1992 was a significant year for English Football the English Football League 1st Division broke away from the football League renamed and rebranded as the Football Association Premier League. This new entity would have commercial independence from the rest of the Football League. Live top flight Football games would no longer be televised on terrestrial television with BSkyB winning the television rights for all live games, the BBC showing highlights on its popular Match of the Day program on a Saturday evening. What was the English Football League Division 2 became the English Football League Division 1. This marked the first time since the league's inaugural season in 1888 that the English Football League 1st Division would no longer be the top flight of football in England.
Brian Deane made history on the opening day of the English Football Association Premier League 1992-1993 season scoring the very first Premier League goal for Sheffield United, who went on to beat Manchester United 2-1. Teddy Sherringham would be the first televised goal scorer on BSkyB's first Sunday broadcast showing Nottingham Forrest beat Liverpool Football Club 1-0 at home. Eric Cantona, who the previous season has inspired Leeds United to the title winning the 1991/92 English Football League Division 1 championship, scored the very first Premier League Hat-trick, this was during Leeds United's 5-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur.
During the first half of the season Norwich City showed much form inspired by former Manchester United striker Mark Robins who helped himself to six goals in six games for the unfancied Canaries'. By the end of September they were sitting top by 2 points however second placed Blackburn Rovers gave Norwich a 7-1 beating thanks in part to American International Roy Wegerle one of a handful of non-British player playing in the FA English Premier league. This was enough for Blackburn to go top by the end of October on goal difference alone, with Norwich on the same points total in second place. At the other end of the table Brian Clough's Nottingham Forrest sit bottom, signalling Clough's worst ever start to a football season. The month of November signalled one of the most talked about transfers still to this day, Manchester United pulling off a shock transfer with the purchase from bitter FA Premier League football rivals Leeds United of Eric Cantona for £1.2 million. The significance of this transfer is shown as the season continued. Manchester United improving and moving out of the mid-table while Leeds United's form began to slump somewhat. Cantona would prove an excellent investment inspiring Man Utd on and off the field until his retirement at the end of the 1996-97 English Premier League season.
Norwich City hit the high water mark of their time in the Premiership going 8 points clear of their nearest rivals at the beginning of December. The month of December would show the start of United's re-emergence with Cantona in the team. A busy Christmas period see man Utd win against Coventry City 5-0 to go second in the table. A worry for Norwich must have been that at the end of December they had a goal difference of zero, scoring 34 yet conceding 34, this football statistic highlighting the fact that Norwich's defence was perhaps not quite strong enough to mount a challenge for the Premier League. While Man Utd and Norwich were battling for top, Aston Villa under former United manager Ron Atkinson where beginning to accumulate points. Wins over the likes of Liverpool Football Club, Middlesbrough and Sheffield United meant that by the end of January Aston Villa were sitting third on goal difference behind United, Welsh striker Dean Saunders netting regularly for Villa. At the other end of the table Oldham Athletic looked dead and buried in last place.
Aston Villa's form meant that as the English FA Premier League entered the first months of spring they would go top. Indeed by the end of February they would have a 2 point lead over Norwich, a poor March though led to Villa slipping up winning 5 points only. Norwich regaining the lead with 13 points gained in comparison, throughout this period Manchester United show good consistency. At the beginning of April they beat Norwich 3-1 away. United's form is such that by the end of April they have a 4 point lead over Villa. Oldham Athletic picking up points throughout spring improved their position to third bottom of the FA Premier League. Brian Clough's Nottingham Forrest by the end of April are bottom and almost certain to go down, sad times for the two time European Cup winners and sad times for Brain Clough who had led Forrest to this glory.
Indeed in the end Forrest where relegated signalling Cloughs retirement. The other two teams to be relegated from this first FA Premier League season were Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace, Joe Royals Oldham Athletic making a brave escape. The three teams relegated would be replaced by Swindon Town, West Ham United and Kevin Keegan's Newcastle United who had been crowned 1992-1993 English Football League Division 1 champions. The first football champions of the English FA Premier League were indeed Manchester United who by the end of the season amassed a 10 point lead over Aston Villa with Norwich coming in third. This was a remarkable achievement for United, what had looked like a season of mid-table mediocrity at one point ended in glory, Alex Ferguson purchase of Eric Cantona being the significant factor in this. An unusual football statistic was that the same two mid-table teams both took part in the two English Cup finals, Arsenal beating Sheffield Wednesday to the 1993 English FA Cup and the 1993 English League cup.
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