1999–2000 FA Premier League
6th Premier League title
13th English title
|Goals scored||1060 (2.79 per match)|
|Top goalscorer||Kevin Phillips (30 goals)|
|Biggest home win||
Newcastle United 8–0 Sheffield Wednesday|
(19 September 1999)
|Biggest away win||
Derby County 0–5 Sunderland|
(18 September 1999)
West Ham United 5–4 Bradford City|
(12 February 2000)
Tottenham Hotspur 7–2 Southampton
(11 March 2000)
|Longest winning run||
|Longest unbeaten run||
|Longest winless run||
|Longest losing run||
Manchester United v Derby County
(11 March 2000)
Wimbledon v Sheffield Wednesday
(12 April 2000)
The 1999–2000 FA Premier League (known as the FA Carling Premiership for sponsorship reasons) was the eighth season of the FA Premier League, and Manchester United secured their sixth Premiership title. Like the previous season, they lost only three league games all season. Unlike in 1998–99 season, they won by a comfortable margin – 18 points as opposed to a single point.
Their only disappointment of the season came when they lost their defence of the European Cup following a 3–2 defeat against Real Madrid in the quarter finals. United had withdrawn from the 1999–2000 FA Cup to participate in the FIFA World Club Championship at the request of the FA who wanted United to compete to support England's bid to host the World Cup. Chelsea would go on to win the last FA Cup held at Wembley Stadium before its redevelopment. The League Cup final was won by Leicester City, for the second time in four seasons. In Europe, Leeds United reached the UEFA Cup semi final (where two Leeds fans, Christopher Loftus and Kevin Speight, were stabbed to death preceding a game against Turkish side Galatasaray in Istanbul) and Arsenal were on the losing side to Galatasaray in the UEFA Cup final.
Only one newly promoted team suffered relegation: Watford, who finished in last place, and achieved a record Premiership low of just 24 points (a record since broken by Sunderland (twice) and by Derby County and Aston Villa), despite a decent start to their campaign which saw them beat both Liverpool (at Anfield) and Chelsea. The most successful promoted team was Sunderland, who finished seventh in the final table and spent much of the season pushing for a place in European competition. Bradford City, back in the top division for the first time since 1922, secured their Premiership survival on the last day of the season with a 1–0 win over Liverpool. The result meant that Liverpool lost out on a Champions League place, and Wimbledon were relegated after 14 years of top division football. Second-from-bottom Sheffield Wednesday were relegated in their penultimate game of the season, having spent 15 of the previous 16 seasons in the top division. Wednesday's season included a 8–0 defeat at Newcastle. Amazingly Coventry City went all season without an away win but still managed to secure 14th place due to an impressive home record which saw them win 12 out of their 19 matches.
As well as Premiership champions Manchester United and runners-up Arsenal, third placed Leeds United qualified for the 2000–01 Champions League. UEFA Cup places went to fourth placed Liverpool, F.A Cup winners Chelsea, and League Cup winners Leicester City.
Promoted to the Premiership for 2000–01 were First Division champions Charlton Athletic, runners-up Manchester City and playoff winners Ipswich Town. For the first time since the formation of the Premiership, all of the promoted teams had been members of the Premiership before.
Leicester City manager Martin O'Neill moved to Celtic at the end of the season and was replaced by Gillingham's Peter Taylor.
Southampton manager Dave Jones was put on 'gardening leave' in January to concentrate on clearing his name in connection with child abuse charges and was replaced by former England manager Glenn Hoddle. At the end of the season, Hoddle's role was made permanent, and Jones' contract with the club was terminated.
Sheffield Wednesday manager Danny Wilson was sacked in March and assistant Peter Shreeves took over until the end of the season, after which he reverted to the assistant manager's job and the managerial duties were taken on by Paul Jewell of Bradford City, who named Jewell's assistant Chris Hutchings as their new manager.
Wimbledon manager Joe Kinnear resigned before the start of the season after seven years in charge, and was replaced by former Norway coach Egil Olsen. Olsen was sacked just before the end of the season and replaced by coach Terry Burton, who was given the job on a permanent basis despite failing to prevent relegation.
Personnel and kits
(as of 14 May 2000)
||Pts||Qualification or relegation|
|1||Manchester United (C)||38||28||7||3||97||45||+52||91||2000–01 UEFA Champions League First group stage|
|3||Leeds United||38||21||6||11||58||43||+15||69||2000–01 UEFA Champions League Third qualifying round|
|4||Liverpool||38||19||10||9||51||30||+21||67||2000–01 UEFA Cup First round 1|
|6||Aston Villa||38||15||13||10||46||35||+11||58||2000 UEFA Intertoto Cup Third round|
|8||Leicester City||38||16||7||15||55||55||0||55||2000–01 UEFA Cup First round 2|
|9||West Ham United||38||15||10||13||52||53||−1||55|
|17||Bradford City||38||9||9||20||38||68||−30||36||2000 UEFA Intertoto Cup Second round|
|18||Wimbledon (R)||38||7||12||19||46||74||−28||33||Relegation to 2000–01 Football League First Division|
|19||Sheffield Wednesday (R)||38||8||7||23||38||70||−32||31|
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored
1 Chelsea qualified for the UEFA Cup as FA Cup winners
2 Leicester City qualified for the UEFA Cup as League Cup winners.
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.
|Average Goals per game:||2.79|
|Home ╲ Away||ARS||AST||BRA||CHE||COV||DER||EVE||LEE||LEI||LIV||MUN||MID||NEW||SHW||SOU||SUN||TOT||WAT||WHU||WDN|
|West Ham United||2–1||1–1||5–4||0–0||5–0||1–1||0–4||0–0||2–1||1–0||2–4||0–1||2–1||4–3||2–0||1–1||1–0||1–0||2–1|
1 ^ The home team is listed in the left-hand column.
Colours: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.
Arsenal finished Premiership runners-up for the second season running. Last year there was a one-point gap between themselves and champions Manchester United, but this time the gap was 18 points and Arsenal never seriously looked like winning the title. Their last hope of silverware was extinguished in May when they suffered a penalty shoot-out defeat at the hands of Galatasaray in the UEFA Cup final. This was the season when the era of the legendary Arsenal back line (Adams, Keown, Bould, Winterburn and Dixon) came to an end; Bould left for Sunderland just before the start of the season, while Winterburn, Dixon and Keown lost their places after a 3–2 defeat at Coventry City on Boxing Day 1999. Although Dixon and Keown were subsequently recalled, Winterburn was permanently replaced by Sylvinho and only appeared again as cover in midfield; he transferred to West Ham United at the end of the season.
Aston Villa matched their previous season's solid sixth-place finish, and also reached the FA Cup final for the first time in 43 years. But their hopes of winning the famous trophy for the eighth time were ended by a 1–0 defeat at the hands of Chelsea, whose success was achieved in the last game at Wembley before the old stadium is rebuilt. At least John Gregory's men had a UEFA Cup campaign to look forward to, and will be hoping for their season on the continent to be less short-lived and more successful than other recent forays.
David Wetherall's goal on the final day of the season gave Bradford City a surprise 1–0 victory over Liverpool which secured the top division place that the Bantams had spent 77 years trying to regain, and condemned Wimbledon to relegation. Manager Paul Jewell then walked out at Valley Parade to take over at relegated Sheffield Wednesday, leaving his assistant Chris Hutchings to pick up the pieces.
After a very good third-place finish last season, Chelsea were expected to go one better and win the title. France captain Didier Deschamps was signed for £3 million from Juventus to add even more quality and experience a Chelsea midfield that already included Dennis Wise, Roberto Di Matteo and Gustavo Poyet. Blackburn Rovers striker Chris Sutton was also signed for £10 million to partner one of the league's best players in Gianfranco Zola in attack. Zola, by his standards, had a poor league season, scoring just 4 goals, but he made up for that by again setting up many more goals for the team. In contrast to his average league form, Zola made Europe sit up and notice as he led Chelsea's Champions league campaign, scoring a spectacular free kick in a 3–1 win over F.C. Barcelona at Stamford Bridge, but Chelsea were eliminated in the second leg at the Nou Camp. On the Premiership front, Gianluca Vialli's side finished a solid fifth place in the final table but were too inconsistent to mount anything like a title challenge. Chelsea won their fourth cup in four seasons with a 1–0 win over Aston Villa at Wembley, giving them the last cup final triumph at the old Wembley stadium before it was rebuilt.
Coventry City were one of the Premiership's best-performing sides at home during 1999–2000, achieving 12 victories at the Highfield Road stadium, but failed to win a single away game all season. Their dismal away record ruined their hopes of getting anywhere near the top five, and they were restricted to 14th place in the final table. 1999–2000 also marked the end of 43-year-old goalkeeper Steve Ogrizovic's illustrious career at the club, and severed their final remaining link with the 1987 FA Cup winning side. Robbie Keane proved a successful signing with 12 goals in 34 league appearances.
After two successive top-10 finishes which gave promise a possible bid for a UEFA Cup place, Derby County endured their most difficult season for years as they finished 16th with a mere 38 points. They were just two places and five points clear of relegation.
1999–2000 brought a one-place improvement upon last season's 14th-place finish for Everton, but the blue half of Merseyside was still left frustrated by their side's lack of success; something which has been a familiar scene for far too long. Manager Walter Smith, determined to save his job and preserve Everton's top flight status, pulled off one of the biggest transfer surprises of the close season by bringing in Paul Gascoigne and bolstering one of the most ungainly squads currently in the Premiership.
Leeds United entered the New Millennium top of the Premiership, but by the end of the season they had fallen to third place and were 22 points adrift of champions Manchester United. There was real trauma in the UEFA Cup, when two fans were stabbed to death after a clash between rival supporters on the eve of Leeds United's UEFA Cup semi-final against Galatasaray. On the more positive side, Leeds attained their highest finish since the 1992 title triumph, and achieved Champions League qualification in manager David O'Leary's second season at the helm. Promising young players like Alan Smith, Jonathan Woodgate and Michael Bridges gave Leeds fans hope that their side would be among next season's contenders for the Premiership title, as well as making another strong challenge on the continent. Australian midfielder, Harry Kewell, announced his arrival to the Premier League in winning the PFA Young Player of the Year award.
Leicester City achieved their best-ever Premiership finish by coming eighth in the final table, as well as reaching their third League Cup final in four years. They triumphed for the second time under Martin O'Neill and the third time in their history, beating Tranmere Rovers 2–1 at Wembley. O'Neill then stunned the Filbert Street faithful by announcing that he had accepted the offer to manage Celtic, and in came former England under 21 coach Peter Taylor as his successor.
Gérard Houllier marked his first full season in charge of the club with a massive clearout of the previous season's team that was assembled by Roy Evans, releasing such names as Paul Ince, David James, Mark Wright, Steve Staunton and Steve Harkness and bringing in a clutch of continental players, mostly recruited from the French Ligue 1, such as Vladimír Šmicer and Titi Camara. Finnish international Sami Hyypiä was recruited from Dutch side Willem II. Liverpool managed to gel the foreign players with local talent like Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler and Steven Gerrard and were looking well placed for a Champions League place as they kicked off at relegation-threatened Bradford on the final day of the season, but yet another shock 1–0 defeat (they had a few of those, including a defeat at home against Watford) forced them to settle for a UEFA Cup place. With key assets Owen and Fowler still on the payroll, and European talent arriving in numbers, Liverpool were looking ahead to a new era.
By attaining 91 points and losing just three Premiership games all season, Manchester United retained their Premiership title and confirmed themselves as league champions for the sixth time in eight seasons. They started the season well, though they were second in the league to Leeds as the new Millennium dawned, and got even better during the second half of the campaign. The only disappointment of the season was the end of their Champions League defence at the hands of Real Madrid in the quarter-finals. Just before the end of the season, it was announced that Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy had agreed to join the club from PSV Eindhoven, but he then failed a medical and a subsequent knee injury suffered during training stalled the move. In the meantime, Sir Alex Ferguson decided that Mark Bosnich was not good enough to be Peter Schmeichel's long-term successor and brought in French World Cup winning shot-stopper Fabien Barthez from AS Monaco.
Middlesbrough experienced another satisfactory season, finishing 12th in the Premiership. They never looked like qualifying for Europe, but were never in any danger of relegation. Nor did they make much of an impact in the cup competitions.
Four defeats from Newcastle's first five Premiership fixtures prompted the resignation of manager Ruud Gullit after one year in charge, and led to the appointment of Bobby Robson – at 66 the oldest manager in the league – as his successor. Robson consolidated a fading Newcastle side, and they finished a secure 11th in the final table. More impressively, they were the division's third-highest scoring team with 63 goals from 38 games – eight of these came in an 8–0 drubbing of Sheffield Wednesday.
An 8–0 hammering at the hands of Newcastle United in September saw most people tip Sheffield Wednesday as favourites for relegation, and this opinion was further strengthened by their failure to make a substantial improvement as the season went on. The board of directors decided that enough was enough in March, and terminated Danny Wilson's contract as manager. Peter Shreeves, who had previously been assistant to Wilson's predecessor Ron Atkinson, took temporary charge and kept the Owls in contention for survival right up to the penultimate day of the season. A failure to beat Arsenal confirmed their relegation after nine successive seasons of top division football but they went down fighting by drawing 3–3 at Highbury . Bradford manager Paul Jewell was then given the uphill task of restoring Premiership football to the club, though the club's mounting debts triggered fears that further struggles would lie ahead.
Manager Dave Jones was given leave from his duties in January to concentrate on clearing his name in connection with child abuse charges, and former England boss Glenn Hoddle was appointed on a temporary basis. Hoddle did well to keep the Saints clear of relegation, and safety was achieved with a 15th-place finish and a respectable 44 points. As the new season approached, it was still unclear as to whether Jones would ever return to the club. Matt Le Tissier scored a modest 6 goals during the season but that was sufficient to bring his total number of Premier League goals to 100, making him the first midfielder to reach this milestone.
Sunderland made an impressive return to the top flight and quickly established themselves as real contenders for a European place, while 30-goal striker Kevin Phillips was the country's top scorer in the league. In the end, seventh-place finish wasn't good enough for a place in Europe but it was still Sunderland's highest finish for decades, and meant that the Stadium of Light finally had a team fit for such an impressive stadium.
Tottenham failed to make much of an impact on their return to Europe after an eight-year exile, nor were their cup exploits particularly impressive. Tenth place finish was a long way short of the top-five finishes attained by local rivals Arsenal and Chelsea, and manager George Graham bolstered his ranks for the 2000–01 season by paying a club record fee for Ukrainian striker Sergi Rebrov.
Watford managed some encouraging early results, including victories over Liverpool and Chelsea, suggesting that experienced manager Graham Taylor might be able to keep the club in the Premier League against all expectations. After the victory against Chelsea on 18 September however, Watford only managed three more wins all season, and it soon became obvious that this campaign was a bridge too far after two successive promotions. The club were eventually relegated with the then-lowest points total in Premier League history, although observers widely predicted that Taylor would at least stabilise the club in Division One again, and maybe even get the club to make an immediate return to the Premiership.
West Ham United
West Ham United continued to make the most of their limited resources by giving the rest of the Premiership a run for their money and finishing a respectable ninth-place finish, though their return to European competition after an absence of nearly 20 years was short-lived. Their attack recovered reasonably well from the sale of striker John Hartson, while Harry Redknapp was able to hang on to highly rated youngsters like Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard.
The close season resignation of former Joe Kinnear because of health problems (he would suffer from them again as manager of Newcastle United) after seven years as manager led to the appointment of former Norwegian national team coach Egil Olsen as Wimbledon's new manager, giving Dons fans hope of beating the drop once again. The mid-season collapse of star striker John Hartson's move to Tottenham was further good news to the cause, but a run of eight straight defeats during the final weeks of the season dragged Wimbledon into the depth of the relegation mire. Olsen was sacked after a 3–0 defeat away to Bradford, to be replaced by former coach and assistant manager Terry Burton for the final two games of the season. A 2–2 draw at home to Aston Villa gave them hope going into their last game, away to Southampton. They were one place above the relegation zone on goal difference, but a 2–0 defeat at The Dell – combined with Bradford's shock 1–0 win over Liverpool – condemned Wimbledon to relegation and ended their 14-year stay in the top flight. The transition coincided with the end of one of the most remarkable rags-to-riches stories in football; which had started with Wimbledon's election to the Football League in 1977 and seen them reach the top flight nine years later, before peaking as FA Cup winners in 1988. Their relegation was ironically confirmed 12 years to the day that Wimbledon achieved their famous victory over Liverpool at Wembley.
Top goal scorers
|2||Alan Shearer||Newcastle United||23|
|3||Dwight Yorke||Manchester United||20|
|4||Michael Bridges||Leeds United||19|
|Andy Cole||Manchester United||19|
|7||Paolo Di Canio||West Ham United||16|
|8||Chris Armstrong||Tottenham Hotspur||14|
|Steffen Iversen||Tottenham Hotspur||14|
- Most wins – Manchester United (28)
- Fewest wins – Watford (6)
- Most draws – Everton (14)
- Fewest draws – Leeds United and Watford (6)
- Most losses – Watford (26)
- Fewest losses – Manchester United (3)
- Most goals scored – Manchester United (97)
- Fewest goals scored – Watford (35)
- Most goals conceded – Watford (77)
- Fewest goals conceded – Liverpool (30)
|August||Alex Ferguson (Manchester United)||Robbie Keane (Coventry City)|
|September||Walter Smith (Everton)||Muzzy Izzet (Leicester City)|
|October||Peter Reid (Sunderland)||Kevin Phillips (Sunderland)|
|November||Martin O'Neill (Leicester City)||Sami Hyypiä (Liverpool)|
|December||Gérard Houllier (Liverpool)||Roy Keane (Manchester United)|
|January||Danny Wilson (Sheffield Wednesday)||Gareth Southgate (Aston Villa)|
|February||Bobby Robson (Newcastle United)||Paul Merson (Aston Villa)|
|March||Alex Ferguson (Manchester United)||Dwight Yorke (Manchester United)|
|April||Alex Ferguson (Manchester United)||Thierry Henry (Arsenal)|