Football League First Division  1896/97

Pos Club Pld W D L F A GA Pts Notes
1st  Aston Villa 30 21 5 4 73 38 1.921 47 Champions
2nd  Sheffield United 30 13 10 7 42 29 1.448 36 Runners Up
3rd  Derby County 30 16 4 10 70 50 1.400 36 -
4th  Preston North End 30 11 12 7 55 40 1.375 34 -
5th   Liverpool 30 12 9 9 46 36 1.211 33 -
6th  The Wednesday 30 10 11 9 42 37 1.135 31 -
7th  Everton 30 14 3 13 62 57 1.088 31 -
8th  Bolton Wanderers 30 12 6 12 40 43 0.930 30 -
9th  Bury 30 10 10 10 39 44 0.886 30 -
10th  Wolverhampton Wanderers 30 11 6 13 45 41 1.098 28 -
11th  Nottingham Forest 30 9 8 13 44 49 0.898 26 -
12th  West Bromwich Albion 30 10 6 14 33 56 0.589 26 -
13th  Stoke 30 11 3 16 48 59 0.814 25 -
14th  Blackburn Rovers 30 11 3 16 35 62 0.565 25 -
15th  Sunderland 30 7 9 14 34 47 0.723 23 Retained Status
16th  Burnley 30 6 7 17 43 61 0.705 19 ▼Relegated

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Football League Test Match Series

Promotion and relegation between the two divisions was again decided by a series of Test Matches. As in the previous season the top two clubs in the Second Division and the bottom two in the First Division met in a mini-league. Each club played four matches - home and away matches against the two sides from the other division. At the conclusion of the matches the first and second sides in the league played in the First Division and the third and fourth sides in Second Division.

Date Home Score Away
17/04/1897 Notts County 1-0 Sunderland
19/04/1897 Burnley 2-0 Newton Heath
19/04/1897 Sunderland 0-0 Notts County
21/04/1897 Newton Heath 2-0 Burnley
24/04/1897 Newton Heath 1-1 Sunderland
24/04/1897 Notts County 1-1 Burnley
26/04/1897 Burnley 0-1 Notts County
26/04/1897 Sunderland 2-0 Newton Heath

Football League Test Match Series Standings

Pos Club Pld W D L F A Pts Outcome
1st  Notts County 4 2 2 0 3 1 6 Promoted to First Division
2nd  Sunderland 4 1 2 1 3 2 4 Retained First Division Status
3rd  Burnley 4 1 1 2 3 4 3 ▼Relegated from First Division
4th  Newton Heath 4 1 1 2 3 5 3 Remained in Second Division

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End of Season Notes

  Aston Villa finished as Football League First Division Champions (3rd Time)

  Sheffield United finished as Football League First Division Runners Up

 - Sunderland Retained their Football League First Division Place after finishing second in the Test Match Playoffs

 ▼Burnley were Relegated to the Football League Second Division after finishing in the bottom two places in the Test Match Playoffs

 ▲Notts County were Promoted from the Football League Second Division after finishing top in the Test Match Playoffs