The Football Season: Ups, Downs and Everything in Between


As a tumultuous football season has come to an end, we take a look at how the final league tables looked and who has qualified for what.

Premier League

Serial winner Pep Guardiola added another trophy to his impressive haul as his Manchester City side were crowned champions. It was not the runaway title that Liverpool had last season, but still an impressive stint given that they were sitting far away from the top of the table in the first few months of the season.

By default, the top three teams always qualify for the UEFA Champions League in the next season. Manchester United and Liverpool sealed their spots in the group stages of the competition, with Jurgen Klopp’s Reds finding form late on in the campaign to ensure they will once again compete at the top level of European football.

Chelsea secured fourth in the league which sees them passing through to the UEFA Champions League but at the play-off stage, one before the group stage, which typically takes place in August. However, having beaten Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League final in Porto at the weekend, they will definitely be in the group stage.

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Leicester City, despite having been in the top four for the longest time of any Premier League team this season, suffered heavy defeat on the final day meaning they had to settle for fifth place and a spot in the UEFA Europa League. Will Foxes fans question this late drop of form happening once again, or will they be satisfied with their first ever FA Cup win, which saw them beat Chelsea at Wembley?

West Ham will also be playing Europa League group stage football next season having secured their highest league finish since 1999. Under David Moyes the Hammers, who beat Southampton on the final day of the season to be certain of 6th, have reached new heights – can they keep it up next season?

Tottenham Hotspur’s sacking of Jose Mourinho mid-season just days before their first domestic cup final since the 2015 League Cup final may not have seen them win silverware, but a 4-2 win on the final day of the season at the King Power Stadium saw Ryan Mason’s side seal the only spot in next season’s new competition, the UEFA Europa Conference League. This third tier competition may not have been what Daniel Levy had in mind when he hired Mourinho, but European football is European football, right?

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The bottom three was already sorted before the final day of the season had begun, with Fulham, West Bromwich Albion and Sheffield United all relegated to the Championship next season. The Baggies are looking for a permanent coach for next season after Sam Allardyce turned the opportunity down, whilst Fulham will be hoping to stick with manager Scott Parker and the Blades have appointed former Fulham and Watford boss Slavisa Jokanovic.


Norwich City were crowned Championship champions, finishing the season on 97 points, having been relegated from the Premier League just last season. Sticking with boss Daniel Farke, the Canaries secured their highest points tally ever in a league season and will play Premier League football once again next season.

Watford will follow the Canaries up to the top tier having finished the season as runners-up to the Canaries. Xisco’s appointment as head coach mid-way through the campaign came as a surprise to some, but has ultimately paid off for the owners.

Brentford were promoted to the Premier League for the first time in their history after beating Swansea City in the Play-Off final. Having come close last season, and missing out at the hands of local rivals Fulham, Thomas Frank led his side to success at Wembley and they will host top-tier football at their new ground, the Brentford Community Stadium, in the 2021-22 season.

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Meanwhile, a dramatic final day meant it was relegation for Wycombe Wanderers, Rotherham United and Sheffield Wednesday. The Chairboys, who ended up just a point behind Derby, have been relegated after making their second tier debut this season. For the Millers, though, it is once again a relegation to League 1. Paul Warne’s side have not managed to spend longer than a season in either the Championship or League 1 since their three-year stint in the Championship in 2014-17. The Owls had six points deducted (previously 12), so put up a brave fight against relegation but it was always going to be tough.

League One

Hull City‘s first appearance in the third tier since 2004-05 saw them promoted at the first attempt at League 1 champions, with an impressive 89 point haul meaning they took top spot. Meanwhile, Peterborough United returned to the Championship after an eight year absence thanks to their final-day 3-3 draw against Lincoln. There was nothing to celebrate for Lincoln later, either, who were beaten by Blackpool 2-1 in the play-off final at Wembley leading to the Tangerines returning to the second tier for the first time since 2014-15.

Down the bottom, four teams were relegated as Rochdale went down alongside Northampton, Swindon Town and Bristol Rovers.

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League Two

Cambridge United made it to the third tier for the first time in nearly 20 years as League Two runners-up, but it was Cheltenham Town are back in League 1 having lost out in the play-off semi-final last season. Bolton Wanderers have begun their recovery under Ian Evatt by returning to League 1 after two consecutive relegations.

Morecambe beat Newport County in the play-off final to get promotion to League 1 for the first time in their history.

Southend have dropped out of the Football League after 101 years. Grimsby Town are also returning to the National League after collecting just 43 points from 46 games and sitting at the foot of the League Two table. Replacing them are National League Champions Sutton United who make their EFL debut and another team from one of Notts County, Chesterfield, Hartlepool, Bromley, Stockport or Torquay, all of whom made the play-offs.

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Sports Editor and 2nd Year Population & Geography student

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