The 1975–76 season was the 77th completed season of The Football League.
Liverpool won their first major trophy under Bob Paisley by narrowly winning the league title after heated competition from Queens Park Rangers. They also lifted the UEFA Cup for the second time in their history. Dave Sexton's QPR side failed to win their first-ever league title but still managed to finish in their highest ever position of runners-up and qualify for the UEFA Cup. Following QPR into Europe were Tommy Docherty's promising young Manchester United side, Dave Mackay's defending champions Derby County and Jimmy Armfield's Leeds United.
Going down were Wolverhampton Wanderers, Burnley and Sheffield United.
Bertie Mee, 57, retired after ten years as manager of Arsenal. The highlights of his career had been the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup triumph of 1970 and the Double win 1971, but Arsenal had fallen behind the best in recent seasons and Mee handed over the reins to Terry Neill.
Three years after winning the FA Cup, Bob Stokoe's Sunderland finally won promotion to the top flight as Second Division champions. Bristol City and West Bromwich Albion occupied the two other promotion places. Oxford United, York City and Portsmouth went down to the Third Division.
The division's biggest headline hitters were Southampton, who finished sixth in the league but surprised the footballing world by overcoming Manchester United to win the FA Cup.
Hereford United won the Third Division title to reach the Second Division just four years after joining the league. Also going up to the Second Division were Cardiff City and Millwall. Aldershot, Colchester United, Southend United and Halifax Town were relegated to the Fourth Division. Narrowly avoiding the drop were Sheffield Wednesday, who a decade before were one of the most feared sides in England and during the interwar years had won the league championship and the FA Cup.
The 32-year-old Graham Taylor achieved the first success of his managerial career by winning the Fourth Division title with Lincoln City. He was linked with several job vacancies in the First and Second Divisions but surprised everyone by taking over at Elton John's Watford, who were still in the Fourth Division. It was to be the start of a long and successful association with the Hornets for Taylor. Joining Lincoln in the Third Division were Northampton Town, Reading and Tranmere Rovers. 1975–76 had finally brought something positive after a decade of trauma for Northampton Town, which had seen them slump from the First Division to the Fourth Division.
This year, the Football League voted in favour of the bottom four clubs in the Fourth Division and there were no departures or arrivals in the league for 1976–77.
The tables and results below are reproduced here in the exact form that they can be found at The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation websiteand in Rothmans Book of Football League Records 1888–89 to 1978–79, 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 1975-76 season was the last season that the goal average system was used.
Since the Fourth Division was established in the 1958–59 season, the bottom four teams of that division have been required to apply for re-election.
|Champions||Liverpool (9th English title)|
|Relegated|| Burnley |
|1976–77 European Cup||Liverpool|
|1976–77 UEFA Cup|| Derby County |
Queens Park Rangers
|Goals scored||1,230 (2.66 per match)|
|Top goalscorer||Ted MacDougall (Norwich City), 23|
|Biggest home win|| Arsenal – West Ham United 6–1 (20 Mar 1976)|
Arsenal – Coventry City 5–0 (11 Oct 1975)
Queens Park Rangers – Everton 5–0 (11 Oct 1975)
Tottenham Hotspur – Sheffield United 5–0 (27 Mar 1976)
Wolverhampton Wanderers –Newcastle United 5–0 (10 Apr 1976)
|Biggest away win|| Ipswich Town – Derby County 2–6 (24 Apr 1976)|
Birmingham City – West Ham United 1–5 (1 Nov 1975)
Burnley – Wolverhampton Wanderers 1–5 (15 Nov 1975)
Derby County – Queens Park Rangers 1–5 (23 Apr 1976)
|Highest scoring||Norwich City – Aston Villa 5–3 (23 Apr 1976)|
Liverpool won their first silverware under Bob Paisley by lifting their second UEFA Cup, and winning the league title. They won eight of their last nine matchesand finished one point ahead of QPR, who achieved the highest finish of their history. Manchester United's revival under Tommy Docherty continued as they finished third in the league and reached their first cup final of the 1970s, where they took on Second Division underdogs Southampton in the FA Cup Final but surprisingly lost 1-0. Defending champions Derby County surrendered their title crown but managed a decent fourth-place finish in the league. Leeds United completed the top five but were denied a place in the UEFA Cup as they were still banned from Europe following the antics of their fans at the 1975 European Cup Final. Manchester City triumphed over Newcastle United in the final of the League Cup to win their first major trophy for six years.
FA Cup holders West Ham United finished 18th in the league but did enjoy a good run in Europe, finishing runners-up in the European Cup Winners' Cup. Arsenal endured another disappointing season as they finished 17th.
Sheffield United, who had finished sixth a year earlier, went down in bottom place after winning just six league games all season. They were joined by Burnley and Wolves.
|Pos||Team||Pld||HW||HD||HL||HGF||HGA||AW||AD||AL||AGF||AGA||GAv||Pts||Qualification or relegation|
|1||Liverpool (C)||42||14||5||2||41||21||9||9||3||25||10||2.129||60||Qualified for European Cup|
|2||Queens Park Rangers||42||17||4||0||42||13||7||7||7||25||20||2.030||59||Qualified for UEFA Cup|
|8||Manchester City||42||14||5||2||46||18||2||6||13||18||28||1.391||43||League Cup winners, qualified for UEFA Cup|
|18||West Ham United||42||10||5||6||26||23||3||5||13||22||48||0.676||36|
|Champions||Sunderland (1st title)|
|Promoted|| Bristol City,|
West Bromwich Albion
|Relegated|| Oxford United,|
|1976–77 European Cup Winners' Cup||Southampton|
|Goals scored||1,106 (2.39 per match)|
|Top goalscorer||Derek Hales (Charlton Athletic), 28|
|Biggest home win||Bolton Wanderers –Charlton Athletic 5–0 (4 Oct 1975)|
|Biggest away win|| Charlton Athletic –Luton Town 1–5 (3 Dec 1975)|
Charlton Athletic –Bolton Wanderers 0–4 (24 Apr 1975)
|Highest scoring||Blackpool –Southampton 4–3 (20 Sept 1975)|
Three years after making history as the first postwar FA Cup winners from outside the top flight, Sunderland finally made their way back to the First Division after six years away by winning the Second Division title. Runners-up Bristol City achieved promotion after 65 years away from the First Division, finishing level on points with West Bromwich Albion.
Bolton Wanderers missed out on promotion by a single point, while Southampton compensated for a failed promotion bid by winning the FA Cup at the expense of Manchester United - the first major trophy of their history.
Nottingham Forest progressed to eighth place in their first full season under the management of Brian Clough, while Chelsea's first season at this level for more than a decade produced a disappointing 11th-place finish, with financial problems still blighting the club.
Portsmouth, York City and Oxford United went down to the Third Division.
|Pos||Team||Pld||HW||HD||HL||HGF||HGA||AW||AD||AL||AGF||AGA||GAv||Pts||Promotion or relegation|
|1||Sunderland||42||19||2||0||48||10||5||6||10||19||26||1.861||56||Division Champions, promoted|
|3||West Bromwich Albion||42||10||9||2||29||12||10||4||7||21||21||1.515||53|
|6||Southampton||42||18||2||1||49||16||3||5||13||17||34||1.320||49||FA Cup winners, qualified for UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1976–77 First round|
|Champions||Hereford United (1st title)|
|Promoted|| Cardiff City,|
|1976–77 European Cup Winners' Cup||Cardiff City (Welsh Cup winners)|
|Goals scored||1,440 (2.61 per match)|
|Top goalscorer||Dixie McNeil (Hereford United), 35|
|Pos||Team||Pld||HW||HD||HL||HGF||HGA||AW||AD||AL||AGF||AGA||GAv||Pts||Promotion or relegation|
|1||Hereford United||46||14||6||3||45||24||12||5||6||41||31||1.564||63||Division Champions, promoted|
|2||Cardiff City||46||14||7||2||38||13||8||6||9||31||35||1.438||57||Welsh Cup winners, qualified for Cup Winners' Cup: First round, also promoted|
|4||Brighton & Hove Albion||46||18||3||2||58||15||4||6||13||20||38||1.472||53|
|8||Preston North End||46||15||4||4||45||23||4||6||13||17||34||1.088||48|
|Champions||Lincoln City (1st title)|
|Promoted|| Northampton Town,|
|Goals scored||1,442 (2.61 per match)|
|Top goalscorer||Ronnie Moore (Tranmere Rovers), 34|
|1||Lincoln City||46||21||2||0||71||15||11||8||4||40||24||2.846||74||Division Champions, promoted|
The 1958–59 season was the 60th completed season of The Football League.
The 1959–60 season was the 61st completed season of The Football League.
The 1960–61 season was the 62nd completed season of The Football League.
The 1962–63 season was the 64th completed season of the English Football League.
The 1964–65 season was the 66th completed season of the Football League.
The 1966–67 season was the 68th 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 1957–58 season was the 59th completed season of The Football League. The first division title went to Wolverhampton Wanderers for the second time, while Sunderland were relegated to the second division for the first time in the club's history, after 57 consecutive seasons in the top flight of English football. The season was marred by the Munich air disaster, in which eight Manchester United players died as a result of the crash with two others suffering career-ending injuries.
The 1978–79 season was the 80th completed season of the Football League.
The 1926–27 season was the 35th 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 1949–50 season was the 51st completed season of The Football League.
The 1951–52 season was the 53rd completed season of The Football League.
The 1952–53 season was the 54th 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.
The 1954–55 season was the 56th completed season of The Football League.