THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

8 April ~ Charlton paid for 5,000 fans to travel to Forest for what would have been a title celebration had they won and Manchester City lost. The championship was wrapped up two weeks later, although they failed to win any of their last seven games. Charlton's goal at Forest was scored by Andy Hunt who was the division's top scorer with 24, one ahead of Man City's Shaun Goater. Hunt's team-mates included Scott Parker and Chris Powell, recently sacked as Charlton boss.

City's end-of-season form was the reverse of Charlton's, with seven wins in their last nine games meaning they finished only two points behind the champions. Goater's strike partner Paul Dickov scored two of their four against Crewe though he only managed another three goals in 34 games. City sacked their manager, Joe Royle, after being relegated the following season, with directors complaining about a "drinking culture" at the club.

This was the only season in management to date for David Platt whose Nottingham Forest side finished 14th having used 38 players. Platt himself made three appearances while 36-year-old Ian Wright scored five goals in ten games on loan from West Ham.

Ipswich and Barnsley contested the play-off final after knocking out Bolton and Birmingham respectively in the semis. It was the fourth successive season in the play-offs for George Burley's side, with Dutch striker Martijn Reuser sealing a 4-2 win in the final minute. Ipswich finished fifth in the Premier League in 2000-01 before dropping back to the second level. Barnsley sacked their manager Dave Bassett during a poor run of form midway through the following season.

With Swindon and Port Vale already down, the third relegation place was taken on the last day by Walsall who lost at Ipswich, while rivals West Brom beat Charlton 2-0. Richard Sneekes and Bob Taylor, who scored for Albion in the draw at Barnsley, also got the decisive goals in the final fixture.

Players making their League debuts this season included Shaun Wright-Phillips (Man City), Kevin Nolan (Bolton), Phil Jagielka (Sheffield Utd), Ashley Cole (Crystal Palace, on loan from Arsenal) and David Healy (Port Vale, on loan from Man Utd).

Results & table from statto.com

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