Some of the clubs in Premier League have the longest stretches of remaining in the top flight. Their period atop English soccer stretches far beyond 1992, which was the inception of the Premier League.

For instance, six of the 22 charter members of the Premier League have not exited the competition. Those are Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton. Others are new to the Premier League in the modern season. Brighton, Brentford, Bournemouth, Nottingham Forest and Wolverhampton Wanderers are still in the single digits when it comes to seasons in the Premier League.

Still, English soccer dates well beyond 1992. In fact, some clubs cling to that history when trying to argue against the modern day giants. Aston Villa is sixth on the total top flight wins chart with seven triumphs. However, six of those seven league wins came before World War I.

However, in terms of actual tenures in the league, certain Premier League clubs may surprise you with their longest time in the top flight.

Longest tenures in the top flight for Premier League clubs

Perhaps surprisingly, at least based on current form, Everton holds the record for most seasons played in the top flight. The 2022/23 season is the 124th official season of league play in English soccer. Everton participated in 120 of those. The four seasons away from the top flight came in two spells. One was just a season away in 1930/31. Then, Everton missed out on three-successive seasons from 1951/52 through 1953/54.

Everton’s tenure in the top flight for the last 69 seasons is second-best to Arsenal, which is approaching 100 consecutive seasons of top flight soccer. Arsenal’s 97 seasons in the English first division and Premier League is a longstanding record that should continue to grow.

ClubConsecutive seasons in top flightTotal seasons in top flightLast promotion
Manchester United48981976/76
Tottenham Hotspur45881978/79

However, it is Aston Villa that is second to Everton in terms of total seasons in the top flight. The seven-time winners have just one more seasons of top division play than Liverpool and three more than Arsenal. Villa put that standing to the test when it was relegated for three seasons in the late 2010s.

Manchester United rounds out the top five at 98 seasons, before Manchester City, Newcastle United, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur also feature on the list.

Concluding the top 10 is the only club on the list not in the Premier League, Sunderland. A former staple of the Premier League and top flight play, Sunderland’s fall from grace, now back in the Championship, sunk it down into League One just two years after competing in the top flight.

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