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Preston North End in 1888–89, the first English football champions

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Football League champions

The English football champions are the winners of the highest league in English football, which is currently the Premier League. Teams in bold are those who won the double of League Championship and FA Cup, or the European Double of League Championship and European Cup in that season.

Following the legalisation of professional football by the Football Association in 1885,[1] the English Football League was established in 1888, after a series of 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 first fully-professional football competition in the world, the League's early years were dominated by teams from the North and Midlands, where professionalism was embraced more readily than in the South.[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. Arsenal scored 127 goals in the process, a record for a title-winning side.[6]

Rules stipulating a maximum wage for players were abolished in 1961. This resulted in a shift of power towards bigger clubs,[7] typically from cities. After Ipswich Town's 1962 title win, it was to be another 33 years before a town club (Blackburn Rovers, 1995) became champions. 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 highest level of football in England,[8] and due to a series of progressively larger television contracts put wealth into the hands of top flight clubs in a hitherto unprecedented manner.[9] There has been nine clubs who have finished runners-up, but never have won, which chronologically are: Bristol City, Oldham Athletic, Cardiff City, Leicester City, Charlton Athletic, Blackpool F.C., Queens Park Rangers, Watford F.C. and most recently Southampton F.C..

Preston North End and Huddersfield Town are the only former top-flight First Division champions that have never played in the Premier League. All the clubs which have ever been crowned champions are still in existence today and all take part in the top three tiers of the football pyramid. 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 two of their four titles.

Liverpool and Manchester United each have 18 titles, sharing the record for most titles won.[10] Liverpool dominated during the 1970s and 1980s, while Manchester United dominated in the 1990s and 2000s under Sir Alex Ferguson. Arsenal are third; their 13 titles all came after 1930. Everton (nine) have enjoyed success throughout their history, and both Aston Villa (seven) and Sunderland (six) secured the majority of their titles before the First World War. Huddersfield Town in 1924–26, Arsenal in 1933–35, Liverpool in 1982–84 and Manchester United in 1999–2001 and 2007–2009 are the only sides to have won the League title for three consecutive seasons.[11]

Football League (1888–1892)

Year Champions
(number of titles)
Runners-up Third place Leading goalscorer Goals
1888–89 Preston North End[1] (1*) Aston Villa Wolverhampton Wanderers John Goodall (Preston North End) 21
1889–90 Preston North End (2*) Everton Blackburn Rovers Jimmy Ross (Preston North End) 24
1890–91 Everton (1) Preston North End Notts County Jack Southworth (Blackburn Rovers) 26
1891–92 Sunderland (1) Preston North End Bolton Wanderers John Campbell (Sunderland) 32

Football League First Division (1892–1992)

Year Champions
(number of titles)
Runners-up Third place Leading goalscorer Goals
1892–93 Sunderland (2*) Preston North End Everton John Campbell (Sunderland) 31
1893–94 Aston Villa (1) Sunderland Derby County Jack Southworth (Everton) 27
1894–95 Sunderland (3*) Everton Aston Villa John Campbell (Sunderland) 22
1895–96 Aston Villa (2) Derby County Everton Johnny Campbell (Aston Villa)
Steve Bloomer (Derby County)
20
1896–97 Aston Villa (3*) Sheffield United Derby County Steve Bloomer (Derby County) 22
1897–98 Sheffield United (1) Sunderland Wolverhampton Wanderers Fred Wheldon (Aston Villa) 21
1898–99 Aston Villa (4*) Liverpool Burnley Steve Bloomer (Derby County) 23
1899–1900 Aston Villa (5*) Sheffield United Sunderland Billy Garraty (Aston Villa) 27
1900–01 Liverpool (1) Sunderland Notts County Steve Bloomer (Derby County) 23
1901–02 Sunderland (4) Everton Newcastle United Jimmy Settle (Everton) 18
1902–03 The Wednesday (1) Aston Villa Sunderland Sam Raybould (Liverpool) 31
1903–04 The Wednesday (2) Manchester City Everton Steve Bloomer (Derby County) 20
1904–05 Newcastle United (1) Everton Manchester City Arthur Brown (Sheffield United) 22
1905–06 Liverpool (2) Preston North End Sheffield Wednesday Albert Shepherd (Bolton Wanderers) 26
1906–07 Newcastle United (2) Bristol City Everton Alex Young (Everton) 30
1907–08 Manchester United (1) Aston Villa Manchester City Enoch West (Nottingham Forest) 27
1908–09 Newcastle United (3) Everton Sunderland Bert Freeman (Everton) 38
1909–10 Aston Villa (6*) Liverpool Blackburn Rovers Jack Parkinson (Liverpool) 30
1910–11 Manchester United (2) Aston Villa Sunderland Albert Shepherd (Newcastle United) 25
1911–12 Blackburn Rovers (1) Everton Newcastle United Harry Hampton (Aston Villa)
George Holley (Sunderland)
David McLean (The Wednesday)
25
1912–13 Sunderland (5) Aston Villa Sheffield Wednesday David McLean (The Wednesday) 30
1913–14 Blackburn Rovers (2) Aston Villa Middlesbrough George Elliot (Middlesbrough) 32
1914–15 Everton (2) Oldham Athletic Blackburn Rovers Bobby Parker (Everton) 35
1915/16–1918/19 League suspended due to the First World War
1919–20 West Bromwich Albion (1) Burnley Chelsea Fred Morris (West Bromwich Albion) 37
1920–21 Burnley (1) Manchester City Bolton Wanderers Joe Smith (Bolton Wanderers) 38
1921–22 Liverpool (3) Tottenham Hotspur Burnley Andy Wilson (Middlesbrough) 31
1922–23 Liverpool (4) Sunderland Huddersfield Town Charlie Buchan (Sunderland) 30
1923–24 Huddersfield Town (1) Cardiff City Sunderland Wilf Chadwick (Everton) 28
1924–25 Huddersfield Town (2) West Bromwich Albion Bolton Wanderers Frank Roberts (Manchester City) 31
1925–26 Huddersfield Town (3) Arsenal Sunderland Ted Harper (Blackburn Rovers) 43
1926–27 Newcastle United (4) Huddersfield Town Sunderland Jimmy Trotter (The Wednesday) 37
1927–28 Everton (3) Huddersfield Town Leicester City Dixie Dean (Everton) 60
1928–29 The Wednesday (3) Leicester City Aston Villa Dave Halliday (Sunderland) 43
1929–30 Sheffield Wednesday (4) Derby County Manchester City Vic Watson (West Ham United) 41
1930–31 Arsenal (1) Aston Villa Sheffield Wednesday Tom Waring (Aston Villa) 49
1931–32 Everton (4) Arsenal Sheffield Wednesday Dixie Dean (Everton) 44
1932–33 Arsenal (2) Aston Villa Sheffield Wednesday Jack Bowers (Derby County) 35
1933–34 Arsenal (3) Huddersfield Town Tottenham Hotspur Jack Bowers (Derby County) 34
1934–35 Arsenal (4) Sunderland Sheffield Wednesday Ted Drake (Arsenal) 42
1935–36 Sunderland (6*) Derby County Huddersfield Town W. G. Richardson (West Bromwich Albion) 39
1936–37 Manchester City (1) Charlton Athletic Arsenal Freddie Steele (Stoke City) 33
1937–38 Arsenal (5) Wolverhampton Wanderers Preston North End Tommy Lawton (Everton) 28
1938–39 Everton (5) Wolverhampton Wanderers Charlton Athletic Tommy Lawton (Everton) 35
1939/40–1945/46 League suspended due to the Second World War
1946–47 Liverpool (5) Manchester United Wolverhampton Wanderers Dennis Westcott (Wolverhampton Wanderers) 37
1947–48 Arsenal (6*) Manchester United Burnley Ronnie Rooke (Arsenal) 33
1948–49 Portsmouth (1) Manchester United Derby County Willie Moir (Bolton Wanderers) 25
1949–50 Portsmouth (2) Wolverhampton Wanderers Sunderland Dickie Davis (Sunderland) 25
1950–51 Tottenham Hotspur (1) Manchester United Blackpool Stan Mortensen (Blackpool) 30
1951–52 Manchester United (3) Tottenham Hotspur Arsenal George Robledo (Newcastle United) 33
1952–53 Arsenal (7*) Preston North End Wolverhampton Wanderers Charlie Wayman (Preston North End) 24
1953–54 Wolverhampton Wanderers (1) West Bromwich Albion Huddersfield Town Jimmy Glazzard (Huddersfield Town) 29
1954–55 Chelsea (1) Wolverhampton Wanderers Portsmouth Ronnie Allen (West Bromwich Albion) 27
1955–56 Manchester United (4) Blackpool Wolverhampton Wanderers Nat Lofthouse (Bolton Wanderers) 33
1956–57 Manchester United (5) Tottenham Hotspur Preston North End John Charles (Leeds United) 38
1957–58 Wolverhampton Wanderers (2) Preston North End Tottenham Hotspur Bobby Smith (Tottenham Hotspur) 36
1958–59 Wolverhampton Wanderers (3) Manchester United Arsenal Jimmy Greaves (Chelsea) 33
1959–60 Burnley (2) Wolverhampton Wanderers Tottenham Hotspur Dennis Viollet (Manchester United) 32
1960–61 Tottenham Hotspur (2) Sheffield Wednesday Wolverhampton Wanderers Jimmy Greaves (Chelsea) 41
1961–62 Ipswich Town (1) Burnley Tottenham Hotspur Ray Crawford (Ipswich Town)
Derek Kevan (West Bromwich Albion)
33
1962–63 Everton (6) Tottenham Hotspur Burnley Jimmy Greaves (Tottenham Hotspur) 37
1963–64 Liverpool (6) Manchester United Everton Jimmy Greaves (Tottenham Hotspur) 35
1964–65 Manchester United (6) Leeds United Chelsea Andy McEvoy (Blackburn Rovers)
Jimmy Greaves (Tottenham Hotspur)
29
1965–66 Liverpool (7*) Leeds United Burnley Willie Irvine (Burnley) 29
1966–67 Manchester United (7*) Nottingham Forest Tottenham Hotspur Ron Davies (Southampton) 37
1967–68 Manchester City (2) Manchester United Liverpool George Best (Manchester United)
Ron Davies (Southampton)
28
1968–69 Leeds United (1) Liverpool Everton Jimmy Greaves (Tottenham Hotspur) 27
1969–70 Everton (7*) Leeds United Chelsea Jeff Astle (West Bromwich Albion) 25
1970–71 Arsenal (8*) Leeds United Tottenham Hotspur Tony Brown (West Bromwich Albion) 28
1971–72 Derby County (1) Leeds United Liverpool Francis Lee (Manchester City) 33
1972–73 Liverpool[2] (8*) Arsenal Leeds United Pop Robson (West Ham United) 28
1973–74 Leeds United (2) Liverpool Derby County Mick Channon (Southampton) 21
1974–75 Derby County (2) Liverpool Ipswich Town Malcolm Macdonald (Newcastle United) 21
1975–76 Liverpool[2] (9*) Queens Park Rangers Manchester United Ted MacDougall (Norwich City) 23
1976–77 Liverpool[4] (10*) Manchester City Ipswich Town Malcolm Macdonald (Arsenal)
Andy Gray (Aston Villa)
25
1977–78 Nottingham Forest[4] (1) Liverpool Everton Bob Latchford (Everton) 30
1978–79 Liverpool (11*) Nottingham Forest West Bromwich Albion Frank Worthington (Bolton Wanderers) 24
1979–80 Liverpool (12*) Manchester United Ipswich Town Phil Boyer (Southampton) 23
1980–81 Aston Villa (7) Ipswich Town Arsenal Peter Withe (Aston Villa)
Steve Archibald (Tottenham Hotspur)
20
1981–82[5] Liverpool[5](13*) Ipswich Town Manchester United Kevin Keegan (Southampton) 26
1982–83 Liverpool[4] (14*) Watford Manchester United Luther Blissett (Watford) 27
1983–84 Liverpool[3][4] (15*) Southampton Nottingham Forest Ian Rush (Liverpool) 32
1984–85 Everton[6] (8) Liverpool Tottenham Hotspur Kerry Dixon (Chelsea)
Gary Lineker (Leicester City)
24
1985–86 Liverpool (16*) Everton West Ham United Gary Lineker (Everton) 30
1986–87 Everton (9) Liverpool Tottenham Hotspur Clive Allen (Tottenham Hotspur) 33
1987–88 Liverpool (17*) Manchester United Nottingham Forest John Aldridge (Liverpool) 26
1988–89 Arsenal (9) Liverpool Nottingham Forest Alan Smith (Arsenal) 23
1989–90 Liverpool (18*) Aston Villa Tottenham Hotspur Gary Lineker (Tottenham Hotspur) 24
1990–91 Arsenal (10) Liverpool Crystal Palace Alan Smith (Arsenal) 22
1991–92 Leeds United (3) Manchester United Sheffield Wednesday Ian Wright (Crystal Palace/Arsenal) 29

Premier League (1992–present)

Year Champions
(number of titles)
Runners-up Third place Leading goalscorer Goals
1992–93 Manchester United (8) Aston Villa Norwich City Teddy Sheringham (Nottingham Forest/Tottenham Hotspur) 22
1993–94 Manchester United (9) Blackburn Rovers Newcastle United Andrew Cole (Newcastle United) 34
1994–95 Blackburn Rovers (3) Manchester United Nottingham Forest Alan Shearer (Blackburn Rovers) 34
1995–96 Manchester United (10) Newcastle United Liverpool Alan Shearer (Blackburn Rovers) 31
1996–97 Manchester United (11) Newcastle United Arsenal Alan Shearer (Newcastle United) 25
1997–98 Arsenal (11) Manchester United Liverpool Chris Sutton (Blackburn Rovers)
Dion Dublin (Coventry City)
Michael Owen (Liverpool)
18
1998–99 Manchester United[7] (12) Arsenal Chelsea Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (Leeds United)
Michael Owen (Liverpool)
Dwight Yorke (Manchester United)
18
1999–2000 Manchester United (13) Arsenal Leeds United Kevin Phillips (Sunderland) 30
2000–01 Manchester United (14) Arsenal Liverpool Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (Chelsea) 23
2001–02 Arsenal (12) Liverpool Manchester United Thierry Henry (Arsenal) 24
2002–03 Manchester United (15) Arsenal Newcastle United Ruud van Nistelrooy (Manchester United) 25
2003–04 Arsenal[1] (13) Chelsea Manchester United Thierry Henry (Arsenal) 30
2004–05 Chelsea[4] (2) Arsenal Manchester United Thierry Henry (Arsenal) 25
2005–06 Chelsea (3) Manchester United Liverpool Thierry Henry (Arsenal) 27
2006–07 Manchester United (16) Chelsea Liverpool Didier Drogba (Chelsea) 20
2007–08 Manchester United (17) Chelsea Arsenal Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United) 31
2008–09 Manchester United [4] (18*) Liverpool Chelsea Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea) 19

Bold indicates Double winners - i.e. League and FA Cup winners OR League and European Cup winners

Italic indicates Treble Winners - i.e. League, FA Cup and European Cup winners

An asterisk (*) after the number of titles won indicates that the team either set or equalled the overall record for championships won in the relevant season.

Total titles won

Twenty-three clubs have been champions.

Club Winners Runners-up Winning Years
Manchester United
18
13
1907–08, 1910–11, 1951–52, 1955–56, 1956–57, 1964–65, 1966–67, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1995–96, 1996–97, 1998–99, 1999–00, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09
Liverpool
18
12
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
Arsenal
13
8
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
Everton
9
7
1890–91, 1914–15, 1927–28, 1931–32, 1938–39, 1962–63, 1969–70, 1984–85, 1986–87
Aston Villa
7
10
1893–94, 1895–96, 1896–97, 1898–99, 1899–00, 1909–10, 1980–81
Sunderland
6
5
1891–92, 1892–93, 1894–95, 1901–02, 1912–13, 1935–36
Newcastle United
4
2
1904–05, 1906–07, 1908–09, 1926–27
Sheffield Wednesday
4
1
1902–03, 1903–04, 1928–29, 1929–30
Wolverhampton Wanderers
3
5
1953–54, 1957–58, 1958–59
Leeds United
3
5
1968–69, 1973–74, 1991–92
Huddersfield Town
3
3
1923–24, 1924–25, 1925–26
Chelsea
3
3
1954–55, 2004–05, 2005–06
Blackburn Rovers
3
1
1911–12, 1913–14, 1994–95
Preston North End
2
6
1888–89, 1889–90
Tottenham Hotspur
2
4
1950–51, 1960–61
Manchester City
2
3
1936–37, 1967–68
Derby County
2
3
1971–72, 1974–75
Burnley
2
2
1920–21, 1959–60
Portsmouth
2
0
1948–49, 1949–50
Sheffield United
1
2
1897–98
West Bromwich Albion
1
2
1919–20
Ipswich Town
1
2
1961–62
Nottingham Forest
1
2
1977–78

Total titles won by town or city

Twenty three clubs have been champions, from a total of 18 towns and cities. Most have come from the North of England or London.

Town or city Number of titles Clubs
Liverpool
27
Liverpool (18), Everton (9)
Manchester
20
Manchester United (18), Manchester City (2)
London
18
Arsenal (13), Chelsea (3), 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)
Wolverhampton
3
Wolverhampton Wanderers (3)
Leeds
3
Leeds United (3)
Preston
2
Preston North End (2)
Burnley
2
Burnley (2)
Portsmouth
2
Portsmouth (2)
Derby
2
Derby County (2)
West Bromwich
1
West Bromwich Albion (1)
Ipswich
1
Ipswich Town (1)
Nottingham
1
Nottingham Forest (1)

Total titles won by region

Twenty three clubs have been champions, from a total of 8 regions. The North West accounts for almost half of all total championship winners with 54 out 110 winners.

Region Number of titles Clubs
North West
54
Liverpool (18), Manchester United (18), Everton (9), Blackburn Rovers (3), Burnley (2), Manchester City (2), Preston North End (2)
London
18
Arsenal (13), Chelsea (3), Tottenham Hotspur (2)
Yorkshire and Humber
11
Sheffield Wednesday (4), Leeds United (3), Huddersfield Town (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
3
Derby County (2), Nottingham Forest (1)
South East
2
Portsmouth (2)
East of England
1
Ipswich Town (1)
South West
-

Multiple trophy wins

See The Double and The Treble

See also

Notes

  1. a  b  Completed the season unbeaten.
  2. a  b  Also won the UEFA Cup.
  3. a  b Also won the European Cup.
  4. a  b  c  d e Also won the League Cup.
  5. a  From the 1981–82 season onwards three points were awarded for a win. Prior to this a win gave two points.
  6. a  Also won the Cup Winners Cup.
  7. a  In addition to the double of League and FA Cup, Manchester United also won the European Cup in 1999. This achievement is referred to as The Treble.
  8. a  Sheffield Wednesday were known as The Wednesday until 1929.

References

General
Specific
  1. ^ "The History of the Football League". Football League website. http://www.football-league.premiumtv.co.uk/page/History/0,,10794,00.html. Retrieved February 15, 2006. 
  2. ^ Inglis, Simon (1988). League Football and the Men Who Made It. Willow Books. pp. 6–8. ISBN 0-0021-8242-4. 
  3. ^ Titford, Roger (November 2005). "Football League, 1888-89". When Saturday Comes. http://www.wsc.co.uk/content/view/1498/29/. Retrieved 6 June 2009. 
  4. ^ Goldblatt, David (2007). The Ball is Round: A Global History of Football. London: Penguin. pp. 58. ISBN 0-1410-1582-8. 
  5. ^ Inglis, League Football and the Men Who Made It, p25
  6. ^ "Free-scoring Gunners clinch first title". Arsenal.com. http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/free-scoring-gunners-clinch-first-title. Retrieved 15 June 2009. 
  7. ^ "Burnley: little town, big traditions". The Times. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/football_league/article6355324.ece. Retrieved 15 June 2009. 
  8. ^ "A History of The Premier League". Premier League. http://www.premierleague.com/page/History/0,,12306,00.html. Retrieved 7 June 2009. 
  9. ^ "£1.78bn: Record Premier League TV deal defies economic slump". Independent. http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/163178bn-record-premier-league-tv-deal-defies-economic-slump-1569576.html. Retrieved 15 June 2009. 
  10. ^ "Manchester United Win Premier League Title". Sky News. http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/UK-News/Manchester-United-Win-Premier-League-Trophy-Equalling-Liverpools-Record-18-Titles-In-Top-Division/Article/200905315283098?f=rss. Retrieved 7 June 2009. 
  11. ^ "Sideline". The Times. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/article1132538.ece. Retrieved 7 June 2009. 

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