Blackpool F. C. is a professional association football club in the seaside town of Blackpool, England, which competes in League One, the third tier of English football. Founded in 1887, Blackpool's home ground since 1901 has been Bloomfield Road. Blackpool won the 1953 FA Cup Final, the so-called "Matthews Final", in which they beat Bolton Wanderers 4–3, overturning a 1–3 deficit in the closing stages of the game. Blackpool made three FA Cup Final appearances in six years between 1948 and 1953 and in the 1950s had four top-six finishes in the Football League First Division, their best position being runners-up to Manchester United in 1955–56. In 1953, four Blackpool players were in the England team. Blackpool won promotion to the Premier League in 2009–10, becoming the first club in English football to have won promotion from every division of the Football League via the play-off system, they have a local rivalry with Preston North End, matches between the two clubs are known as the West Lancashire derby.
Football had developed in Blackpool by 1877 when Victoria F. C. were founded as a church club with a ground in Caunce Street. This team disbanded a few years but some of its members are understood to have merged with old boys from St John's School to form a new club called Blackpool St John's, but the two factions remained disunited and, on 26 July 1887, at a meeting in the Stanley Arms public house, the members resolved to wind up St John's and form a new club to represent the whole town called Blackpool Football Club. The new club managed to win two pieces of silverware in its first season in existence, 1887–88: the Fylde Cup and the Lancashire Junior Cup. At the conclusion of the following 1888–89 season, Blackpool became founder members of the Lancashire League. In their first season in the competition, the club finished fifth out of the 13 member clubs, they finished as runners-up over the following three seasons, before winning the championship themselves on their fourth attempt. Blackpool's home at that point in time was Raikes Hall, part of a large entertainment complex that included a theatre and a boating lake, amongst other attractions.
This meant that the club's average attendances were around the 2000 mark, making the club's formative years a financial success. After struggling to repeat the success of the 1893–94 season, the Blackpool board decided it was time to leave local football behind, so on 13 May 1896 the club became a limited company and applied for entry to the Football League, their application was successful, for the club's debut season, 1896–97, they joined the 16-team Second Division. Blackpool's first-ever Football League game took place on 5 September 1896, at Lincoln City, which they lost 3–1 in front of around 1,500 spectators. For the 1897–98 campaign, the club played their home games at the Athletic Grounds, they remained there for the first seven home games of 1898–99, before returning to Raikes Hall for the remaining 10. After finishing third-bottom, the club were not re-elected at the end of the 1898–99 season, spent the 1899–1900 term back in the Lancashire League, they finished third, after the Football League's annual meeting, on 25 May 1900, were permitted back into Division Two.
It was during this season out of the League that Blackpool amalgamated with local rivals South Shore and moved to Bloomfield Road. During the 10 seasons that followed, Blackpool could finish no higher than 12th place; the club's top goalscorers in the league included Geordie Anderson and Bob Whittingham. At the end of 1910–11, the club found themselves in seventh place, thanks to Joe Clennell's haul of 18 goals, it was a case of as-you-were, for the four seasons leading up to the First World War, with finishing positions of 14th, 20th, 16th and 10th. For the last of those seasons, Joe Lane netted 28 goals; the outbreak of war forced the cancellation of League football for four years, during which time regional competitions were introduced. When normality resumed, in 1919–20, Blackpool had appointed their first full-time manager in the form of Bill Norman. Norman guided the club to fourth-placed finishes in his first two league seasons in charge, with Lane again netting close to 30 goals in the former.
The club's form nosedived in the 1921–22 season, with a finishing position of 19th, before bouncing back to a fifth-placed finish the following campaign. Harry Bedford, who had joined the club from Nottingham Forest, was the country's top league scorer, with 32 goals to his name. Bedford repeated the feat the following season, this time under the watchful eye of new manager Frank Buckley, who replaced Bill Norman after his four years of service. Blackpool finished fourth in Buckley's first season in charge; the 1924–25 season was not as successful. A single-goal defeat at fellow Lancastrians Blackburn Rovers ended the Seasiders' run. Buckley guided Blackpool to top-10 finishes in his final two seasons as manager – with Billy Tremelling's thirty goals in the latter helping – before he left to take the helm at Wolverhampton Wanderers. Buckley's replacement was Sydney Beaumont, who took charge for the 1927–28 season, but he lasted only until the spring after the club finished in 19th position. Harry Evans was installed as the new Blackpool manager, in an honorary capacity, for the 1928–29 campaign.
Due in no small part to Jimmy Hampson's 40 goals, the club finished eighth. In his second season, Evans guided Bla
Arsenal Football Club is a professional football club based in Islington, England, that plays in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. It has won 13 League titles, a record 13 FA Cups, two League Cups, the League Centenary Trophy, 15 FA Community Shields, one UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, one Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. Arsenal was the first club from the South of England to join The Football League, in 1893, they reached the First Division in 1904. Relegated only once, in 1913, they continue the longest streak in the top division, have won the second-most top-flight matches in English football history. In the 1930s, Arsenal won five League Championships and two FA Cups, another FA Cup and two Championships after the war. In 1970 -- 71, they won their first FA Cup Double. Between 1989 and 2005, they won five FA Cups, including two more Doubles, they completed the 20th century with the highest average league position. Herbert Chapman died prematurely, he helped introduce the WM formation and shirt numbers, added the white sleeves and brighter red to Arsenal's kit.
Arsène Wenger won the most trophies. He won a record 7 FA Cups, his title-winning team set an English record for the longest top-flight unbeaten league run at 49 games between 2003 and 2004, receiving the nickname The Invincibles, a special gold Premier League trophy. In 1886, Woolwich munitions workers founded the club as Dial Square. In 1913, the club crossed the city to Arsenal Stadium in Highbury, becoming close neighbours of Tottenham Hotspur, creating the North London derby. In 2006, they moved to the nearby Emirates Stadium. In terms of revenue, Arsenal is the ninth highest-earning football club in the world, earned €487.6m in 2016–17 season. Based on social media activity from 2014 to 2015, Arsenal's fanbase is the fifth largest in the world. In 2018, Forbes estimated the club was the third most valuable in England, with the club being worth $2.24 billion. In October 1886, Scotsman David Danskin and his fellow 15 munitions workers in Woolwich, now South East London, formed Arsenal as Dial Square, with each member contributing sixpence and Danskin adding another three shillings to help form the club.
Named after the heart of the Royal Arsenal complex, they took the name of the whole complex a month later. Royal Arsenal F. C.'s first home was Plumstead Common, though they spent most of their time in South East London playing on the other side of Plumstead, at the Manor Ground. Royal Arsenal won Arsenal's first trophies in 1890 and 1891, these were the only football association trophies Arsenal won during their time in South East London. In 1891, Royal Arsenal became the first London club to turn professional. Royal Arsenal renamed themselves for a second time upon becoming a limited liability company in 1893, they registered their new name, Woolwich Arsenal, with The Football League when the club ascended that year. Woolwich Arsenal was the first southern member of The Football League, starting out in the Second Division and winning promotion to the First Division in 1904. Falling attendances, due to financial difficulties among the munitions workers and the arrival of more accessible football clubs elsewhere in the city, led the club close to bankruptcy by 1910.
Businessmen Henry Norris and William Hall became involved in the club, sought to move them elsewhere. In 1913, soon after relegation back to the Second Division, Woolwich Arsenal moved to the new Arsenal Stadium in Highbury, North London; this saw their third change of name: the following year, they reduced Woolwich Arsenal to The Arsenal. In 1919, The Football League voted to promote The Arsenal, instead of relegated local rivals Tottenham Hotspur, into the newly enlarged First Division, despite only listing the club sixth in the Second Division's last pre-war season of 1914–15; some books have speculated. That year, The Arsenal started dropping "The" in official documents shifting its name for the final time towards Arsenal, as it is known today. With a new home and First Division football, attendances were more than double those at the Manor Ground, Arsenal's budget grew rapidly, their location and record-breaking salary offer lured star Huddersfield Town manager Herbert Chapman in 1925. Over the next five years, Chapman built a new Arsenal.
He appointed enduring new trainer Tom Whittaker, implemented Charlie Buchan's new twist on the nascent WM formation, captured young players like Cliff Bastin and Eddie Hapgood, lavished Highbury's income on stars like David Jack and Alex James. With record-breaking spending and gate receipts, Arsenal became known as the Bank of England club. Transformed, Chapman's Arsenal claimed their first national trophy, the FA Cup, in 1930. Two League Championships followed, in 1930–31 and 1932–33. Chapman presided over multiple off the pitch changes: white sleeves and shirt numbers were added to the kit. In the middle of the 1933–34 season, Chapman died of pneumonia, his work was left to Joe Shaw and George Allison, who saw out a hat-trick with the 1933–34 and 1934–35 titles, won the 1936 FA Cup and 1937–38 title. World War II meant The Football League was suspended for seven years, but Arsenal returned to win it in the second post-war season, 1947–48; this was Tom Whittaker's first season as manager, after his promotion to succeed Allison, the club had equalled the champions of England record.
They won a third FA Cup in 1950, won a record-breaking seven
Stoke City F.C.
Stoke City Football Club is an English professional football club based in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. Founded as Stoke Ramblers in 1863 the club changed its name to Stoke in 1878 and to Stoke City in 1925 after Stoke-on-Trent was granted city status, they are the second-oldest professional football club in the world, after Notts County, were a founding member of the Football League in 1888. The team competes in the second tier of English football, their first, to date only, major trophy, the League Cup was won in 1972, when the team beat Chelsea 2–1. The club's highest league finish in the top division is fourth, achieved in the 1935–36 and 1946–47 seasons. Stoke played in the FA Cup Final in 2011, finishing runners-up to Manchester City and have reached three FA Cup semi-finals. Stoke have competed in European football on three occasions, firstly in 1972–73 in 1974–75 and most in 2011–12; the club has won the Football League Trophy twice, in 1992 and in 2000. Stoke's home ground is Bet365 Stadium.
Before the stadium was opened in 1997, the club was based at the Victoria Ground, their home ground since 1878. The club's nickname is'The Potters', named after the pottery industry in Stoke-on-Trent and their traditional home kit is a red and white vertically striped shirt, white shorts and stockings. Stoke's traditional rivals are Midlands clubs West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers whilst their local rivals are Port Vale with whom they contest the Potteries derby. Stoke City F. C. was formed in 1863 under the name Stoke Ramblers, when pupils of Charterhouse School formed a football club while they were apprentices at the North Staffordshire Railway works in Stoke-upon-Trent. The club's first documented match was in October 1868, against an EW May XV at the Victoria Cricket Club ground. Henry Almond, the club's founder, was captain, scored the club's first goal. During this period they played at the Victoria Cricket Ground. In 1878, the club merged with Stoke Victoria Cricket Club, became Stoke Football Club.
They moved from their previous ground, Sweetings Field, to the Athletic Club ground, which soon became known as the Victoria Ground. It was around this time. In August 1885, the club turned professional. Stoke were one of the twelve founding members of the Football League when it was introduced in 1888; the club struggled in their first two seasons, 1888–89 and 1889–90, finishing bottom on both occasions. In 1890 Stoke failed to be re-elected and joined the Football Alliance, which they won and thus were re-elected to the Football League. Stoke spent the next 15 seasons in the First Division and reached the FA Cup Semi-final in the 1898–99 season before being relegated in 1907. Stoke went bankrupt and entered non-league football until 1914, when the First World War meant the Football League was suspended for four years. During the wartime period, Stoke entered the Lancashire Secondary leagues; when football recommenced in August 1919, Stoke re-joined the league. The club became owners of the Victoria Ground in 1919.
This was followed by the construction of the Butler Street stand, which increased the overall capacity of the ground to 50,000. In 1925, Stoke-on-Trent was granted "city status" and this led the club to change its name to Stoke City F. C; the 1930s saw the debut of Stanley Matthews. Matthews, who grew up in Hanley, was an apprentice at the club and made his first appearance in March 1932, against Bury, at the age of 17. By end of the decade, Matthews had established himself as an England international and as one of the best footballers of his generation. Stoke achieved promotion from the Second Division in 1932–33 – as champions – however Matthews only featured in fifteen games in this season, he did however score his first goal for the club in a 3–1 win against local rivals Port Vale. By 1934, the club's average attendance had risen to over 23,000, which in turn allowed the club to give the manager Tom Mather increased transfer funds; the club was now considered one of the top teams in the country.
It was in this period that the club recorded its record league win, a 10–3 win over West Bromwich Albion in February 1937. In April of that year, the club achieved its record league crowd – 51,373 against Arsenal. Freddie Steele's 33 league goals in the 1936–37 season remains a club record. Following the resumption of the FA Cup after World War II, tragedy struck on 9 March 1946, as 33 fans died and 520 were injured during a 6th round tie away against Bolton Wanderers; this came known as the Burnden Park disaster. In 1946–47, Stoke mounted a serious title challenge; the club needed a win in their final game of the season to win the First Division title. However, a 2 -- 1 defeat to Sheffield United meant. Stanley Matthews left with 3 games remaining of the 1946–47 season, opting to join Blackpool at the age of 32. Stoke were relegated from the First Division in 1952–53. Former Wolverhampton Wanderers defender Frank Taylor took over at the club looking to gain promotion back to the First Division.
However, after seven seasons in the Second Division without promotion, Taylor was sacked. Taylor vowed never to be associated with football again. Tony Waddington was appointed as the club's manager in June 1960, he joined the club in 1952 as a coach, before being promoted to assistant manager in 1957. Waddington pulled off a significant coup by enticing Stanley Matthe
Lincoln City F.C.
Lincoln City Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Lincoln, England. The team compete in the fourth tier of the English football league system. Nicknamed the "Imps" after the legend of the Lincoln Imp, they have played at the 10,120-capacity Sincil Bank since their move from John O'Gaunts in 1895. Traditionally they play in red and white striped shirts with red and white socks, they hold rivalries with other Lincolnshire clubs Football League sides Scunthorpe United and Grimsby Town. Founded in 1884, Lincoln won the Midland League in 1889–90, their first full season playing league football, they moved on from the Football Alliance to become founder members of the Football League Second Division in 1892, remaining there until they failed re-election in 1908. They won immediate re-election after winning the next year's Midland League, would repeat this feat after failing re-election again in 1911 and 1920. Founder members of the Football League Third Division North in 1921, they won promotion as champions in 1931–32, but were relegated two seasons later.
Crowned Third Division North champions again in 1947–48, they were relegated the next year, but would remain in the second tier for nine seasons after again winning the Third Division North title in 1951–52. Two successive relegations left them in the Fourth Division by 1962, where they would remain until Graham Taylor's title winning campaign of 1975–76. Relegated in 1978–79, they secured promotion again two years but suffered a double relegation to find themselves in the Conference by 1987. Lincoln made an immediate recovery however, regaining their Football League status with the Conference title in 1987–88, they were relegated the next season. They reached the play-offs in five consecutive seasons, from 2002 to 2007, losing in the final twice and the semi-finals three times, a competition record; however they exited the division at the other end when they were returned to the Conference after relegation at the end of the 2010–11 campaign. A six season stay in non-league was ended when Cowley brothers Nicky and Danny led the club to the National League title in 2016–17, as well as a run to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup – this made them the first non-league side to reach that stage in 103 years.
Though they lost in the League Two play-offs the next year, they did win the 2018 EFL Trophy Final. Football in the city of Lincoln had been prominent since the 1860s although not connected to the modern day club. After the disbanding of Lincoln Rovers in 1884, Lincoln City FC was formed as an amateur association, turning professional in the 1891–92 season, they played at the John O'Gaunts ground before moving in 1895 to their current ground, Sincil Bank. Current Lincoln City managers Danny Cowley and Nicky Cowley have brought a new sense of pride within the city for their main football club; the first game Lincoln played as an amateur team was an emphatic 9–1 victory over local rivals Sleaford, on 4 October 1884. George Hallam set two records for the club that day: he scored the first goal for the club, the first hat-trick, their first competitive game at home ended in an emphatic manner, beating Boston Excelsior 11–0, with Edwin Teesdale scoring four goals. At this time, before the club gained entry into the Football League and professional status, the County Cup was their main priority.
C. after the initial match had finished 2–2. Lincoln soon helped to form what was the Second Division in 1892–93 season, as an increasing number of clubs wished to join the Football League, their first game in the Football League was a 4–2 away defeat to Sheffield United on 3 September 1892. Their first home game was against Sheffield United, this time, Lincoln won 1–0; the first game at Sincil Bank in 1895, after moving from the John O'Gaunts Ground due to Dawber's death, was a 0–0 friendly draw with local rivals, Gainsborough Trinity. The first competitive fixture at the ground was against Arsenal, the game ended 1–1. In January 1907 The Imps knocked Chelsea out of the FA Cup after a replay. Managed by David Calderhead, two late goals salvaged a home draw in the first leg. In the replay in London, an injury time goal by Norrie Fairgray took Lincoln through. Chelsea returned at the end of the season to poach Calderhead to become their manager. Up until the 1920s Lincoln spent most of their time swinging between the Second Division and the more localised leagues, the Midland and the Central league.
After however, in the 1921–22 season, along with several other clubs from the Central and Midland leagues, founded the Third Division. The newly founded league and the Second Division would take turns in becoming Lincoln's home up until the early 1960s where they would drop a further division to the Fourth Division in the 1962–63 season, their championship honours include three Division 3 championships in 1931–32, 1947–48 and 1951–52, a Division 4 championship in 1975–76. It was the 1975–76 season where the club broke the record for most points for a whole season when 2 instead of 3 points were awarded for a win with 74 points in total. City become the first club in nearly a decade to score over 100 league goals, they won 21 out of 23
Burnley Football Club is a professional association football club based in Burnley, England. Founded on 18 May 1882, the team played only friendly matches until they entered the FA Cup for the first time in 1885–86; the club plays in the Premier League, the first tier of English football. Nicknamed the Clarets, due to the dominant colour of their home shirts, they were one of the twelve founding members of the Football League in 1888; the club's emblem is based with a Latin motto Pretiumque et Causa Laboris. Burnley have been champions of England twice, in 1920–21 and 1959–60, have won the FA Cup once, in 1914, have won the Community Shield twice, in 1960 and 1973; the Clarets reached the 1961 quarter-finals of the European Cup. They are one of only five teams to have won all top four professional divisions of English football, along with Wolverhampton Wanderers, Preston North End, Sheffield United and Portsmouth. In the 1920–21 campaign, Burnley were crowned champions of England for the first time when they won the First Division.
During that season the team embarked on a 30-match unbeaten run, which remained an English record until it was beaten by Nottingham Forest in the late 1970s. Burnley attained a second league championship in 1959–60 with a team consisting of youth academy graduates, winning the title with a last-day victory over Manchester City, after foundations were laid by pioneers Alan Brown, Bob Lord and Harry Potts. Just twenty years in 1979–80, Burnley were relegated to the Third Division — the first time in their history they had played in the third tier of English football. Five years the team competed in the Fourth Division for the first time following another relegation, on 9 May 1987 only a 2–1 home win against Orient saved Burnley from relegation to the Football Conference and a possible dissolution. Burnley won promotion in 1991–92 to the third tier and again in 1999–2000 to the second tier, before being promoted to the Premier League in 2008–09, 2013–14 and 2015–16. Burnley have played home games at Turf Moor since 17 February 1883, after the club had moved from their original premises at Calder Vale.
The club colours of claret and blue were adopted prior to the 1910–11 season in tribute to the dominant club of English football at the time, Aston Villa. Their current manager, Sean Dyche, was appointed on 30 October 2012. On 18 May 1882, Burnley Rovers Football Club decided to shift their allegiance from rugby union to football. Playing in various green or blue and white kits for their first few years, the club played their first competitive game in October 1882 against Astley Bridge in the Lancashire Challenge Cup, that game ending in an 8–0 defeat. In the early months of 1883 the club moved to Turf Moor and remain there, only their Lancashire rivals Preston North End having continuously occupied the same ground for longer. Burnley first appeared in the FA Cup in 1885–86, but were ignominiously beaten 11–0 when eligibility restrictions meant that their reserve side had to be fielded against Darwen Old Wanderers. A year on 13 October 1886, Turf Moor became the first ground to be visited by a member of the Royal Family.
When it was decided to found the Football League for the 1888–89 season, Burnley were among the twelve founders of that competition, one of the six clubs based in Lancashire. Burnley's William Tait became the first player to score a hat-trick in league football in only the second match of the inaugural season, when his three goals gave the Clarets an away win to Bolton Wanderers. Burnley, now known as'The Turfites','Moorites' or'Royalites' as a result of the name of their new ground and the royal connection finished 9th in the first season of the league, but only one place from bottom in 1889–90, following a 17-game winless streak at the start of the season; that season did, present Burnley with their first honours, winning the Lancashire Cup with a 2–0 final victory over local rivals Blackburn Rovers. Before Burnley won a trophy again, they were relegated to the Second Division for the first time in 1896–97, they responded to this by winning promotion the next season, losing only two of their 30 matches along the way before gaining promotion through a play-off series known as test matches.
Burnley and First Division club Stoke City both entered the last match, to be played between the two teams, needing a draw for promotion. A 0–0 draw ensued "The match without a shot at goal", the league withdrew the test match system in favour of automatic promotion and relegation; the league decided to expand the top division after the test match series of 1897–98 and the other two teams went into the top division for the following year, negating the effect of Burnley and Stoke City's reputed collusion. Burnley were relegated again in 1899–1900 and found themselves at the centre of a controversy when their goalkeeper, Jack Hillman attempted to bribe their opponents, Nottingham Forest, in the last match of the season, resulting in his suspension for the whole of the following season, it was the earliest recorded case of match fixing in football. During the first decade of the 20th century, Burnley continued to play in the Second Division finishing in bottom place in one season, although the indications of success just around the corner were evident.
Burnley changed their colours from green to the claret and sky blue of Aston Villa, the most successful club in England at the time, for the 1910–11 season, as manager John Haworth believed it might bring a change of fortune. The tides did indeed turn the following season, when only a loss in the last game of the season denied the club p
Aston Villa F.C.
Aston Villa Football Club is a professional football club based in Aston, England. The club competes in the Championship, the second tier of the English football league system. Founded in 1874, they have played at their current home ground, Villa Park, since 1897. Aston Villa were one of the founder members of the Football League in 1888 and of the Premier League in 1992. Villa are one of only five English clubs to have won the European Cup, in 1981–82, they have won the Football League First Division seven times, the FA Cup seven times, the League Cup five times, the UEFA Super Cup once. Villa have a fierce local rivalry with Birmingham City and the Second City derby between the teams has been played since 1879; the club's traditional kit colours are claret shirts with sky blue sleeves, white shorts and sky blue socks. Their traditional club badge is of a rampant lion; the club is owned by the NSWE group, a company owned by the Egyptian billionaire Nassef Sawiris and the American billionaire Wes Edens.
Aston Villa Football Club were formed in March 1874, by members of the Villa Cross Wesleyan Chapel in Handsworth, now part of Birmingham. The four founders of Aston Villa were Jack Hughes, Frederick Matthews, Walter Price and William Scattergood. Aston Villa's first match was against the local Aston Brook St Mary's Rugby team; as a condition of the match, the Villa side had to agree to play the first half under Rugby rules and the second half under Association rules. After moving to the Wellington Road ground in 1876, Villa soon established themselves as one of the best teams in the Midlands, winning their first honour, the Birmingham Senior Cup in 1880, under the captaincy of Scotsman George Ramsay; the club won their first FA Cup in 1887 with captain Archie Hunter becoming one of the game's first household names. Aston Villa were one of the dozen teams that competed in the inaugural Football League in 1888 with one of the club's directors, William McGregor being the league's founder. Aston Villa emerged as the most successful English club of the Victorian era, winning no fewer than five League titles and three FA Cups by the end of Queen Victoria's reign.
In 1897, the year Villa won The Double, they moved into the Aston Lower Grounds. Supporters coined the name "Villa Park". Aston Villa won their sixth FA Cup in 1920, soon after though the club began a slow decline that led to Villa, at the time one of the most famous and successful clubs in world football, being relegated in 1936 for the first time to the Second Division; this was the result of a dismal defensive record: they conceded 110 goals in 42 games, 7 of them coming from Arsenal's Ted Drake in an infamous 1–7 defeat at Villa Park. Like all English clubs, Villa lost seven seasons to the Second World War, that conflict brought several careers to a premature end; the team was rebuilt under the guidance of former player Alex Massie for the remainder of the 1940s. Aston Villa's first trophy for 37 years came in the 1956–57 season when another former Villa player, Eric Houghton led the club to a record seventh FA Cup Final win, defeating the'Busby Babes' of Manchester United in the final; the team struggled in the league though and were relegated two seasons due in large part to complacency.
However, under the stewardship of manager Joe Mercer Villa returned to the top-flight in 1960 as Second Division Champions. The following season Aston Villa became the first team to win the Football League Cup. Mercer's forced retirement from the club in 1964 signalled a period of deep turmoil; the most successful club in England was struggling to keep pace with changes in the modern game, with Villa being relegated for the third time, under manager Dick Taylor in 1967. The following season the fans called for the board to resign as Villa finished 16th in the Second Division. With mounting debts and Villa lying at the bottom of Division Two, the board sacked Tommy Cummings, within weeks the entire board resigned under overwhelming pressure from fans. After much speculation, control of the club was bought by London financier Pat Matthews, who brought in Doug Ellis as chairman. However, new ownership could not prevent Villa being relegated to the Third Division for the first time at the end of the 1969–70 season.
However, Villa began to recover under the management of former club captain Vic Crowe. In the 1971–72 season they returned to the Second Division as Champions with a record 70 points. In 1974, Ron Saunders was appointed manager, his brand of no-nonsense man-management proved effective, with the club winning the League Cup the following season and, at the end of season 1974–75, he had taken them back into the First Division and into Europe. Villa were back among the elite; this culminated in a seventh top-flight league title in 1980–81. To the surprise of commentators and fans, Saunders quit halfway through the 1981–82 season, after falling out with the chairman, with Villa in the quarter final of the European Cup, he was replaced by his softly-spoken assistant manager Tony Barton who guided the club to a 1–0 victory over Bayern Munich in the European Cup final in Rotterdam courtesy of a Peter Withe goal. The following season Villa were crowned European Super Cup winners; this marked a pinnacle though and Villa's fortunes declined for most of the 1980s, culminating in relegation in 1987.
This was followed by promotion the following year under Graham Taylor and a runners-up position in the First Division in the 1989–90 season. Villa were one of the founding members of the Premier League in 1992