1995–96 FA Premier League
3rd Premier League title
10th English title
|Champions League||Manchester United|
|Cup Winners' Cup||Liverpool|
|Goals scored||988 (2.6 per match)|
|Top goalscorer||Alan Shearer (31 goals)|
|Biggest home win||
Blackburn Rovers 7–0 Nottingham Forest|
(18 November 1995)
|Biggest away win||
Bolton Wanderers 0–6 Manchester United|
(25 February 1996)
Sheffield Wednesday 6–2 Leeds United|
(16 December 1995)
|Longest winning run||
|Longest unbeaten run||
|Longest winless run||
|Longest losing run||
Manchester United v Nottingham Forest
(28 April 1996)
Wimbledon v Sheffield Wednesday
(30 August 1995)
The 1995–96 FA Premier League (known as the FA Carling Premiership for sponsorship reasons) was the fourth season of the competition, since its formation in 1992. Due to the decision to reduce the number of clubs in the Premier League from 22 to 20, only two clubs were promoted instead of the usual three, Middlesbrough and Bolton Wanderers.
Manchester United won the Premier League and qualified for the UEFA Champions League, while Arsenal, Aston Villa, and Newcastle United qualified for the UEFA Cup. Liverpool also qualified for the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup as runners-up of the FA Cup which was won by Manchester United.
Before the season began, the English transfer record was broken for the third time in 12 months when Liverpool paid £8.4 million for the Nottingham Forest striker Stan Collymore. The record fee for a defender was broken when Newcastle United paid £4 million for Wimbledon's Warren Barton. Arsenal paid a club record £7.5 million for Internazionale's 26-year-old Dutch striker Dennis Bergkamp. Newcastle spent £6 million for 28-year-old Queens Park Rangers striker Les Ferdinand.
English performance in European competition
Blackburn Rovers, the 1994–95 Premier League champions, finished bottom of their group in the UEFA Champions League. Manchester United were knocked out of the UEFA Cup in the first round, with Liverpool and Leeds United both being knocked out at the second round. Everton were beaten in the second round of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. The only English team still in European competition after Christmas were Nottingham Forest, who reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup.
Manchester United and Newcastle United emerged as the primary title contenders for the 1995–96 season. The two sides played on 27 December 1995, with Newcastle 10 points ahead in the league. A 2–0 home win for Manchester United cut the gap to seven points, and two days later they beat Queens Park Rangers 2–1 to reduce the gap to just four points. But Manchester United then lost 4–1 at Tottenham on New Year's Day and drew 0–0 with Aston Villa, allowing Newcastle to establish a 12-point lead in January 1996.
Manchester United and Newcastle met again in early March, and a goal by Eric Cantona gave Manchester United a 1–0 away win and cut the gap to a single point. With one game left of the season, Manchester United led the Premier League by two points, having taken lead of the league halfway through March and stayed on top ever since. In case of the two clubs being tied for first place, the Premier League made preliminary preparations for a championship play-off match at Wembley. For Newcastle to win their first title since 1927, they had to win against Tottenham and hope that Middlesbrough beat their Mancunian rivals. But the Premier League title went to Old Trafford as Manchester United won 3–0 and Newcastle could only manage a 1–1 draw with Tottenham.
Liverpool and Aston Villa emerged as possible title contenders early in the season, but for most of the campaign it was a two-horse race between Manchester United and Newcastle United. Middlesbrough's early promise, which saw them occupy fourth place in late October, was wiped away by an injury crisis which saw their league form slump, and they could only manage a 12th-place finish.
Despite the arrival of Dennis Bergkamp, Arsenal never looked like serious title challengers, their best chance of success coming in the League Cup, where they reached the semi-finals, losing on away goals to Aston Villa. However, the North London side still qualified for the UEFA Cup by finishing fifth.
Title holders Blackburn set a record of lowest finish in Premier League title-defense season by finishing 7th, only to be equalled by Manchester United in 2013–14 before being broken by Chelsea in 2015–16 and again by Leicester City in 2016–17.
Six days after clinching their third league title in four seasons, Manchester United became the first team to complete a second league championship and FA Cup double when a Cantona goal gave them a 1–0 win over Liverpool in the FA Cup final.
The Premier League relegation places went to Bolton, Queens Park Rangers and Manchester City. Bolton had spent a large proportion of their first Premier League season bottom of the table. Manchester City failed to beat Liverpool on the final day of the season, consigning them to the final relegation place on goal difference behind Southampton and Coventry City.
Player and managerial awards
- PFA Players' Player of the Year was Les Ferdinand of Newcastle.
- PFA Young Player of the Year was 21-year-old Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler, who won the award for the second consecutive season.
- Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year was Eric Cantona, who returned from his eight-month suspension to score 19 competitive goals for Manchester United.
- FA Premier League Manager of the Year was Alex Ferguson of Manchester United.
- Arsenal appointed Bruce Rioch as manager, who was previously manager of newly promoted Bolton Wanderers.
- Bolton Wanderers was jointly managed by Roy McFarland and Colin Todd until Christmas, at which point McFarland was dismissed and Todd assumed full managerial duties.
- Chelsea manager Glenn Hoddle left at the end of the season to take charge of the England team.
- Manchester City appointed Alan Ball as manager.
- Sheffield Wednesday replaced Trevor Francis with Luton Town's David Pleat.
- Southampton appointed David Merrington before the start of the season, but he was sacked and replaced with Graeme Souness following the season.
Personnel and kits
(as of 5 May 1996)
Final league table
|Pos||Team||Pld||W||D||L||GF||GA||GD||Pts||Qualification or relegation|
|1||Manchester United (C)||38||25||7||6||73||35||+38||82||1996–97 UEFA Champions League Group stage|
|2||Newcastle United||38||24||6||8||66||37||+29||78||1996–97 UEFA Cup First round|
|3||Liverpool||38||20||11||7||70||34||+36||71||1996–97 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup First round|
|4||Aston Villa||38||18||9||11||52||35||+17||63||1996–97 UEFA Cup First round|
|10||West Ham United||38||14||9||15||43||52||−9||51|
|18||Manchester City (R)||38||9||11||18||33||58||−25||38||Relegation to 1996–97 Football League First Division|
|19||Queens Park Rangers (R)||38||9||6||23||38||57||−19||33|
|20||Bolton Wanderers (R)||38||8||5||25||39||71||−32||29|
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.
(C) Champion; (R) Relegated.
- Liverpool qualified for the Cup Winners' Cup as FA Cup runners-up, as winners Manchester United already qualified for the Champions League. They defaulted their UEFA Cup spot to Arsenal.
|Home \ Away||ARS||AST||BLB||BOL||CHE||COV||EVE||LEE||LIV||MCI||MUN||MID||NEW||NOT||QPR||SHW||SOU||TOT||WHU||WDN|
|Queens Park Rangers||1–1||1–0||0–1||2–1||1–2||1–1||3–1||1–2||1–2||1–0||1–1||1–1||2–3||1–1||0–3||3–0||2–3||3–0||0–3|
|West Ham United||0–1||1–4||1–1||1–0||1–3||3–2||2–1||1–2||0–0||4–2||0–1||2–0||2–0||1–0||1–0||1–1||2–1||1–1||1–1|
1 ^ The home team is listed in the left-hand column.
Colours: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.
- Total goals: 988
- Average goals per game: 2.6
|1||Alan Shearer||Blackburn Rovers||31|
|3||Les Ferdinand||Newcastle United||25|
|4||Dwight Yorke||Aston Villa||17|
|5||Teddy Sheringham||Tottenham Hotspur||16|
|6||Chris Armstrong||Tottenham Hotspur||15|
|9||Eric Cantona||Manchester United||14|
|Dion Dublin||Coventry City||14|
|Month||Manager of the Month||Player of the Month|
|August||Kevin Keegan||Newcastle United||David Ginola||Newcastle United|
|September||Kevin Keegan||Newcastle United||Tony Yeboah||Leeds United|
|October||Frank Clark||Nottingham Forest||Trevor Sinclair||Queens Park Rangers|
|November||Alan Ball||Manchester City||Rob Lee||Newcastle United|
|December||Roy Evans||Liverpool||Robbie Fowler||Liverpool|
|January||Roy Evans||Liverpool||Stan Collymore||Liverpool|
|February||Alex Ferguson||Manchester United||Dwight Yorke||Aston Villa|
|March||Alex Ferguson||Manchester United||Eric Cantona||Manchester United|
|April||Dave Merrington||Southampton||Andrei Kanchelskis||Everton|
References and notes
- "English Premier League 1995–96". statto.com. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
- "Premier League 1995/96 Attendances". worldfootball.net. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
- England 1994/95
- European Competitions 1995–96 Archived 15 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
- European Competitions 1995–96
- European Competitions 1995–96
- "Arsenal and Chelsea may face play-off". www.premierleague.com. Premier League. 15 May 2013. Archived from the original on 17 June 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
- England – FA Challenge Cup 1995–1996
- England Player Honours – Professional Footballers' Association Players' Players of the Year
- England Player Honours – Professional Footballers' Association Young Players of the Year