|FA Premier League||Arsenal|
|First Division||Norwich City|
|Second Division||Plymouth Argyle|
|Third Division||Doncaster Rovers|
|Football Conference||Chester City|
|FA Cup||Manchester United|
|Football League Trophy||Blackpool|
|Community Shield||Manchester United|
The 2003–04 season was the 124th season of association football in England.
Arsenal completed the season without losing a league match, becoming champions of the Premiership in the process.
Leeds United avoided going into administration, but were unable to avoid relegation and lost their place in the Premiership - along with Leicester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Norwich City won promotion to the Premiership as Champions after nine years in Division 1. They were joined by runners-up West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace, who beat West Ham United in the play-off final. Wimbledon completed their relocation to Milton Keynes and moved into the former England National Hockey Stadium, which would be used as a temporary home until a new stadium was built at Denbigh North. At the end of the season, following the Dons' relegation, club directors changed its name to Milton Keynes Dons. Bradford City and Walsall joined them in relegation to Football League One.
Plymouth Argyle were Division Two champions and ensured that they would be playing in the second tier of English football for the first time in 11 years. Queens Park Rangers joined them together with Brighton who won the play-off. At the bottom, Rushden & Diamonds were relegated to Division Three along with Grimsby Town, who suffered a second consecutive relegation after losing the last game of the season. Notts County and Wycombe Wanderers were also relegated. In the same division, Oldham Athletic were in financial difficulties but they avoided going into administration after a takeover bid was confirmed.
Doncaster Rovers became Division Three champions to earn their second successive promotion, having been Conference play-off winners the previous season. They had not played above the league's lowest tier for nearly 20 years; they were joined by Hull City, Torquay United and play-off winners Huddersfield Town.
Carlisle United were relegated to the Conference from Division Three. They had spent all but two of the previous 17 seasons in the league's fourth tier. York City followed them out of the Football League after a poor second half of the season. Chester City and Shrewsbury Town were promoted to the Football League from the Football Conference.
Telford United, who had been members of the Conference for every season since its formation in 1979, went out of business at the end of a season in which they had reached the Fourth Round of the FA Cup. The club was quickly reformed as A.F.C. Telford United and joined the Northern Premier League.
|20 August 2003||Portman Road, Ipswich||Croatia||3–1||F||David Beckham (pen), Michael Owen, Frank Lampard|
|6 September 2003||Skopje City Stadium, Skopje||Macedonia||2–1||ECQ||Wayne Rooney, David Beckham (pen)|
|10 September 2003||Old Trafford, Manchester||Liechtenstein||2–0||ECQ||Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney|
|11 October 2003||Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium, Istanbul||Turkey||0–0||ECQ|
|16 November 2003||Old Trafford, Manchester||Denmark||2–3||F||Wayne Rooney, Joe Cole|
|14 February 2004||Estádio Algarve, Faro||Portugal||1–1||F||Ledley King|
|31 March 2004||Nya Ullevi Stadion, Gothenburg||Sweden||0–1||F|
|1 June 2004||City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester||Japan||1–1||FA||Michael Owen|
|5 June 2004||City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester||Iceland||6–1||FA||Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney (2), Darius Vassell (2), Wayne Bridge|
|13 June 2004||Estádio da Luz, Lisbon||France||1–2||ECF||Frank Lampard|
|17 June 2004||Estádio Cidade, Coimbra||Switzerland||3–0||ECF||Wayne Rooney (2), Steven Gerrard|
|21 June 2004||Estádio da Luz, Lisbon||Croatia||4–2||ECF||Paul Scholes, Wayne Rooney (2), Frank Lampard|
|24 June 2004||Estádio da Luz, Lisbon||Portugal||1–1 (FT), 2–2 (aet), 5–6 (P)||ECF||Michael Owen, Frank Lampard|
|FA Premier League||Arsenal|
|FA Cup||Manchester United|
|Football League Trophy||Blackpool|
|Football League First Division||Norwich City|
|Football League Second Division||Plymouth Argyle|
|Football League Third Division||Doncaster Rovers|
|FA Community Shield||Manchester United|
|Competition||Qualifiers||Reason for qualification|
|UEFA Champions League||Arsenal||1st in FA Premier League|
|Chelsea||2nd in FA Premier League|
|UEFA Champions League Third Qualifying Round||Manchester United||3rd in FA Premier League|
|Liverpool||4th in FA Premier League|
|UEFA Cup||Newcastle United||5th in FA Premier League|
|Middlesbrough||League Cup Winners|
|Millwall||In lieu of FA Cup winners|
(qualification awarded as FA Cup runners-up because FA Cup winners Manchester United had already qualified for the Champions League)
Despite the Premiership title picture being a three-horse race for much of the campaign, Arsenal remained unbeaten all season long and clinched the title with 90 points and an 11-point gap over runners-up Chelsea, who had been most people's favourites for the title after a £100 million summer spending spree. After losing defender Rio Ferdinand to an eight-month ban for missing a drugs test in September, defending champions Manchester United turned in some lacklustre performances during the second half of the season, which put paid to their hopes of retaining their crown and restricting them to a third-place finish, some 15 points behind Arsenal. Solace came in the form of a record 11th FA Cup triumph, defeating Millwall 3–0 in the final at the Millennium Stadium.
Liverpool were the final team to qualify for the Champions League, finishing in fourth place, but leaving them 30 points behind Arsenal and slightly closer to the relegation zone than the title winners, and manager Gérard Houllier was sacked shortly after the season's end.
League Cup winners Middlesbrough qualified for the UEFA Cup for the first time in their history, joined by fifth-placed Newcastle United, who edged out Aston Villa – who had recovered from as low as 18th place in November – on goal difference. Seventh-placed Charlton Athletic and eighth-placed Bolton Wanderers both achieved their highest league finishes since the 1950s, while ninth-placed Fulham (many people's pre-season relegation favourites) defied the odds under 33-year-old manager Chris Coleman and achieved the highest league finish of their history. Birmingham City, in their second season since promotion, also enjoyed a solid year, finishing tenth.
Portsmouth, also considered favourites for relegation pre-season, finished a respectable 13th in their first top-flight season for 16 years, despite finishing behind bitter rivals Southampton, who recovered from the sudden resignation of Gordon Strachan in March to finish 12th.
Newly promoted Leicester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers both went down after just one season (Wolves not gaining one away win all season), while Leeds United's Premiership status was crushed under a multi-million pound debt which had been mounting relentlessly for the best part of three years, as their relegation ultimately became a matter of when rather than if, ending their top-flight membership after 14 successive seasons among the elite.
|Pos||Team||Pld||W||D||L||GF||GA||GD||Pts||Qualification or relegation|
|1||Arsenal (C)||38||26||12||0||73||26||+47||90||Qualification for the Champions League group stage|
|3||Manchester United||38||23||6||9||64||35||+29||75||Qualification for the Champions League third qualifying round|
|5||Newcastle United||38||13||17||8||52||40||+12||56||Qualification for the UEFA Cup first round|
|11||Middlesbrough||38||13||9||16||44||52||−8||48||Qualification for the UEFA Cup first round|
|18||Leicester City (R)||38||6||15||17||48||65||−17||33||Relegation to the Football League Championship|
|19||Leeds United (R)||38||8||9||21||40||79||−39||33|
|20||Wolverhampton Wanderers (R)||38||7||12||19||38||77||−39||33|
Leading goalscorer: Thierry Henry (Arsenal) – 30
The top three led the division for most of the season, but Sunderland could not shake off their poor start and lost out to Norwich, who returned to the Premiership after nearly a decade, and West Brom, who bounced back to the Premiership after relegation the previous season. Crystal Palace achieved one of the most unlikely promotions of recent times, spending the entire first half of the season in the relegation zone under manager Steve Kember before surging into the play-off places under new manager Iain Dowie.
West Ham continued to sell most of their top players following relegation the previous season, but overcame the sudden sacking of Glenn Roeder only three games into the season, with his replacement Alan Pardew guided them to 4th place, with the loss to Crystal Palace in the playoff final the only disappointment. Wigan's first season in the First Division saw them finish two points of the play-off places in seventh, failing to win any of their last 4 games, although they did finish above last season's losing playoff finalists Sheffield United on goal difference.
Wimbledon's move to Milton Keynes took its toll on the club, and they finished bottom of the table in an abysmal final season for the club before it was renamed as MK Dons. Bradford fared little better, despite the presence of former England captain Bryan Robson in the manager's chair. Walsall made a respectable start to the season before slumping somewhat later on, and finally crashing into the relegation zone; just a single point from any of their last three games would have ensured survival.
Millwall qualified for the UEFA Cup for finishing as runners-up in the FA Cup, as winners Manchester United already qualified for the Champions League.
|Pos||Team||Pld||W||D||L||GF||GA||GD||Pts||Promotion, qualification or relegation|
|1||Norwich City (C, P)||46||28||10||8||79||39||+40||94||Promotion to the FA Premier League|
|2||West Bromwich Albion (P)||46||25||11||10||64||42||+22||86|
|3||Sunderland||46||22||13||11||62||45||+17||79||Qualification for the First Division play-offs|
|4||West Ham United||46||19||17||10||67||45||+22||74|
|6||Crystal Palace (O, P)||46||21||10||15||72||61||+11||73|
|10||Millwall||46||18||15||13||55||48||+7||69||Qualification for the UEFA Cup first round|
|15||Preston North End||46||15||14||17||69||71||−2||59|
|22||Walsall (R)||46||13||12||21||45||65||−20||51||Relegation to Football League One|
|23||Bradford City (R)||46||10||6||30||38||69||−31||36|
Leading goalscorer: Andrew Johnson (Crystal Palace) – 27
Plymouth Argyle finished top of the division, though they lost manager Paul Sturrock to Southampton. Queens Park Rangers grabbed the second spot from under the noses of Bristol City, who proceeded to lose the play-off final to Brighton & Hove Albion, another side who bounced back from relegation the previous season.
Tony Adams, previously suggested by many as a possible future manager of Arsenal and England, failed to keep Wycombe Wanderers up, ending their ten-year spell in the division. Notts County nearly went bankrupt during the course of the season and the effect on the club was evident, as they slipped into Division Three (or League Two, as it would be called the next season). Rushden & Diamonds' years of success came to a grinding halt as they suffered their first-ever relegation and crashed out of the division after being promoted the previous year. Grimsby Town filled the final relegation spot, resulting in their second consecutive relegation; they had looked safe in the final weeks, but ultimately went down after a poor sequence of results combined with revivals by Chesterfield and Stockport County.
|Pos||Team||Pld||W||D||L||GF||GA||GD||Pts||Promotion or relegation|
|1||Plymouth Argyle (C, P)||46||26||12||8||85||41||+44||90||Promoted|
|2||Queens Park Rangers (P)||46||22||17||7||80||45||+35||83|
|3||Bristol City||46||23||13||10||58||37||+21||82||Participated in play-offs|
|4||Brighton & Hove Albion (O, P)||46||22||11||13||64||43||+21||77|
|21||Grimsby Town (R)||46||13||11||22||55||81||−26||50||Relegated|
|22||Rushden & Diamonds (R)||46||13||9||24||60||74||−14||48|
|23||Notts County (R)||46||10||12||24||50||78||−28||42|
|24||Wycombe Wanderers (R)||46||6||19||21||50||75||−25||37|
Leading goalscorer: Leon Knight (Brighton & Hove Albion) and Stephen McPhee (Port Vale) – 25
Doncaster Rovers earned a second successive promotion, showing that the club was firmly back on track after the years of struggle and scandal that the club had endured in the late 1990s. Hull City were another team who had suffered much strife in the previous decade, but this time their extensive investment in players finally paid off, and they were promoted as runners-up. Torquay United earned the third automatic promotion spot from Huddersfield on the last day of the season. Huddersfield Town would make up for this by beating Mansfield in the play-off final, earning an immediate return after the previous year's relegation.
Despite winning 4 out of their last 5 games, Yeovil missed out on the playoffs on goal difference in their first ever season in the Football League, while Swansea, nearly relegated the previous season, finished 10th, but were still closer to the drop zone than the playoffs.
York City were in play-off contention for a large part of the campaign, but a disastrous end to the season saw them lose 16 of their last 20 games, costing them their 80-year-old League status. Conversely, Carlisle United started the season horrendously, but a late run saw them finish 23rd. A few years ago this would have seen them complete an amazing escape from relegation, but with the introduction of two relegation places from the League it was no longer sufficient, and they dropped into the Conference, becoming the first former top-flight team to suffer this indignity.
|Pos||Team||Pld||W||D||L||GF||GA||GD||Pts||Promotion or relegation|
|1||Doncaster Rovers (C, P)||46||27||11||8||79||37||+42||92||Promoted|
|2||Hull City (P)||46||25||13||8||82||44||+38||88|
|3||Torquay United (P)||46||23||12||11||68||44||+24||81|
|4||Huddersfield Town (O, P)||46||23||12||11||68||52||+16||81||Participated in play-offs|
|23||Carlisle United (R)||46||12||9||25||46||69||−23||45||Relegated to Conference|
|24||York City (R)||46||10||14||22||35||66||−31||44|
Leading goalscorer: Steve MacLean (Scunthorpe United) – 23
|FA Trophy||Hednesford Town|
|FA Vase||Winchester City|
|FA National League System Cup||Mid Cheshire League|
|Step 3 Leagues||Northern Premier League First Division||Hyde United|
|Southern League Midland/West Division||Redditch United||(promoted to Conference North after playoffs)|
|Southern League South/East Division||King's Lynn|
|Isthmian League Division One North||Yeading|
|Isthmian League Division One South||Lewes||(promoted to Conference South after playoffs)|
|Step 4 Leagues||Northern League||Dunston Federation Brewery|
|North West Counties League||Clitheroe|
|Northern Counties East League||Ossett Albion|
|United Counties League||Spalding United|
|Eastern Counties League||A.F.C. Sudbury|
|Isthmian League Division Two||Leighton Town|
|Essex Senior League||Concord Rangers|
|Spartan South Midlands League||Beaconsfield SYCOB|
|Combined Counties League||AFC Wimbledon|
|Hellenic League||Brackley Town|
|Wessex League||Winchester City|
|Sussex County League||Chichester City United|
|Kent League||Cray Wanderers|
The summer transfer window ran from the end of the previous season until 31 August 2003.
The mid-season transfer window runs from 1 to 31 January 2004.
For subsequent transfer deals see 2004–05 in English football.
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The 2002–03 FA Premier League was the 11th season of the Premier League, the top division in English football. The first matches were played on 17 August 2002 and the last were played on 11 May 2003.
The 2001–02 FA Premier League was the tenth season of the competition. It began with a new sponsor, Barclaycard, and was titled the FA Barclaycard Premiership, replacing the previous sponsor, Carling. The title race turned into a battle among four sides – Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool and Newcastle United.
The 2003–04 FA Premier League was the 12th season of the Premier League. Arsenal were the champions and Chelsea, who had spent heavily throughout the season, were the runners up. Arsenal ended the season without a single defeat – the first team ever to do so in a 38-game league season and the second team overall.
The 2001–02 season was the 122nd season of competitive football in England.
The 2002–03 season was the 123rd season of competitive football in England.
The 2004–05 season was the 125th season of competitive football in England.
The 2005–06 season was the 126th season of competitive association football in England.
The 1993–94 FA Premier League was the second season of the Premier League, the top division of professional football in England. Manchester United won the league by eight points over nearest challengers Blackburn Rovers, their second consecutive league title. Swindon Town finished bottom of the league in their first season of top-flight football and were relegated along with Sheffield United and Oldham Athletic. Manchester United also broke their own record of the most points in a season, set by themselves the previous season. This would be surpassed by Chelsea in the 2004–05 season.
The 1998–99 FA Premier League was the seventh season of the Premier League, the top division of English football, since its establishment in 1992. Manchester United won a unique treble of the league title, the FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League. They secured their fifth league championship in seven seasons after losing just three league games all season.
The 1999–2000 FA Premier League was the eighth season of the FA Premier League, and Manchester United secured their sixth Premiership title. Like the previous season, they lost only three league games all season. Unlike in 1998–99 season, they won by a comfortable margin – 18 points as opposed to a single point.
The 2000–01 season was the 121st season of competitive football in England.
The 1992–93 season was the 113th season of football in England. The season saw the Premier League in its first season, replacing Division One of the Football League as the top league in England. Every team in the Premier League played each other twice within the season, one game away and one at home, and were awarded three points for a win and one for a draw.
The 1994–95 season was the 115th season of competitive football in England.
The 1996–97 season was the 117th season of competitive football in England. Promotion to and relegation from the Football League returned after a three-season absence, with one relegation spot in Division Three.
1840s – 1850s – 1860s – 1870s – 1880s – 1890s – 1900s – 1910s – 1920s – 1930s – 1940s – 1950s – 1960s – 1970s – 1980s – 1990s – 2000s – 2010s
The 1974–75 season was the 95th season of competitive football in England.
The 1993–94 season was the 114th season of competitive football in England.
The 1997–98 season was the 118th season of competitive football in England.
The 1998–99 season was the 119th season of competitive football in England.
The 1999–2000 season was the 120th season of competitive football in England.