Football League Second Division  1896/97

Pos Club Pld W D L F A GA Pts Notes
1st  Notts County 30 19 4 7 92 43 2.140 42 ▲Champions
2nd   Newton Heath 30 17 5 8 56 34 1.647 39 Remained
3rd  Grimsby Town 30 17 4 9 66 45 1.467 38 -
4th  Small Heath 30 16 5 9 69 47 1.468 37 -
5th  Newcastle United 30 17 1 12 56 52 1.077 35 -
6th  Manchester City 30 12 8 10 58 50 1.160 32 -
7th  Gainsborough Trinity 30 12 7 11 50 47 1.064 31 -
8th  Blackpool 30 13 5 12 59 56 1.054 31 -
9th  Leicester Fosse 30 13 4 13 59 57 1.054 30 -
10th  Woolwich Arsenal 30 13 4 13 68 70 0.971 30 -
11th  Darwen 30 14 0 16 67 61 1.098 28 -
12th  Walsall 30 11 4 15 54 69 0.768 26 -
13th  Loughborough 30 12 1 17 50 64 0.781 25 -
14th  Burton Swifts 30 9 6 15 46 61 0.754 24 Re Elected
15th  Burton Wanderers 30 9 2 19 31 67 0.463 20 ▼Not Re Elected
16th  Lincoln City 30 5 2 23 27 85 0.318 12 Re Elected

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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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Election for League Membership

The three bottom clubs were required to seek re-election to the League. They were joined in the vote for League membership by 7 non-league clubs.
Votes Club End Result
21 Lincoln City Re Elected to the League
15 Burton Swifts Re Elected to the League
13 Luton Town Elected to the League
11 Burslem Port Vale Not Elected to the League
9 Burton Wanderers ▼Not Re-Elected to the League
7 Nelson Not Elected to the League
5 Glossop North End Not Elected to the League
3 Fairfield Athletic Not Elected to the League
2 Crewe Alexandra Not Elected to the League
1 Millwall Athletic Not Elected to the League

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End of Season Notes

 ▲Notts County were Promoted to the Football League First Division

 - Burton Swifts were Re-Elected to the Football League

 - Lincoln City were Re-Elected to the Football League

 ▼Burton Wanderers were Not Re-Elected to the Football League

 ▲Luton Town were Elected to the Football League