Supporters of a certain generation will remember the days before the Premier League; some would say better days when games kicked off at 3pm on a Saturday, with little live television coverage to interfere with your weekend football. Cast your mind back to April 1990 in what was a significant time in history for football fans… it was the last time Liverpool won the league!
Since the Premiership was formed in 1992 only six teams have lifted the trophy Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Leicester City. The Reds of Merseyside came closest to achieving their ultimate dream in 2014 when they led the table with just a few games remaining, but a defeat to Chelsea allowed Manchester City to slide past the Anfield club and won the league by a matter of two points.
29 years have passed since that eventful season for Liverpool, which saw them finish 9 points above second placed Aston Villa. It was also a memorable season for Yorkshire clubs also. Having successfully won promotion from Division Three, Dave Bassett guided his Sheffield United side to back-to-back promotions, and into the top flight.
United’s day in the sun came on 4th May 1990, the final day of the regular season. A 0-0 draw at Blackburn days earlier meant that the Blades had to go to Leicester City and win, whilst third placed Newcastle United had to better the Blades result at Middlesbrough.
United did their bit, winning 5-2 at Filbert Street despite the hosts taking the lead. Newcastle lost 4-1 at Ayresome Park, and the Blades would have won the league had Leeds not won 1-0 at Bournemouth. United finished second behind Leeds, both with 85 points, but Leeds had a better goal difference of +7.
It was a double celebration for the Blades, with Sheffield Wednesday rubber stamping their relegation from the First Division.
With 22 games of the Premier League season played, Liverpool currently lead the Premiership table by 7 points (prior to tonight’s Manchester City match at Wolves), and despite the Blues having a strong squad, Liverpool have rarely been in a better position at winning the league than they do this season.
Whilst United’s success (or failure) doesn’t rest on Jurgen Klopp’s side winning the league, history could repeat itself if they did! In the Championship, Leeds currently top the table whilst the Blades are second. Both Yorkshire sides would naturally love to be in an automatic spot upon the commencement of the 46th league match.
There is still a long way to go until the season comes to an anticlimax but wouldn’t it be great if the Blades will be playing Premiership football next season?