2005–06 in English Football - Diary of The Season

Diary of The Season

  • 29 June 2005 — Chelsea sell Mateja Kezman to Atlético Madrid for £5.3 million.
  • 1 July 2005 — Tottenham Hotspur sign 18-year-old Leeds United winger Aaron Lennon for £1 million.
  • 4 July 2005 — Liverpool sign goalkeeper Pepe Reina from Villarreal for £6 million and Mark González from Albacete for £4.5 million.
  • 5 July 2005 — Park Ji-Sung becomes Manchester United's first Asian player in a £4 million move from PSV Eindhoven.
  • 8 July 2005 — Blackburn Rovers sign Craig Bellamy from Newcastle United for £5 million.
  • 12 July 2005 — Arsenal sign Stuttgart and Belarus midfielder Alexander Hleb for £11.2 million.
  • 15 July 2005 — Patrick Vieira ends nine years at Arsenal in a £13.7 million move to Juventus.
  • 18 July 2005 — Chelsea sign Shaun Wright-Phillips from Manchester City for £21 million.
  • 20 July 2005 — Liverpool sign Peter Crouch from Southampton for £7 million.
  • 27 July 2005 — Manchester City sign Darius Vassell from Aston Villa for £2 million.
  • 4 August 2005 — Phil Neville, who has spent his entire 12-year career at Manchester United, is sold to Everton for £3.5 million.
  • 7 August 2005 — Chelsea claim the first silverware of the season when they beat Arsenal 2–1 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff to win the FA Community Shield.
  • 8 August 2005 — Manchester United misfit Kléberson is sold to Beşiktaş of Turkey for £2.5 million.
  • 17 August 2005 — Liberty Stadium hosts its first game; a friendly between Wales and Slovenia. It is the new stadium of Swansea City (replacing 93-year-old Vetch Field), as well as the Ospreys rugby union team.
  • 18 August 2005 — Tottenham Hotspur sell Frédéric Kanouté to Sevilla for £4.4 million.
  • 19 August 2005 — Chelsea pay a club record £24.4 million to Lyon for Ghanaian midfielder Michael Essien.
  • 20 August 2005 — Coventry City take on Queens Park Rangers in their first game at the new 32,500-seat Ricoh Arena.
  • 23 August 2005 — Tiago Mendes leaves Chelsea for Lyon in a £6.5 million deal, while Milan Baroš moves from Liverpool to Aston Villa for the same fee.
  • 26 August 2005 — Liverpool win the UEFA Super Cup beating CSKA Moscow 3–1.
  • 31 August 2005 — August draws to a close with Chelsea looking well placed to defend their Premier League title having won their first four games of the season. Stuart Pearce's Manchester City have made an impressive start to the season as they occupy second place. Charlton Athletic, Manchester United and Bolton Wanderers complete the top five. Newly promoted Sunderland are bottom after losing their first four games of the league season, with Newcastle United and Portsmouth completing the bottom three. Newcastle United break their club transfer record by paying £17 million to Real Madrid for Michael Owen. In the Championship, Sheffield United lead the table with Reading in second place, ahead of newly-promoted Luton Town on goal difference. Watford, Southampton and Wolves complete the playoff places. Norwich City, narrowly relegated from the Premier League the previous season, have made a poor start to a campaign thought by many to be a challenge for an immediate return to England's elite and stand one place off the bottom of the Championship, sandwiched by Millwall (bottom) and Sheffield Wednesday.
  • 7 September 2005 — Northern Ireland take a historic 1–0 win over England at Windsor Park, Belfast, strengthening calls for Sven-Göran Eriksson's resignation.
  • 8 September 2005 — Noel Cantwell, who captained Manchester United to FA Cup glory in 1963 and managed Coventry City through their only European campaign (the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup) eight years later, dies of cancer aged 72.
  • 30 September 2005 — Chelsea's 100% start to the season continues after seven games as they finish September with their Premier League leadership intact. Charlton Athletic are their nearest challengers in second place, with Bolton Wanderers, West Ham United (newly promoted) and Manchester United completing the top five. Sunderland remain bottom with just one point so far this season, while Everton and West Bromwich Albion complete the bottom three. In the Championship, Sheffield United hold a six-point advantage over Reading. Luton, Wolves, Watford and Leeds make up the rest of the top six. Sheffield Wednesday, Plymouth Argyle and Crewe Alexandra prop up the table.
  • 8 October 2005 — England defeat Austria 1–0 at Old Trafford, with the Netherlands defeating the Czech Republic the same night, thus assuring England automatic qualification for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, either as the top team in their qualifying group or one of the top two second-placed European teams.
  • 12 October 2005 — England defeat Poland 2–1 at Old Trafford to finish top of their World Cup qualifying group.
  • 17 October 2005 — Middlesbrough defender Abel Xavier is banned from all football after failing a drugs test.
  • 18 October 2005 — Johnny Haynes, the former Fulham and England player who became Britain's first £100-a-week player in 1961, dies aged 71, the day after he suffered a brain haemorrhage at the wheel of his car in Edinburgh.
  • 26 October 2005 — George Swindin, former goalkeeper and manager of Arsenal, dies aged 90.
  • 27 October 2005 — England legend Paul Gascoigne, 38, is named manager of Conference North club Kettering Town.
  • 28 October 2005 — Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott gives final approval for Brighton & Hove Albion to build Falmer Stadium, now scheduled to open in 2008.
  • 29 October 2005 — Manchester United become the first team to score 1,000 Premier League goals, in its 14th season.
  • 31 October 2005 — October draws to a close with Chelsea now runaway leaders with 10 wins and a draw from their first 11 games, while their nearest challengers are Wigan Athletic, playing their first top-division season and only their 28th as a professional league club. Tottenham Hotspur, Bolton Wanderers and Charlton Athletic complete the top five, while a disappointing Manchester United and Arsenal are sixth and seventh respectively. Sunderland have at last recorded their first league win of the season but still occupy bottom place, with Birmingham City and Everton completing the bottom three. In the Championship, Reading have closed the gap between them and Sheffield United to three points, with Luton, Watford, Leeds and Crystal Palace completing the top six and Brighton, Crewe and Millwall in the relegation zone.
  • 6 November 2005 — Manchester United become the first team to beat Chelsea in 41 Premier League games, with a Darren Fletcher header securing a 1–0 victory at Old Trafford.
  • 18 November 2005 — Roy Keane leaves Manchester United by mutual consent, ending his 12-year association with the club.
  • 24 November 2005 — Alain Perrin is sacked as manager of Portsmouth after eight months in charge.
  • 25 November 2005 — Football mourns the legendary George Best, formerly of Manchester United and Northern Ireland, who died today in London's Cromwell Hospital from multiple organ failure at the age of 59.
  • 30 November 2005 — November ends with Chelsea still top of the Premier League, their nearest contenders now being Manchester United who are 10 points behind and with a game in hand. Arsenal, Wigan Athletic and Tottenham Hotspur complete the top five. Sunderland remain bottom with a mere five points and one win so far, with Birmingham City and Portsmouth completing the bottom three. In the Championship, Reading have overtaken Sheffield United with a four-point advantage. Watford, Leeds, Luton and Cardiff complete the top six, while Crewe, Brighton and Millwall remain in the relegation zone.
  • 3 December 2005 — Harry Redknapp walks out of Southampton after being refused permission to discuss terms with Portsmouth over returning as manager.
  • 5 December 2005 — Paul Gascoigne resigns after just over a month in charge of Kettering Town, during which time they won two, lost two and drew two of their six games.
  • 7 December 2005 — Harry Redknapp is appointed manager of Portsmouth for the second time with a contract until the end of the season.
  • 22 December 2005 — George Burley is appointed Harry Redknapp's replacement at Southampton.
  • 31 December 2005 — Chelsea's Premier League continues into 2006 by 11 points over Manchester United, while Liverpool's good run of form has taken them into third place. Tottenham Hotspur and Wigan Athletic complete the top five. Sunderland, Birmingham City and Portsmouth occupy the relegation places. Reading still lead the Championship, with Sheffield United, Leeds, Watford, Crystal Palace and Wolves completing the top six. Sheffield Wednesday, Millwall and Crewe finish the year in the relegation zone.
  • 4 January 2006 — Alexandre Gaydamak takes a 50% stake in Portsmouth alongside Milan Mandarić. Manchester United pay Spartak Moscow £7 million for Serbian defender Nemanja Vidić.
  • 6 January 2006 — Portsmouth sign Benjani from Auxerre for £4.1 million.
  • 8 January 2006 — Burton Albion of the Conference National hold Manchester United to a 0–0 draw in the FA Cup Third Round, earning a lucrative replay at Old Trafford on 18 January 2006 which they lose 5–0.
  • 10 January 2006 — Manchester United sign French defender Patrice Evra from AS Monaco for £5.5 million.
  • 12 January 2006 — Liverpool sign Daniel Agger from Brøndby for £5.8 million.
  • 13 January 2006 — Arsenal sign Emmanuel Adebayor from AS Monaco for £7 million.
  • 20 January 2006 — The Premier League formally charges Portsmouth with "tapping up" Harry Redknapp. Arsenal pay £5 million to Southampton for striker Theo Walcott, who turns 17 on 16 March.
  • 22 January 2006 — West Ham United pay £7.25 million for Norwich City striker Dean Ashton.
  • 23 January 2006 — The FA announces that Sven-Göran Eriksson will leave his post as England national coach after the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
  • 25 January 2006 — Craig Levein is sacked as manager of Leicester City.
  • 30 January 2006 — Phil Brown is sacked as manager of Derby County. Academy boss Terry Westley is appointed interim manager, with player Paul Peschisolido acting as his assistant. Manchester City sign Greek midfielder Georgios Samaras from Heerenveen for £6 million.
  • 31 January 2006 — Chelsea now lead the Premier League by 14 points ahead of Manchester United and 18 points ahead of Liverpool, with Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal completing the top five. Sunderland, Portsmouth and Birmingham City occupy the three relegation places. Reading lead the Championship by ten points and look almost certain to gain promotion to the top flight for the first time in their history, while Sheffield United (with a game in hand) are eleven points clear of Leeds and Watford in joint third place. Preston North End and Cardiff City complete the top six. Brighton, Millwall and Crewe prop up the table.
  • 2 February 2006 — Graeme Souness is sacked as manager of Newcastle United, and Glenn Roeder was made caretaker manager with Alan Shearer his assistant manager.
  • 4 February 2006 — Alan Shearer becomes Newcastle United's top goalscorer of all time, scoring his 201st goal for the club, against Portsmouth at St. James' Park, beating Jackie Milburn's 200 goal tally which had stood for 49 years.
  • 9 February 2006 — Former West Ham United and England manager Ron Greenwood dies aged 84.
  • 11 February 2006 — Middlesbrough comfortably defeat reigning Premier League champions Chelsea 3–0 at the Riverside Stadium, the first time José Mourinho's Chelsea have lost by more than a single goal.
  • 18 February 2006 — Liverpool beat Manchester United in the FA Cup for the first time since 1921. The draw was a 5th round matchup.
  • 21 February 2006 — The FA announce that the 2006 FA Cup Final, set for 13 May, will be held at the Millennium Stadium, as the builders of the new Wembley Stadium are unable to guarantee that it will be ready for the match. They also announce that the national team's pre-World Cup friendlies originally scheduled for Wembley will instead be held at Old Trafford.
  • 21 February 2006 — A Football League under-21 team, composed of players from the Football League's three divisions, beats a Lega Nazionale Professionisti under-21 team, composed of players from Serie B, 1–0 at the KC Stadium.
  • 26 February 2006 — Manchester United defeat Wigan Athletic 4–0 at the Millennium Stadium to win the Carling Cup. Should they finish in the top five this season, there will be a UEFA Cup place for the league's sixth highest placed team.
  • 28 February 2006 — The month ends with Chelsea's lead over Manchester United at the top of the Premier League narrowed slightly to 12 points. Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal once again complete the top five, while Bolton Wanderers occupy the now sought-after sixth place. Sunderland continue to prop up the top flight, having gained just nine points so far this season. Portsmouth and Birmingham City complete the bottom three, with Portsmouth now eight points adrift of safety. The top six remain unchanged from the previous month, although Watford have moved to third and Crystal Palace to fifth. Millwall has changed places in the relegation zone with Brighton, whom they lead on goal difference, while Crewe prop up the table.
  • 1 March 2006 — Former Chelsea striker Peter Osgood dies of a heart attack aged 59.
  • 6 March 2006 — Mick McCarthy is sacked as manager of Sunderland after his team accumulated just 10 points in 28 matches, with Kevin Ball made caretaker manager for the remainder of the season.
  • 25 March 2006 — Reading became the first side to be promoted to the 2006–07 Premier League after drawing 1–1 at Leicester City. 2006–07 will be the Berkshire club's first ever season in England's top flight (though they would have been automatically promoted in 1995 as Division One runners-up had it not been for a reorganisation of the league which saw them forced into the playoffs where they had lost to Bolton Wanderers in the final).
  • 31 March 2006 — March draws to a close with Chelsea now nine points ahead of Manchester United at the top of the Premier League. Liverpool, Tottenham, Blackburn Rovers and Arsenal complete the top six, while Wigan Athletic are now eighth and their dreams of European football are fading fast. Sunderland are still bottom with 10 points though their relegation has yet to be confirmed. Portsmouth and Birmingham City complete the bottom three, both of them being three points behind 17th-placed West Bromwich Albion and with a game in hand. Reading need only one more win from their last six games to confirm the Championship title, while Sheffield United appear almost certain to join Reading in the top flight. Watford, Leeds, Crystal Palace and Preston North End complete the top six. At the other end of the table, Crewe and Brighton look dead and buried, needing four wins each from their last six games and other results to go their way to avoid relegation. Millwall are only five points adrift in the relegation zone but still look bound for relegation as well, just two seasons after competing in the UEFA Cup.
  • 1 April 2006 — Reading win the Football League Championship title after their defeat of Derby County and Sheffield United's being held to a draw means that Reading cannot be overtaken.
  • 14 April 2006 — Sunderland are relegated from the Premier League after a 0–0 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford. This is the first relegation in the league.
  • 15 April 2006 — Sheffield United become the second side to secure promotion to the Premier League after they beat Cardiff City while Watford and Leeds United only draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers and champions Reading respectively.
  • 15 April 2006 — Accrington Stanley regain their Football League status 44 years after the previous club of the same name lost it due to bankruptcy, after they beat Woking to win the Conference National title.
  • 17 April 2006 — Sheffield Wednesday's 2–0 win at Brighton & Hove Albion ensures that the trio of Brighton, Crewe Alexandra and Millwall are all relegated from the Championship.
  • 17 April 2006 — Alan Shearer plays his last competitive match against, rather fittingly, Sunderland, after a Julio Arca tackle tore his medial collateral ligament.
  • 18 April 2006 — John Lyall, former Ipswich Town and West Ham United manager, dies of a heart attack aged 66.
  • 20 April 2006 — Altrincham of the Conference National have 18 points deducted for fielding an ineligible player 13 times. This points deduction relegates the club to the Conference North.
  • 22 April 2006 — Carlisle United secure promotion to League One after a 1–1 draw at Mansfield Town while Leyton Orient were also held to a draw by the same scoreline at Lincoln City. This promotion comes just one season after Carlisle returned to the Football League following a one-season exile.
  • 22 April 2006 — Walsall are relegated to League Two after losing 3–1 at home to Huddersfield Town and Rotherham United draw with Scunthorpe United.
  • 29 April 2006 — Chelsea successfully retain their Premier League title after beating Manchester United 3–0.
  • 29 April 2006 — West Bromwich Albion are relegated from the Premier League after Portsmouth win 2–1 away at Wigan Athletic. Birmingham City are also relegated after Portsmouth's victory combined with their 0–0 draw with Newcastle United.
  • 29 April 2006 — Charlton Athletic manager Alan Curbishley announces that he will resign at the end of the season, ending a 15-year long tenure as manager at The Valley.
  • 29 April 2006 — Southend United secure promotion from League One after they draw 2–2 at Swansea City while Brentford also draw against Hartlepool United. Also in League One, Swindon Town are relegated to League Two after they could only draw 1–1 against Bristol City.
  • 29 April 2006 — Northampton Town secure promotion from League Two after beating Chester City 1–0. Rushden & Diamonds are relegated to the Conference National when they lose 2–0 away to Boston United and other results go against them.
  • 30 April 2006 — Reading break Sunderland's record for most points in any professional English league, beating Queens Park Rangers 2–1 to finish on 106 points.
  • 30 April 2006 — April draws to a close with Chelsea confirmed as champions, while Manchester United and Liverpool are the next highest teams level on points. Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Blackburn Rovers complete the top six. Sunderland are bottom and were relegated two weeks ago, while West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City's relegation has just been confirmed. It is a brilliant time for Portsmouth, who looked dead and buried barely two months ago.
  • 4 May 2006 — Current Middlesbrough manager Steve McClaren signs a four-year contract agreeing to succeed Sven-Göran Eriksson as England head coach after the World Cup. The contract begins on 1 August.
  • 4 May 2006 — Newcastle United are refused permission to appoint caretaker manager Glenn Roeder on a permanent basis as he does not possess the required coaching qualifications.
  • 6 May 2006 — Southend United, after defeating Bristol City, become League One champions, while Colchester United secure the second automatic place to the Championship; they will play in the top two tiers in English football for the first time in their history after their promotion. Hartlepool United and Milton Keynes Dons are relegated to League Two.
  • 6 May 2006 — Oxford United lose their league status after 44 years following a 3–2 defeat by Leyton Orient, who are promoted to League One.
  • 7 May 2006 — Sunderland finish the season on 15 points, the lowest points total ever in top-flight English football since 3 points for a win was introduced in the 1981–82 season.
  • 9 May 2006 — Roy Keane's testimonial is played at Old Trafford, with Manchester United beating Celtic 1–0 thanks to a second half Cristiano Ronaldo goal.
  • 10 May 2006 — Middlesbrough lose the UEFA Cup final 4–0 to Sevilla in Steve McClaren's last game in charge at the Philips Stadion in Eindhoven. On the same day, the Premier League change their mind over the Glenn Roeder situation at Newcastle United and give him permission to take on the manager's role on a permanent basis despite him not having the requiring coaching qualifications.
  • 11 May 2006 — Alan Shearer's testimonial is played at St James' Park, with a Newcastle XI beating Celtic 3–2, with Shearer scoring the winning penalty. Joe Royle leaves Ipswich Town "by mutual consent".
  • 13 May 2006 — Liverpool win the 125th FA Cup final beating West Ham United 3–1 on penalties after a thrilling 3–3 draw after extra time.
  • 16 May 2006 — Lincoln City become the first team to lose four consecutive play-off competitions following a 3–1 aggregate defeat to neighbours Grimsby Town in the League Two semi-finals.
  • 17 May 2006 — Arsenal lose in the UEFA Champions League final to Barcelona 2–1 in the Stade de France. Jens Lehmann is sent off controversially after fouling Samuel Eto'o and Ludovic Giuly puts the ball into the back of the net.
  • 20 May 2006 — Hereford United gain promotion to League Two after beating Halifax Town 3–2 in the Conference Playoff Final, after extra time.
  • 21 May 2006 — Watford gain promotion to the Premier League after defeating Leeds United 3–0 in the Championship play-off final.
  • 23 May 2006 — Arsenal sign Tomáš Rosický from Borussia Dortmund for £6.8 million.
  • 27 May 2006 — Barnsley win promotion to the Championship after overcoming Swansea City in the League One play-off final. They win 4–3 on penalties after both sides remained level at 2–2 after extra time.
  • 28 May 2006 — Cheltenham Town win promotion to the League One by defeating Grimsby Town 1–0 in the League Two play-off final.
  • 30 May 2006 — Everton pay a club record £8.6 million for Crystal Palace striker Andrew Johnson, and Chelsea sign Salomon Kalou from Feyenoord for £8 million.
  • 31 May 2006 — Chelsea pay a national record £30 million for Milan and Ukraine striker Andriy Shevchenko.
  • 2 June 2006 — Billy Davies leaves Preston North End to become manager of Derby County.
  • 4 June 2006 — Scarborough are relegated from the Conference National for a breach of league rules. They take Altrincham's relegation place.
  • 8 June 2006 — The BBC's Match of the Day will show Premier League highlights for at least another four seasons after £171.6 million bid for television rights was accepted.
  • 10 June 2006 — England open their World Cup campaign with a 1–0 win over Paraguay.
  • 14 June 2006 — Everton sign defender Joleon Lescott from Wolverhampton Wanderers for £5 million, and Chelsea sell striker Eiður Guðjohnsen to Barcelona for £8 million.
  • 15 June 2006 — England beat Trinidad and Tobago 2–0 to confirm their qualification for the last 16 of the World Cup.
  • 20 June 2006 — England draw 2–2 with Sweden in their final group game.
  • 22 June 2006 — Liverpool pay £6 million to Blackburn Rovers for winger Craig Bellamy.
  • 25 June 2006 — England reach the World Cup quarter-finals for the second tournament in succession with a 1–0 win over Ecuador in the second round.
  • 1 July 2006 — England lose on penalties to Portugal after a goalless draw in the World Cup quarter-finals. Tottenham Hotspur sign Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov from Bayer Leverkusen for £10.9 million. Former Tottenham Hotspur and England manager Glenn Hoddle resigns at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

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