Which Premier League clubs have been on top for the longest time

Some clubs in the Premier League have the longest time remaining in the top flight. Their period atop English football extends well beyond 1992, the start of the Premier League.

For example six of the 22 charter members of the Premier League have not left the competition. These 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.

Yet English football dates back well beyond 1992. Some clubs even cling to that history when trying to argue against the modern giants. Aston Villa are sixth on the list of total wins in the top flight with seven wins. However, six of those seven league victories came before the First World War.

However, in terms of actual tenures in the league, certain Premier League clubs might 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 hold the record for most seasons played in the top flight. The 2022/23 season will be the 124th official league season in English football. Everton participated in 120 of them. The four seasons away from the top flight came in two spells. One was just a season away in 1930/31. Then Everton missed three consecutive seasons from 1951/52 to 1953/54.

Everton’s tenure in the top flight over the last 69 seasons is the second best after Arsenal, who are approaching 100 consecutive seasons of top-flight football. Arsenal’s 97 seasons in the English First Division and Premier League is a long-standing record that must continue to grow.

Club Consecutive seasons in top flight Total number of seasons in top flight Latest promotion
Arsenal 97 106 1919/20
Everton 69 120 1954/55
Liverpool 61 108 1962/63
Manchester United 48 98 1976/76
Tottenham Hotspur 45 88 1978/79
Chelsea 34 88 1988/89

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

Manchester United round out the top five with 98 seasons, before Manchester City, Newcastle United, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur also make the list.

Closing out 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, Sunderland’s fall from grace, now back in the Championship, dropped to League One just two years after joining the top flight.

PHOTO: IMAGO / Action Plus

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