List of English football champions

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English League (1st tier)
Football League (1888–1892)
Football League First Division (1892–1992)
Premier League (1992–present)
Country
 England
Founded
1888
Number of teams
20 (since 1995–96 season)
Current champions
Manchester City (2021–22)
Most successful club
Manchester United (20 championships)
Leicester City celebrate winning the Premier League in the 2015–16 season.

The English football champions are the winners of the highest league in English men's football, which since 1992–93 is the Premier League.

Following the codification of professional football by the Football Association in 1885,[1] the Football League was established in 1888, after meetings initiated by Aston Villa director William McGregor.[2] At the end of the 1888–89 season, Preston North End were the first club to be crowned champions after completing their fixtures unbeaten.[3]

The league's early years were dominated by teams from the North and Midlands, where professionalism had been embraced more readily than in the South of England.[4] Its status as the country's pre-eminent league was strengthened in 1892, when the rival Football Alliance was absorbed into the Football League.[5] Former Alliance clubs comprised the bulk of a new Second Division, from which promotion to the top level could be gained. It was not until 1931 that a Southern club were crowned champions, when Herbert Chapman's Arsenal secured the title.[6]

Rules stipulating a maximum wage for players were abolished in 1961. This resulted in a shift of power towards bigger clubs.[7] Financial considerations became an even bigger influence from 1992, when the teams then in the First Division defected to form the FA Premier League. This supplanted the Football League First Division as the highest level of football in England,[8] and due to a series of progressively larger television contracts, put unprecedented wealth into the hands of top flight clubs.[9] The first five champions in the Premier League era – Arsenal, Blackburn Rovers, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United – had all won the title at least once prior to 1992. Leicester City were champions for the first time in 2016, becoming the first team to win the Premier League without having previously won the First Division.

All the clubs which have ever been champions are still in existence today and all take part in the top four tiers of the English football league system. Sheffield Wednesday are the only club who have ever changed their name after winning a league title having been known as The Wednesday for the first three of their four titles.

Manchester United have won twenty titles, the most of any club.[10] United's rivals Liverpool are second with nineteen. Liverpool dominated during the 1970s and 1980s (winning eleven league titles between 1973 and 1990), while Manchester United dominated in the 1990s and 2000s under manager Sir Alex Ferguson (eleven league titles between 1993 and 2009). Arsenal are third with thirteen titles, having dominated during the 1930s (five league titles between 1931 and 1938). Everton are fourth with nine titles. Manchester City are fifth with eight titles. Aston Villa (seven) and Sunderland (six) secured the majority of their titles before World War I. Chelsea (six) won the majority of their titles in the 21st century (between 2005 and 2017).

Huddersfield Town (1923–24 to 1925–26), Arsenal (1932–33 to 1934–35), Liverpool (1981–82 to 1983–84) and Manchester United (1998–99 to 2000–01 and 2006–07 to 2008–09) are the only sides to have won the league title in three consecutive seasons.[11]

List of champions[edit]

Football League (1888-1892)[edit]

Season Champions (number of titles) Runners-up Third place Winning manager
1888–89 Preston North End[a][b] Aston Villa Wolverhampton Wanderers England William Sudell (secretary manager)
1889–90 Preston North End (2) Everton Blackburn Rovers England William Sudell (secretary manager)
1890–91 Everton Preston North End Notts County England Dick Molyneux (secretary manager)
1891–92 Sunderland Preston North End Bolton Wanderers England Tom Watson

Football League First Division (1892–1992)[edit]

Season Champions (number of titles) Runners-up Third place Winning manager
1892–93 Sunderland (2) Preston North End Everton England Tom Watson
1893–94 Aston Villa Sunderland Derby County Scotland George Ramsay
1894–95 Sunderland (3) Everton Aston Villa England Tom Watson
1895–96 Aston Villa (2) Derby County Everton Scotland George Ramsay
1896–97 Aston Villa[b] (3) Sheffield United Derby County Scotland George Ramsay
1897–98 Sheffield United Sunderland Wolverhampton Wanderers England Joseph Wostinholm
1898–99 Aston Villa (4) Liverpool Burnley Scotland George Ramsay
1899–1900 Aston Villa (5) Sheffield United Sunderland Scotland George Ramsay
1900–01 Liverpool Sunderland Notts County England Tom Watson
1901–02 Sunderland (4) Everton Newcastle United Scotland Alex Mackie
1902–03 The Wednesday[c] Aston Villa Sunderland England Arthur Dickinson
1903–04 The Wednesday[c] (2) Manchester City Everton England Arthur Dickinson
1904–05 Newcastle United Everton Manchester City Scotland Frank Watt (secretary manager)
1905–06 Liverpool (2) Preston North End The Wednesday England Tom Watson
1906–07 Newcastle United (2) Bristol City Everton Scotland Frank Watt (secretary manager)
1907–08 Manchester United Aston Villa Manchester City England Ernest Mangnall
1908–09 Newcastle United (3) Everton Sunderland Scotland Frank Watt (secretary manager)
1909–10 Aston Villa (6) Liverpool Blackburn Rovers Scotland George Ramsay
1910–11 Manchester United (2) Aston Villa Sunderland England Ernest Mangnall
1911–12 Blackburn Rovers Everton Newcastle United England Robert Middleton
1912–13 Sunderland (5) Aston Villa The Wednesday Ireland Bob Kyle
1913–14 Blackburn Rovers (2) Aston Villa Middlesbrough England Robert Middleton
1914–15 Everton (2) Oldham Athletic Blackburn Rovers England Will Cuff (secretary manager)
1915–16 to 1918–19 League suspended due to World War I
1919–20 West Bromwich Albion Burnley Chelsea England Fred Everiss
1920–21 Burnley Manchester City Bolton Wanderers England John Haworth
1921–22 Liverpool (3) Tottenham Hotspur Burnley England David Ashworth
1922–23 Liverpool (4) Sunderland Huddersfield Town Scotland Matt McQueen
1923–24 Huddersfield Town Cardiff City Sunderland England Herbert Chapman
1924–25 Huddersfield Town (2) West Bromwich Albion Bolton Wanderers England Herbert Chapman
1925–26 Huddersfield Town (3) Arsenal Sunderland England Cecil Potter
1926–27 Newcastle United (4) Huddersfield Town Sunderland Scotland Frank Watt (secretary manager)
1927–28 Everton (3) Huddersfield Town Leicester City England Thomas McIntosh (secretary manager)
1928–29 The Wednesday[c] (3) Leicester City Aston Villa England Robert Brown
1929–30 Sheffield Wednesday (4) Derby County Manchester City England Robert Brown
1930–31 Arsenal Aston Villa Sheffield Wednesday England Herbert Chapman
1931–32 Everton (4) Arsenal Sheffield Wednesday England Thomas McIntosh (secretary manager)
1932–33 Arsenal (2) Aston Villa Sheffield Wednesday England Herbert Chapman
1933–34 Arsenal (3) Huddersfield Town Tottenham Hotspur England Joe Shaw (caretaker)
1934–35 Arsenal (4) Sunderland Sheffield Wednesday England George Allison
1935–36 Sunderland (6) Derby County Huddersfield Town Scotland Johnny Cochrane
1936–37 Manchester City Charlton Athletic Arsenal England Wilf Wild
1937–38 Arsenal (5) Wolverhampton Wanderers Preston North End England George Allison
1938–39 Everton (5) Wolverhampton Wanderers Charlton Athletic England Theo Kelly (secretary manager)
1939–40 to 1945–46 League suspended due to World War II
1946–47 Liverpool (5) Manchester United Wolverhampton Wanderers England George Kay
1947–48 Arsenal (6) Manchester United Burnley England Tom Whittaker
1948–49 Portsmouth Manchester United Derby County England Bob Jackson
1949–50 Portsmouth (2) Wolverhampton Wanderers Sunderland England Bob Jackson
1950–51 Tottenham Hotspur Manchester United Blackpool England Arthur Rowe
1951–52 Manchester United (3) Tottenham Hotspur Arsenal Scotland Matt Busby
1952–53 Arsenal (7) Preston North End Wolverhampton Wanderers England Tom Whittaker
1953–54 Wolverhampton Wanderers West Bromwich Albion Huddersfield Town England Stan Cullis
1954–55 Chelsea Wolverhampton Wanderers Portsmouth England Ted Drake
1955–56 Manchester United (4) Blackpool Wolverhampton Wanderers Scotland Matt Busby
1956–57 Manchester United (5) Tottenham Hotspur Preston North End Scotland Matt Busby
1957–58 Wolverhampton Wanderers (2) Preston North End Tottenham Hotspur England Stan Cullis
1958–59 Wolverhampton Wanderers (3) Manchester United Arsenal England Stan Cullis
1959–60 Burnley (2) Wolverhampton Wanderers Tottenham Hotspur England Harry Potts
1960–61 Tottenham Hotspur[b] (2) Sheffield Wednesday Wolverhampton Wanderers England Bill Nicholson
1961–62 Ipswich Town Burnley Tottenham Hotspur England Alf Ramsey
1962–63 Everton (6) Tottenham Hotspur Burnley England Harry Catterick
1963–64 Liverpool (6) Manchester United Everton Scotland Bill Shankly
1964–65 Manchester United (6) Leeds United Chelsea Scotland Matt Busby
1965–66 Liverpool (7) Leeds United Burnley Scotland Bill Shankly
1966–67 Manchester United (7) Nottingham Forest Tottenham Hotspur Scotland Matt Busby
1967–68 Manchester City (2) Manchester United Liverpool England Joe Mercer
1968–69 Leeds United Liverpool Everton England Don Revie
1969–70 Everton (7) Leeds United Chelsea England Harry Catterick
1970–71 Arsenal[b] (8) Leeds United Tottenham Hotspur England Bertie Mee
1971–72 Derby County Leeds United Liverpool England Brian Clough
1972–73 Liverpool[d] (8) Arsenal Leeds United Scotland Bill Shankly
1973–74 Leeds United (2) Liverpool Derby County England Don Revie
1974–75 Derby County (2) Liverpool Ipswich Town Scotland Dave Mackay
1975–76 Liverpool[d] (9) Queens Park Rangers Manchester United England Bob Paisley
1976–77 Liverpool[e] (10) Manchester City Ipswich Town England Bob Paisley
1977–78 Nottingham Forest[f] Liverpool Everton England Brian Clough
1978–79 Liverpool (11) Nottingham Forest West Bromwich Albion England Bob Paisley
1979–80 Liverpool (12) Manchester United Ipswich Town England Bob Paisley
1980–81 Aston Villa (7) Ipswich Town Arsenal England Ron Saunders
1981–82[g] Liverpool[f] (13) Ipswich Town Manchester United England Bob Paisley
1982–83 Liverpool[f] (14) Watford Manchester United England Bob Paisley
1983–84 Liverpool[e][f] (15) Southampton Nottingham Forest England Joe Fagan
1984–85 Everton[h] (8) Liverpool Tottenham Hotspur England Howard Kendall
1985–86 Liverpool[b] (16) Everton West Ham United Scotland Kenny Dalglish
1986–87 Everton (9) Liverpool Tottenham Hotspur England Howard Kendall
1987–88 Liverpool (17) Manchester United Nottingham Forest Scotland Kenny Dalglish
1988–89 Arsenal (9) Liverpool Nottingham Forest Scotland George Graham
1989–90 Liverpool (18) Aston Villa Tottenham Hotspur Scotland Kenny Dalglish
1990–91 Arsenal (10) Liverpool Crystal Palace Scotland George Graham
1991–92 Leeds United (3) Manchester United Sheffield Wednesday England Howard Wilkinson

Premier League (1992–present)[edit]

Season Champions (number of titles) Runners-up Third place Winning manager Winning team top goalscorer
1992–93 Manchester United (8) Aston Villa Norwich City Scotland Alex Ferguson Wales Mark Hughes (15)
1993–94 Manchester United[b] (9) Blackburn Rovers Newcastle United Scotland Alex Ferguson France Eric Cantona (18)
1994–95 Blackburn Rovers (3) Manchester United Nottingham Forest Scotland Kenny Dalglish England Alan Shearer (35)
1995–96 Manchester United[b] (10) Newcastle United Liverpool Scotland Alex Ferguson France Eric Cantona (14)
1996–97 Manchester United (11) Newcastle United Arsenal Scotland Alex Ferguson Norway Ole Gunnar Solskjær (18)
1997–98 Arsenal[b] (11) Manchester United Liverpool France Arsène Wenger Netherlands Dennis Bergkamp (16)
1998–99 Manchester United[i] (12) Arsenal Chelsea Scotland Alex Ferguson Trinidad and Tobago Dwight Yorke (18)
1999–2000 Manchester United (13) Arsenal Leeds United Scotland Alex Ferguson Trinidad and Tobago Dwight Yorke (20)
2000–01 Manchester United (14) Arsenal Liverpool Scotland Alex Ferguson England Teddy Sheringham (15)
2001–02 Arsenal[b] (12) Liverpool Manchester United France Arsène Wenger France Thierry Henry (24)
2002–03 Manchester United (15) Arsenal Newcastle United Scotland Alex Ferguson Netherlands Ruud van Nistelrooy (25)
2003–04 Arsenal[a] (13) Chelsea Manchester United France Arsène Wenger France Thierry Henry (30)
2004–05 Chelsea[f] (2) Arsenal Manchester United Portugal José Mourinho England Frank Lampard (13)
2005–06 Chelsea (3) Manchester United Liverpool Portugal José Mourinho England Frank Lampard (13)
2006–07 Manchester United (16) Chelsea Liverpool Scotland Alex Ferguson Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo (17)
2007–08 Manchester United[e] (17) Chelsea Arsenal Scotland Alex Ferguson Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo (31)
2008–09 Manchester United[f] (18) Liverpool Chelsea Scotland Alex Ferguson Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo (18)
2009–10 Chelsea[b] (4) Manchester United Arsenal Italy Carlo Ancelotti Ivory Coast Didier Drogba (29)
2010–11 Manchester United (19) Chelsea Manchester City Scotland Alex Ferguson Bulgaria Dimitar Berbatov (20)
2011–12 Manchester City (3) Manchester United Arsenal Italy Roberto Mancini Argentina Sergio Agüero (23)
2012–13 Manchester United (20) Manchester City Chelsea Scotland Alex Ferguson Netherlands Robin van Persie (26)
2013–14 Manchester City[f] (4) Liverpool Chelsea Chile Manuel Pellegrini Ivory Coast Yaya Touré (20)
2014–15 Chelsea[f] (5) Manchester City Arsenal Portugal José Mourinho Spain Diego Costa (20)
2015–16 Leicester City Arsenal Tottenham Hotspur Italy Claudio Ranieri England Jamie Vardy (24)
2016–17 Chelsea (6) Tottenham Hotspur Manchester City Italy Antonio Conte Spain Diego Costa (20)
2017–18 Manchester City[f] (5) Manchester United Tottenham Hotspur Spain Pep Guardiola Argentina Sergio Agüero (21)
2018–19 Manchester City[j] (6) Liverpool Chelsea Spain Pep Guardiola Argentina Sergio Agüero (21)
2019–20 Liverpool (19) Manchester City Manchester United Germany Jürgen Klopp Egypt Mohamed Salah (22)
2020–21 Manchester City[f] (7) Manchester United Liverpool Spain Pep Guardiola Germany İlkay Gündoğan (13)
2021–22 Manchester City (8) Liverpool Chelsea Spain Pep Guardiola Belgium Kevin De Bruyne (15)

Total titles won[edit]

There are 24 clubs who have won the English title, including 7 who have won the Premier League (1992–present). The most recent to join the list were Leicester City (2015–2016 champions) and before that, Nottingham Forest (1977–1978) and Derby County (1971–1972).

Seven teams have at some point held first or joint first place in the number of titles won: Preston North End (1889–1895), Sunderland (1893–1899 and 1936–1953), Aston Villa (1897–1953), Arsenal (1948–1976), Liverpool (1966–1971 and 1973–2011), Manchester United (1967–1971 and 2009–) and Everton (1970–1971).

Eight teams have finished as runners up without ever finishing top: Bristol City (1906–1907), Oldham Athletic (1914–1915), Cardiff City (1923–1924), Charlton Athletic (1936–1937), Blackpool (1955–1956), Queens Park Rangers (1975–1976), Watford (1982–1983) and Southampton (1983–1984). Of these, Cardiff City came closest to winning the league, matching champions Huddersfield Town in points but losing out on goal average (goals scored divided by goals conceded), the precursor to goal difference.

Teams in bold compete in the Premier League as of the 2022–23 season.

Rank Club Winners Runners-up Winning seasons
1 Manchester United 20 17 1907–08, 1910–11, 1951–52, 1955–56, 1956–57, 1964–65, 1966–67, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1995–96, 1996–97, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2010–11, 2012–13
2 Liverpool 19 15 1900–01, 1905–06, 1921–22, 1922–23, 1946–47, 1963–64, 1965–66, 1972–73, 1975–76, 1976–77, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1983–84, 1985–86, 1987–88, 1989–90, 2019–20
3 Arsenal 13 9 1930–31, 1932–33, 1933–34, 1934–35, 1937–38, 1947–48, 1952–53, 1970–71, 1988–89, 1990–91, 1997–98, 2001–02, 2003–04
4 Everton 9 7 1890–91, 1914–15, 1927–28, 1931–32, 1938–39, 1962–63, 1969–70, 1984–85, 1986–87
5 Manchester City 8 6 1936–37, 1967–68, 2011–12, 2013–14, 2017–18, 2018–19, 2020–21, 2021–22
6 Aston Villa 7 10 1893–94, 1895–96, 1896–97, 1898–99, 1899–1900, 1909–10, 1980–81
7 Sunderland 6 5 1891–92, 1892–93, 1894–95, 1901–02, 1912–13, 1935–36
Chelsea 4 1954–55, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2009–10, 2014–15, 2016–17
9 Newcastle United 4 2 1904–05, 1906–07, 1908–09, 1926–27
Sheffield Wednesday 1 1902–03, 1903–04, 1928–29, 1929–30
11 Wolverhampton Wanderers 3 5 1953–54, 1957–58, 1958–59
Leeds United 1968–69, 1973–74, 1991–92
Huddersfield Town 3 1923–24, 1924–25, 1925–26
Blackburn Rovers 1 1911–12, 1913–14, 1994–95
15 Preston North End 2 6 1888–89, 1889–90
Tottenham Hotspur 5 1950–51, 1960–61
Derby County 3 1971–72, 1974–75
Burnley 2 1920–21, 1959–60
Portsmouth 0 1948–49, 1949–50
20 Sheffield United 1 2 1897–98
West Bromwich Albion 1919–20
Ipswich Town 1961–62
Nottingham Forest 1977–78
Leicester City 1 2015–16

By region[edit]

Region Championships Clubs
North West 63 Manchester United (20), Liverpool (19), Everton (9), Manchester City (8), Blackburn Rovers (3), Preston North End (2), Burnley (2)
London 21 Arsenal (13), Chelsea (6), Tottenham Hotspur (2)
Yorkshire 11 Sheffield Wednesday (4), Huddersfield Town (3), Leeds United (3), Sheffield United (1)
West Midlands 11 Aston Villa (7), Wolverhampton Wanderers (3), West Bromwich Albion (1)
North East 10 Sunderland (6), Newcastle United (4)
East Midlands 4 Derby County (2), Leicester City (1), Nottingham Forest (1)
South East 2 Portsmouth (2)
East 1 Ipswich Town (1)
South West 0
Wales 0

By city/town[edit]

City / Town Championships Clubs
Liverpool 28 Liverpool (19), Everton (9)
Manchester 28 Manchester United (20), Manchester City (8)
London 21 Arsenal (13), Chelsea (6), Tottenham Hotspur (2)
Birmingham 7 Aston Villa (7)
Sunderland 6 Sunderland (6)
Sheffield 5 Sheffield Wednesday (4), Sheffield United (1)
Newcastle 4 Newcastle United (4)
Blackburn 3 Blackburn Rovers (3)
Huddersfield 3 Huddersfield Town (3)
Leeds 3 Leeds United (3)
Wolverhampton 3 Wolverhampton Wanderers (3)
Burnley 2 Burnley (2)
Derby 2 Derby County (2)
Portsmouth 2 Portsmouth (2)
Preston 2 Preston North End (2)
Ipswich 1 Ipswich Town (1)
Leicester 1 Leicester City (1)
Nottingham 1 Nottingham Forest (1)
West Bromwich 1 West Bromwich Albion (1)

English football champions map[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Completed the season unbeaten.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Also won the FA Cup
  3. ^ a b c Sheffield Wednesday were known as The Wednesday until 1929.
  4. ^ a b Also won the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League.
  5. ^ a b c Also won the European Cup/UEFA Champions League.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Also won the League Cup/EFL Cup.
  7. ^ From the 1981–82 season onwards three points were awarded for a win. Prior to this a win gave two points.
  8. ^ Also won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.
  9. ^ Manchester United won a continental treble of the League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League in 1999.
  10. ^ Manchester City won a domestic treble of the Premier League, the FA Cup and the EFL Cup in 2019.

References[edit]

General
  • "Past winners – The Football League". Football League website. Archived from the original on 17 July 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2008.
  • "England – List of Champions". RSSSF. Retrieved 11 June 2009.
  • "English League Leading Goalscorers". RSSSF. Retrieved 11 June 2009.
Specific
  1. ^ "The History of the Football League". Football League website. Archived from the original on 11 February 2007. Retrieved 15 February 2006.
  2. ^ Inglis, Simon (1988). League Football and the Men Who Made It. Willow Books. pp. 6–8. ISBN 978-0-00-218242-3.
  3. ^ Titford, Roger (November 2005). "Football League, 1888–89". When Saturday Comes. Archived from the original on 29 May 2009. Retrieved 6 June 2009.
  4. ^ Goldblatt, David (2007). The Ball is Round: A Global History of Football. London: Penguin. p. 58. ISBN 978-0-14-101582-8.
  5. ^ Inglis, League Football and the Men Who Made It, p25
  6. ^ "Free-scoring Gunners clinch first title". Arsenal.com. Retrieved 15 June 2009.
  7. ^ Dart, Tom (25 May 2009). "Burnley: little town, big traditions". The Times. London. Retrieved 15 June 2009.
  8. ^ "A History of The Premier League". Premier League. Archived from the original on 18 November 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2009.
  9. ^ Harris, Nick (7 February 2009). "£1.78bn: Record Premier League TV deal defies economic slump". Independent. London. Retrieved 15 June 2009.
  10. ^ Nurse, Howard (14 May 2011). "Blackburn 1–1 Man Utd". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 May 2011.
  11. ^ "Sideline". The Times. London. 16 May 2003. Retrieved 7 June 2009.