1897–98 Southern Football League
The 1897–98 season was the fourth in the history of the Southern League. Southampton won the Division One championship for the second successive season. Bristol City applied for election to Division Two of the Football League. However, they were not elected.
|Champions||Southampton (2nd title)|
|Goals scored||507 (3.84 per match)|
A total of 12 teams contest the division, including eleven sides from previous season and one new team.
Newly elected team:
- Bristol City
|11||Northfleet||22||4||3||15||29||60||0.483||11||Relegation test matches|
|Champions||Royal Artillery Portsmouth|
|Promoted||Royal Artillery Portsmouth|
RETB Chatham (resigned)
|Goals scored||652 (4.94 per match)|
A total of 12 teams contest the division, including ten sides from previous season and two new teams.
Newly elected teams:
- Royal Artillery Portsmouth
- St Albans
|Pos||Team||Pld||W||D||L||GF||GA||GR||Pts||Qualification or relegation|
|1||Royal Artillery Portsmouth||22||19||1||2||75||22||3.409||39||Promotion test matches|
|6||Dartford||22||11||0||11||68||55||1.236||22||Left to join Kent League at end of season|
|12||RETB Chatham||22||4||2||16||26||62||0.419||10||Left to join Kent League at end of season|
Rules for classification: The system of using goal average to separate two teams tied on points was used until the 1976-77 season. The points system: 2 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for losing.
- Merged with Watford St Mary's to form Watford
- Changed name to Shepherd's Bush at end of season
Promotion-relegation test matchesEdit
Unlike previous seasons in which individual test matches had been played between clubs, this season saw the bottom two clubs in Division One and the top two clubs in Division two play in a four-club round robin, with the top two retaining or earning a place in Division One. Both Division Two clubs were promoted after the matches, with Northfleet leaving the league after the season ended.
|Pos||Team||Pld||W||D||L||GF||GA||GR||Pts||Promotion or relegation|
|1||Royal Artillery Portsmouth||4||3||1||0||8||4||2.000||7||Promoted|
Football League electionsEdit
Only one Southern League club, Bristol City, applied for election to Division Two of the Football League. However, they were not elected. Although Darwen were initially voted out of the league, a decision was made to expand the League by four clubs, and they were readmitted, along with New Brighton Tower, Glossop North End and Barnsley.
|Lincoln City||Football League||21|
|Burslem Port Vale||Midland League||18|
|Loughborough Town||Football League||16|
|New Brighton Tower||Lancashire League|
|Bristol City||Southern League|