The 1989–1990 season was the 90th completed season of The Football League.
Liverpool overhauled a greatly improved Aston Villa side to win their 18th league championship trophy and their fifth major trophy in as many seasons under Kenny Dalglish’s management. To date, this remains their last league title. Gary Lineker’s arrival at Tottenham Hotspur saw the North Londoners occupy third place after a season of improvement.
Luton Town stayed up on goal difference at the expense of Sheffield Wednesday, while Charlton’s four-year spell in the First Division came to an end at the beginning of May. Millwall were rooted to the bottom of the division despite briefly topping the league in September.
Leeds United finally returned to the top flight after an eight-year exile, as Howard Wilkinson’s side lifted the Second Division championship trophy thanks to a superior goal difference over runners-up Sheffield United, won their second successive promotion under Dave Bassett.
Swindon Town won the Second Division playoff final but Sunderland were promoted instead after the Swindon board admitted a series of financial irregularities. Swindon were initially demoted to the Third Division and replaced by Tranmere, the division’s losing Play-Off finalists, but this decision was later reversed on appeal.
A.F.C. Bournemouth, Stoke City and Bradford City occupied the relegation places. Bournemouth have never returned to the top two division since.
The city of Bristol was celebrating after Rovers were crowned champions and City finished runners-up in the Third Division to gain promotion. The third promotion spot was secured by playoff winners Notts County, who beat Leyland DAF Trophy (i.e. FA Trophy) winners Tranmere Rovers at Wembley.
Walsall suffered a second successive relegation and would be joined in the Fourth Division the following season by Blackpool, Cardiff City and Northampton Town.
Exeter City were crowned Fourth Division champions and went up to the Third Division along with runners-up Grimsby Town, third-placed Southend United and playoff winners Cambridge United. Newly promoted Maidstone United (1897) almost ended their first league season with success, but their promotion hopes were ended by playoff failure.
Colchester United were relegated from the league and replaced by Football Conference champions Darlington, who regained their league status just one season after losing it.
Season 1989-90 matches (grid view)
Season matches ordered by date
Full standing - Home, Away, Total
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