2004–05 in English football

2004–05 in English football

The 2004-05 season was the 125th season of competitive football in England.


*2004-05 was the first season to feature the rebranded Football League. The First Division, Second Division and Third Division were renamed the Football League Championship, Football League One and Football League Two respectively. Coca-Cola replaced the Nationwide Building Society as title sponsor.
*Wimbledon competed in League One, under their new name of Milton Keynes Dons.
*There were also changes in the Football Conference with the introduction of two new regional divisions below Conference National, Conference North and Conference South. Furthermore, the National Conference Cup returned, now featuring the teams from the new divisions.
*Unlike the Football League and the Conference, the FA Premier League did not undergo any restructuring, but Barclays Bank replaced their subsidiary Barclaycard as title sponsors.
*Wigan Athletic reached the Premiership as Championship runners-up. They had been elected to the Football League only 27 years earlier, had been the league's fourth lowest club 11 years earlier and until 2 years before reaching the Premiership they had never played in the upper half of the English league.
*Nottingham Forest were relegated from the Championship to League One, becoming the first former European Cup winners to slide into the third tier of their domestic league - having won two straight European Cups a quarter of a century earlier. Just ten years ago they had finished third in the Premiership and reached the following season's UEFA Cup quarter finals.


*August 8, 2004 - Arsenal claim the first silverware of the season when they beat Manchester United 3-1 to win the FA Community Shield.
* August 9, 2004 - West Bromwich Albion striker Lee Hughes is jailed for six years for causing death by dangerous driving in November 2003.
*August 23, 2004 - Southampton manager Paul Sturrock parts company with the club after just five months in charge. Saints Chairman Rupert Lowe claimed that media speculation had proved too much for Sturrock to take, despite allegations that he himself placed much pressure on Sturrock.
*August 25, 2004 - With a 3-0 home win over Blackburn Rovers, Arsenal sets the all-time record for consecutive unbeaten league matches at England's top level, with 43. The record was previously held by Nottingham Forest, with 42 from November 1977 to September 1978.
*August 30 2004 - Newcastle United manager Sir Bobby Robson is sacked after a poor start to the Premier League season amid reports of locker-room discontent. His assistant John Carver takes over as caretaker manager.
*September 6, 2004 - Graeme Souness resigns as manager of Blackburn Rovers to take over at Newcastle United. He officially took over on September 13, after the two clubs played each other for the first time in the season.
*October 24, 2004 - Arsenal's record streak of unbeaten top-flight league matches ends at 49 after a 2-0 away loss to Manchester United.
*October 26, 2004 - Gary Megson is dismissed as manager of West Bromwich Albion after he notifies the club he will not extend his contract past the current season.
*October 29, 2004 - Chelsea cancels the contract of striker Adrian Mutu after he tests positive for cocaine.
*November 5, 2004 - Jacques Santini resigns as manager of Tottenham Hotspur, citing personal reasons. Martin Jol is named caretaker manager.
*November 8, 2004 - The "caretaker" is removed from Martin Jol's title, as he signs a contract to manage Spurs through the 2006-07 season.
*November 9, 2004 - Bryan Robson is named as the new manager of West Bromwich Albion.
*November 13, 2004 - AFC Wimbledon sets a United Kingdom record for consecutive unbeaten league games in senior football, at 76, with a 1-1 draw at Bromley in Ryman Division One.
*November 17, 2004 - The England national team loses to Spain 1-0 at the Bernabéu in Madrid. However, the match is marred by racist chants from the crowd aimed at black England players. Ashley Cole and Shaun Wright-Phillips were particular targets of abuse; every time either touched the ball, monkey noises came from the crowd.
*November 24, 2004 - Harry Redknapp quits as manager of Portsmouth following a row with chairman Milan Mandaric over the appointment of a Director of Football at the club.
*November 24, 2004 - Sir Alex Ferguson takes charge of his 1000th match at Manchester United.
*December 3, 2004 - League One side Wrexham enters financial administration. Under new Football League rules, the club is penalized 10 league points, placing the club in relegation danger.
*December 4, 2004 - AFC Wimbledon lose 2-0 to Cray Wanderers, ending their United Kingdom record run of consecutive unbeaten league games in senior football at 78, having last lost a league game in February 2003 when they were playing in the Combined Counties League.
*December 8, 2004 - Southampton sack Steve Wigley after only 14 games in charge. The Saints announce Harry Redknapp, who resigned as manager of their arch-rivals Portsmouth only two weeks ago, as their new manager.
*January 11, 2005 - Everton and Liverpool announce that they have abandoned plans to groundshare at Liverpool's new stadium, which is scheduled for completion in 2007.
*January 21, 2005 - Former Chelsea chairman Ken Bates finalizes a deal to buy a controlling interest in the debt-riddled Championship club Leeds United.
*February 7, 2005 - Manchester United confirms that U.S. businessman Malcolm Glazer has made an £800 million bid to take over the club.
*February 27, 2005 - Chelsea win the League Cup beating Liverpool 3-2 after extra time.
*March 1, 2005 - Arsenal midfielder Jermaine Pennant, currently on loan to Birmingham City, is found guilty of drink-driving, driving while disqualified, and driving without insurance. He is sentenced to three months in prison; he would be released on March 31.
*March 10, 2005 - Kevin Keegan resigns as manager of Manchester City. Stuart Pearce takes over as caretaker manager.
*April 1, 2005 - Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer announces that he will play in the 2005-06 season, reversing his prior plans to retire following this season.
*April 2, 2005 - Stockport County become the first League team this season to be relegated.
*April 2, 2005 - In a stunning finish to the Premiership match between Newcastle United and Aston Villa at St James' Park, Newcastle teammates Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer are sent off for fighting each other.
*April 7, 2005 - Portsmouth appoint frenchman Alain Perrin as manager, with the role having been vacant.
*April 10, 2005 - James Vaughan of Everton becomes the youngest Premiership scorer as of this date when he scored in a match against Crystal Palace at the age of 16 years and 271 days.
*April 15, 2005 - Malcolm Glazer makes a revised bid to take over Manchester United. This bid reportedly is less dependent on debt than his February 2005 takeover bid, which was rejected by the club's board because of this issue. United's board has decided not to recommend the bid, but will allow shareholders to vote on whether to accept it, as they consider Glazer's price to be fair. The Takeover Panel subsequently gave Glazer a 17 May deadline to make an offer for the club.
*April 30, 2005 - Chelsea win the Premiership, their first top flight title in 50 years, with a 2-0 victory over Bolton at the Reebok Stadium. Frank Lampard scored both goals.
*May 11, 2005 - Stuart Pearce is appointed manager of Manchester City on a full time basis, having previously been caretaker.
*May 12, 2005 - Malcolm Glazer gained control of Manchester United after buying the 28.9% share owned by Irish businessmen and horse racing magnates J. P. McManus and John Magnier. With this purchase, Glazer officially launched his bid for a complete takeover.
*May 15, 2005 - Crystal Palace, Norwich City and Southampton are relegated from the Premiership on the last day of the season, finishing 18th, 19th and 20th respectively. West Bromwich Albion, which started the day at the bottom of the table, completed an improbable escape to become the first club since the creation of the Premier League in 1992-93 to survive after being the bottom team at Christmas.
*May 15, 2005 - Also on the last day of the Premiership, Middlesbrough goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer saves a Robbie Fowler penalty in stoppage time to preserve a 1-1 draw at Manchester City, allowing Boro to finish seventh and grab the final UEFA Cup berth. If Fowler had converted, Man City would have gone to the UEFA Cup instead of Boro.
*May 16, 2005 - Malcolm Glazer announces that he has acquired 75% of the shares of Manchester United. This level of ownership will enable him to delist the club from the London Stock Exchange, which he has pledged to do.
*May 21, 2005 - Arsenal beat Manchester Utd on penalties in the FA Cup Final after no goals were scored in normal or extra time, this being the first final to be decided on penalties. Patrick Vieira converted the winning spot-kick in what was his last game for the Gunners.
*May 25, 2005 - Liverpool win the European Cup for a fifth time, beating A.C. Milan 3-2 on penalties after extra time. Milan went ahead 3-0 in the first half, but Liverpool scored three goals in the first 15 minutes of the second half to level the score.
*June 1, 2005 - An independent commission charged by the Premier League with investigating the alleged "tapping up" of Arsenal defender Ashley Cole by Chelsea issues its findings:
**Cole is found guilty of violating Premier League Rule K5, which prohibits players from approaching clubs with intent of negotiating a transfer without the permission of their current clubs. He is fined £100,000.
**Chelsea are found guilty of violating Rule K3, which prohibits a club from contacting a player under contract without the permission of his current club. Chelsea are fined £300,000, and receive a suspended three-point deduction for the 2005-06 season. The deduction will be assessed if Chelsea are guilty of another tapping-up offense in 2005-06.
**Chelsea manager José Mourinho is found guilty of violating Rule Q, which governs managers' conduct, and is fined £200,000.
*June 3, 2005 - Northwich Victoria's ground is confirmed to be up to Conference National standards. However, due to legal issues stemming from their spell in administration earlier in the season, their points total is zeroed and they are relegated from the Conference as a result. Previously relegated Forest Green replace them.
*June 4, 2005 - Spurs suspend their sporting director Frank Arnesen, and accuse Chelsea of making an illegal approach to him. Chelsea deny the accusations, claiming that they had made an official approach to the club regarding Arnesen.
*June 7, 2005 - George Burley resigns as manager of Derby County, citing differences with the club's board.
*June 10, 2005 - UEFA changes the rules for the UEFA Champions League to ensure that the reigning champions will always be able to defend their title. The immediate effect is to allow Liverpool to defend their crown, despite a fifth-place finish in the Premiership, outside the four slots currently allotted for England in the competition. Liverpool will have to begin play in the first of three qualifying rounds.
*June 22, 2005 - Southampton manager Harry Redknapp confirms reports that the Saints will bring on Sir Clive Woodward, former England rugby union head coach and current head coach of the British and Irish Lions, as director of football. Woodward will join Saints after the Lions tour.
*June 24, 2005 - Spurs and Chelsea jointly announce that they have reached an agreement in principle regarding Spurs sporting director Frank Arnesen, who had been suspended after Chelsea had allegedly made an illegal approach to him. The next day, a Chelsea official revealed that the club paid £5 million.
*June 24, 2005 - The Welsh champions Total Network Solutions, who had previously offered to play a two-legged playoff with Champions League holders Liverpool for TNS's place in the first qualifying round of the competition, wind up being drawn against Liverpool in the first qualifying round of the competition.
*June 24, 2005 - Former Bolton Wanderers assistant manager Phil Brown becomes Derby County's fifth manager in four years.
*July 16, 2005 - F.C. United of Manchester, a club formed by a group of Manchester United supporters in response to the Malcolm Glazer takeover of Manchester United, play their first-ever match, a preseason friendly with Leigh RMI. The match ends in a 0-0 draw.

National team

England began their qualifying campaign for the Football World Cup 2006. They played alongside UK neighbours Wales and Northern Ireland in the European Group 6.

The Football League

Football League Championship

After narrowly missing out on promotion the previous season, Sunderland managed to clinch a return to the top-flight. Wigan joined them, entering the top-flight for the first time in their history. West Ham made amends for their loss in the play-off final the previous year by beating Preston.

Unusually, none of the sides relegated to the Championship in 2003-04 did particularly well. While Leeds were widely predicted for a second successive relegation and possible bankruptcy (both of which looked likely in the middle of the season, but were staved off by another takeover), Wolves and Leicester were predicted to challenge for promotion. Instead, both sides started badly, and replaced their managers mid-season, never really looking like promotion contenders.

At the bottom of the table, Rotherham and Gillingham's luck finally ran out, and the sides were relegated after a short few years in which both sides battled the odds on small budgets. What made bigger headlines was Nottingham Forest's relegation to League One, six years after they were in the Premiership, and which made them the first European Cup winners to drop to the third division of their domestic league. While Dario Gradi's Crewe Alexandra managed to survive relegation on the last day of the season in their 2-1 win over Coventry City, which was their first win without striker Dean Ashton who was sold to Norwich City for £3m.

* Deducted 10 points for going into administration

Non-League Football

Transfer deals

ummer transfer window

The summer transfer window runs from the end of the previous season until 31 August.

January transfer window

The mid-season transfer window runs from 1 to 31 January 2005.

For subsequent transfer deals see 2005-06 in English football.


*Fernando Hierro (Bolton Wanderers)
*Mark Fish (Charlton Athletic)
*Lucas Radebe (Leeds United)
*Martin Grainger (Birmingham City)
*Emmanuel Petit (Chelsea)
*Mario Stanic (Chelsea)
*Dean Richards (Tottenham Hotspur)
*Graeme Le Saux (Southampton)
*Jamie Redknapp (Southampton)


*Brian Clough, 69, who achieved league title success as manager with Derby County in 1972 but is best remembered for his achievement at Nottingham Forest - where he won promotion to the original First Division and established Forest as one of Europe's top sides. They were league champions once, European Cup winners twice and League Cup winners four times. He underwent a liver transplant in January 2003, 20 months before his death from stomach cancer in a Derby hospital.
*Bill Nicholson, 85, who won a host of domestic and European trophies with Tottenham during the 1960s and 1970s, including the double in 1961 - which made Tottenham the first English club to win the double during the 20th century.
*Emlyn Hughes, 57, former Liverpool player and England captain who won numerous domestic and European trophies with Liverpool as well as a League Cup with Wolves. During the 1980s he was a successful team captain on BBC's A Question of Sport.
*Bill Brown, 73, was goalkeeper for Spurs when they won the double in 1961.
*Bedford Jezzard, 77, was a centre forward for Fulham and England during the 1950s.
*Dave Carr, 48, was a defender with Luton Town, Lincoln City and Torquay United.
*Harry McNally, 68, was a charismatic former manager of Wigan Athletic and Chester City. His popularity at Chester was such that the home terrace at the Deva Stadium would later be named after him.

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