Premier League, 2004 (2003-04)

Premier League – Season Review 2003-04

The 2003-04 FA Barclaycard Premiership was the 12th season in the competition’s history. Arsenal went through the season without a defeat to clinch their third Premier League title. Arsene Wenger’s Invincibles became the first team to go unbeaten throughout a league season since Preston North End in 1889. A special gold version of the Premier League trophy was commissioned to recognise their fine achievement.

Despite the huge financial investment by new owner Roman Abramovich, Chelsea trailed their London rivals in second place by 11 points. Manchester United and Liverpool qualified for the UEFA Champions League by their league position. With United winning the FA Cup, Newcastle United qualified for the UEFA Cup by their league position. Middlesbrough won the Carling Cup and also qualified for the UEFA Cup. It was their first major trophy and the entered European competition for the first time.

Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leicester City followed the trend of many other newly promoted clubs by returning to the Football League after only one season. The third relegation place however fell to top-flight stalwarts Leeds United who had been league champions in 1992 and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League as recently as 2001.

Arsene Wenger became the first manager to win the LMA Manager of the Year award for a second time, as well as being named Barclaycard Manager of the Season. Arsenal’s Thierry Henry won the PFA Players' Player of the Year award for the second successive year. He also won the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year award, and the Golden Boot for a second time with 30 goals.

The PFA Premier League Team of the Year was:

  • Tim Howard (Manchester United)
  • Lauren (Arsenal), Sol Campbell (Arsenal), John Terry (Chelsea), Ashley Cole (Arsenal)
  • Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Patrick Vieira (Arsenal), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Robert Pires (Arsenal)
  • Thierry Henry (Arsenal), Ruud van Nistelrooy (Manchester United)

The average attendance was 35,008. The highest attendance was 67,758 for Southampton’s visit to Manchester United on 31 January 2004. The lowest attendance of the season was the 13,981 who witnessed the game between Fulham and Blackburn Rovers on 27 November 2004.