Most Successful Premier League Clubs
Premier League has been around since the 1992-93 season, taking the place of the old English league The First Division. Restructuring the English League was mainly because of financial reasons which in turn would improve the footballing aspect of the league and attract big stars.
While only 28 season has passed since the beginning of this era, many teams have achieved glory in the several competitions that are available for English clubs every year. We have compiled a list of the most successful English Premier League teams that have achieved numerous honors over the years and here they are:
Most Successful Premier League clubs
As we are considering the EPL’s most successful clubs, it is only fitting that the teams on this list have at least won the Premier League once, which means that teams like Aston Villa and Spurs, despite winning trophies in the Premier League era, are not on this list. But who are the 7 teams that made the list?! Find out below:
7. Blackburn Rovers
Once considered one of the best teams in the Premier League, Blackburn’s fall from grace has been a big one. After being one of the most successful EPL teams in the early 90s, they soon found themselves fighting for relegation and ended up being relegated a number of times.
Following the takeover of Jack Walker, a local businessman and lifelong supporter of the club, Rovers secured the promotion to the newly formed Premier League for the 1992-1993 season, which was the first season of Premier League.
Jack Walker splashed the cash and brought in Alan Shearer as soon as they secured promotion to the Premier League and under the guidance of the famous Kenny Dalglish, who was named their manager and helped them in being promoted, they became one of the top teams of the early years of the Premier League.
Blackburn Rovers went on to become 4th in the 1992-1993 season and 2nd the season after but it was in 1994-1995 season that their 81 year wait for winning the league title ended and Blackburn Rovers became Premier League Champions.
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Perhaps the most important factor in Blackburn’s success of those years is Alan Shearer, who scored 112 times in 138 league appearances for the club, and helped them secure the title. Shearer scored a record 34 goals in a season the year that they won the EPL, a record that is yet to be broken. He later left Blackburn to play for his boyhood club, Newcastle United, and went on to become Premier League’s all-time top goalscorer.
After winning the league though, Blackburn Rovers went on a downward spiral that ended with them being relegated. They would later win the League Cup in 2001-2002 season but it would be the last silverware they ever won, leaving them with 2 major trophies (1 Premier League, 1 League Cup) in the Premier League era and on the bottom of our list of most successful clubs in EPL.
6. Leicester City
The story of Leicester City winning the Premier League is one of the most inspiring sporting stories ever. It is a tale that every club of Leicester’s size want to replicate and it is one that will go down in history as a newly promoted team who went on to be one of the most successful teams in premier league history.
After dropping to the Third tier of English football in 2007, Leicester City started its slow rise by climbing through League One to reach the Championship and from there to Premier League glory. They got promoted immediately the season after they dropped down to League One by being the champions of the competition.
Winning the Championship was not as easy though, as they struggled the first few seasons back in the competition. in 2010, a Thai investment company (AFI) led by Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha took over the club in which would be their first step to reaching the heights that they have today.
Under Vichai’s smart investments, Leicester won the Championship in 2013-14 season and got promoted to the Premier League for the first time since 2004. The first season back in the Premier League wasn’t that great though as they were struggling to adapt to the League’s demands and soon were in a relegation battle. They ended up being 17th in the League and escaped relegation by a hair.The following season, Nigel Pearson was sacked as a manager and Claudio Ranieri, former Chelsea manager, got appointed as the new Leicester coach and The Dream Season began.
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besides Arsenal. While Chelsea was struggling not to get relegated, Manchester United and Liverpool were battling for the mid table spots and Manchester City struggled to finish 4th just enough to qualify for the Champions League. So Leicester took advantage of that by winning as many games as they could early on the season. Armed with players like Ryiad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy in the attack, N’golo Kante in Midfield and Kasper Schmeichel in goal, Leicester were unstoppable.
Jamie Vardy scored an incredible 13 goals in 11 consecutive league games and set a new record as he helped his team on their way to win the league. Arsenal challenged them the first half of the season but their form dipped in the second half and Leicester eventually became champions with points, 10 points clear of Arsenal. Leicester City’s fairy tale EPL title is accompanied by their 2 League Cup wins in the 90s as their achievements in the Premier League era, making them the 6th most successful Premier League team.
The most successful English team of all time struggled quite a bit in the Premier League era, not winning it once the first 27 seasons. Although they achieved incredible success in other competitions, namely the European competitions, Liverpool failed to mount a serious challenge for the league title until the 2010s.
As their neighbors in Manchester grew in power, under the management of Alex Ferguson, Liverpool failed to win the League in the early 90s, and the situation worsened when Arsenal joined United at the top. The early 2000s also see the rise of Chelsea as title contenders and eventual winners and finally Manchester city joined the fray as Liverpool’s hopes of winning the Premier League faded even more.
The 90s weren’t a great decade for Liverpool as the only silverware that they won was a League Cup in 95. But Liverpool started the 2000s with a bang by winning a treble of cups, UEFA Cup, League Cup and the FA cup, with young players like Gerrard and Owen.
After that Liverpool became one of the most successful Premier League teams by winning not the League itself but the cups and eventually winning the Champions League title for the 5th time in 2005, with Rafa Benitez as their manager. In the League though, their story remained the same as they only managed to challenge for the title once in 2014-15 season which ended partly because of that Gerard slip!
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Everything changed for the better though, as Jurgen Klopp took the helm as the manager in mid 2015-16 season and their new golden era began. Under Klopp Liverpool started rebuilding, reaching the Europa League final the same year and two Champions League finals in the coming years, the latter of which they won in 2018-19 season.
After losing the title by a point to Manchester City, in a season that they won an outstanding 97 points, Liverpool fans’ 30 year wait for the league title came to an end the following season. Where they cruised to the Premier League glory by winning 32 out 38 games and accumulating 99 points, finishing 1st and 28 points above Manchester City. Liverpool won a total of 10 major trophies in the Premier League era, winning 4 League Cups, 2 FA Cups, 2 Champions League titles, 1 UEFA Cup and a solitary Premier League title, making them the 5th most successful Premier League team.
4. Manchester City
Although Manchester City are one of the most successful Premier League teams, they have had many incredible highs and some shocking lows in the Premier League era. Having won the Premier League 4 times, one more than the Arsenal who are 3rd on this list, but also being relegated.
Manchester City struggled in the first five years of Premier League and finally they were relegated in 1996 but that was not the end of their misfortunes as they were relegated even further to the third tier of English football, in what would be the lowest point in their history, being only the second team with European trophy, After Germany’s Magdeburg, that was relegated to the third tier in their country.
They secured promotion immediately in the next 2 seasons and returned to the Premier League, but they were relegated once more in 2001. After their return to the Premier League in 2003, Manchester City played their last season in their old stadium, Maine Road, and moved to a new stadium that is now called Etihad. Manchester City’s fortunes changed though, When Abu Dhabi United Group took over as the owners in 2008. A takeover that was followed by an influx of money and high ambitions for the club, similar to what happened to Chelsea 5 years earlier.
After appointing Roberto Mancini, they went on to win the FA Cup in 2011, in which would be their first piece of silverware since 1975-76 season, and entered a new era for the club. Under Mancini’s management, Manchester City won the Premier League for the first time in 2011-12 season in a dramatic fashion, with an injury time goal from Sergio Aguero. This was the only time the Premier League title was decided by goal difference rather than points, which makes Aguero’s goal all the more iconic.
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With Sheikh Mansour as the owner, City won 11 major trophies, including 5 League Cups, 4 Premier League titles and 2 FA Cups, but his true ambition is winning the Champions League and securing a place for City in European football’s history.
The appointment of Pep Guardiola was in lieu of that ambition, but although the club has been dominating in England and winning the League with 100 points and 98 points in two consecutive seasons, they have failed to reach that high ambition of winning the Champions League. But Manchester City doesn’t seem to slow down any time soon as they are already one of the most successful teams in the Premier League and hope to be one of Europe’s most successful teams too.
Arsenal along Manchester United are the two most consistent teams among the most successful Premier League teams. Despite winning the Premier League 3 times, less than City’s 4 and Chelsea’s 5, they are only behind United in the all-time Premier League table, just above Chelsea.
Although they didn’t start the Premier League that strongly in the early 90s, everything changed when the French tactician Arsene Wenger took over the club in 1996 as the manager. Le Professor changed the culture at the club and by many accounts the whole Premier League and brought professionalism to the Arsenal and the EPL as well.
Wenger’s first 10 years at Arsenal were fruitful, as he helped them win 3 EPL titles as well as numerous Cup wins. Arsenal even reached the Champions League final but ended up with an undeserved loss after being with 10 men since the first 10 minutes of the game.
Wenger’s 2003-04 Arsenal was arguably the best Premier League team ever, as they won the League without losing a single match the whole season, a record that they extended to 49 games without defeat the next season and a feat that wasn’t repeated since 1888 and hasn’t been since, earning them the nickname Invincibles and making them one of the best teams that ever played in English football. As a result of their unbeaten league win, they were rewarded with a one of a kind Golden Premier League trophy.
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It was in Wenger’s second decade as Arsenal’s manager that the Gunners ambitions dipped, not helped by the move to a bigger stadium which required the sale of big name players, and as a result their trophy cabinet stagnated, although they remaind one of the most successful Premier League clubs.
Nonetheless, after a 9 year wait they finally won the FA cup title in 2013-14 season, a feat that they have repeated 3 times since, and they have added to their number of major trophies ever since. All in all, Arsenal have won 14 Major trophies in the Premier League era (9 FA Cups, 3 Premier League titles, 1 Cup Winners Cup, 1 League Cup) and they plan to win more, but there needs to be a serious change in their current owner’s mentality if they are ever to be back to their glory days, since the current owner has been responsible for the barren years of trophy for the club since 2007.
Like many on the list of most successful Premier League clubs, Chelsea Football Club struggled in much of the 90s, finishing mostly in the lower half of the table until the late 90s where the club went into a silent revolution by which they found success of achieving silverware in several cup wins that included a European Cup, a couple of FA Cups and a League Cup.
The real revolution though began when Russian Billionaire Roman Abramovic bought the club in 2003, after they just qualified for the Champions League, beating Liverpool for the 4th spot. Abramovic immediately injected the club with cash and brought in an insane amount of talent to the club, they managed a weak title challenge the next year, against Arsenal’s famous Invincibles but they would not win the League until the appointment of Jose Mourinho as the manager.
With Abramovic as the owner and Jose Mourinho as manager, Chelsea was transformed from a small club to a club that had high ambitions and later would become one of the most successful Premier League teams. Moruinho won the Premier League 3 times with Chelsea, winning two of those consecutively when he first came to the club and another on his return to the club in 2014-15 season. Apart from his league wins he won several cup competitions too, helping to establish a winning culture at the club which remains to this day.
The achievements of Chelsea in the years that saw Abramovic as their owner has been nothing short of incredible. 16 out of 20 major trophies that they won was during his time as their owner, trophies that include 7 FA Cups,5 Premier League titles, 4 League Cups, 2 Europa Leagues and perhaps their crowning achievement, their 2012-13 Champions League title.
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They continue to invest and bring in players to close the gap between themselves and City and Liverpool to reach new heights and become perhaps the most successful Premier League team. One thing is for certain, and that is that they are not a small club anymore.
1. Manchester United
To say that Premier League is Manchester United's favorite competition is an understatement. The club has won the EPL 13 times in the 28 years that the competition has been around as well as winning numerous other honors in this period. Just before the competition started in 92, United was well behind the Liverpool, Arsenal and even Everton in the number of league titles, having won only 7 by then, now they stand atop all other teams with a staggering amount of 20 League wins (13 of which were in the EPL era) followed by Liverpool's 19 and Arsenal's 13.
Behind all this success stands one man and that man, who is arguably the greatest manager of all time, is Sir Alex Ferguson. After taking helm of the club in 1986 Ferguson started slowly building his team towards achieving success, a success that didn't come until the start of the new format of English League, the Premier League.
With the help of the immense amount of young British talent that came from the United Academy and more experienced players like Eric Cantona and Peter Schmeichel, United were dominant in the first 7 years of the Premier League, losing the title only once to Blackburn Rovers.
Then Wenger's Arsenal came and won 3 titles and they were followed by Chelsea and later Manchester City as United's rivals for the EPL titles, although all are among the most successful premier league teams, the fact remains that until Ferguson was at the club, Manchester United were the favorites to win the league, unless it was proven wrong by another team!
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United's dominance in the League was followed by their success in Europe as well, culminating in the famous treble winning season of 99-00, in which they won the champions league in the most dramatic fashion by scoring twice in the injury time and beating Bayern Munich. They did manage to win the champions league trophy again in 2007-08 With players like Cristiano Ronaldo and they also were featured in a couple of UCL finals in that era as well. They are without a doubt the most successful Premier League team of all time.
With Sir Alex they have won 13 EPLs, 5 FA Cups, 4 League Cups and 2 UCLs. After Sir Alex left the club in 2012-13 season, the club couldn’t mount a serious challenge for winning the league, becoming 2nd only once. It’s the hard truth that if not for Sir Alex Ferguson, then Manchester United wouldn't have experienced this incredible amount of success and after he left, no amount of money made them good enough to win the league. Perhaps it’s for the best, as it has made the Premier League even more competitive and that can only be a good thing, after all if Leicester can win it, who can’t?!