Everton endured their most difficult season for some 50 years. They finished 17th in the Premiership and only avoided relegation because they had a stronger goal difference than 18th-placed Bolton. Manager Howard Kendall's third reign at the helm came to an end soon afterwards and he was replaced by Walter Smith.
Reading were relegated in bottom place. They were joined on the last day of the season by Manchester City and Stoke City. The blue half of Manchester endured relegation to the third tier of the English league for the first time in its history, despite beating also doomed Stoke 5-2 away on the last day of the season, but neither fans took lightly to relegation, as mass football violence outside outshone the match. QPR, Portsmouth and Port Vale all won their games to avoid the drop.
Going down to Division Three were Brentford, Plymouth Argyle, Carlisle United and Southend United. Brentford had been losing playoff finalists just 12 months earlier, Plymouth had been promoted to Division Two just two seasons earlier, Carlisle were newly-promoted and Southend had endured their second successive relegation.
Doncaster Rovers suffered an English league record of 34 defeats and won just four games to lose their league status. They were replaced by Conference champions Halifax Town, who regained their league status five years after losing it.
Italian midfielder Attilio Lombardo established himself as one of the Premiership's most competent midfielders but couldn't do enough to save his club Crystal Palace from relegation, though he did stay at the south-London side until January 1999, when financial trouble meant his wages couldn't be paid.
Sammy McIlroy achieved a second successive promotion for Macclesfield Town in their first season of league football. Alan Buckley achieved promotion for Grimsby Town after their relegation from division one. Also took the team to Wembley for the first time in its history to win the Auto Windscreens Shield against Bournemouth.
Sam Allardyce took Notts County to the Division Three title with 99 points - the highest tally in any division this season.
Arsenal equalled Manchester United's record of two league championship and F.A Cup doubles when they overhauled Alex Ferguson's men in the Premiership title race and beat Kenny Dalglish's Newcastle United in the F.A Cup final, giving Arsène Wenger a brilliant first season at the Highbury helm.
Chelsea completed the other half of the London double by beating Middlesbrough in the League Cup final and VFB Stuttgart in the Cup Winners Cup final, within three months of 33-year-old striker Gianluca Vialli taking over as player-manager after Ruud Gullit was sacked for arguing about transfer funds with chairman Ken Bates.
Justin Fashanu, the first English footballer to admit being homosexual, was found dead on the morning of 3rd May in a lock-up garage in East London. He was 37. Fashanu, who is believed to have committed suicide, had fled the USA after being arrested in Maryland on suspicion of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old boy.
Fashanu, older brother of former Wimbledon striker John, began his career as an exciting young striker with Norwich City and in 1981 became Britain's first £1million black footballer when he joined Nottingham Forest. But he was not successful at the City Ground and later turned out for clubs including Edmonton (a Canadian team), Manchester City, West Ham United, Newcastle United, Torquay United, Airdrieonians, and Hearts. In 1992 he applied for the Torquay United manager's job but his application was rejected and he briefly stayed on an assistant manager before quitting the club completely.
Billy Bremner, the controversial but brilliant midfielder who starred for Leeds United in Don Revie glory era, died on 6th December after suffering a heart attack at the age of 54. He collected three championship medals as well as League Cup, F.A Cup, Cup Winners Cup and UEFA Cup winner's medals before finishing his career with Hull City. Bremner returned to Leeds as manager in 1985 and came within a whisker of reaching the F.A Cup final and winning promotion to the First Division in his second season as manager. He was sacked in 1988 and finished his time in football as manager of Doncaster Rovers, where he was in charge from August 1989 until November 1991.
While the red half of Manchester reeled in disappointment at being beaten to the Premiership title by Arsenal, the blue half of Manchester had to come to terms with the agony of relegation to Division Two for the first time in their history. City had started the Division One campaign badly and manager Frank Clark was fired in March, with former Everton manager Joe Royle being appointed as his successor.
City went into their final game of the season at Stoke, with both sides knowing that they had to win to stand any chance of avoiding relegation. In the end City won 5-2, but both teams were relegated because the three teams above the drop zone all won their games.
Relegation to Division Two meant that Manchester City (who had won the Cup Winners Cup in 1970) were the first former winners of a European trophy to be relegated to the third tier of their domestic league.
To the dismay of the Stoke fans, Stoke were relegated in the first season of their new stadium. Many fans did not take to moving to the Britannia Stadium from their sacred old Victoria Ground. Stoke City were in the top flight in 1984/85 season.
England took on Argentina in the Second Round of the World Cup in France, with a classic goal by 18-year-old striker Michael Owen giving them an early lead. The score was 2-2 with 45 minutes played, and early in the second half Diego Simeone fouled David Beckham and sent the 23-year-old midfielder falling to the ground. Beckham, still lying on the ground, reacted by kicking Simeone in the shins and was sent off. The game finished 2-2, and England lost the resultant penalty shoot-out after David Batty and Paul Ince's shots were saved. The trophy was finally won by hosts France.
|FA Premier League||Arsenal|
|Football League Cup||Chelsea|
|Football League First Division||Nottingham Forest|
|Football League Second Division||Watford|
|Football League Third Division||Notts County|
|FA Community Shield||Manchester United|
|8.||West Ham United||38||16||8||14||56||57||56|
|Qualified for the Champions League|
|Qualified for the UEFA Cup|
|Qualified for the Cup Winners' Cup|
|Relegated to Division One|
|10.||West Bromwich Albion||46||16||13||17||50||56||61|
|20.||Queens Park Rangers||46||10||19||17||51||63||49|
See also: Play-off results
|Promoted to the Premier League|
|Qualified for the promotion playoff|
|Relegated to Division Two|
19.Walsall 20.Burnley 21.Brentford 22.Plymouth Argyle 23.Carlisle Utd 24.Southend Utd
12 February 1998 - The football world is stunned by the dismissal of Chelsea manager Ruud Gullit, who was sacked after a dispute with chairman Ken Bates. 33-year-old striker Gianluca Vialli is installed as player-manager.
10 May 1998 - The FA Premier League season ends with Arsenal as champions and Manchester United as runners-up, with both teams qualifying for the European Cup. The UEFA Cup places go to Liverpool, Chelsea, Leeds United, Blackburn Rovers and Aston Villa. Bolton Wanderers, Barnsley and Crystal Palace are relegated.