- The Football League 1987-88
The Football Leaguein season 1987/ 1988.
Liverpool won the league title with a comfortable nine-point margin and just two defeats all season. Their key players were two new signings - winger John Barnes and forward
Peter Beardsley- who, along with John Aldridge, helped defy any doubts that people might have had as to whether Liverpool could challenge for honours after Ian Rush's departure. Second in the league were Manchester United, rejuvenated under Alex Ferguson- who had bought some impressive new players including Brian McClairand Steve Bruce.
relegationplaces went to Watford and Oxford United, who both lost far too many games and picked up far too few points to have any realistic hope of avoiding relegation. Next to go down were Portsmouth, whose First Division comeback lasted just one season. Chelsea then became the first top division club in 90 years to lose their status after playoffs. They lost to Second Division Middlesbrough in the playoff final and surrendered their First Division place to the Teessiders.
John Docherty's impressive Millwall side lifted the Second Division championship trophy and gained promotion to the First Division for the first time in their history. Runners-up were Aston Villa, managed by Graham Taylor and boasting a squad of strong players like David Platt and Gordon Cowans. Middlesbrough won promotion for the second season running after negotiating the relegation/promotion playoffsat the expense of Chelsea.
Huddersfield Town, who had suffered a 10-1 defeat at the hands of Manchester City in November, were the Second Division's biggest flops during
1987-88 as they went down in bottom place. The Second/Third Division relegation/promotion playoffs once again saw a Second Division club suffer relegation, this time it was Sheffield United.
Sunderland's first season in the Third Division ended in glory as they lifted the championship and went back up to the Second Division. They were joined by runners-up Brighton & Hove Albion and playoff winners Walsall.
Wolves ended their two-year tenure in the Fourth Division by finishing top of the table and winning promotion to the Third Division, one season after being rescued by new owner
Jack Haywardand new manager Graham Turner. They completed an outstanding season by winning the Sherpa Van Trophy final at a packed Wembley against Burnley. Earlier the campaign had begun on a sour note, when Football Leaguenewcomers Scarborough hosted Wolves on the opening day in a match that was marred by crowd trouble.
Bolton Wanderers, another fallen giant, also ensured their Fourth Division tenure was short lived by winning automatic promotion. Swansea City were promoted via the playoffs just two years after almost going out of existence, while their South
Walesneighbours Cardiff City were also promoted.
After having spent several seasons as the highest placed Welsh team, financially troubled Newport County were relegated for the second successive season. This time they lost their
Football Leaguestatus after 60 consecutive seasons in the Football League. Lincoln City won the Conference title to take their place. Less than a year later Newport were to go out of business before reforming.
Scunthorpe United left the
Old Showgroundand moved into Glanford Park, thus becoming the first English club in more than 30 years to move to a new stadium.
P = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points
1987-88 in English football
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