It’s probably the biggest argument among football fans today; who is bigger than who? Rival clubs across the country will claim to be a greater presence in the game than their mortal enemies but who really stands above the rest? Southampton or Portsmouth? Newcastle or Sunderland? Liverpool or Manchester United?
The rankings below are determined by points allocated based on historical success and support – the two main contributors to a club’s stature.
- Seasons - 4 points for top flight season, 3 points for 2nd tier season, 1 point for 3rd tier season, 0 points for 4th tier or lower, 4 additional points for Champion’s League season and 3 additional points for Europa League season.
- Trophies - 10 points for top flight championship, 6 points for FA Cup win, 4 points for League Cup win, 12 points for Champion’s League win, 7 points for Europa League win, 4 points for 2nd tier title, 1 point for lower league title.
- “Nearlies” - 4 points for FA Cup final appearance, 2 points for FA Cup semi-final appearance, 2 points for League Cup final appearance, 1 point for League Cup semi-final appearance, 7 points for Champion’s League second place.
- Fanbase- Average home attendances have been taken for every club since their inception. A combined attendance has been found to which each club’s record has been converted to a percentage. To ensure that history and support were measured equally; each club was allocated their percentage of 23,574 points (the total number of success points of all clubs).
Non-league clubs are not included in the ranking.
*all data correct as of 28th May 2014
|13||West Bromwich Albion||979|
|17||West Ham United||883|
|24=||Preston North End||730|
|38||Queens Park Rangers||514|
|51||Brighton & Hove Alb.||372|
|89||Dag & Red||42|
- Liverpool just pip Manchester United to the title of ‘most successful club’ in English football, accumulating 1155 points, ten more than United.
- The least successful clubs in the Football League are Burton Albion and Morecambe who didn’t tally a single point.
- Everton have spent more time in the top flight than any other club – 111 seasons.
- Eight clubs have never fallen out of the top two tiers of English football; Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United.
- The biggest club to have never won the top flight is West Ham United.
- The biggest club to have dropped as low as the third tier is Aston Villa.
- The biggest club to have never won the FA Cup is Leicester City.
- The best supported club in England based on average attendance is Manchester United.
- Plymouth Argyle are the biggest club to have never graced the top flight.
- Whereas, Devon rivals, Exeter City are the biggest club to not have played in either of the top two divisions.
- The biggest clubs in each of the top four divisions are Manchester United, Leeds United, Sheffield United and Portsmouth.
- The smallest are Swansea City, Wigan Athletic, Fleetwood Town and Burton Albion respectively.
- The biggest English club to have never won the Champion’s League or European cup is Arsenal. The smallest club to do so is Nottingham Forest.
- The biggest underachievers in the Football League currently are Portsmouth who are two divisions below their ‘natural level’.
- The biggest overachievers are Swansea City who are competing two divisions above their ‘natural level’.