The 1997–98 Football League (known as the Nationwide Football League for sponsorship reasons) was the 99th completed season of The Football League.
Champions Nottingham Forest and runners-up Middlesbrough won promotion back to the Premiership at the first time of asking. Charlton Athletic won the play-offs to end an eight-year absence from the top flight.
Reading were relegated in bottom place. They were joined on the last day of the season by Manchester City and Stoke City. The blue half of Manchester endured relegation to the third tier of the English league for the first time in its history, despite beating also doomed Stoke 5–2 away on the last day of the season, but neither fans took lightly to relegation, as mass football violence outside outshone the match. QPR, Portsmouth and Port Vale all won their games to avoid the drop.
Graham Taylor’s second spell as manager brought instant success as Watford won the Division Two championship. They were joined by runners-up Bristol City and playoff winners Grimsby Town.
Going down to Division Three were Brentford, Plymouth Argyle, Carlisle United and Southend United. Brentford had been losing playoff finalists just 12 months earlier, Plymouth had been promoted to Division Two just two seasons earlier, Carlisle were newly promoted and Southend had endured their second successive relegation.
Macclesfield Town finished runners-up in Division Three to gain their second successive promotion, a year after winning the Conference. They were joined by champions Notts County, who won the title by 17 points and became the first team since World War II to secure promotion in March, third-placed Lincoln City and playoff winners Colchester United.
Doncaster Rovers suffered an English league record of 34 defeats and won just four games to lose their league status. They were replaced by Conference champions Halifax Town, who regained their league status five years after losing it.