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Ranked: Top Ten Biggest Clubs in England
We’ve ranked the ten best defenders in Premier League history, the best midfielders in Premier League history and most recently, the best strikers in Premier League history, but now it is time to find out who are the biggest clubs in English football history?
What makes a big club? Well, many things can be looked at, for instance, how many trophies have been won by the respective club, time spent at the top of English football, how iconic the stadium is, the fanbase, financial importance and global notoriety.
With that being said, here are the ten biggest clubs in England, ranked.
Ranked: Top Ten Biggest Clubs in England
10. Nottingham Forest
11 Major Honours
League Titles (1978), European Cup (2 times), FA Cup (2 times), League Cup (4 times), Uefa Super Cup (1980), Community Shield (1978)
During the Brian Clough era starting in 1975, Nottingham Forest saw a massive overhaul of success. From 1977 to 1990 the club won a single league title, four League cups and most impressively, two European Cups during that timeframe.
With context, those achievements sound even better as the club won all those trophies within three years of getting promoted from the Second Division. Fairytale stuff to say the least.
That being said, the past few decades for the club has seen them relegated twice to the Championship, both in 1997 and in 1999, where they have stayed ever since.
9. Aston Villa
22 Major Honours
League Titles (7 times), FA Cup (7 times), League Cup (5 times), European Cup (1982), Uefa Super Cup (1982), Community Shield (1981)
The most successful club in the Midlands, with more European Cups, than Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham combined, Aston Villa were once a behemoth in English football, with seven league titles, seven FA Cups and five League Cups, Villa are often forgotten by many modern-day football fans as being a ”big club”.
Having experienced six relegations during their history, their last being the 2015/2016 Premier League season, finishing 20th, they were soon back up playing top-flight football and are now a part of the core clubs to represent English football.
8. Leeds United
Manchester City have spent over £700 million in an attempt to win the Uefa Champions League and they're still to go any further than Leeds United did in 2001. #lufc pic.twitter.com/A4RZXzPdNu
— YBI (@YeboahBelieveIt) August 15, 2020
9 Major Honours
League Titles (3 times), FA Cup (1972), League Cup (1968), Inter-Cities Fairs Cup Winner (2 times), Community Shield (2 times)
Talking about a club like Leeds can go either one of two ways, you call them a ”small club” because of their long absence from the Premier League or to go with the norm and refer to them as a ”huge club” in the history of English football, the latter would be the obvious choice for many.
While they spent over 16-years out of the top flight, Leeds has recently made a resurgence, currently in their second season in the Premier League, where they rightfully belong.
A one-club city, Leeds United have won a decent amount of league and domestic cups while making it to the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2001, an iconic club in England, Leeds will forever be listed as a top tier club.
Can Ronald Koeman bring back Everton's 1980s glory days? https://t.co/hXL4bWVlFe pic.twitter.com/siPj12J2w4
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) September 8, 2016
24 Major Honours
League Titles (9 times), FA Cup (5 times), Cup Winners Cup (1985), Community Shield (9 times)
In terms of English titles, Everton is only beaten out by three clubs (Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal), and more than Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham, the Merseyside club are very much a massive club in English football.
Founded before Liverpool, Everton were once a much bigger and more well-renowned club than their rivals for quite some time, making 13 FA Cup final appearances and winning five since they were founded all the back in 1878.
Their trophy cabinet cannot be doubted, with numerous FA Cups and league titles to their name while boasting a tremendous fanbase and being only one of six clubs to never be relegated during the Premier League era, Everton are simply massive.
6. Tottenham Hotspurs
After winning the 1961 FA Cup Final, Tottenham Hotspur became the first team to win the double in the 20th century. 🏆
Spurs beat Leicester City 2-0 in front of 100,000 fans at Wembley. 🏟 [1/3] pic.twitter.com/ZEYfGI84Zp
— Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) November 29, 2021
24 Major Honours
League Titles (2 times), FA Cup (8 times), League Cup (4 times), Uefa Cups (2 times), Cup Winners Cup (1963), Community Shield (7 times)
It is hard not to malign Spurs as a mere nearly club, always in the shadow of London rivals Chelsea and especially Arsenal, Tottenham may not be successful, but they are consistent in terms of cementing their place in the higher echelon of English football.
Always in and around the top 6, Spurs were the first London club to win a league and cup double, but that was all the way back in 1961.
Known for their philosophy of attacking and free-flowing football, they were so close to capturing their first Premier League title under Mauricio Pochetinno and even managed to make their first Champions League final in 2019, losing to Liverpool.
They do, however, have the best stadium in England. Make of that what you will.
Ranked: Top Ten Biggest Clubs in England
5. Manchester City
Manchester City remain the only team in English football history to get 100 points in a season for another year.
The best to ever do it 💙 pic.twitter.com/UaRqEU74Aq
— Ryan. (@FavelaFIair) December 31, 2020
28 Major Honours
League Titles (7 times), FA Cup (6 times), League Cup (8 times), Cup Winners Cup (1970), Community Shield (6 times)
Like Chelsea, Manchester City became a footballing powerhouse with outside foreign investment. Bought in 2008 by a Saudi Arabian group led by Sheikh Mansour, City have become the best team in England over the past decade with shrewd signings and beautiful football to match.
Winning five league titles during that timeframe, with the majority of them being record-breaking seasons and being the first club to reach 100 points in the Premier League, a couple of FA Cups and a plethora of League Cups, it is hard to argue that City is not a massive club in today’s footballing landscape, despite much ridicule.
Happy Birthday Kevin Richardson 🥳 who played a big part in the 1989 #Arsenal league winning campaign #Champions 🏆 #Anfield89
There was football before the #PremierLeague pic.twitter.com/UFocmAaQHY
— Arsenal Throwbacks From Highbury To The Emirates (@4949Undefeted) December 4, 2021
47 Major Honours
League Titles (13 times), FA Cup (14 times), League Cup (2 times), Cup Winners Cup (1994), Inter-Cities Fairs Cup Winner (1970), Community Shield (4 times)
London’s most decorative club based on trophy overhaul since the club’s inception in 1886, Arsenal have the most FA Cup titles with a record of 14 and with the third most league titles in English football with 13, their last being in 2003/04.
During the 1930s, they won five league titles in eight years and four FA Cups, making them at the time, certainly the biggest club in London and perhaps the biggest club in England.
They’ve also been the only side in Premier League history to go a whole season unbeaten, winning the league title in the process. Since then, they have fallen off a cliff, steadily moving down the league table, and without a league title in 17 years. With no European success to their name, they sit fourth.
🏆 Our first @premierleague title! pic.twitter.com/u1XIbKXJc4
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) April 30, 2020
31 Major Honours
League Titles (6 times), European Cup (2 times), FA Cup (8 times), League Cup (5 times), Europa League (2 times), Cup Winners Cup (2 times), Uefa Super Cup (2 times), Community Shield (4 times)
Founded in 1905, Chelsea has always been deemed a good footballing club prior to foreign investment in 2003, winning six trophies in seven years before Roman Abramovich’s purchase, it is very hard to call them a small club.
Chelsea has become an English and European powerhouse over the last 20 years. Winning a slew of league titles, FA Cups and League Cups and are the first London club to win the European Cup.
With their recent success in Europe once again, the tide has turned in London between themselves and Arsenal for the biggest team in the capital. Depending on one’s criteria, either club can top the other but with the massive gap in European honours, Chelsea edge it.
OTD in 1977, Liverpool won their first Champions League ever! 🔥#LFC #UCL pic.twitter.com/kVkHu6Ghvl
— The Anfield Clan (@TheAnfieldClan) May 25, 2021
63 Major Honours
League Titles (19 times), European Cup (6 times), FA Cup (7 times), League Cup (8 times), FIFA Club World Cup (2019), Europa League (3 times), UEFA Super Cup (4 times), Community Shield (15 times)
When you think of consistent success over the past three to four decades, Liverpool will almost certainly come to mind.
The fact that Liverpool only recently won their first league title in over 30 years a year and a half ago and are only one league title behind rivals Manchester United shows how dominant and successful they were during that time.
Holding the title for most European trophies with 14 and with a record of 6 European Cups along with numerous domestic honours, Liverpool is truly a class above the majority of every English club bar one.
Known for their iconic fans, the historically relevant Anfield and club legends, Liverpool is a truly iconic club.
1. Manchester United
"But they never give in – and that’s what won it.” – Sir Alex Ferguson.
Today marks the anniversary of that magical night in 1999 – Ole's injury-time goal won us the #UCL to complete the Treble.
History was made. ✨🏆🏆🏆✨ pic.twitter.com/nMlXqtDJyw
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) May 26, 2020