To find out, we created this live graphic, which tots up all points acquired in English football’s top flight — from the first football league in 1888, to the end of the 2019 Premier League season.
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Here’s a quick summary…
- After winning the first football league in 1888-89, Preston North End remained at the top of the all-time table for a further 7 seasons
- In season 1896-97, they were overtaken by Aston Villa, who held the title right up to season 1936-37, when they were overtaken by Sunderland
- Sunderland then stayed on top until 1958-59, when they were overtaken by Aston Villa, who claimed the top spot for a second time
- In season 1968-69, Everton became the 4th team to top the all-time table. And they would stay at the top for over 35 years!
- They were finally overtaken in season 2005-06, when Liverpool took the top spot
- At the end of the 2019 season, Liverpool were still leading England’s all-time league table
The full table…
Here’s a full table, showing all teams that have spent at least one season in English football’s top flight. We’ve included their points tally to the end of the 2019 season, plus the number of sesaons they have spent in the top flight.
|11||West Bromwich Albion||4066||80|
|18||West Ham United||3133||61|
|26||Preston North End||2395||47|
|37||Queens Park Rangers||1146||23|
|51||Brighton & Hove Albion||265||6|
|54||Bradford Park Avenue||147||3|
- The first Football League ran from Autumn 1888 to Spring 1889 and featured 12 teams
- The league was suspended after the 1914-15 season due to the 1st World War (resuming in season 1919-1920)
- There were only 3 games played by each team in season 1939-40 before the league was suspended for the 2nd World War (resuming in season 1946-47)
- Season 1981-82 was the first time 3 points were awarded for a win. We converted prior league tables to 3 points for a win to calculate totals
- From 1888-1992, the English top flight was known as the First Division
- Since season 1992-93, the English top flight has been known as the Premier League
- We have used the modern names for all clubs (for example, Manchester United competed as Newton Heath until 1902) with one exception
- The exception is Wimbledon/MK Dons. While *technically* Wimbledon became MK Dons when the club relocated, they have never competed in the top flight under their new name. So we decided to stick with Wimbledon
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Note: we used a number of sources to ensure the information in the table is accurate, however, if you believe we have made any errors, then please contact us for correction.