We’ve listed the top 12 most successful football club in England. English football clubs gained popularity and publicity after they entered European association football competitions in 1955. These European competitions include UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup, UEFA Europa Conference League, Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, and UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup. In 1955, Birmingham City and a London XI took part in the inaugural Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. English clubs move a step ahead and took part in the FIFA Club World Cup on six occasions and the Intercontinental Cup on six occasions. Tottenham Hotspur creates a record by winning the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1963. It became the first English team to win a major European trophy.
The European Cup began in 1955–56, but there were no English clubs during that inaugural season. During the season, Chelsea had been persuaded to withdraw by The Football League. The first English club to play in the next edition was Manchester United. They were also the first English winners in 1968. They won the title ten years after their second entry into the cup. Liverpool became the first English team to retain a major European title after winning the European Cup for the second time in 1978.
Earlier, England had been pioneers in international matches. West Auckland won Sir Thomas Lipton’s trophy after defeating Italian side Juventus in 1909. English teams played in UEFA competitions every year between 1985–1990. Several clubs have played in Europe while being outside the top flight.
Who is the most successful football club of all time?
1. Chelsea – most successful football club in England
Chelsea Football Club is an English football club situated in London. The club plays in international matches since 1950. The club was famous at the initial time due to its performance. Chelsea was the champions in England. So the club was invited to play in the first European Champions Cup in 1955. But they were denied entry by The Football Association. After three years, the club started playing its European debut against Copenhagen XI in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, on 30 September 1958. Chelsea played very well and won their first European title in 1971.
They defeated Real Madrid to win the European Cup Winners’ Cup. They continued to play well in all their matches. Again in 1998, they won the same trophy again, followed by the UEFA Super Cup later that year. In 2012, Chelsea won the UEFA Champions League.
It became the fifth English team, and the first and only team from London, to win the competition. Further, the club won the UEFA Europa League in 2013 and became the fourth club to win all three main UEFA club competitions. Chelsea played very well during the phase. Chelsea won both the Champions and Europa League trophies simultaneously.
The club continued to play well and once again it lifted the Europa League trophy in 2019. Chelsea won their second Champions League title in 2021. The victory gave them the distinction of being the only club to have won all three major European matches twice. The club is presently England’s second-most successful club in UEFA competitions, with eight trophies in total. John Terry holds the club record for playing most matches in European leagues with 124. Similarly, the striker Didier Drogba is the club’s leading European goalscorer with 36 goals.
2. Liverpool – most successful football club in England
Liverpool Football Club is a football club located in England. The club is very famous in England. It plays in the Premier League which is the top tier of English football. The club joined the Football League the following year. Liverpool started playing its home games at Anfield after its formation. The club has won nineteen League titles, eight FA Cups, a record nine League Cups, and fifteen FA Community Shields domestically. Further, the club has won six European Cups, three UEFA Cups, four UEFA Super Cups—all English records and one FIFA Club World Cup in international matches. The club proved itself as a major football team in domestic and European football in the 1970s and 1980s. During the time Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan, and Kenny Dalglish, led the club to a combined eleven League titles and four European Cups.
Further, Liverpool won two European Cups in 2005 and 2019 under the guidance of Rafael Benitez and Jurgen Klopp, respectively. Jurgen Klopp led Liverpool to a nineteenth League title in 2020 which is the club’s first during the Premier League era. Liverpool is one of the most successful clubs. Fans and followers support the club in all the games. It is the most valuable and widely supported club in the world. Further, Liverpool has long-standing rivalries with Manchester United and Everton. The team changed from red shirts and white shorts to an all-red home strip in 1964 under the management of Shankly. The club’s anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone” is very popular among the fans.
3. Manchester United
Manchester United Football Club is a football club located in Manchester, England. The club plays in the Premier League which is the top division in the English football league system. The club was nicknamed the Red Devils. Further, the club changed its name to Manchester United in 1902. Thereafter, the club shifted from Newton Heath to its current stadium, Old Trafford, in 1910. The club played well and it has won a record 20 League titles, 12 FA Cups, five League Cups, and a record 21 FA Community Shields. Further, the club has won the European Cup/UEFA Champions League three times, the UEFA Europa League, the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, the UEFA Super Cup, the FIFA World Cup, and the Intercontinental Cup once each.
Alex Ferguson is the club’s most successful and longest-serving manager. He won 38 trophies, including 13 league titles, 5 FA Cups, and 2 UEFA Champions League titles between 1986 and 2013. The club became the first in history to achieve the European treble in the 1998–99 season, under Ferguson. The club won the UEFA Europa League in 2016–17. Manchester United has played well and it is one of the most widely supported football clubs in the world.
The club has rivalries with Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, and Leeds United. Further, the club was the highest-earning football club in the world from 2016–to 17. The club is the world’s third most valuable football club in 2019 with annual revenue of €676.3 million. Manchester United is valued at £3.15 billion ($3.81 billion). The club was purchased by American businessman Malcolm Glazer and valued at almost £800 million.
Arsenal Football Club is a football club located in England. The club plays in the Premier League which is the top flight of English football. The club has performed well and won 13 league titles, a record 14 FA Cups, two League Cups, 16 FA Community Shields, the League Centenary Trophy, one European Cup Winners’ Cup, and one Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. It is the third-most successful club in English football in terms of winning trophies.
Arsenal made history as it was the first club from the South of England to join the Football League in 1893. The club reached the First Division in 1904. Further, the club was relegated only once, in 1913. Further, they continue the longest streak in the top division. The club played well and won the second-most top-flight matches in English football history. Arsenal players have played well. They help their club in winning five League Championships and two FA Cups, and another FA Cup and two Championships after the war. Further, they won their first League and FA Cup double in 1970-71. Further, they won five League titles and five FA Cups, including two more doubles between 1989 and 2005. Arsenal qualified for the UEFA Champions League for 19 straight seasons between 1998 and 2017.
Herbert Chapman was famous during his time. He changed the fortunes of Arsenal forever and helped the club in winning its first silverware. His legacy led the club to dominate the 1930s decade. He has a lot of contributions to the game. He helped in the introduction of the WM formation, floodlights, and shirt numbers. Further, he added the white sleeves and brighter red to the club’s jersey.
5. Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club is also referred to as Tottenham or Spurs. It is an English football club located in Tottenham, London. The club plays in the Premier League which is the top flight of English football. Further, the club has played its home matches in the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium since April 2019. The stadium is very popular in England with a seating capacity of 62850. The club plays in the new stadium replacing their former home of White Hart Lane, which had been demolished to make way for the new stadium in the same location.
Tottenham’s emblem has a very stylish look. It is a cockerel standing upon a football. The club used to wear white shirts and navy blue shorts home kit since the 1898–99 season. Their training venue is on Hotspur Way in Bulls Cross in the London Borough of Enfield. After its formation, the club won the FA Cup for the first time in 1901. It is the only non-League club to do so since the foundation of the Football League in 1888.
Tottenham was the first club in the 20th century to win the League and FA Cup Double, winning both titles in the 1960–61 season. After successfully winning the FA Cup in 1962, they became the first British club to win a UEFA club competition – the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1963. They were also the winners of the first UEFA Cup in 1972. Tottenham Hotspur became the first British club to win two different major European titles. They collected at least one major title in each of the six decades from the 1950s to the 2000s. The achievement was only matched by Manchester United.
6. Manchester City
Manchester City Football Club is an English football club based in Manchester. The club plays in the Premier League which is the top flight of English football. It was formed in 1880 as St. Mark’s (West Gorton). Further, it became Ardwick Association Football Club in 1887 and Manchester City in 1894. The home ground of the club is the Etihad Stadium in east Manchester. The club moved to the ground in 2003, having played at Maine Road since 1923. The club appeared with its sky blue shirts in 1894. It is also the fifth-most successful club in English football.
Manchester City started playing the Football League in 1892. They won their first major title, the FA Cup, in 1904. The club achieved success in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They won the League, European Cup Winners Cup, FA Cup, and League Cup under the management of Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison. The club went through a declining period after losing the 1981 FA Cup final. It was relegated to the third tier of English football for the only time in its history in 1998. They have again performed well and won promotion back to the top tier in 2001–02 and have remained in the Premier League since.
The club added more trophies by winning the FA Cup in 2011 and the Premier League in 2012. It has also won another League title in 2014. City won the Premier League in 2018 and became the only Premier League team to attain 100 points in a single season. They became the first English men’s team to win the domestic treble.
7. Nottingham Forest
Nottingham Forest Football Club is a football club located in England. The football club was formed in 1865. The club has played home matches at the City Ground since 1898. Nottingham Forest will play in the Premier League, the first tier of the English football league system, for the 2022–23 season.
Nottingham Forest has played well. Due to consistent performance, it has won one League title, two FA Cups, four League Cups, one FA Charity Shield, two European Cups, and one UEFA Super Cup. The club has played in the top two tiers of English football since its entry into the Football League. Its most successful duration was under the management of Brian Clough and Peter Taylor in the late 1970s and early 1980s. During this time it creates a record for back-to-back wins in the European Cup in 1979 and 1980.
The team won the 1989 and 1990 League Cups. They lose the final match in the 1991 FA Cup Final. The team was relegated from the Premier League in 1993. The club also ranked third in the Premier League in 1995, but again it faced relegations from the top flight in 1997 and 1999. The team played exceptionally and returned to the Premier League by winning the 2022 Championship play-off final.
8. Aston Villa
Aston Villa Football Club is a football club based in Birmingham, England. The club plays in the Premier League which is the top tier of the English football league structure. They have played the matches at their home ground, Villa Park, since 1897. The club was one of the founding members of the Football League in 1888 and of the Premier League in 1992.
It is one of the five English teams to have won the European Cup, from 1981–to 82. They have also created the record by winning the Football League First Division seven times, the FA Cup seven times, the League Cup five times, and the European (UEFA) Super Cup once. Further, the club is currently ranked 5th in the all-time English top-flight table, since its foundation in 1888.
Aston Villa has a domestic rivalry with Birmingham City and the Second City derby between the teams has been played since 1879. The club’s kit colors are claret shirts with sky blue sleeves, white shorts, and sky blue socks. Their traditional club badge looks attractive. The badge is of a rampant lion. The team is now owned by the NSW group, a company owned by the Egyptian billionaire Nassef Sawiris and the American billionaire Wes Edens.
Everton Football Club is an English football club located in Liverpool. The club plays in the Premier League which is the top tier of English football. Everton club was a founder member of the Football League in 1888. It has played in the top division for a record number of 118 seasons. The club is the second-longest continuous serving club in English top-flight football. The club performs well and ranks third in the all-time points rankings. Due to its consistent performance, the club has won nine league titles, five FA Cups, one European Cup Winners’ Cup, and nine Charity Shields.
The club tastes the success of victory by winning their first League Championship during the 1890–91 season. Further, the club won four more league championships and two FA Cups until the 1960s. The club raised the level of performance and it achieved success in the mid-1980s when Everton won a further two League championships, one FA Cup, and the 1985 European Cup Winners’ Cup. The club’s major title win was the 1995 FA Cup.
10. Leeds United
Leeds United Football Club is an English football club located in the city of Leeds, West Yorkshire. The club was founded in 1919. They used to play their matches in Elland Road stadium. The club plays in the Premier League which is the top flight of English football. The club performed consistently and played in the EFL Championship during the 2019-20 season. Leeds United plays most of the matches in the first tier of English football. They have won three English league titles, one FA Cup, one League Cup, two Community Shields, and two Inter-Cities Fairs Cups.
11. Newcastle United
Newcastle United Football Club is an English football club located in Newcastle. The club plays in the Premier League which is the top flight of English football. Newcastle United was formed in 1892 by the merger of Newcastle East End and Newcastle West End. The club plays its home matches at St James’ Park in the center of Newcastle. The ground was modified in the mid-1990s and it has currently a capacity of 52,305.
12. West Ham United – the most successful football club in England
West Ham United is an English football club. The club plays its home matches in Stratford, East London. Further, it plays in the Premier League, the top tier of English football. The club plays at the London Stadium, after moving from its former home, the Boleyn Ground, in 2016.
Manchester United has the most fans across the world. The Premier League team with the largest, widest-reaching fan base is Manchester United.
United has an average attendance of 55,350 over the last 50 years, significantly larger than Liverpool’s 41,403. However, if we calculate average attendance as a percentage of stadium capacity then it is Liverpool who edges out their rivals, with an average of 76.6% to United’s 73.2%.
Liverpool is the most successful English and British team internationally with fourteen honors, winning the European Cup six times, and also a British record.
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