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 had 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. However, several people have complained that past attendances are now irrelevant and the only accurate measure of fanbase is current home attendance. As such the same method has been used but with average home attendances from the 2014–15 season. 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 20th June 2016
|Rank||Change from 2015||Club||Pts|
|13||-2||West Bromwich Albion||1043|
|14||–||West Ham United||1038|
|28||–||Preston North End||697|
|33||+2||Brighton & Hove Alb.||612|
|40||-2||Queens Park Rangers||539|
- Liverpool just pip Manchester United to the title of ‘most successful club’ in English football, accumulating 1165 points, five more than United.
- The least successful club in the Football League is Morecambe who didn’t tally a single success 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 was Leicester City but is now 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.
- Rotherham United are the biggest club to have never graced the top flight.
- Whereas, 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, Newcastle United, Sheffield United and Portsmouth.
- The smallest are Bournemouth, Burton Albion, Fleetwood Town and Morecambe 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 Burton Albion and Bournemouth who are competing two divisions above their ‘natural level’.