The 1984–85 season was the 86th completed season of The Football League.
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,with home and away statistics separated.
During the first five seasons of the league, that is, until the season 1893–94, re-election process concerned the clubs which finished in the bottom four of the league. 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. From the 1922–23 season on it was required of the bottom two teams of both Third Division North and Third Division South. Since the Fourth Division was established in the 1958–59 season, the re-election process has concerned the bottom four clubs in that division.
|Champions||Everton (8th English title)|
|Relegated|| Norwich City |
|FA Cup winners||Manchester United (6th FA Cup title)|
|1985–86 European Cup||No qualifications|
|1985–86 European Cup Winners' Cup||No qualifications|
|1985–86 UEFA Cup||No qualifications|
|Goals scored||1,288 (2.79 per match)|
|Top goalscorer|| Kerry Dixon (Chelsea), 24|
Gary Lineker (Leicester City), 24
|Biggest home win||Chelsea – Coventry City 6–2 (3 Nov 1984)|
|Biggest away win||Aston Villa – Nottingham Forest 0–5 (5 Sep 1984)|
|Highest scoring||QPR – Newcastle United 5–5 (22 Sep 22 1984)|
|Longest winning run||Everton (10 games)|
|Longest unbeaten run||Everton (18 games)|
|Longest losing run||Stoke City (10 games)|
Howard Kendall’s Everton side beat neighbours Liverpool to the league championship, while Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United followed closely behind. Howard Kendall's team also collected the Cup Winners' Cup. Southampton completed the top five, but long-serving manager Lawrie McMenemy then delivered a major surprise by resigning as manager to take over at relegated Sunderland.
The season marked the return of Sheffield Wednesday to the First Division after 14 years away, Newcastle United after six years away, and Chelsea after five years. All three sides secured First Division survival comfortably.
Stoke City finished bottom of the First Division with just three league wins all season and just 17 points – a record low under the 3 points for a win system in any division, which would stand for twenty-one years. Norwich City and Sunderland – the two League Cup finalists – occupied the two other relegation places.
Liverpool manager Joe Fagan retired after the season and striker Kenny Dalglish was appointed player-manager.
The First Division's leading scorers this season were Gary Lineker at Leicester City and Kerry Dixon at Chelsea, with both players scoring 24 league goals.
|Pos||Team||Pld||HW||HD||HL||HGF||HGA||AW||AD||AL||AGF||AGA||GD||Pts||Qualification or relegation|
|1||Everton||42||16||3||2||58||17||12||3||6||30||26||+45||90||Excluded from the 1985–86 European Cup|
|2||Liverpool||42||12||4||5||36||19||10||7||4||32||16||+33||77||Excluded from the 1985–86 UEFA Cup|
|4||Manchester United||42||13||6||2||47||13||9||4||8||30||34||+30||76||FA Cup winners, excluded from the 1985–86 European Cup Winners' Cup|
|5||Southampton||42||13||4||4||29||18||6||7||8||27||29||+9||68||Excluded from the 1985–86 UEFA Cup|
|12||West Bromwich Albion||42||11||4||6||36||23||5||3||13||22||39||−4||55|
|16||West Ham United||42||7||8||6||27||23||6||4||11||24||45||−17||51|
|19||Queens Park Rangers||42||11||6||4||41||30||2||5||14||12||42||−19||50|
|20||Norwich City||42||9||6||6||28||24||4||4||13||18||40||−18||49||Excluded from the 1985–86 UEFA Cup|
|Champions||Oxford United (1st title)|
|Promoted|| Birmingham City,|
|Relegated|| Cardiff City,|
|Goals scored||1,255 (2.72 per match)|
|Top goalscorer||John Aldridge (Oxford United), 30|
Jim Smith’s Oxford United side won a successive promotion as Second Division champions and reached the First Division after just 23 years as Football League members. Following them into the big time were Birmingham City and Manchester City.
Slipping out of the league’s second tier were Cardiff City, joined by Notts County and Wolverhampton Wanderers – both relegated for the second season in succession. Veteran manager Tommy Docherty had tried his hand at reversing financially troubled Wolves’ rapid decline at the Molineux, but without success.
|Pos||Team||Pld||HW||HD||HL||HGF||HGA||AW||AD||AL||AGF||AGA||GD||Pts||Promotion or relegation|
|1||Oxford United||42||18||2||1||62||15||7||7||7||22||21||+48||84||Division Champions, promoted|
|6||Brighton & Hove Albion||42||13||6||2||31||11||7||6||8||23||23||+20||72|
|8||Shrewsbury Town||42||12||6||3||45||22||6||5||10||21||31||+13||65||Welsh Cup winners|
|Champions||Bradford City (1st title)|
|Promoted|| Hull City,|
Preston North End
|Goals scored||1,503 (2.72 per match)|
|Top goalscorer||Tommy Tynan (Plymouth Argyle), 31|
Bradford City’s Third Division championship glory was overshadowed on the final day of the season when a fire at their Valley Parade ground killed 56 spectators – including two followers of their opponents Lincoln City.
The other two promotion places in the Third Division were occupied by Millwall and Hull City.
Going down from the Third Division were Cambridge United (who won just four games all season), Orient, Burnley and Preston North End. Burnley and Preston were founder members of the Football League who had reached great heights in the past – just 25 years ago Burnley had been league champions. Those successes were now very much a distant memory as both clubs slid into the league's fourth tier for the first time.
Swansea City, who had finished sixth in the First Division just three years earlier, continued to suffer as a result of their financial problems as they narrowly avoided a third successive relegation.
|Pos||Team||Pld||HW||HD||HL||HGF||HGA||AW||AD||AL||AGF||AGA||GD||Pts||Promotion or relegation|
|1||Bradford City||46||15||6||2||44||23||13||4||6||33||22||+32||94||Division Champions, promoted.|
|23||Preston North End||46||9||5||9||33||41||4||2||17||18||59||−49||46|
|Champions||Chesterfield (2nd title)|
|Goals scored||1,478 (2.68 per match)|
|Top goalscorer||John Clayton (Tranmere Rovers), 31|
Chesterfield, Blackpool, Darlington and Bury were promoted to the Third Division after occupying the Fourth Division's top four places.
The bottom four clubs, Halifax Town, Stockport County, Northampton Town (who had spent a season in the First Division some 20 years earlier) and Torquay United, all retained their league status after a successful re-election campaign at the expense of Alliance Premier League side Bath City who were placed 4th in the Alliance Premier League and were the highest placed team there that would have met the Football League's requirements. Re-election results are given at the end of this article.
|1||Chesterfield||46||16||6||1||40||13||10||7||6||24||22||+29||91||Division Champions, promoted|
This year Wealdstone, the winners of the Alliance Premier League, could not apply for election because they did not meet Football League requirements. 2nd placed Nuneaton could not apply either for the same reasons, and neither could 3rd placed Dartford, so 4th placed Bath City won the right to apply for election to the Football League to replace one of the four bottom sides in the 1984–85 Football League Fourth Division. The vote went as follows:
|Northampton Town||23rd (Fourth Division)||52|
|Stockport County||22nd (Fourth Division)||50|
|Torquay United||24th (Fourth Division)||50|
|Halifax Town||21st (Fourth Division)||48|
|Bath City||4th (Alliance Premier League)||8|
As a result of this, all four Football League teams were re-elected, and Bath City were denied membership of the Football League.
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