The 1978–1979 season was the 79th completed season of The Football League.
Bob Paisley won his third league title at Liverpool as his conquering side fought off competition from the likes of Nottingham Forest and West Bromwich Albion to achieve their triumph. Albion were in their first season under the management of Ron Atkinson, and during the season pulled off a famous 5-3 away win over Manchester United. Albion's playing staff included some of the most competent young players in the league, including Bryan Robson, Brendan Batson, Cyrille Regis and Laurie Cunningham.
Down at the other end of the table, the three relegation places went to Queens Park Rangers, Birmingham City and Chelsea. QPR had declined since the departure of Dave Sexton in 1977 and were relegated just three years after coming within a whisker of the league title. Meanwhile, Chelsea manager Danny Blanchflower paid for Chelsea's shortcomings by losing his job.
Money dominated the headlines during the season: Trevor Francis became England's first million-pound footballer after joining Nottingham Forest from Birmingham City. Liverpool became one of the first English clubs to have a shirt sponsor when they agreed a sponsorship deal with the Japanese hi-fi manufacturers Hitachi. By the end of the season, more and more English clubs were signing money-spinning sponsorship deals with commercial firms as the sporting world became even more obsessed with advertising.
Crystal Palace won the Second Division title, followed by rivals Brighton & Hove Albion (in the top division for the first time) and third-placed Stoke City, to achieve promotion to the top flight. Going down were Sheffield United, Millwall and Blackburn Rovers.
Shrewsbury Town were crowned champions of the Third Division. The other two promotion spots were occupied by Watford and Swansea City, who within a few seasons would make their mark on the First Division. Peterborough United, Walsall, Tranmere Rovers and Lincoln City were relegated to the Fourth Division.
Reading, Grimsby Town, Wimbledon and Barnsley occupied the Fourth Division promotion places. The success came for Wimbledon in only their second season as a league club and within a decade they would be an established First Division club, but things would get worse before they got better. For the second season running, the re-election system voted in favour of the league's bottom four clubs and there were no departures or arrivals in the league.
Season 1978-79 matches (grid view)
Season matches ordered by date
Full standing - Home, Away, Total
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