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The most successful English football clubs in history

Manchester City are celebrating a record-breaking fourth league title in succession, becoming the first team in English football history to achieve the feat.

Pep Guardiola’s side have set all manner of records in recent campaigns, with six titles in the last seven seasons, alongside domestic and continental trebles, making this very much the era of the Citizens.

The Sky Blues continue to climb in the list of English football’s most successful sides and we’ve ranked the top five teams for major trophies won.

5. Chelsea – 25 trophies

Chelsea have won 25 major trophies during their history, including six league titles, eight FA Cups and the five League Cups.

Five of the West London side’s league titles have come in the Premier League era, with a transformative takeover from Roman Abramovich catapulting Chelsea into the elite.

Chelsea were the first English club to win the ‘European treble’ of the now defunct UEFA Cup Winner’s Cup, UEFA Cup/Europa League and European Cup/Champions League and are the only club to have won each of those competitions twice.

The Blues remain the only London club to have won the Champions League, after being crowned European champions in 2012 and 2021.

4. Manchester City – 27 trophies

Manchester City have climbed into fourth for the most successful English clubs of all time, with their Premier League title a 27th major honour.

Like Chelsea, billionaire investors changed the course of the club’s history in 2008 and the bulk of the Blues’ silverware success has come across the last decade, as records have tumbled under the management of Pep Guardiola.

The Citizens have won eight Premier League titles since 2012 and six of the last seven, including becoming the first English team to achieve 100 points in a season in 2017/18.

The following season saw Guardiola’s team become the first side to win a domestic treble, before matching Manchester United’s 1998/99 feat of lifting the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League in the same season in 2022/23.

History has been made once again this season with a record-breaking fourth title in a row. Guardiola’s all-conquering side still has the chance to add to their haul this season, ahead of next weekend’s FA Cup final.

3. Arsenal – 31 trophies

Arsenal are third on the all-time list with 31 major trophies won.

The Gunners have been crowned champions 13 times, while their 14 FA Cup wins is an English record. Arsenal boast the longest unbroken streak of top-flight seasons having been relegated just once in their history, way back in 1913.

The North Londoners are also one of just two teams, alongside Preston North End in the inaugural Football League season of 1888/89, to go an entire top-flight campaign without defeat after winning the Premier League unbeaten in 2003/04.

2. Manchester United – 43 trophies

Manchester United sit second with 43 major trophies won.

The Red Devils have been crowned league champions on more occasions than any other English side (20) after dominating the first two decades of the Premier League under Sir Alex Ferguson. The Scot became the most successful manager in history during his 26 years at Old Trafford, guiding the club to 13 league titles during his tenure.

Manchester United have also been crowned European champions on three occasions, with the first coming under Sir Matt Busby in 1968, just a decade after the Munich Air Disaster that claimed the lives of 23 people, including eight Manchester United players and three officials.

United won the trophy for a second time as part of a historic treble in 1998/99, before claiming a third European crown in 2008, beating Chelsea in the first-ever all-English Champions League final.

1. Liverpool – 46 trophies

Liverpool are the most successful side in English football history after winning 46 major trophies to date.

The Reds are 19-time winners of the league title with their most recent arriving in 2019/20, as Jurgen Klopp ended the club’s 30-year wait to be crowned champions. Liverpool’s golden era came in the seventies and eighties, a period that saw the Reds win 11 league titles between 1972 and 1990, alongside seven domestic cups and four European Cups.

Only Real Madrid (14) and AC Milan (7) have ever won the European Cup/Champions League on more occasions than Liverpool, while their 10 League Cups is also an English record. The Merseysiders have twice won trebles, lifting the league, League Cup and European Cup in 1983/84 and an FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup treble in 2000/01.

The most successful English football clubs in history:

  1. Liverpool – 46 trophies
  2. Manchester United – 43 trophies
  3. Arsenal – 31 trophies
  4. Manchester City – 27 trophies
  5. Chelsea – 25 trophies
  6. Aston Villa – 20 trophies
  7. Tottenham – 17 trophies
  8. Everton – 15 trophies
  9. Newcastle – 11 trophies
  10. Blackburn – 10 trophies

*One-off cups such as the Community Shield and UEFA Super Cup are not included.

Read – Premier League Golden Boot: Every player to retain the award

See more – Nineties Nostalgia: Five of the best Premier League games of the 90s

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