1997–98 Stoke City F.C. season

The 1997–98 season was Stoke City's 91st season in the Football League and the 35th in the second tier. It was also Stoke's first season at the Britannia Stadium.

Stoke City
1997–98 season
ChairmanPeter Coates
ManagerChic Bates,
Chris Kamara,
Alan Durban
StadiumBritannia Stadium
Football League First Division23rd (46 Points)
FA CupThird Round
League CupThird Round
Top goalscorerLeague: Peter Thorne (12)
All: Peter Thorne (16)
Highest home attendance26,664 vs Manchester City (3 May 1998)
Lowest home attendance8,423 vs Oxford United (4 November 1997)
Average home league attendance15,015

With Stoke now at a new home after 119 years at the Victoria Ground the hope was it would be the start of a new era for the club. Following Lou Macari's departure, his assistant Chic Bates was appointed as manager but the first league match in the Britannia Stadium was lost 2–1 against Swindon Town. Results were generally quite good and by the end of October Stoke were in a play-off position. However performances completely dropped off and the club dropped down the table like a stone and on 10 January 1998 Birmingham City beat Stoke 7–0 at home which sparked ugly scenes from some angry supporters. Bates and Peter Coates left as Stoke headed for relegation. Chris Kamara came in but was sacked after winning just one of his 14 matches in charge. Former manager Alan Durban returned for the final few matches which saw Stoke needing to beat Manchester City on the final day to stay up. They lost 5–2 and fell into the third tier.[1]

Season reviewEdit

LeagueEdit

The dawn of a new era at the Britannia Stadium should have been full of hope, but the departure of Lou Macari still not fully explained plus the farcical search for a replacement, left fans wondering what exactly was going on.[1] Many felt the delay in announcing the new manager was a way of boosting season ticket sales with many expecting Sammy McIlroy to be named as the new boss but the silence was deafening and caretaker Chic Bates was left to take care of pre-season training.[1] It soon became clear that Bates was going to be give the role full-time and in July he duly was much to the disappointment of many.[1] Former manager Alan Durban made a return to the club as Bates' assistant to help take away some of his responsibilities.[1] If Stoke had bid farewell to the Victoria Ground in a blaze of glory then the fiasco in opening the Britannia Stadium was a pit of despair. There was transport problems, ticket problems and the opening ceremony against Swindon Town was awful.[1]

The only major signing was that of striker Peter Thorne for £550,000 whilst a small spattering of players arrived from Europe following Jean-Marc Bosman's court victory for footballers contracts.[1] Chairman Peter Coates was now very unpopular with the supporters and there were many protests against him due to Coates not spending his money.[1] Attendances at the new ground were poor and by Christmas Stoke had lost their early season form and were in serious trouble.[1] The slump was brought to head early in the new year when Birmingham City beat Stoke 7–0 at home which prompted ugly scenes at the final whistle as around 2,000 fans invaded the pitch and attempted to enter the directors box.[1] The next match live on TV against Bradford City saw more fan protests and Coates resigned as chairman.[1]

On the pitch Bates was clearly not cut to be a manager and so was replaced by former Bradford boss Chris Kamara.[1] He arrived with bold intentions claiming that he would build a squad good enough to take Stoke into the Premiership, But he sold the only real player of value, Andy Griffin and in his 14 matches in charge only one was won and after an awful 3–0 defeat against Tranmere Rovers he lost his job.[1] Kamara's time at Stoke was a disaster and with Stoke heading for relegation Alan Durban took over for the remaining matches.[1] Three wins in four home matches gave Stoke some hope but a 5–2 defeat against Manchester City on the final day saw the inevitable happen and Stoke were relegated as were Man City despite their big win.[1]

FA CupEdit

Stoke lost to West Bromwich Albion 3–1 in the third round.[1]

League CupEdit

Stoke beat Rochdale and Burnley before being knocked out by Leeds United.[1]

Final league tableEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Promotion or relegation
20 Portsmouth 46 13 10 23 51 63 −12 49
21 Queens Park Rangers 46 10 19 17 51 63 −12 49
22 Manchester City (R) 46 12 12 22 56 57 −1 48 Relegation to 1998–99 Second Division
23 Stoke City (R) 46 11 13 22 44 74 −30 46
24 Reading (R) 46 11 9 26 39 78 −39 42
Updated to match(es) played on 3 May 1998. Source: Statto.com
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) number of goal scored; 3) goal difference.
(R) Relegated.

ResultsEdit

Stoke's score comes first

LegendEdit

Win Draw Loss

Football League First DivisionEdit

Match Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
1 9 August 1997 Birmingham City A 0–2 20,608
2 15 August 1997 Bradford City A 0–0 13,823
3 23 August 1997 Middlesbrough A 1–0 30,122 Stewart 60'
4 30 August 1997 Swindon Town H 1–2 23,000 Forsyth 34'
5 3 September 1997 West Bromwich Albion H 0–0 17,500
6 13 September 1997 Stockport County H 2–1 11,743 Wallace 28', Thorne 50'
7 20 September 1997 Ipswich Town A 3–2 10,665 Thorne (2) 13' 30', Stewart 55'
8 27 September 1997 Nottingham Forest A 0–1 19,018
9 4 October 1997 Bury H 3–2 11,760 Andrade 63', Forsyth 69', Thorne 73'
10 12 October 1997 Port Vale H 2–1 20,125 Forsyth 5', Keen 34'
11 19 October 1997 Charlton Athletic A 1–1 12,345 Wallace 51'
12 22 October 1997 Manchester City A 1–0 25,333 Wallace 63'
13 25 October 1997 Sunderland H 1–2 14,587 Stewart 81'
14 1 November 1997 Huddersfield Town A 1–3 10,916 Griffin 79'
15 4 November 1997 Oxford United H 0–0 8,423
16 8 November 1997 Wolverhampton Wanderers H 3–0 18,490 Kavanagh (2) 8', 23' (pen), Forsyth 60'
17 15 November 1997 Queens Park Rangers A 1–1 11,923 Forsyth 7'
18 22 November 1997 Tranmere Rovers A 1–3 8,009 Kavanagh 35' (pen)
19 29 November 1997 Reading H 1–2 11,103 Thorne 81'
20 2 December 1997 Sheffield United A 2–3 14,347 Thorne (2) 8', 63'
21 6 December 1997 Portsmouth A 0–2 7,072
22 13 December 1997 Crewe Alexandra H 0–2 14,623
23 20 December 1997 Norwich City A 0–0 12,265
24 26 December 1997 Sheffield United H 2–2 19,723 Forsyth 66', Thorne 86'
25 28 December 1997 West Bromwich Albion A 1–1 17,690 Thorne 47'
26 10 January 1998 Birmingham City H 0–7 14,940
27 16 January 1998 Bradford City H 2–1 10,459 Forsyth 65' (pen), Thorne 42'
28 28 January 1998 Swindon Town A 0–1 6,683
29 1 February 1998 Middlesbrough H 1–2 13,242 Kavanagh 35' (pen)
30 7 February 1998 Ipswich Town H 1–1 11,416 Holsgrove 15'
31 14 February 1998 Stockport County A 0–1 8,701
32 17 February 1998 Bury A 0–0 5,802
33 21 February 1998 Nottingham Forest H 1–1 16,899 Crowe 32'
34 25 February 1998 Charlton Athletic H 1–2 10,027 Kavanagh 42'
35 1 March 1998 Port Vale A 0–0 13,853
36 4 March 1998 Wolverhampton Wanderers A 1–1 21,058 Crowe 89'
37 7 March 1998 Huddersfield Town H 1–2 12,594 Tiatto 90'
38 14 March 1998 Oxford United A 1–5 7,300 Crowe 69'
39 21 March 1998 Queens Park Rangers H 2–1 11,051 Dowie (o.g.) 21', Crowe 51'
40 28 March 1998 Tranmere Rovers H 0–3 16,692
41 4 April 1998 Reading A 0–2 10,448
42 11 April 1998 Portsmouth H 2–1 15,569 Pickering 78', Lightbourne 90'
43 13 April 1998 Crewe Alexandra A 0–2 5,759
44 18 April 1998 Norwich City H 2–0 13,098 Sigurðsson 19', Lightbourne 50'
45 25 April 1998 Sunderland A 0–3 41,214
46 3 May 1998 Manchester City H 2–5 26,664 Thorne (2) 62', 87'

FA CupEdit

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
R3 13 January 1998 West Bromwich Albion A 1–3 17,598 Gabbiadini 61'

League CupEdit

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
R1 1st Leg 12 August 1997 Rochdale A 3–1 2,509 Kavanagh 26', Thorne 67', Forsyth 70'
R1 2nd Leg 27 August 1997 Rochdale H 1–1 12,768 Kavanagh 85'
R2 1st Leg 16 September 1997 Burnley A 4–0 4,175 Thorne (2) 37', 62', Kavanagh (2) 68', 80'
R2 2nd Leg 24 September 1997 Burnley H 2–0 6,041 Keen 36', Thorne 71'
R3 15 November 1997 Leeds United H 1–3 16,203 Kavanagh 66' (pen)

Squad statisticsEdit

Pos. Name League FA Cup League Cup Total Discipline
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals    
GK   Carl Muggleton 34 0 1 0 5 0 40 0 0 0
GK   Neville Southall 12 0 0 0 0 0 12 0 0 0
DF   Andy Griffin 23 1 1 0 4 0 28 1 1 0
DF   Tosh McKinlay 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 1
DF   Mark McNally 3(1) 0 0 0 0 0 3(1) 0 0 0
DF   Ally Pickering 42 1 1 0 5 0 48 1 8 0
DF   Lárus Sigurðsson 43 1 1 0 5 0 49 1 8 0
DF   Steven Tweed 35(3) 0 1 0 5 0 41(3) 0 6 0
DF   Ray Wallace 36(3) 3 1 0 5 0 42(3) 3 7 0
DF   Justin Whittle 15(5) 0 1 0 0(4) 0 16(9) 0 3 1
DF   Steve Woods 0(1) 0 0 0 0 0 0(1) 0 0 0
MF   Richard Forsyth 37 7 1 0 4 1 42 8 3 0
MF   Robert Heath 4(2) 0 0 0 0 0 4(2) 0 0 0
MF   Paul Holsgrove 11(1) 1 0 0 0 0 11(1) 1 2 0
MF   Graham Kavanagh 44 5 0 0 4(1) 5 48(1) 10 7 0
MF   Kevin Keen 37(3) 1 1 0 5 1 43(3) 2 3 0
MF   Neil MacKenzie 7(5) 0 0 0 1(1) 0 8(6) 0 0 0
MF   Gerry McMahon 7(10) 0 0 0 2(1) 0 9(11) 0 0 0
MF   Kofi Nyamah 9(1) 0 0 0 1(1) 0 10(2) 0 2 0
MF   Dick Schreuder 0 0 0 0 0(2) 0 0(2) 0 0 0
MF   Tony Scully 7 0 0 0 0 0 7 0 0 0
MF   Jörg Sobiech 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0
FW   José Andrade 4(8) 1 0 0 2 0 6(8) 1 0 0
FW   Richard Burgess 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
FW   Dean Crowe 10(6) 4 0 0 1(1) 0 11(7) 4 2 0
FW   O'Neill Donaldson 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0
FW   Marco Gabbiadini 2(6) 0 1 1 0 0 3(6) 1 0 0
FW   Kyle Lightbourne 9(4) 2 0 0 0 0 9(4) 2 0 0
FW   Paul Macari 0(3) 0 0 0 0 0 0(3) 0 0 0
FW   Paul Stewart 22 3 1 0 2 0 25 3 5 0
FW   Simon Sturridge 0(1) 0 0 0 0(1) 0 0(2) 0 0 0
FW   Steven Taaffe 0(3) 0 0 0 0 0 0(3) 0 0 0
FW   Peter Thorne 33(3) 12 0(1) 0 4 4 37(4) 16 5 0
FW   Danny Tiatto 11(4) 1 0 0 0 0 11(4) 1 6 0
FW   Davide Xausa 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
Own goals 1 0 0 1

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Lowe, Simon (2000). Stoke City The Modern Era - A Complete Record. Desert Island Books. ISBN 1-874287-39-2.