The Remarkable Legacy of English Football Clubs

Preston North End, winners of the 1888-89 Football League

IBM recently celebrated their 100 year existence as a company. While this is a massive achievement for a corporation — especially in this day and age with plenty of mergers, acquisitions and financial turmoil — it’s not such an unknown feat in the world of English football.

For example, let’s take a look at the original founding members of the Football League from 1888 — 123 years ago:

  • Accrington
  • Aston Villa
  • Blackburn Rovers
  • Bolton Wanderers
  • Burnley
  • Derby County
  • Everton
  • Notts County
  • Preston North End
  • Stoke City
  • West Bromwich Albion
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers

Out of those 12 original founding members, the only club that is not in existence today is Accrington. The club had financial problems, which led to their demise in 1896. However, local rival Accrington Stanley is still in existence today, playing in League Two. But incredibly, eleven of the other clubs are still thriving today — most of them in the Premier League.

It makes you wonder how many of the clubs in the Premier League will still be in existence 100 years from now. With these football clubs, acting as businesses, the brand loyalty they’ve built over decades (and in many cases, over a century) is practically unstoppable. The world has changed so much in our lives. It’s remarkable to think that 100 years from now, we’ll have new generations of soccer fans supporting businesses which many of them have been existence since the 19th century.

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