After this season the Premier League would be reduced to 20 clubs, so there would be four relegation places this time round. They were occupied by Crystal Palace, Norwich City (who had narrowly missed out on the league title two years earlier), Leicester City and Ipswich Town.
1995 saw four clubs relegated from Division One - Swindon Town (relegated for the second straight season), Burnley, Bristol City and Notts County. Sunderland narrowly avoided the drop following the arrival of enthusiastic new manager Peter Reid, who over the next few years would bring dramatic improvements to the Wearsiders.
Going down were Cambridge United, Plymouth Argyle, Cardiff City, Chester City and Leyton Orient. This was the first time that five clubs had been relegated from any of the league's four divisions.
Exeter City, who almost went out of business in mid-season, finished bottom of Division Three but kept their league status because Conference champions Macclesfield Town were unable to meet the league's stadium capacity requirements.
20-year-old Robbie Fowler collected a League Cup winner's medal with Liverpool as well as the PFA Young Player of the Year award, following another season of strong goalscoring.
Peter Schmeichel established himself as a world-class goalkeeper by conceding just 4 goals in 18 home Premiership fixtures with Manchester United.
Stan Collymore scored 22 Premiership goals for Nottingham Forest and was soon on his way to Liverpool for an English record fee of £8.4million.
Experienced Scottish striker John Hendrie was the driving force in Middlesbrough's return to the Premiership after a two-year absence.
36-year-old Tranmere striker John Aldridge was Division One's leading goalscorer with 24 league goals.
Bolton midfielder Jason McAteer established himself as one of the most exciting young talents in England and would soon be on his way to Liverpool.
Wrexham striker Gary Bennett scored a staggering 39 goals in all competitions.
Huddersfield Town striker Andrew Booth who scored an impressive 30 goals during this season as well as make international honors with the England Under 21 squad.
Walsall wingers Scott Houghton and Martin O'Connor almost single handedly earned their club's promotion to Division Two.
Joe Royle completed his first season as Everton manager by winning the F.A Cup.
Roy Evans won the League Cup in his first full season as Liverpool manager.
Frank Clark took newly promoted Nottingham Forest to third place in the Premiership to achieve UEFA Cup qualification and bring European football to the club for the first time since the early 1980s.
Bryan Robson made an excellent start to his management career by winning the Division One championship and gaining promotion to the Premiership with Middlesbrough.
Bruce Rioch won the Division One playoffs and took Bolton to their first cup final in nearly 40 years.
Jimmy Quinn took Reading to a second-place finish in Division One and only the streamlining of the Premiership prevented them from reaching the top flight for the very first time.
Neil Warnock achieved his fourth promotion in less than a decade as he guided Huddersfield Town to glory in the Division Two playoffs.
John Duncan helped Chesterfield win the Division Three playoffs and brought some long-awaited success to Saltergate.
Chris Nicholl had a strong first season as Walsall manager by gaining promotion to Division Two.
Barry Fry won the Division Two title with Birmingham City, who were also Auto Windscreen Shield winners.
A total of 26,150,028 attended matches in competitions organised by the Football Association and the Football League and hosted by league clubs. Of that number, 21,856,223 attended Premiership and Football League matches. This ensured that attendace at league matches had increased for the ninth consecutive season.
In the Premiership, 11,213,371 attended the 420 matches held in 1994-95, the highest attendance in the top division since the 1980-81 season. Meanwhile, Football League clubs attracted 10,583,498, a decline of half a million from the previous season.
The ten most supported teams in league matches this season were as follows:
|Rank||Team||Average attendance||League division|
|1||Manchester United||43,682||Premier League|
|3||Newcastle United||34,690||Premier League|
|5||Leeds United||32,925||Premier League|
|7||Aston Villa||29,280||Premier League|
|8||Tottenham Hotspur||27,259||Premier League|
|9||Sheffield Wednesday||26,572||Premier League|
|10||Wolverhampton Wanderers||25,940||Endsleigh League Division One|
His club fined him two weeks wages and banned him from playing for the rest of the season. The FA fined Cantona £10,000 and extended his ban from football to September 30, 1995, for a total of eight months - one of the longest suspensions ever handed out in English football. FIFA later confirmed that this ban was worldwide. A jury at Croydon Magistrates Court found him guilty of common assault and the judge sentenced him to 14 days in prison, although he was immediately released on bail pending an appeal - which was successful in quashing his prison sentence. He received a 120-hour community service order instead, opting to coach children in the Greater Manchester area.
Cantona was not the only player facing jail. Chelsea captain Dennis Wise was convicted of assaulting a taxi driver and jailed for three months, although a successful appeal saw both his conviction and his prison sentence quashed.
Arsenal were another Premiership club to be hit by controversy in the 1994-95 season. In November, winger Paul Merson admitted that he was addicted to alcohol, cocaine and gambling. He went on a three-month rehab course before resuming his career. Just before Merson's return, it was revealed that manager George Graham had accepted £425,000 worth of illegal payments from a Scandinavian agent who had overseen the signing of Pal Lydersen and John Jensen three years earlier. Graham, one of the most successful managers in the club's history, was sacked after nine years at the Highbury helm.
Despite the controversy of George Graham's sacking and Paul Merson's personal problems, Arsenal reached the European Cup Winners Cup final under caretaker manager Stewart Houston, where they faced Real Zaragoza of Spain. The scores were level (1-1) at half time and a penalty shoot-out was looking certain with 120 minutes on the clock. But a freak goal from 40 yards out from Nayim - a former Tottenham player - in the dying seconds of the game saw the trophy go to the Spaniards.
|FA Premier League||Blackburn Rovers|
|Football League First Division||Middlesbrough|
|Football League Second Division||Birmingham City|
|Football League Third Division||Carlisle United|
|7th Sep 1994||USA||Wembley Stadium||Friendly||Won||2-0|
|12th Oct 1994||Romania||Wembley Stadium||Friendly||Drew||1-1|
|16th Nov 1994||Nigeria||Wembley Stadium||Friendly||Won||1-0|
|15th Feb 1995||Rep of Ireland||Lansdowne Road, Dublin, Ireland||Friendly||0-1 ab|
|29th March 1995||Uruguay||Wembley Stadium||Friendly||Drew||0-0|
|3rd Jun 1995||Japan||Wembley Stadium||Umbro Cup||Won||2-1|
|8th Jun 1995||Sweden||Elland Road, Leeds||Umbro Cup||Drew||3-3|
|11th Jun 1995||Brazil||Wembley Stadium||Umbro Cup||Lost||1-3|
Blackburn Rovers were crowned champions of the English league for the first time since 1914 after four years of heavy spending on and off the pitch. Strikers Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton scored more than 60 goals between them all season, while captain Tim Sherwood and goalkeeper Tim Flowers ensured that there was solidity and consistency away from the attack.
Manchester United narrowly missed out on a third successive league title, while newly promoted Nottingham Forest made a huge impact and finished third to qualify for Europe for the first time in over a decade. Liverpool showed signs of a return to their former glory with a fourth place finish and a Coca-Cola Cup triumph. The final European place went to Leeds United.
Smaller clubs including Southampton and Wimbledon defied the odds to finish in the top half of the table and overtake larger clubs including Aston Villa, Manchester City and Sheffield Wednesday, who all changed managers during or after a season which had seen them all fall well short of expectations.
Ipswich Town and Leicester City were relegated by a wide margin, while Norwich City were the next to go down due to a terrible second half to the season, which dragged them out of the Premiership just two years after they had almost been champions. The final relegation place went to Crystal Palace, who found it difficult to score goals all season long. Their relegation was confirmed of the final day of the season; despite a thrilling comeback against sixth-placed Newcastle United, they lost 3-2 and went down from the Premiership just 12 months after winning promotion.
A dream start in management saw Bryan Robson guide Middlesbrough to the Division One title and regain the Premiership place that was lost two years ago. Reading finished second - the highest in their history - but the streamlining of the Premiership prevented them from winning promotion and they lost 4-3 to Bolton Wanderers after extra time in the playoff final, having led 2-0 at half time. Losing semi-finalists were Wolverhampton Wanderers and Tranmere Rovers.
Barnsley and Watford were the unlucky sides to narrowly miss out on the playoffs, while an expensively-assembled Derby County side finished a disappointing ninth at the end of what many fans had hoped would be a promotion winning season.
Portsmouth, West Bromwich Albion and Sunderland - three famous clubs which had seen better days - narrowly avoided relegation to Division Two, but managerial changes at each of these clubs gave fans hope that a return to the elite might not be far away.
Swindon Town suffered a second successive relegation, joining Bristol City, Burnley and Notts County in Division Two.
Birmingham City sealed an immediate return to Division One by lifting the Division Two championship trophy, joined by playoff winners Huddersfield Town. The unlucky sides in the playoffs were Brentford, Crewe Alexandra and Bristol Rovers.
Unfavoured Leyton Orient, Chester City and Cardiff City were (perhaps inevitably) relegated to Division Three. But the other two relegated teams were surprise candidates for the drop. Plymouth Argyle had almost won promotion to Division One a year earlier. Cambridge United had narrowly missed out on a place in the then-new Premier League three years earlier and poor form in the run in sealed their fate after Bournemouth avoided the drop in the final two games of the season after spending most of it in the bottom five.
Ambitious Carlisle United sealed the Division Three title to end eight years of basement division football, joined by runners-up Walsall and playoff winners Chesterfield.
Debt-ridden Exeter City finished joint bottom of the league with Scarborough, but retained their league status due to Conference champions Macclesfield Town lacking a stadium adeqaute for Football League capacity standards.
6 July 1994 - Tottenham Hotspur's 12-point penalty is reduced to 6 points on appeal at a Football Association hearing, while the £600,000 fine is increased to £1.5million and the FA Cup ban remains in place.
21 September 1994 - Gary Lineker, England's second highest goalscorer of all time, announces his retirement from playing. Since leaving Tottenham in 1992, he has played for Negoya Grampus Eight of Japan.
14 November 1994 - Ray Wilkins, 38, quits as Crystal Palace player-coach to return to Queens Park Rangers as their new player-manager, while Brian Little resigns as manager of Leicester City, sparking
28 December 1994 - Ipswich Town appoint their former player George Burley as their new manager. Burley, 38, had recently quit Colchester United and without a proven track record he was perhaps a surprise candidate for the job.
10 January 1995 - Manchester United break the English transfer fee record by signing Andy Cole from Newcastle United in a deal worth £7million; £6million cash plus £1million-rated winger Keith Gillespie, 19.
25 January 1995 - After being sent off for kicking an opponent in Manchester United's 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace, Eric Cantona leaps into the crowd and kicks spectator Matthew Simmons, who had allegedly been making racist remarks about the Frenchman.
14 February 1995 - George Graham, whose job as Arsenal manager is reportedly under threat due to sub-standard Premier League form as well as allegations of illegal payments, pays Vitesse Arnhem £2million for Holland winger Glenn Helder.
21 February 1995 - George Graham is sacked as Arsenal manager after he admits to receiving an illegal payment of £425,000 from Norweigan agent Rune Hauge when Arsenal signed Pal Lydersen in 1991 and John Jensen in 1992. Assistant manager Stewart Houston will take over as manager until the end of the season before Arsenal find a permanent manager to succeed Graham, who had been in charge at Highbury since May 1986 and had won six major trophies.
4 March 1995 - Andy Cole becomes the first player to score five goals in a Premier League game in Manchester United's 9-0 home win over Ipswich Town - which is also the biggest win yet in the Premier League.
13 March 1995 - Chelsea captain Dennis Wise (28) is sentenced to three months in prison for assault and criminal damage, but is released on bail pending an appeal against his conviction and sentence. The court case follows an alleged attack on a taxi driver in London.
23 March 1995 - A judge at Croydon Crown Court sentences Eric Cantona to 14 days in prison for his attack on Matthew Simmons. He is released on bail, pending an appeal against the sentence. Meanwhile, Cantona's team-mate Paul Ince faces charges relating to the incident, while Matthew Simmons will also face prosecution.
9 April 1995 - 35-year-old Crystal Palace supporter Paul Nixon is murdered by a group of Manchester United fans. Mr Nixon had been trying to escape a brawl between supporters of the two teams. The semi-final ended in a 2-2 draw.
12 April 1995 - Manchester United reach the FA Cup final after beating Crystal Palace 2-0 in the semi-final replay. Their opponents will be Everton, who crushed Tottenham Hotspur 4-1 in the other semi-final.
30 April 1995 - Middlesbrough clinch the Division One championship - and the only automatic promotion place to the Premier League for this season - by beating Luton Town in the final game at 93-year-old Ayresome Park and at the end of Bryan Robson's first season in management. Middlesbrough will relocate to the new 30,000-seat Riverside Stadium in August.
14 May 1995 - Blackburn Rovers are crowned league champions for the first time in 81 years, despite losing 2-1 at Liverpool on the final day of the season. Blackburn's title status was confirmed after their nearest contenders Manchester United could only manage a 1-1 draw with West Ham United. The final Premier League relegation place goes to Crystal Palace, despite their dynamic fightback from being 3-0 down at Newcastle United they still lost 3-2. Aston Villa's safety is confirmed by a 1-1 draw with already-relegated Norwich at Carrow Road.
20 May 1995 - Everton win the FA Cup thanks to a Paul Rideout goal in the final, which leaves Manchester United (who narrowly missed out on repeating the double) without a major trophy for the first time since 1989.
24 May 1995 - Paul Ince is cleared of assaulting a Crystal Palace supporter in the skirmish that followed Eric Cantona's attack on Matthew Simmons four months ago. It was already known that the spectator who accused Ince of assault had a history of football-related violence dating back to the early 1970s.