How Seasons Ending In Years 3/4 Have Been Very Significant for Liverpool

- - Seasons

2023/2024 Changing Red CubesThere is absolutely no reason for it logically, but a number of English football seasons ending in 3-4 – i.e. 2013/14, 1993/94, 1963/64 etc – have been pivotal in the history of Liverpool Football Club.

Will 2023/24 follow suit? Only time will tell, but the pattern since the 1953/54 season – when Liverpool were relegated to the Second Division for the first time in 50 years – has been that the campaign ending in 3-4 has been jam-packed with action and controversy.


League/Cup Performance
Division 1 Winners
FA Cup Quarter-Finals

When the Reds were relegated from the top-flight in 1954, they would spend the best part of a decade battling for promotion back to the First Division.

They finally returned in 1962, before finishing a comfortable eighth in their first season back amongst the big boys.

The 1963/64 campaign went even better than anyone could have imagined, with Bill Shankly masterminding an amazing run to the First Division title – just nine years after they had finished a lowly eleventh in the second-tier as the doldrums set in.

Liverpool scored a then club record 92 goals – Roger Hunt with 31 of them – as Shankly’s boys took the title by four points from Manchester United. They also reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup to cap what was the Reds’ best season in quite some time.


League/Cup Performance
Division 1 Runners-Up
FA Cup Winners
European Cup Second Round

Two more First Division titles would follow in 1965/66 and 1972/73, before the 1973/74 campaign would be a case of the one that got away – as would be the way 40 years later in 2013/14 as well.

The Reds finished five points behind champions Leeds United, but only after a wretched run in which they just one of their last eight games – ultimately costing Shankly’s team a chance to defend their title. A jaunt in the European Cup ended in the second round at the hands of Red Star Belgrade.

Although of limited consolation, Liverpool did win the FA Cup in what would be Shankly’s final season as manager – a legacy that remains as strong today as it as during his team’s era of dominance.


League/Cup Performance
Division 1 Winners
FA Cup Fourth Round
League Cup Winners
European Cup Winners

As Shankly’s reign of terror ended, another was just around the corner courtesy of the brilliant management of Bob Paisley.

He oversaw six First Division titles in the decade that followed Shankly’s retirement – a period that also included three legendary European Cup triumphs.

When Paisley himself retired ahead of the 1983/84 campaign, Liverpool fans could have been forgiven for fearing a void in the Anfield dugout – it turns out that they needn’t have worried.

Joe Fagan had been on the coaching staff at Liverpool for years, serving both Shankly and Paisley, but he’d never worked in the top job before – the 1983/84 season would be his first at the helm of any football club, let alone one as storied as Liverpool.

But Fagan took to it like a duck to water, and the continuity of having the same coaching staff and players helped the Reds to another glorious season – the First Division and the European Cup were both won in supreme fashion, as was the League Cup. Liverpool were the first English club to win the treble.

Void? What void!


League/Cup Performance
Premier League Fourth
FA Cup Fifth Round
League Cup Fourth Round
UEFA Cup Fourth Round

It’s easy to overlook the 1993/94 season, which was a rare year off for our 3-4 schema. In short, Liverpool finished eighth in the Premier League, and the only two other items of note were that the old Spion Kop was demolished to make way for the all-seater version, plus there was a debut for a young striker named Robbie Fowler.

The 2003/04 campaign was much more notable. Performances on the pitch were fairly average but Liverpool did finish fourth in the Premier League – qualifying for the following season’s Champions League, which ended rather nicely for Reds fans….

The season would also be Gerard Houllier’s last at Anfield – he was replaced by Rafa Benitez, whose tenure would see more trophies added to the trophy cabinet in the club museum.


League/Cup Performance
Premier League Runners-Up
FA Cup Fifth Round
League Cup Third Round

The 2013/14 season was unforgettable for Liverpool – albeit for all the wrong reasons.

Steven Gerrard’s infamous slip against Chelsea will live long in the minds of Reds supporters, but this was a campaign when Liverpool performed unbelievably well – their tally of 101 Premier League goals was the highest ever for a team finishing in second place.

And had Raheem Sterling not been adjudged offside against Manchester City when he was provably onside – these were the days prior to VAR, of course, then Liverpool may well have wrestled the Premier League trophy out of City’s hands.

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