|Dates||17 August 1996–11 May 1997|
4th Premier League title
11th English title
|Champions League||Manchester United|
|Cup Winners' Cup||Chelsea|
|Goals scored||970 (2.55 per match)|
|Top goalscorer||Alan Shearer (25)|
|Biggest home win||Everton 7–1 Southampton|
(16 November 1996)
Newcastle United 7–1 Tottenham Hotspur
(28 December 1996)
|Biggest away win||Leeds United 0–4 Manchester United|
(7 September 1996)
Nottingham Forest 0–4 Manchester United
(26 December 1996)
Sunderland 0–4 Tottenham Hotspur
(4 March 1997)
|Highest scoring||Southampton 6–3 Manchester United|
(26 October 1996)
|Longest winning run||7 games|
|Longest unbeaten run||16 games|
|Longest winless run||16 games|
|Longest losing run||6 games|
Manchester United v Wimbledon
(29 January 1997)
Wimbledon v Leeds United
(16 April 1997)
The 1996–97 FA Premier League (known as the FA Carling Premiership for sponsorship reasons) was the fifth season of the FA Premier League since its formation in 1992. The majority of the season was contested by the reigning champions, Manchester United, along with Newcastle United, Arsenal and Liverpool. The title was eventually won by Manchester United, after Liverpool and Newcastle's failure to win in their penultimate games of the season; at 75 points it is the lowest points total for a Premier League champion and lowest since the 3-1-0 points system was introduced in the 1981–82 season.
Middlesbrough – despite spending millions of pounds on high-profile foreign players like Emerson, Fabrizio Ravanelli (who scored 31 goals in all competitions), Branco and Gianluca Festa – were relegated on the final day of the season and were on the losing side in both the FA Cup and League Cup finals. Middlesbrough finished in 19th place, but they would have been placed outside the relegation zone without a three-point deduction imposed for cancelling a December 1996 fixture against Blackburn Rovers, with the Middlesbrough board blaming the decision on the absence of 23 players ill or injured. This sanction meant Coventry City, who had been in the top division since 1967, finished in 17th place and avoided relegation. The decision was controversial and later resurfaced in 2006–07 when West Ham escaped a points deduction and subsequently avoided relegation.
Another relegation place went to Nottingham Forest, who sacked manager Frank Clark in December. Stuart Pearce took over as temporary player-manager, spending three months in charge and winning the January 1996 Manager of the Month award. In March, Pearce quit as manager to be replaced by Dave Bassett, formerly of Crystal Palace. Also relegated, due to a 1–0 defeat to Wimbledon in their last game of the season, were Sunderland, who were leaving Roker Park after 99 years and relocating to the 42,000-seat Stadium of Light on the banks of the River Wear for the start of the 1997–98 season in Division One.
Twenty teams competed in the league – the top seventeen teams from the previous season and the three teams promoted from the First Division. The promoted teams were Sunderland, Derby County (both teams returning to the top flight after a five year absence) and Leicester City (immediately returning to the top flight after a season's absence). This was also Sunderland and Derby County's first season in the Premier League. They replaced Manchester City, Queens Park Rangers and Bolton Wanderers, ending their top flight spells of seven, thirteen and one year respectively.
Stadiums and Locations
Personnel and kits
(as of 11 May 1997)
|Team||Outgoing manager||Manner of departure||Date of vacancy||Position in table||Incoming manager||Date of appointment|
|Chelsea||Glenn Hoddle||Resigned||10 May 1996||Pre-season||Ruud Gullit||10 May 1996|
|Southampton||Dave Merrington||Sacked||14 June 1996||Graeme Souness||3 July 1996|
|Arsenal||Bruce Rioch||12 August 1996||Stewart Houston (caretaker)||12 August 1996|
|Leeds United||Howard Wilkinson||10 September 1996||9th||George Graham||10 September 1996|
|Arsenal||Stewart Houston||End of caretaker spell||16 September 1996||7th||Pat Rice (caretaker)||16 September 1996|
|Pat Rice||30 September 1996||3rd||Arsène Wenger||30 September 1996|
|Blackburn Rovers||Ray Harford||Resigned||25 October 1996||20th||Tony Parkes (caretaker)||25 October 1996|
|Coventry City||Ron Atkinson||Promoted to director of football||5 November 1996||18th||Gordon Strachan||5 November 1996|
|Nottingham Forest||Frank Clark||Resigned||19 December 1996||20th||Stuart Pearce (caretaker)||20 December 1996|
|Newcastle United||Kevin Keegan||8 January 1997||4th||Terry McDermott (caretaker)||8 January 1997|
|Terry McDermott||End of caretaker spell||14 January 1997||Kenny Dalglish||14 January 1997|
|Everton||Joe Royle||Resigned||27 March 1997||13th||Dave Watson (caretaker)||1 April 1997|
|Pos||Team||Pld||W||D||L||GF||GA||GD||Pts||Qualification or relegation|
|1||Manchester United (C)||38||21||12||5||76||44||+32||75||Qualification for the Champions League group stage|
|2||Newcastle United||38||19||11||8||73||40||+33||68||Qualification for the Champions League second qualifying round|
|3||Arsenal||38||19||11||8||62||32||+30||68||Qualification for the UEFA Cup first round[a]|
|6||Chelsea||38||16||11||11||58||55||+3||59||Qualification for the Cup Winners' Cup first round[b]|
|9||Leicester City||38||12||11||15||46||54||−8||47||Qualification for the UEFA Cup first round[c]|
|14||West Ham United||38||10||12||16||39||48||−9||42|
|18||Sunderland (R)||38||10||10||18||35||53||−18||40||Relegation to the Football League First Division|
|20||Nottingham Forest (R)||38||6||16||16||31||59||−28||34|
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.
(C) Champion; (R) Relegated.
|1||Alan Shearer||Newcastle United||25|
|Ole Gunnar Solskjær||Manchester United|
|5||Dwight Yorke||Aston Villa||17|
|6||Les Ferdinand||Newcastle United||16|
|8||Dion Dublin||Coventry City||13|
|Matt Le Tissier||Southampton|
|Steve Claridge||Leicester City|
|Kevin Campbell||Nottingham Forest||Coventry City||3–0 (A)||17 August 1996|||
|Fabrizio Ravanelli||Middlesbrough||Liverpool||3–3 (H)||17 August 1996|||
|Ian Wright||Arsenal||Sheffield Wednesday||4–1 (H)||16 September 1996|||
|Dwight YorkeL||Aston Villa||Newcastle United||4–3 (A)||30 September 1996|||
|Gary Speed||Everton||Southampton||7–1 (H)||16 November 1996|||
|Robbie Fowler4||Liverpool||Middlesbrough||5–1 (H)||14 December 1996|||
|Alan Shearer||Newcastle United||Leicester City||4–3 (H)||2 February 1997|||
|Ian Marshall||Leicester City||Derby County||4–2 (H)||22 February 1997|||
|Steffen Iversen||Tottenham Hotspur||Sunderland||4–0 (A)||4 March 1997|||
|Fabrizio Ravanelli||Middlesbrough||Derby County||6–1 (H)||5 March 1997|||
|Kevin Gallacher||Blackburn Rovers||Wimbledon||3–1 (H)||15 March 1997|||
|Paul Kitson||West Ham United||Sheffield Wednesday||5–1 (H)||3 May 1997|||
- Note: 4 Player scored 4 goals; L Player finished on the losing side; (H) – Home; (A) – Away
|1||Eric Cantona||Manchester United||12|
|Gary McAllister||Coventry City|
|David Beckham||Manchester United|
|Stig Inge Bjørnebye||Liverpool|
|Les Ferdinand||Newcastle United|
|Month||Manager of the Month||Player of the Month|
|August||David Pleat||Sheffield Wednesday||David Beckham||Manchester United|
|September||Joe Kinnear||Wimbledon||Patrik Berger||Liverpool|
|October||Graeme Souness||Southampton||Matt Le Tissier||Southampton|
|November||Jim Smith||Derby County||Ian Wright||Arsenal|
|December||Gordon Strachan||Coventry City||Gianfranco Zola||Chelsea|
|January||Stuart Pearce||Nottingham Forest||Tim Flowers||Blackburn Rovers|
|February||Alex Ferguson||Manchester United||[a] Robbie Earle||Wimbledon|
|April||Graeme Souness||Southampton||[b] Mickey Evans||Southampton|
|Premier League Manager of the Season||Alex Ferguson||Manchester United|
|Premier League Player of the Season||Juninho||Middlesbrough|
|PFA Players' Player of the Year||Alan Shearer||Newcastle United|
|PFA Young Player of the Year||David Beckham||Manchester United|
|FWA Footballer of the Year||Gianfranco Zola||Chelsea|
|PFA Team of the Year|
|Goalkeeper||David Seaman (Arsenal)|
|Defence||Gary Neville (Manchester United)||Tony Adams (Arsenal)||Mark Wright (Liverpool)||Stig Inge Bjørnebye (Liverpool)|
|Midfield||David Beckham (Manchester United)||Roy Keane (Manchester United)||David Batty (Newcastle United)||Steve McManaman (Liverpool)|
|Attack||Alan Shearer (Newcastle United)||Ian Wright (Arsenal)|
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- 1996–97 Premier League Season at RSSSF