The History Of English Football Before The Big Four

Sometimes it’s hard to believe because they monopolize the Premier League so much, but the Big Four in England have not always been the big four. Chelsea only joined the ranks in 2003. Prior to that, the league was topped by the Big Three or Big Two depending on Liverpool’s inconsistent form.

To understand how the biggest teams in English football compare, Bill Sports Maps has created an image showing the most successful clubs. Here are the top 10 most successful (click the image to see the top 26 and complete image):


Over the entire history of English football, you can see how the top clubs compare. The Big Four, over a period of 120 years, are Liverpool, Man United, Arsenal and Aston Villa. Chelsea are in ninth place just ahead of Wolverhampton. Number five through eight are Everton, Spurs, Newcastle and Blackburn.

As well as Bill Sport Maps, another fantastic resource is an applet which features the tables of all of the professional football leagues in England from 1889 to present. It’s an amazing tool that’s easy to use and provides a fascinating glimpse at the highs and lows of all of the English teams.


  1. preavin July 7, 2008
  2. Soccer Writer July 7, 2008
  3. Dave Winter July 7, 2008
  4. billmapguy July 7, 2008
  5. SixFlags July 7, 2008
  6. Phil McThomas July 7, 2008
  7. Kartik July 7, 2008
  8. betsy's bolton bum baster July 7, 2008
  9. Villan July 7, 2008
  10. Kellow July 14, 2008
  11. Bill Turianski January 13, 2009
  12. Terry Southall September 6, 2009
  13. matt May 21, 2010
  14. tomphonepasued October 27, 2012

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