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How the season began 30 years ago: TV money, transfers and Tony Cottee

English football was on its knees in the late 1970s and early 1980s as hooliganism and crumbling stadia led to a steady decline in attendances. Rock bottom arrived in 1985 in the shape of the Bradford fire and Heysel stadium disaster. Football spent the rest of the decade taking a long look at itself and, gradually, it started to get its house in order. As the sport’s reputation improved, so did TV revenue, with domestic rights more than doubling from £5.2m in 1983 to £11m in 1988. On the back of this new TV deal, some clubs chose to spend big in the summer of 1988. Tottenham invested £1.7m on Paul Stewart and broke the British transfer record by spending £2m on Paul Gascoigne....
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