
Liverpool 2–32–13–02–02–13–30–10–13–0 3–1 1–0 0–0 1–01–13–02–21–22–03–21–00–0
Manchester City 4–12–28–21–41–04–13–11–03–11–12–1 3–3 1–00–04–13–11–03–31–04–22–3
Manchester United 0–11–21–11–10–00–10–10–20–21–0 0–0 1–0 1–12–10–01–15–13–02–00–01–2
Middlesbrough 1–01–42–21–34–01–24–00–02–01–13–20–21–1 0–1 5–21–04–11–0 0–2 3–00–0
Newcastle United 3–12–00–00–10–14–00–03–00–03–03–03–02–1 0–0 2–10–11–02–1 2–3 1–10–2
Notts County 2–22–15–02–25–20–22–00–12–21–11–04–10–21–10–02–11–22–22–23–12–0
Oldham Athletic 3–00–30–02–00–12–21–01–03–04–11–11–30–31–21–00–04–14–02–11–02–1
Preston North End 1–13–00–01–11–50–30–13–11–11–12–11–12–33–12–32–02–12–05–23–00–1
Sheffield United 2–01–22–03–20–02–21–33–10–01–13–23–12–25–12–13–01–02–13–1 3–0 1–0
Sunderland 1–12–12–02–02–02–03–03–22–12–30–12–13–0 1–1 2–0 3–13–01–03–22–14–1
The Wednesday 1–20–10–00–21–00–13–10–22–01–02–20–01–30–10–10–01–00–1 2–1 0–20–3
West Bromwich Albion 1–01–25–24–14–13–14–14–03–04–31–12–02–14–13–08–03–14–10–24–01–3
Updated to match(es) played on unknown. Source:
Legend: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.


Greater London UK location map 2.svg
Red pog.svg
Red pog.svg
Locations of the Football League First Division London teams

Second Division

Football League
Second Division
Champions Tottenham Hotspur (1st title)
Relegated Grimsby Town
Failed re-election Lincoln City
Matches played462
Goals scored1,285 (2.78 per match)
Top goalscorer Sammy Taylor (Huddersfield Town), 35 [6]
Biggest home win BirminghamNottingham Forest 8–0 (10 Mar 1920)
Biggest away win BarnsleyBirmingham 0–5 (14 Feb 1920)
Leicester CityBury 0–5 (10 Apr 1920)
Highest scoring Hull CityWolverhampton Wanderers 10–3 (27 Dec 1919)
PosTeamPldHWHDHLHGFHGAAWADALAGFAGAGAvPtsPromotion or relegation
1 Tottenham Hotspur 4219206011134442213.18870Division Champions, promoted
2 Huddersfield Town 4216415813124539252.55364Promoted
3 Birmingham 4214345416105631182.50056
4 Blackpool 421344401886725291.38352
5 Bury 4214433515641125291.36448
6 Fulham 4211643618831025321.22047
7 West Ham United [lower-alpha 1] 4214343414561013261.17547
8 Bristol City 42993301848916251.07043
9 South Shields [lower-alpha 1] 4213534718271211301.20842
10 Stoke [lower-alpha 1] 4213353715531323391.11142
11 Hull City 4213445323521425491.08342
12 Barnsley 429574128651020271.10940
13 Port Vale [lower-alpha 1] 4211373527551124350.95240 [lower-alpha 2]
14 Leicester City 428672629741015320.67240
15 Clapton Orient 4214343417231617420.86438
16 Stockport County 4211463424351318370.85237
17 Rotherham County [lower-alpha 1] 4210473227341419560.61434
18 Nottingham Forest 429482322251420510.58931
19 Wolverhampton Wanderers 428494132261314480.68830
20 Coventry City [lower-alpha 1] 427772026241515470.47929Re-elected
21 Lincoln City 428672730131717710.43627Failed re-election [lower-alpha 3]
22 Grimsby Town 428492324211811510.45325Relegated [lower-alpha 4]
Source: [ citation needed ]
  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 New club in the league
  2. Leeds City were expelled from the league after 8 games; Port Vale, formerly Burslem Port Vale, took their place and inherited their record.
  3. Lincoln City were not re-elected, but they returned to the league later, for the season 1921–22, surfacing this time in 3rd Division North, after having been absent only for one season.
  4. Grimsby Town participated in the Football League Third Division during the following season.


Barnsley 0–51–10–01–32–11–04–10–13–32–30–15–32–21–04–00–10–01–23–07–04–1
Birmingham 0–04–21–00–22–14–12–04–04–24–10–17–08–03–02–24–01–12–10–10–12–0
Blackpool 0–23–00–01–03–02–01–12–00–32–14–23–06–03–25–10–31–03–10–10–01–1
Bristol City 3–11–10–01–01–11–00–33–12–12–20–06–00–01–12–13–11–01–21–20–01–1
Bury 2–01–01–20–13–02–22–21–12–02–01–03–01–12–14–12–10–21–02–11–02–0
Clapton Orient 2–02–13–01–02–12–20–13–00–12–23–01–01–02–11–24–02–12–10–41–00–0
Coventry City 1–01–30–00–02–10–00–12–00–20–10–4 1–2 2–04–21–11–11–13–20–50–01–0
Fulham 1–11–21–21–11–02–10–02–12–21–05–03–01–04–03–01–04–10–01–41–21–1
Grimsby Town 1–10–31–12–21–22–00–10–21–02–11–22–21–02–00–13–10–32–02–00–10–1
Huddersfield Town 4–10–01–31–05–02–15–03–03–02–00–04–22–14–17–12–25–03–01–12–02–0
Hull City 3–10–00–10–04–23–10–12–04–11–41–15–15–22–01–03–04–13–01–31–110–3
Leeds City 1–03–01–21–1
Leicester City 0–01–02–32–10–51–1 1–0 3–22–00–43–24–00–00–11–10–00–23–12–40–01–2
Lincoln City 0–42–20–30–02–12–14–10–12–01–32–00–31–40–00–01–12–02–11–11–44–0
Nottingham Forest 0–11–22–01–21–02–12–10–32–01–20–20–02–10–14–10–01–10–21–12–11–0
Port Vale 0–21–33–12–24–23–42–10–01–21–04–14–21–02–0 0–3 0–11–0
Rotherham County 1–00–31–22–21–23–14–31–13–11–31–21–03–02–02–21–01–01–31–10–12–0
South Shields 0–01–06–00–20–02–01–02–02–01–27–12–02–25–22–06–23–22–20–33–00–0
Stockport County 1–02–10–02–31–13–11–12–11–21–23–10–23–00–00–44–11–03–11–21–04–1
Stoke 2–00–12–02–01–12–06–11–03–00–13–13–01–30–2 0–0 3–00–02–11–32–13–0
Tottenham Hotspur 4–00–02–22–02–12–14–14–03–12–04–04–06–15–22–02–02–02–02–02–04–2
West Ham United 0–21–21–02–01–00–12–00–11–01–12–11–01–15–13–12–11–03–01–12–14–0
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2–40–20–33–10–11–22–02–16–12–34–22–41–14–04–00–10–02–24–01–31–1
Updated to match(es) played on unknown. Source: Ian Laschke: Rothmans Book of Football League Records 1888–89 to 1978–79. Macdonald and Jane’s, London & Sydney, 1980.
Note: Port Vale takes over from Leeds City and then inherits the latter’s record up to that date.
Legend: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.


Greater London UK location map 2.svg
Red pog.svg
Red pog.svg
Red pog.svg
Red pog.svg
Locations of the Football League Second Division London teams

See also

Related Research Articles

The 1930–31 season was the 39th season of The Football League.

The 1967–68 season was the 69th completed season of the English Football League.

The 1968–69 season was the 70th completed season of The Football League.

The 1969–70 season was the 71st completed season of The Football League.

The 1970–71 season was the 72nd completed season of The Football League.

The 1971–72 season was the 73rd completed season of The Football League.

The 1972–73 season was the 74th completed season of The Football League.

The 1977–78 season was the 79th completed season of The Football League.

The 1911–12 season was the 24th season of The Football League.

The 1914–15 season was the 27th season of The Football League. It was the final season before football was suspended at the outbreak of World War I.

The 1920–21 season was the 29th season of The Football League.

The 1921–22 season was the 30th season of The Football League.

The 1935–36 season was the 44th season of The Football League.

The 1937–38 season was the 46th season of The Football League.

The 1946–47 season was the 48th completed season of The Football League.

The 1947–48 season was the 49th completed season of The Football League.

The 1948–49 season was the 50th completed season of The Football League.

The 1950–51 season was the 52nd completed season of The Football League.

The 1951–52 season was the 53rd completed season of The Football League.

The 1953–54 season was the 55th completed season of The Football League, which ran from August 1953 until April 1954.


  1. http://www.blog.woolwicharsenal.co.uk/archives/16848
  2. 1 2 Spurling (2004). Rebels for the Cause. p. 40.
  3. Soar, Phil; Tyler, Martin (2005). The Official Illustrated History of Arsenal. Hamlyn. p. 40. ISBN   0-600-61344-5.
  4. 1 2 Ian Laschke: Rothmans Book of Football League Records 1888–89 to 1978–79. Macdonald and Jane’s, London & Sydney, 1980.
  5. "England 1919-20". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Archived from the original on 5 February 2010. Retrieved 24 February 2010.
  6. 1 2 "English League Leading Goalscorers". RSSSF. Retrieved 31 October 2010.