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Useful Notes / British Footy Teams

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Britain has a considerable number of teams in the various Footy Leagues. These are some of the more notable ones. Many of the bigger British clubs are currently owned by foreign investors.

Historically, which club Britons support has been a matter of home town pride, or tribal affiliations where there is more than one club in a city, or familial connections if there are no clubs where you are, which is very rare due to there being over 40,000 teams in England alone. A Mancunian doesn't just arbitrarily decide one day to support United or City, he is born in a City-supporting household, in a City-supporting area of town. Changing allegiances was (and still is) very rare.


These days, Sky Sports' blanket coverage of the English Premier League has led to a generation of younger fans who reject home town loyalty in favour of supporting someone who might actually win something, and whom they can watch on TV down the pub, admiring the silky skills of highly-paid players. Standing on an unroofed terrace on a rainy October afternoon cheering on a bunch of no-hopers playing mediocre football for the Johnstone's Paint Trophy just doesn't seem quite the same. Although traditionally most people support a Premiership team and a local team, even if they would rather watch Arsenal and Manchester United play at Wembley than some club up the road.

Of course, this has lead to the dreaded accusation of "glory hunting" amongst some fans. A glory hunter is someone who supports a successful club, although they have no or very little local or family connection to said club, and seem to be jumping on the bandwagon of success. It's an accusation that your support is not sincere, and therefore calling someone a glory hunter is the worst insult one fan can give another. On the other hand, it's only logical that a team winning competitions will likely gather respect and new support. For well over the past decade, Manchester United was universally reviled due to constant homegrown success on the pitch, and therefore all their fans were deemed by everyone else as "glory hunters" and stereotypically depicted as non-Mancunians with little knowledge of football beyond newspaper back-page headlines. Now that local rivals Manchester City have shaken the balance of power, many 'new' fans of Man City have had the accusation of glory hunting aimed at them - giving the Red Devils a break.


A note, incidentally - British teams don't wear "uniforms", they wear a "strip" or a "kit". Each club has a "home kit" for most games, a kit for away games where the home kits clash and sometimes even a kit for when both clash. We are describing the former. These kits, especially for the bigger clubs, have a tendency to change on a season-by-season basis, bringing in more money for the replica shirt sellers.

The two main programs for Football Coverage in the UK remain Match of the Day on Terrestrial TV or Soccer Saturday on Sky.

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    The Home Nations 

  • England
    Based at Wembley Stadium, London, England.
    • Won The World Cup in 1966, still their only major trophy to date. Traditionally play home games in white shirts and navy shorts, with their away kit usually red shirts and white shorts, the colours in which they won in 1966. Grey has also been known on one infamous occasion. Despite the 50 years that have passed since their one and only triumph, great things are still expected every time (albeit somewhat half-heartedly nowadays). Despite frequently producing any number of internationally admired world class players, including the so-called 'Golden Generation' of the noughties, featuring Beckham, Gerrard, Lampard, Rooney, Terry, Ferdinand, Seaman and Owen, among others, some of the best players on the planet (though Owen was, after about 2004, frequently injured) and having the best league on the planet, they never get anywhere. This is down to a puzzling inability for the team to play together (the Gerrard-Lampard dichotomy baffled many a manager), exhaustion after the gruelling domestic season and a somewhat proverbial problem with penalty shoot-outs, being eliminated in the '90, '98 and 2006 World Cups and Euro '96, 2004 and 2012 on penalties. In 2014 they reached an all new low, failing to even get out of the Group Stage. Sadly, no-one was particularly surprised. The fact that their number one goalkeeper for much of this period was nicknamed 'Calamity James' didn't exactly help.
      • England frequently receive a pasting abroad for considering themselves a world championship side despite not having won the trophy in over 40 years. However, when you consider that a) only 8 countries have ever won the World Cup, and b) England remain one of a relatively small number of teams to consistently make it to the later stages of the tournament, this doesn't seem quite so fair. Nowadays, the attitude is somewhat diminished, with a very English morbidly humorous attitude attached - 'how badly are we going to do this time?'
      • Albeit they reached the semifinals only once between 1966 and 2018 (in 1990 when they came in 4th), did not qualify three times and meandered between quarter finals and the round of 16 the other times. Altogether tied 3rd (with Italy, behind Brazil and Germany) for quarter final appearances but a measly tie for 9th place (with seven other countries) for the semis. So yes, a comparatively strong side, one capable of going toe to toe with the best in the world on its day, even beating the likes of Brazil, France, Argentina, and Germany, and considered a serious scalp for smaller teams, but rarely considered a serious contender or favourite to win.
      • After 2014, old captain Steven Gerrard retiring from international football, ending the old guard - the only real survivors were new captain Wayne Rooney and goalkeeper Joe Hart (who was widely considered to have not had much of an ability to prevent the rest of his team from folding like wet paper). An exciting generation of youngsters and former outsiders was pushed to fore for the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, including Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy, the latter bursting onto the scene as a Premier League champion in 2015/16 and runner up to Kane for top scorer by 1 goal. This was underlined by England executing a faultless qualifying campaign, being the only team not to drop a point and the first to qualify after the hosts, France. Despite that and generally favourable results in the run-up to the tournament, including against hosts and favourites France (they won 2-0, but only a few days after the Bataclan gun attacks, meaning that French hearts weren't quite in it) note  and World Champions Germany, in which England executed a stunning 3-2 comeback victory in Berlin, England... once again performed their usual crash and burn, by going out in the Last 16 to Iceland. Yes, population-of-300,000-with-a-popular-app-to-check-if-you're-accidentally-dating-a-relative-never-been-in-a-tournament-before Iceland. This is widely considered to be England's worst result since losing 1-0 to the US at the 1950 World Cup and the most spectacular failure of the modern era. England manager Roy Hodgson unsurprisingly resigned immediately after the match, presumably in the hope that enraged England fans wouldn't lynch him. Following that, Sam 'Big Sam' Allardyce, known for pragmatic and very physical tactics and, somewhat depressingly, usually being hired to resuscitate struggling teams, demonstrating that the England job has gone from being a possible career for some of the best-regarded coaches in the modern game to being one that you can hardly give away. Oh, and then he got sacked 18 DAYS later in a newspaper sting where he talked about getting around FA rules on player contracts. All in all, England's post-tournament stint of being ranked 13th in the world seems to be a metaphor for their troubles.
    • However, under young manager and former player Gareth Southgate, there was a degree of cautious optimism, with Rooney having been ejected, and Kane and Alli spearheading the attack, along with the likes of Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling in support, albeit with a solid but not especially creative midfield, the attitude is now more 'we might not go down in flames quite as spectacularly'. Regarded with distinctly more optimism are England's youth prospects, with both the U-17's and U-19's winning their respective World Cups in 2017, the former disposing of Spain in the final 5-2, after having gone 0-2 down. Meanwhile, the U-21's reached the semi-finals of their European Championship, before losing on penalties to Germany - some things, it seems, never change.
    • But they did change in 2018, at least to a degree. In the World Cup in Russia, they finished second in their group to Belgium, whilst seeing their old nemesis Germany go down in flames in the group stage. They then opened the knockout stage by actually winning a shootout after a foul-ridden match against Colombia. And followed it up with a win over Sweden before dropping an extra-time heartbreaker to Croatia in the semis and losing again to Belgium in the third-place match. Still, this was England's best World Cup performance since 1990, and raised hopes in England that the long national nightmare was over. Let's wait and see on that last bit.
  • Scotland
    Based at Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland.
    • Play in navy shirts and white shorts, and were ever-present at World Cups in the past without ever managing to get past the first round. In a bit of a slump at the moment and have failed to qualify for anything since 1998. Sadly, this trend has continued in 2015, with a last minute goal by Poland's Robert Lewandowski denying Scotland the win they needed to remain in contention.
    • They then looked on the edge of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, before narrowly failing to get the win they required to go through to the play-offs. Again.
    • Well known for the Tartan Army, among the better behaved and better liked supporters of a national team.
  • Northern Ireland
    Based at Windsor Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
    • Play in green shirts and white shorts, and spent some time in the 1980s punching well above their weight (something they frequently do, having beaten both Spain, champions of Europe and the World at the time, England - in a famous World Cup Qualifying match in 2005 - and Russia in recent years), reaching the second round of the World Cup despite being the second smallest country ever to qualify. George Best, of Manchester United in the 1970s, is probably their best (and best-known) player of all time.
    • They qualified for Euro 2016 at the top of their group, hammering top seeds Greece 3-1 to confirm their place in the finals and got out of their group, before going down in brave defeat in the Last 16 to fellow Brits, tournament surprise package Wales, who ultimately reached the semi-finals.
  • Wales
    Based at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales.
    • Play all in red; now branded domestically with the country's Welsh-language name, Cymru (though they still use "Wales" internationally). Managed to make the World Cup quarter-final in 1958, but Wales is really rugby territory and until recently, the team had never enjoyed much success, failing to qualify for any international competition until 2016. John Charles played well for them in the 1960s, Ian Rush was a legend in the 80's and 90's, and Ryan Giggs of Manchester United, now the national team manager, is their most famous recent ex-player. Gareth Bale is the current star for Wales, having come into his own at the same time Giggs was nearing the end of his career. Just before the end of the summer 2013 transfer window, Real Madrid purchased him for a fee of what some sources reported as £86 million ($132 million), which if accurate would be the largest transfer fee in history until Paul Pogba's £89 million transfer to Manchester United in 2016 (something that apparently continues to put previous holder of that accolade and now-former Real Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo into an almighty snit). He become a key part of Real's first team for several years, but fell out of favour with manager Zinedine Zidane in 2019–20, and has since been loaned back to Spurs amid transfer rumours involving several big English sides.
    • In recent years, Wales have been developing a solid core of proven Premier League players in goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey (Crystal Palace), defenders Ben Davies (Tottenham Hotspur), James Chester (West Bromwich Albion), James Collins (West Ham United) and captain Ashley Williams (Swansea), midfielders Joe Allen (formerly of Swansea and Liverpool, now Stoke), Andy King (Leicester), Joe Ledley (Crystal Palace), sprinkled with a couple of world class players in Bale (Real Madrid) and Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal), along with a team spirit to match any team on the planet, leading some hopes that an epic revival might be on the cards. With their topping their qualifying group for the European Championships for a long period when they were expected to struggle to even be in contention for qualification, holding Belgium (ranked #2 on the planet) to a draw away, then beating them at home, and finally qualifying having lost only one match, former players such as Thierry Henry are pointing out that if they believe that they can do it, they might just be capable of going on and winning the tournament. Underlining this, in October 2015, they rose to 8th in the FIFA World Rankings, two places above England, who were in 10th. While they then slipped down the rankings again to a respectable 26th, considering a drop-off in form and some unsurprising complacency this is unsurprising. They then found astonishing form in time for the European Championships, thrashing old bogey team Russia 3-0 and a much fancied Belgium 3-1 to reach the semi-finals of the competition, a feat not managed by any British team since 1996, before running out of steam against eventual winners Portugal (who mostly squeezed through thanks to healthy dose of luck). For a time, they were ranked in a well-deserved 10th place, two places above England, but a poor 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign ended that run; as of September 2020, they're 23rd to England's 4th.
    • The current crop of players was largely nurtured and brought through by legendary former player and Manager Gary Speed, who tragically took his own life in November 2011 after, with only four months of prior managerial experience, taking them over seventy places up the FIFA rankings in less than a year in the position. While Speed's successor Chris Coleman is acknowledged to have done a superb job since, it is undoubted that this current Wales team is very much a product of Speed's tenure and that he is sorely missed.
    • After failing to reach the 2018 World Cup, Coleman confirmed that he planned to leave the job, despite the pleas of a number of players. He deserves credit for not only the astonishing 2016 campaign, but bringing through young talent, including 17-year-old wunderkind and Liverpool player Ben 'The Prince of Wales' Woodburn (an accolade he got for a stunning goal in qualifying). Giggs was hired as Coleman's replacement (though officially titled "Head Coach"), making a solid start by shepherding Cymru into Euro 2020.

Until the 1980s, these four teams played a tournament known as the "Home Nations Championship". The national pride inspired some epic performances, especially from the smaller nations against England, but also led to some ugly hooliganism, which is why it was discontinued. There are hopes for a revival in the next few years.

Additionally, the Republic of Ireland is often regarded as an honorary Home Nation, due to the close links between Britain and Ireland. The bit in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire where the (emphatically English) Weasleys (and others) energetically support Ireland in the absence of a British team is quite true to life (except in footy rather than Quidditch, obviously). The reverse is not usually true - at least, where the English are concerned.


    The Football Association (England) 

The current big clubs:

  • Arsenal
    "Good old Arsenal! We're proud to say that name! While we sing this song we'll win the game!"
    • AKA "The Gunners". Play in red and white. Based in North London at the Emirates Stadium, replacing their historic home of Highbury. Was British-owned until late in 2010 when American billionaire Stan Kroenke launched a takeover of the club, and as of August 2018 is completely owned by Kroenke. Have not won the Premiership since 2004 and since them have come 4th six times, 3rd four, 2nd twice, and most recently 5th. However, the last time they won it they went unbeaten.
    • Historically (if you go back to the origins) the Gunners originate South of the River at Woolwich Arsenal. Hence both the names, and the gun logo. They were the first southern team to join the football league in 1893!
    • Arsenal are widely considered to be extremely well-skilled and playing very attractive football, but have a problem with getting consistent results. Consequently, they often mount a good challenge for the trophies but trip up towards the end of the season. Part of this is down to how easily their players seem to get injured and that their now-former manager Arsène Wenger (also a great talent scout) seemed to rely too much on youth.
    • In recent years however the youth experiment got abandoned following a pathetic 8-2 loss to Man Utd where because of injuries they fielded a very inexperienced team. However the tendency for key players to be out for long periods has only gotten worse, and continued to hamper progress in the league. Despite breaking the trophy drought with the FA Cup and Community Shield and buying players like Alexis Sanchez, they have been struggling so far this season (like Liverpool!), conceding too many goals and dropping too many points, part of the problem is only having 6 first team defenders, and watching them get injured. In 2015/16, they tightened up somewhat and emerged as the team of the old guard most likely to challenge the apparently unstoppable Leicester in a famously unpredictable season. While they ultimately finished second, much to their glee as local rivals and season-long title chasers Tottenham squandered the chance to finish above Arsenal for the first time in 20 years, this was more due to a process of elimination than actual skill.
    • Hope was kindled by Wenger finally opening the purse strings and spending big, with hopes of a strong win in the first game of the season, a home game against Liverpool, who had only won once at either the Emirates or Highbury in 20 attempts and had well publicised frailties at the back, including naturally right-sided midfielder James Milner playing at left back. Liverpool promptly went through Arsenal like a buzzsaw, going 4-1 up within an hour, and only a late rally by Arsenal and those frailties in the Liverpool defence gave the result (4-3) a fig leaf of respectability.
    • However, things fell apart disastrously, after a shock home loss to lowly Watford at the end of January 2017, having made several strong comebacks or late winners up to that point. Arsenal lost 4 away games on the trot in the League, and crashed out horrifically badly to Bayern Munich in the usual Last 16 stage of the Champions League (in both legs, Arsenal were doing well until they lost Laurent Koscielny at the start of the 2nd half, who was injured at 1-1 in the first leg in Munich, and wrongly sent off for conceding a soft penalty in the home leg, with Arsenal leading 1-0 on the night - they lost both by the same 5-1 score-line). This would have a detrimental effect league-wise. They won 7 of their final 8 league games, but the sole exception, a North London Derby loss, meant that Arsenal would finish below Spurs for the first time since the 1994-95 season with 5 games still to play. They won them all with flair that was displayed little during the late winter-early spring, but others' results meant that they missed out on the CL for the first time since 1997, and finished outside the top 4 for the first time under Wenger's management, despite earning more points than for their second place the previous season! However, they carried on the momentum from their season end into the FA Cup final when they earned an shock win to stop Chelsea earning the double!).
    • 2017-18 lurched dramatically between highlights and lowlights. A league cup final (where they lost to Manchester City, and then lost to them again in the League by the same scoreline only days later), solid North London derby win, and not losing to Chelsea in any of their 5 competitive meetings during the season juxtaposed with some bad defeats to smaller names like Watford and Bournemouth, contract standoffs with, and then the departures of, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and Alexis Sanchez, their two best players of the 2016-17 season, and the club shop being looted, as well as their first direct round 3 FA cup exit since 1992, and first of any form since 1996 (a replay defeat before Wenger took charge), against a young Nottingham Forest side (without a boss at the time) and with a demotivated reserve squad, the first loss of the holder at this stage since 2012. Wenger finally announced in April 2018 that he was leaving the club at the end of the season. His replacement is Unai Emery, author of Sevilla's three consecutive Europa League wins from 2014 to 2016, and the man behind Paris Saint-Germain's domestic treble in 2017-18. With signings of strong players such as Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno, Juventus defender Stephan Lichtsteiner and Sampdoria midfielder Lucas Torreira, they appear ready to become once again a serious title contender, despite losing Wilshere on the way. In fact, despite losing their first two league fixtures against Chelsea and Manchester City respectively, they then went on with an undefeated streak of 22 games across all competitions, including a 5-0 thrashing of Fulham and a comeback 4-2 victory against bitter rivals Spurs. Their Europa League campaign in particular has been extremely shining - which shouldn't be surprising considering what Emery did at Sevilla. In fact, they beat Valencia home and away in the semifinals to punch a ticket for the final in Baku, where they met Chelsea. However, Emery's magic touch failed him, as the Gunners held on for a half before crumbling completely and conceding 4 goals to the Blues in the second half.
  • Aston Villa
    "We're by far the greatest team the world has ever seen!"
    • Aka "Villa", "The Villa" or the "Villans", this is a Birmingham based Premiership side, fairly inconsistent in that league. Formed in 1874, they have seven league titles and seven FA Cups to their name, spent 98 seasons in the top flight in total and have also won the European Cup (back in 1981-82). Play in claret and blue, which West Ham copied. American-owned, they play at Villa Park, leading to the clichéd line "Thriller at the Villa".
    • There are a lot of fictional Villa fans, including Frank Pike from Dad's Army.
    • Among its real fans is none other than Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, who also is President of the Football Association in hisnote  spare time.
    • Were considered The Artifact of the Premier League. Everton and Aston Villa were founding members of the Football League, and neither have been relegated from the Premier League in its current iteration. However, while Everton still consistently challenge for European football, since Martin O'Neill's departure Villa are usually lower mid-table and battling relegation. As of 2015/16, they lost that battle, spending the entire season rooted to the bottom of the table. They didn't display enough consistency to look like rebounding immediately, stuck in the middle of the Championship table with no real likelihood of placing in the top 6. A year later, in 2018, they made the playoff final, but had to capitulate against Fulham; however, under the management of lifelong Villa fan Dean Smith, the side finally punched their ticket back to the Premier League by beating Derby County 2-1 in the playoff final in 2019.
  • Chelsea
    "So cheer us on through the sun and rain! Cos Chelsea, Chelsea is our name!"
    • A West London club nicknamed "The Blues" or rarely "The Pensioners" (the Royal House in Chelsea serves as a retirement home to veteran soldiers), they're owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich and accordingly have done rather well by buying up the best players. Play in all blue with white socks, they play their home games in Stamford Bridge, in nearby Fulham. Despite being bought by an Oligarch, Chelsea had a reputation of being somewhat underachieving, though not to the degree of Arsenal. This finally broke for them when they won the Champions League in 2012.
    • Had some bad luck in Europe in recent years, being knocked out of the UEFA Champions League semi-final stage more than once thanks to contentious decisions and match-ups with bogey team Liverpool, who tend to bring their A-Game for European matches. In the 2009 home leg against Barcelona, the referee missed several clear penalties and had to flee the UK after receiving death threats.
    • Name is sometimes used as a synonym for Glasgow Grin, from the days of rife hooliganism, but this use has diminished significantly. Sadly, as one incident in early 2015 showed, some remnants of the hooliganism remain, as demonstrated after a tie against PSG.
    • They were the first London side to win the UEFA Champions League (2012), beating Barcelona in the semi-finals and winning a penalty shoot-out against Bayern Munich in their home ground, bucking the "trend" of the English succumbing to the Germans on penalties.
    • Abramovich has drowned the club with investment over recent years. Which has led to Chelsea paying absurdly high sums of money for players who really aren't worth that much.
      • Take striker Andriy Shevchenko, whom Chelsea purchased for £30 million. His Chelsea career amounted to 77 games and 22 goals. The mathematically astute among you may have already calculated that this comes out to more than a million per goal.
      • Similarly, striker Fernando Torres cost Chelsea a whopping £50 million, and did not, for the most part, live up to expectations. In all fairness, it should be noted that when Torres was bought, he was widely considered to be the best striker on the planet, scoring over 25 goals per season and had, in combination with Steven Gerrard, very nearly won Liverpool the League Title, along with powering his country to the 2008 European Championship title, scoring the winning goal in the final, before helping them win the 2010 World Cup.
    • Recently, the job of Chelsea manager is notorious for its short tenure - there have been nine managers in the last eight seasons! This is due to the owner demanding success, quickly firing managers who can't provide it constantly. To put that into perspective, Chelsea have spent more money on compensating their sacked managers than Everton have spent since the Premier League began. Bucking the trend, Abramovich was actually remarkably patient with José Mourinho, despite the fact that Chelsea went into a tailspin and the manager seemed to lose the dressing room after verbally abusing and firing the popular (and attractive) team doctor, despite the fact that their title defence morphed into only half-joking cracks about them fighting relegation, before firing him in late December and replacing him with safe pair of hands Guus Hiddink.
    • After early issues, including a 2-1 defeat at home to a Liverpool side in imperious form, new manager Antonio Conte rearranged his team into a smooth running match winning machine, setting them on a run of form that sealed the league title with 2 matches to spare. However, they celebrated too hard - despite netting 9 goals in their final 2 league games, they were beaten by Arsenal in the FA Cup final, in spite of the Gunners' run of Champions league qualifications ending the previous week. And in 2017/18, the wheels came off, with Chelsea getting dumped out of the Champions League in the Round of 16 by Barcelona, and finishing the season in 5th place. Despite an FA Cup final victory against Manchester United, Conte was shown the door and got replaced by Maurizio Sarri, whose hypnotizing brand of attacking, possession-based football - an apparent oxymoron considering the Blues' fame for parking the bus - has turned many heads in the football world last season at Napoli despite coming really short of winning the Serie A title. The 2018/19 season immediately started well for Chelsea, including a much-awaited 2-1 victory against Newcastle United away, and an effortless thrashing of all their rivals in their Europa League group. The Blues momentarily lost momentum following two sonorous defeats against Spurs and Wolves, but quickly got back on their feet with an incredible 2-0 home victory against Manchester City. Unfortunately, their form rather collapsed after the turn of the year, with Bournemouth of all teams thrashing them 4-0, their worst Premier League defeat in 20 years, before City got their own back by absolutely destroying them 6-0, Chelsea's worst defeat in any competition since 1991. Cue opposition chants of "Maurizio Sarri, we want you to stay!" Despite this, though, Chelsea cruised through the Europa League sudden death stage, eventually making the final against Arsenal after beating Eintracht Frankfurt on penalties at Stamford Bridge. The final was a far smoother affair for the Blues, as they put 4 goals past a hapless Arsenal in the second half to finally give Sarri his first major competition triumph - his most recent triumph before this was the Coppa Italia Serie D (equivalent to the FA Trophy in England) with Sansovino in 2003. Despite this, though, Sarri left Stamford Bridge due to the general sense of unease he was feeling around the club, and went back to Italy to join Juventus, much to Chelsea fans's disappointment and the outrage of his former followers at Napoli.
  • Everton
    "It's a grand old team to play for, it's a grand old team to support."
    • AKA "The Blues" (other than Chelsea) or more commonly "The Toffees", based in Liverpool. They have nine league titles to their name and have spent a total of 105 seasons in the top-flight (this makes Aston Villa v. Everton the most-played tie in history). Play in blue shirts, white shorts and blue socks, they call Goodison Park their home ground, after moving out of Anfield.
    • Previously thought of as the team that would break the "Big 4" thanks to strong league and cup runs in the middle 00s (culminating in Champions League qualification in 2005), but have since dropped to mid-table, with financial hardship preventing major squad investment. Still widely considered a 'dark horse' side and one likely to cause upsetting score lines for the big teams.
    • As of 2015/16, they became a serious threat to any team that came their way in the first half of the season, with extremely talented youngsters Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley in scorching form, ably supported by winger Gerard Deulofeu, leading to extraordinary demolitions of Sunderland and Aston Villa, 6-2 and 4-1 respectively. However, their defence was still thoroughly suspect, with keeper Tim 'Secretary of Defence' Howard losing his edge and John Stones (rated as the best young defender in Europe and bought by Manchester City for an eye watering £47 million in the summer transfer window) having his inexperience exposed at times. In the second half of the season, teams with better front lines, such as Leicester, managed to take advantage of this. Local arch rivals Liverpool were one of those teams. Despite having their most in-form striker injured in a brutal tackle by an Everton centre back who was immediately sent off note , they sauntered to a 4-0 win, one so comfortable that with nearly a quarter of the match to go, Liverpool were practically camped outside the Everton box and trying to get fan favourite defensive midfielder/centre back Lucas Leiva to score. Lucas had played regularly for Liverpool for nine years. In that time, he had scored a grand total of six goals, the last of which had been scored six years ago. This was a tactic so ridiculous that Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp was caught on tv laughing. This unsurprisingly led to the sacking of Everton manager Roberto Martínez.
    • 2016/17 got off to a rocky start with new manager Ronald Koeman but once the kinks were ironed in (largely starting in 2017), Everton have once again become a serious threat, handing out Curb-Stomp Battle after Curb-Stomp Battle, particularly at home, as they placed 7th (with a long time to spare), qualifying for Europe again.
    • 2017/18, on the other hand, was one big Epic Fail with Ross Barkley refusing to sign a contract, Romelu Lukaku and fan favourite Gareth Barry both leaving, several signings which turned out to be disappointing, a disastrous Europa League campaign, and Ronald Koeman going through one long Humiliation Conga which ended in him being sacked in October. Former Everton player and U23 manager David Unsworth took charge until a new boss was found, with Watford's Marco Silva being headhunted, which led to him being unsettled and, once Watford's form declined, and Everton overtook them in the standings, sacked.
    • After hiring Sam Allardyce to replace Ronald Koeman the team has found their footing once more, emphasising pragmatic and defensive play to avoid conceding goals (the single greatest source of defeat during the early season was not their inability to score but their inability to keep goals out, despite the presence of goalkeeper Jordan Pickford). Everton managed to remain undefeated in their first seven games under Allardyce and ascended back to the top half of the league from what was thought to be a relegation battle mere weeks before. Whilst they struggled to find their bearings at points after their initial revival, they remained in the top half, finishing eighth.
    • Part of one of (arguably) the most famous rivalries in Football, with the neighboring Liverpool FC, a fixture which has produced the most red cards in history. This has ranged everywhere from friendly competition to seemingly utter hatred over the hundred plus years of the clubs existence. Currently seems to be the latter as of 2016, with the fixture officially having the most red cards in Premier League history. However relations between fans remain cordial enough that it's the only derby not to enforce fan segregation.
  • Leicester City
    "Oh, when you're smiling, when you're smiling, the whole world smiles with you!"
    • AKA "The Foxes". Came out of freaking nowhere to win the Premier League title in 2015/16, the first top-flight title in the club's 125-plus-year history. By "freaking nowhere", we mean it — they had been in the Championship as recently as 2013/14; were nailed, bolted and hard welded to the bottom of the Premier League table for much of the 2014/15 season; only survived relegation that season by collecting 7 wins and a draw in their final 9 matches thanks in part to their new manager, Claudio Ranieri; and were 5,000–1 shots to win the title entering the 2015/16 season. They then proceeded to top the table in September, leading to jokes about how Leicester were going to win the league, only to then continue winning.
    • For further context, they smashed record after record - they became the first team to be bottom at Christmas in one season and top at Christmas the next, star striker Jamie Vardy (signed four years before from non-league Fleetwood Town for £1 million - in other words, what former England and Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney then earned in a month) scored goals in eleven consecutive games breaking the record set by legendary Netherlands and Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy and their entire first team cost £22 million. For context, Manchester United shelled out £36 million for the unproven but talented teenager Anthony Martial and most teams in the top 10 have at least one £20 million player and/or several £10 million-plus players.
    • Their unexpected success led to some people having to double down on rash declarations, including that of legendary former England and Leicester striker Gary Lineker, current host of British cultural institution Match of the Day (and face of Walker's Crisps), who had declared when Leicester were top at Christmas that if they won he would host Match of the Day in his underwear. After Leicester were crowned champions, everyone called him on it, including Prime Minister David Cameron in Parliament.
      • On the first programme of the 2016-17 season, Saturday 13th August 2016, he delivered on his promise, wearing Leicester City boxers no less.
    • Another impressive thing to note is that while normal service has resumed in the Premier League, they made waves in the Champions League, comfortably winning their group, to make the last 16 against Sevilla. They were unlucky to lose 2-1 in the first leg, but it turned out to be the final straw for their title winning boss Claudio Ranieri, with the side falling towards the relegation zone in the league after losing 5 on the trot. To say that sacking was unpopular was an understatement, yet caretaker Craig Shakespeare won his first 4 league games, and won the return leg against Sevilla to progress to the last 8 of the Champions League, and be English football's sole remaining representative in the competition, where they only lost to eventual finalist Atlético Madrid through a penalty for a foul clearly outside the box.
    • In 2018, tragedy struck the club following a league match against West Ham United - the helicopter of much loved owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the man who bought and refurbished the club, then backed their title winning run, crashed in a parking lot outside the stadium. The crash claimed not only his life, but also that of two staff members, the pilot, and a visitor. In matches afterwards, the players - many of whom had been part of the 2015/16 title winning side - were on the brink of tears, and the vast majority of the squad attended the funeral in Thailand. Touchingly, every Premier League club paid their tributes.
  • Liverpool
    "And you'll neeeeeeveeeeer waaaaalk, aloooooooone!"
    • AKA "The Reds" or much more rarely "The Anfield Reds"note  is the other Merseyside club. Won everything in sight in the 1970s and 80s, and have 19 league victories. Finally won the Premier League in the 2019-20 season. They have the most Champions League wins in England (6) and they have never let anyone forget it. Fans famously sing "You'll Never Walk Alone", a song originally from the musical Carousel, which has become so bound up with the club's identity that it is not only the Club Anthem, but the title is the club's motto, on the badge and atop the famous Shankly Gates. It has since become one of the best known and most popular anthems in football, having been adopted by Celtic FC of Scotland (leading to a long-running controversy about which team adopted it first), Club Brugge of Belgium, Feyenoord, FC Twente and FC Cambuur of the Netherlands, Genoa CFC of Italy, and Borussia Dortmund, as well as about half the other teams in the German Bundesliga, even by teams as far afield as FC Tokyo of Japan.
    • The club is well known outside of football for the Hillsborough Disaster, where 96 fans were crushed to death prior to an FA Cup semi-final. Coming only a few years after the Bradford City Stadium Fire, the resultant inquiry led to the Taylor Report, which instituted all-seater stadia and other policies that led to a near total neutralisation of England's notorious hooliganism problem, reforms which, along with the creation of the Premier League, kickstarted the revival of English football.
    • At the same time, The Sun, with its infamous headline 'The Truth', smeared Liverpool fans by claiming that they attacked police officers, as well as that they urinated on and stole from the dead, all in order to deflect blame from the South Yorkshire Police, in collusion with the Government as part of a cover-up (slurs, incidentally, which were disproved and dismissed by the Taylor Report and over 150 witness statements were later proved to have been altered to show the police in a better light). To this day, you quite literally cannot give away a copy of The Sun in the city of Liverpool, despite numerous grovelling apologies of dubious sincerity. As of February 2017, the club has outright banned The Sun and its reporters from Anfield, the Melwood training ground and club press conferences, and Everton have since followed suit. When they were told in late 2019 that this would prevent them from potentially hosting any England warm-up matches for Euro 2020, the response was more or less summed up as, "so what?"
    • After decades of campaigning by groups such as 'Justice for the 96' and latterly by local Labour MP and then Culture Secretary Andy Burnham, raising the matter in Parliament after being heckled with cries of 'Justice for the 96' when giving a speech at the 20th Anniversary of the Disaster, triggering the Second Hillsborough Inquiry. This exonerated the fans in 2012 and changed their official cause of death to 'unlawfully killed' after concluding that 'up to 41' might have survived had the emergency services coordinated better. Afterwards, campaigning groups and Burnham pushed for further inquests into just who was responsible, forcing the resignation of a number of senior police figures. This earned him cheers at the 25th Anniversary of the Disaster, and a speech in Parliament in April 2016, which included a vicious excoriation of those responsible, drew thunderous applause.
      • As a side note, the youngest victim of the Hillsborough Disaster, 10-year-old Jon-Paul Gilhooley, was the cousin of a then 9-year-old little boy named Steven. Said little boy grew up to become Steven Gerrard, a club legend, talismanic captain of club and country and to be widely considered by his peers as one of the best players of his generation, with luminaries such as Zinedine Zidane calling him the best midfielder in the world. What could motivate such a man? Well, in his autobiography in 2006, he revealed that he played for Jon-Paul.
    • Since 1990, their fortunes have been decidedly mixed, becoming known as the team most likely to come third in any competition you care to name. High points including a Treble in 2001, an epic underdog comeback Champions League win in 2005 against AC Milan, then one of the best teams on the planet, who raced into a 3-0 halftime lead. Six second-half minutes later, it was 3-3 and Liverpool won on penalties. For this reason it is generally referred to as 'the Miracle of Istanbul'. Then there was the FA Cup Final of 2006 against West Ham, in which the score was also 3-3 and was almost singlehandedly won by Steven Gerrard, another Champions League Final appearance in 2007 (Milan got their revenge), a League Cup triumph in 2012 and highly creditable title challenges in 2001/02 and 2008/09. After that, it went decidedly downhill for a few years, before the title challenge of 2013/14. However, this was followed by another steep decline (2014/15 ended with a 6-1 defeat by Stoke), then another sharp rise under Jurgen Klopp confirming the club's reputation as a footballing yo-yo. For this reason, 'Liverpool fan' is sometimes considered synonymous with 'masochist'.
    • Famous for, when they're playing well, downright mesmerising attacking football which makes up for an often dubious defence, spearheaded by lightning fast strikers who usually do phenomenally well, then get snapped up by Real Madrid, Barcelona or Chelsea (and frequently suffer a collapse in form thereafter. Michael Owen, Fernando Torres and Philippe Coutinho were never quite the same. Luis Suarez, on the other hand, seems to be doing just fine). It's generally best summed up by the popular Kop chant created during the 2013/14 season called 'Poetry in Motion'. When they're not playing well... well, since the defence is still dubious, the results are generally a little embarrassing. Internationally very popular, with hundreds of millions of fans worldwide. Their rivalry with Manchester United is so intense it's pretty much hatred.
    • Infamous (like Arsenal) for fizzling out dramatically; they made a decent challenge for the title in 2008/09, but hit a stumbling block around November the following season. Then they did it again in 2013/14 under Brendan Rodgers, when they very nearly won it with an entire season of stylish attacking football, only fizzling out in the last couple of matches thanks to nerves and a very unfortunate slip by Steven Gerrard. Their 2014/15 ended with the aforementioned 6-1 defeat, their worst defeat since 1963. Cue the arrival of charismatic German Jürgen Klopp, famous for gegenpressing style of 'heavy metal football', breaking Bayern Munich's stranglehold on the German title with Borussia Dortmund, then reaching the Champions League final. The clubs being Friendly Fandoms, this was considered a match made in heaven. Klopp's Liverpool were quickly cast as 'Europe's Entertainers', combining the front foot defence of the gegenpress with an attack led by the 'Fab Four' of wing forward Sadio Mane, talismanic pocket-sized playmaker Philippe Coutinho, creative striker Roberto Firmino, and as of 2017/18, the apparently unstoppable Mohammed Salah.
      • After Coutinho went to Barcelona for a mindboggling £142 million, the team rebalanced, with Coutinho's sale financing several key defensive acquisitions - cultured Dutch centre-back Virgil Van Dijk, Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson Becker, and Brazilian defensive midfielder Fabinho key among them. Adding these to newly acquired Scottish left-back Andy Robertson (who went from bargain buy from relegated Hull City to widely being acknowledged as arguably the best left back on the planet in a year) and academy talent, right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold (who went on to feature in two Champions League finals before he turned 21 and is widely considered to be, on current form, the best right back on the planet), and the restoration of talented but injury-prone young centre-back Joe Gomez meant that Liverpool became a much more balanced team. The defence did its job, while the marauding full-backs provided the front three (renamed 'the Red Arrows') with the ammunition to become the terror of Europe, being the highest scoring front three in a single season in Champions League history. Cue a charge to the 2017-18 CL final, then another (which they won) in 2018-19 while simultaneously missing out on the Premier League by a single point, despite racking up 97 (the third highest points total, full stop, in first division history - the two highest were 98 that same season, by Manchester City, and 100 the season before, also by City), only losing one game in the entire league season, going undefeated at home, keeper Allison winning the Golden Gloves and both Salah and Mane winning a joint Golden Boot (out of three players, no less). Undaunted, they continued that form into 2019-20, establishing a commanding 13-point lead at the halfway point by winning every game but one (a draw with Manchester United), ending 2019 with only one loss in the league in the entire calendar year, and maintaining a home record of 50 games unbeaten, only the third team to achieve it after Chelsea (2004-2008) and a previous Liverpool side (1978-1980). Cue serious speculation that they would match and surpass the famous 'Invincibles' Arsenal side of 03/04. The COVID-19 pandemic caused a break in play in March, but they were already 20 points ahead of rivals Man City, had only one draw and one loss all season, and were essentially crowned champions-elect. Once the season resumed in June, a goalless draw to derby rivals Everton signified a rocky start, but they mathematically won the league a week later anyway, when Chelsea defeated City, simultaneously being the earliest team to win the title (with 7 games to spare) and latest (in actual date). They received a guard of honour in their very next game against City, who consoled themselves with a 4-0 win - unsurprisingly, the new champions didn't care that much, and despite ending the season in cruise control, still racked up 99 points (only short of City's 'Centenarians').
      • Liverpool are also known for their rich history in Europe, thriving on long odds - the more ridiculous, the better. For example: The 2005 Champions League final (3-0 down 54 minutes in, level at 3-3 on 60 minutes); the 2016 Europa League Quarter Final against Borussia Dortmund (3-1 down at 60 minutes, 4-3 up at 92 minutes); and the 2019 Champions League semi-final against Barcelona (3-0 down on aggregate, missing two star attackers. Level on aggregate on 60 minutes, after two goals in as many minutes, ahead on aggregate/4-0 up on the night on 79). They've previously been dubbed Europe's Comeback Kings (it actually trended on Twitter), and aren't shy of handing out thrashings either; in 2007, they broke the Champions League's goal scoring record against Beşiktaş (8-0), and crushed Real Madrid 4-0 at Anfield in 2009. In 2017/18, they stuffed two teams 7-0, before crushing FC Porto 5-0 in what could charitably called second gear, then wiping out Manchester City 3-0 in the first leg, and crushing AS Roma 5-2 in the semifinal's first leg. The following year, they marched to the Champions League title by beating giants such as Paris Saint-Germain (3-2), Bayern Munich (3-1), Porto (again, 4-1 and 2-0), then Barcelona in the semifinals, mounting another memorable comeback ('the Miracle on the Mersey'), destroying them 4-0 at Anfield with Salah and Firmino out through injuries to turn around a 3-0 loss in the first leg. note  In short, Liverpool are dangerous in Europe.
      • Having won six Champions League trophies (in '77, '78, '81, '84, '05, and '19), 5 of them before a rule change in 2009, they are the first and only (thanks to said rule change) English team to be allowed to keep the trophy, a new one being made for the following season. Liverpool fans frequently gloat about this.
    • Liverpool's fans, colloquially known as 'the Kop' or 'Kopites', after the Kop End, which itself is named after the hill on which the Battle of Spion Kop was fought in 1906, are some of the most famous in the footballing world and certainly among the most vocal, giving Anfield a reputation as one of the most atmospheric stadiums on the planet, famed for 'the Anfield Roar' - which, following the expansion of the Main Stand, taking the capacity to 54,000, has only got that much louder. No matter how well or badly the club is doing, the sight and sound of the Kop in full voice is truly breathtaking. This makes Anfield an intimidating place to go, and when on a particularly strong streak (as of August 2020, their last home defeat in the Premier League was over three years ago in April 2017), it's referred to as 'Fortress Anfield'. Fans are also a fairly cosmopolitan bunch, with a fanbase estimated to be in the hundreds of millions. The club takes advantage of this with its summer tours to the US, Australia and South East Asia. More local support is drawn from North Wales, Ireland and Scotland, with a long tradition of club legends from those countries, such as all time top scorer Ian Rush (Welsh) and defenders Mark Lawrenson (Irish) and Alan Hansen (Scottish). There's also a certain fondness in Germany, partly because Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp is still beloved by fans of his former team, Borussia Dortmund, and also because of the Kopites' historic twinning with Borussia Mönchengladbach. More puzzlingly, there's a massive fan base in Norway. No one is quite sure why, though cheap plane/ferry tickets to Liverpool may have something to do with it. There's also the relative prominence of Norwegians in Liverpool sides down the years, such as fan favourite John Arne Riise, Champions League winner with Liverpool, famous for having a left foot that passably impersonated Mjolnir. note  Matchgoers in particular are pathologically loyal to the club; it takes a lot to make them stop singing for any length of time and if they have done so, it's a very bad sign. If they have started booing and you are the manager, you are likely to be fired soon afterwards.
    • Merseyside derbies are sell-outs and pretty scrappy matches - they have more red cards than any other fixture in the league - and, often, surprisingly high scoring, since both teams desperately want to win. The balance of power is currently weighted towards the red half of Merseyside, with Everton having failed to register a win at Anfield in the 21st century, consistently getting turned over by Liverpool, sometimes in very embarrassing fashion. When they do, the result is usually Unsportsmanlike Gloating.
    • However, in times of need both sets of fans can and do become very close, with supporters of both teams often being found in the same family, after Hillsborough there was a chain of scarves connecting Anfield and Goodison Park. In essence, the rivalry's more like a family feud - and accordingly, can vary between its current status of mutual hatred and, as in the 80's, being known as 'the Friendly Derby', with one notable FA Cup final featuring both sets of fans mixing freely and singing, 'Merseyside, Merseyside' and, predictably, 'Are You Watching Manchester?' While relations have not so much cooled but frozen, it is notable that to this day, it is the only major derby that does not enforce fan segregation. Oh, and following a particularly nasty newspaper column in The Sun by Kelvin MacKenzie (yes, the man who was behind that headline) aimed at Everton midfielder Ross Barkley, Everton followed Liverpool in banning the paper and its journalists from their grounds.
      • Liverpool-United derbies, however, are much more combustible affairs, with vile chants about the Hillsborough Disaster aimed at Liverpool fans, some of whom have been known to reply with chants about the Munich Air Disaster, despite routine pleas in the pre-match programs not to bring the subjects up.
    • A fun fact for those interested in the business of football (and sport more generally): Liverpool FC is presently the property of Fenway Sports Ventures. Yes, that's Fenway as in Fenway Park. In Boston. With the Red Sox. Same owners - who are incidentally, ticket price incident aside, actually very popular thanks to the stadium expansion, investment in the transfer market, visible involvement with the club and securing the services of Jürgen Klopp, with whom the fanbase has an ongoing passionate love affair. Securing a first top division title in 30 years was just the icing on the cake.

  • Manchester City
    "Blue moon, you saw me standing alone."
    • AKA "City" or "The Blues". The other major club from Manchester, perhaps unfairly defined by long-standing rivalry with crosstown Manchester United (For the non-Brit footy fans out there, imagine the LA Clippers and the NY Mets in relation to the Lakers and the Yankees.note  That's how they compare Man City to United). In their 117-year history they have won the league four times (prior to 2012, the last time they did so was in 1968), and until recently were the butt of many a football-based joke.
    • However, in 2008 an Abu Dhabi-based investment group took over the club, bringing in massive amounts of finance. In turn this brought several experienced international stars to the club, making City serious trophy contenders. Following their 2011 FA Cup victory they beat Manchester United to the 2011-12 Premier League, and won the Prem again in 2013–14. Thus, they are now considered part of the "Big 4," usually at Liverpool's expense - and won the 2013-14 title at Liverpool's expense too. The 2012 Premiership title was won with a 94th minute 3-2 win over QPR in the last game of the season. Had the match ended at full timenote , City would have lost 2-1 and conceded the Premier League to Manchester United by two points. The victory put them level on points, but with a greater goal difference.
    • Their 2017-18 season saw them destroy everyone in their path to the Premier League title, setting various records on the way: record points tally (100), most goals scored (106), most wins (32), as well as a record winning streak (17). Their only two losses were against Liverpool (as described below), and against Manchester United - and they were leading 2-0 at halftime. They also won the League Cup, thrashing Arsenal 3-0. Despite this, though, they were knocked out the FA Cup by Wigan Athletic in the fifth round, and also had to kiss goodbye to the Champions League in the quarter-finals, again thanks to Liverpool.
    • As noted, Liverpool tend to get their own back whenever City come to Anfield (most recent result: 3-1 in Liverpool's favour). To this day, it is the only stadium which City haven't won at in the Premier League following the Abu Dhabi takeover, and they haven't won there at all since 2003. This status as chief pain in the neck isn't always restricted to Anfield visits, as Liverpool demonstrated when they turned over City 4-1 at the Etihad earlier in the 2015/16 season. On the other hand, when the two met in the 2016 League Cup final, it was City who had the last laugh. And then in 2017/18, Liverpool came to the Etihad... and one sending off later, were thumped 5-0. Then a couple of months later, City's attempt to do their first league double over Liverpool in 80 years, and extend a 30 match unbeaten run went down in flames after Liverpool, despite having sold star midfielder Philippe Coutinho and missing new centre-back Virgil Van Dijk to injury, promptly ripped them to shreds, scoring three goals and hitting the post once in the space of 8 minutes to go 4-1 up. City ultimately made it 4-3, a recovery that was too little, too late. They suffered an even worse defeat in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals, being humiliated 3-0 in a match where they didn't even get the ball into the box once. The Sky Blues seem to have gotten better after that, though: in the 2018-19 Premier League season, they held the Reds to a 0-0 draw at Anfield and would have even come out victorious if it weren't for a missed penalty, and then doubled down by winning 2-1 at the Etihad. Going into the final day of the 2018/19 season, the two were locked head to head in what's widely considered to have been the best race for the title in years, being separated by only one point, and each being over twenty points ahead of the next best team with over 90 points each, leading to general agreement that while only one team can win, neither deserves to lose. Both sides won their final matches, giving City the crown. Their League Cup win against Chelsea on penalties and their 6-0 annihilation of Watford in the FA Cup final also made them the first men's football team in England to complete the domestic treble.note 
    • Note worthy of mention: Liam and Noel Gallagher are both famous fans of Manchester City; the band famously played a sold-out gig at Maine Road, City's former stadium, in 1996. Liam's second band, Beady Eye, also performed a cover of "Blue Moon", the club anthem, in a video for the club revealing the jersey for the 2011-12 season.

  • Manchester United
    "And the team that gets me excited? Manchester United!"
    • AKA "Man Utd", "The Red Devils" or just plain "United". Based at Old Trafford (ironically located in Stretford), the biggest club ground in the land. England's most successful club, with major honours including 13 Premiership titles (20 league victories overall), 11 FA Cups and 3 Champions' League titles.
    • Probably the most famous football club in England, and for that matter the world, with an official fan club that comprises 5% of the planet's population, with arch-rivals Liverpool close behind in both respects. They are also arguably the world's largest sports club, and are regularly at or near the top in overall team value. In 2018, they were valued at £3.2 billion ($4.1 billion), neck-and-neck with Real Madrid and FC Barcelona as the most valuable football club, and trailing only the Dallas Cowboys in all of world sport. Because Manchester United fans can be found around the world (witness the incredibly lucrative promotional tours in the far east) it is often said - by City fans and just about everyone else - that real Mancunians support City and/or most Manchester United fans have never been to Manchester. Which is of course, nonsense, as Manchester is very divided between City and United and United had a solid large fanbase before the worldwide success of the Nineties and Noughties.
    • Has a long standing rivalry with City - the fact that it is located at Stretford (technically outside Manchester, but within the Greater Manchester Area) makes most Mancunians who are not fans treat United as a bastard team to the area, though Mancunian United fans will bite back. That said, much like the Liverpool/Everton rivalry mentioned above, there are times where the fans will unite, such as the anniversary of the Munich plane crash in 1958 which killed several members of the United squad & left several others seriously injured, or to pay tributes to the victims of the 2017 terrorist attacks at the Ariana Grande concert in the city.
    • Equally, there is a similarly longstanding (and arguably much more vicious, lacking the family ties mentioned above) rivalry between United and Liverpool, one that can be traced back to the inter-city rivalry of the industrial revolution as well as the fact that they are by far the two most successful teams in English history. This can lead to epic footballing clashes and to unsavoury scenes on the pitch and in the stands, such as Luis Suárez' racial abuse of Patrice Evra and either fans singing about the Hillsborough or Munich disasters.
    • Thanks to their almost total domination of the domestic game from the early-mid 1990s to the present, it seems impossible to be neutral about Man Utd - you're either a fan, or you hate them - though this had slackened with City winning the 2012 title. Currently American-owned, which doesn't help. Play in red, white and black, although fans have recently adopted historic green and gold colours to protest at the possibly precarious financial situation the owners have put the club in, such as offloading their own personal debts on United. The recent influx of absurdly lucrative sponsorship deals has helped to calm the protests - United fans still dislike the Glazer family ownership of the club, but will accept that they seem to be running the commercial side well (and perhaps more importantly, leaving the football side well alone).
    • To give you an idea of their success, they have more Premier League titles than all of the other winners put together. A lot of this is down to their recently retired manager, who had been at the job for over a quarter of a century. The fact that he's called Sir Alex Ferguson indicates something.
      • The 2013/14 season of the Premier League was the first time since 1987 that Manchester United didn't have Ferguson at the helm. His replacement was Everton manager David Moyes, who was actually Ferguson's handpicked successor. However, the season went horribly wrong for United, and after they were assured of not making the Champions League for the first time in nearly 20 years, Moyes was sacked in April 2014.
      • 2014/15 got off to a bumpy start, with Louis van Gaal taking the helm. The first half of the season was marked by the injury-plagued squad scraping wins and draws by the skin of their teeth, while Van Gaal tested out different formations and played some players out of position. In April, they found their form, holding onto fourth place on the table (by the skin of their teeth) and managing to defeat Tottenham, Liverpool and Aston Villa with something of the style they were once known for under Ferguson. Many United fans remained unconvinced, particularly due to the protracted transfer saga involving star Goalkeeper David De Gea, the last-minute purchase of the 19-year-old unknown Anthony Martial for £36 million, making him the most expensive teenager in footballing history and a fairly toothless start to the 2015/16 season. This proved to be justified, and United limped to a 5th place finish, losing out on 4th place by goal difference - and, to rub salt in the wound, to arch-rivals Manchester City, but the blow was softened with the club's 12th FA Cup win. Van Gaal was consequently fired
      • José 'The Special One' Mourinho was van Gaal's replacement and promptly bought highly-rated Juventus (and former United Youth) player Paul Pogba, for a then-world record £89 million, among others. United had a strange season - they went through 25 games unbeaten, but, during this run, were held at home by Burnley, Arsenal, West Ham, Hull, West Brom Stoke and Swansea (as well as Liverpool and Everton), with 15 draws throughout the season, meaning they never seriously threatened the top 4 - however, they won the League Cup and then the Europa League, beating Ajax in the final of the latter, the only major honour to allude United.

  • Tottenham Hotspur
    "Spurs are on their way to Wembley, the kings are claiming the throne! Tottenham's going to do it again, the boys from White Hart Lane!"
    • AKA "Spurs" - the nickname is almost universal. Great rivals with North London neighbours Arsenal. Play in white and navy [blue]. Are considered one of the most entertaining sides in the Premiership, with an expansive style that concedes many goals, but scores many more. For this reason, they are very popular with the neutrals and prove to be a consistent threat to even the likes of the Big 4.
    • Spurs are notorious for their Chairman, Daniel Levy, being one of the toughest negotiators in football. His ruthlessness has seen Tottenham Hotspur pick up some classy bargains (van der Vaart for £8 million from Real Madrid), recoup losses on expensive flops (Darrent Bent sold for the exact amount he was bought for) and sell players for some obscene amounts (Gareth Bale being sold for a then world record transfer fee of £86 million).
    • At the end of the 09/10 season Spurs became the team that broke the "Big 4" (the first since Everton in 04/05) and gained the chance to qualify for Champions League football. They did well in the Champions League, beating top Italian teams AC Milan and Internazionale, before going out in the quarter-finals to Real Madrid, but failed to qualify again for the next season. They subsequently placed in the Top 4 following the 2010/11 season but due to the almost unprecedented achievement of Chelsea in coming 6th but managing to win the Champions League - Liverpool had come fifth in the 2004/05 season when they won the Champions League. That time, both Liverpool and 4th placed Everton had gone through the qualifying stages of the Champions League, but this time, Tottenham failed to qualify. This made them the first team in Football to place within the Champions League Qualification places but fail to qualify due to a lower-placed side winning the Tournament. The future looks bright for Spurs, with young stars such as Harry Kane and Dele Alli making them the main challengers to Leicester City for much of the latter's surprise 2015/16 championship season.
    • The 2016-17 season was seemingly nondescript. Spurs didn't lose any of their first 12 games, but suffered too many draws, and made little impact in the Champions League, in which they played home games at Wembley, losing 2 of them to crash out. However, they than won 19 of their final 23 games in style, including a run of 9 wins on the trot cumulating in a derby win over Arsenal that ensured that Spurs placed above their neighbours, who had still 5 games to play (all of which they won), for the first time since 1995, ending their ultimate bottle. However, they lost to West Ham to hand the title to Chelsea. This was followed by a win over Man U in the final game before White Hart Lane was bulldozed to the ground to be replaced by a new arena that is literally right next to it. They then won their final 2 games, both away from home, with a staggering 13 goals across the two games, 7 from Harry Kane, who got 4 of them against old club Leicester in the first of the 2 games - more than he scored in the 13 games he played for Leicester in 2013! Their 2018-19 season however was far more positive, despite the team's apparent inability to clutch points while down. In fact, they went 28 matchdays without drawing, the first of those coming with a 1-1 in the North London Derby against Arsenal. On the other hand, their Champions League campaign is surely one to remember for the Spurs faithful, as they got out of a fierce group including Barcelona, Inter Milan and PSV, and then beat Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City and Ajax on the way to make their first ever Champions League final. The second leg of their semifinal against Ajax in particular has shown Lucas Moura scoring a hat-trick in 45 minutes to make up for their 3-goal deficit: the final goal was scored on literally the last second of the match.
    • It should be noted to the casual observer that the fans' self applied nickname - "Yid Army" is causing (as of 2017) some controversy. The Tottenham area of London was known for its Jewish population and anti-Semitic chants would be directed at their fans by opposition supporters (including references to Gas Chambers). Referring to themselves as the 'Yid Army' was seen by fans as a way to support the Jewish minority. However among some in the Jewish community, this is seen now to be belittling, Jewish comedian David Baddielnote  being particularly outspoken on TV about this.

Former greats, interesting stories and other notable clubs:

  • Accrington Stanley
    • This is the third club of the name, currently in League One after winning League Two in 2018. The other two clubs went defunct (the first Accrington was one of the founders of the Football League) and the name of the club has long been used for joke purposes, like "He's only good enough to play for Accrington Stanley", most famously in the case of an old milk commercial.
    • For a long time, Accrington Stanley graffiti was used (especially in comedy) to show that a place was so run down that the graffiti hadn't been cleaned up since the club was playing, a joke sometimes lost on today's audiences.
  • Birmingham City
    • Currently in the English second tier (the Championship). Despite having very little success throughout their history (2 League Cup wins, 1963/2011), they were the first English team to ever take part in European competition. They are also the first English team ever to reach a European Cup final, in both 1960 and 1961, although they lost on both occasions. They competed in Europe in the 2011/12 season for the first time in around 50 years after qualifying for the Europa League through the League Cup. Rivals to Aston Villa.
  • Blackburn Rovers
    • Formerly found floating around the middle of the Premier League, Blackburn are one of only five teams to ever win the Premiership, thanks to a spending spree in the mid 90s (and having Alan Shearer before Newcastle did), letting them legitimately(?) claim to be better than Liverpool, Everton and Spurs (fans of all three teams strenuously disagree). Relegated to the Championship in 2011/12, and almost suffered another relegation in 2012-13 after being run very well by Indian poultry farmers Venky's.
  • Burnley
    • AKA "The Clarets" from their claret and blue kit. One of the 12 founder members of The Football League. Notable for a pretty large fall from grace in the 70s and 80s, going from top-flight football to narrowly surviving relegation from the Football League. Promoted to the Premiership for the 2009/10 season after winning the Championship play-offs, but dropped back to the Championship the next season. Stayed there until finishing second in 2013–14, earning a place in the Prem once again. They went straight back down but rebounded again after an unbeaten second half of the season, and survived the 2016-17 season in the PL due to formidable home form, in a season in which they also became notable for the story of star striker Andre Gray, who turned from a homophobic nutcase playing in amateur football who never had a dad and survived a gang stabbing, to a PL hat-trick scorer and a boyfriend of a Little Mix member. Gray joined Watford for a ludicrous £20 million, in spite of having only scored 9 PL goals, admittedly for a side which took the fewest shots in the league that were not relegated. In amother hyperbole, famous Burnley supporter Alistair Campbell, a key figure in Tony Blair's period as Prime Minister, described Burnley being in the PL as even greater than the landslide he helped Blair to. Historically, they are fierce rivals of Blackburn Rovers due to sheer proximity (8 miles down the road).
  • Forest Green Rovers
    • This small team based in the small rural (How rural? Well, their stadium is just off a small country lane, and opposite a field full of sheep and llama’s!) town of Nailsworth, Gloucestershire (with a population of just under 2000, it is the smallest place in England to hold a football League match), have been voted the greenest football club in the world by the UN. Since all the menu is vegan, many an away fan are very annoyed when they realise that they can’t get their regular pie and chips during the match. Play in League Two, and have a friendly local rivalry with nearby Cheltenham Town, with the local derby being nicknamed the “Glossico.”
  • Ipswich Town
    • A team from the largely rural county of Suffolk (hence their nickname of 'The Tractor Boys') who enjoyed a brief period of success in the late 1970s. England's two most successful national managers - Sir Alf Ramsey (who won the World Cup in 1966) and Sir Bobby Robson (who reached the Semi-Final in 1990) - both began their managing careers at Ipswich.
  • Leeds United
    • AKA The Whites or the Peacocks. One of the powerhouses of English football in the 1970s (albeit with a very bad reputation for foul play) under future England manager Don Revie and - briefly - the legendary Brian Clough, but some overambitious financial planning in the early 2000s almost ruined the club completely and saw most of the best players leave. Have started to climb back up the leagues after briefly playing in the third tier. Play all in white after legendary manager Don Revie changed their colours to those of Real Madrid, the leading club in Europe at the time.
    • Although they are now separated by two divisions or so, Leeds holds a strong historical rivalry with Manchester United, dating back from the days when Man U was still Newton Heath and Leeds was new in the Rugby Union addicted town. This rivalry is very unique in English Football as it is not based on territorial affiliation or club success but on a historical basis: Manchester United represents Lancashire and plays in a red kit, while Leeds represents Yorkshire and wears white, an allusion to a particular conflict in British history involving the ruling noble families of the two England counties fighting for the Throne.
    • Despite this gap, they still consider themselves as arch-rivals with Manchester United and Liverpool. Younger fans of both teams are generally left puzzled as to who Leeds actually are. Older fans and the better informed, meanwhile, think that it's hilarious.
    • In 2018, after a poor start to the calendar year derailed their promotion hopes, they attracted derision for the Epic Fail of a bizarre centenary badge with a fan doing the "Leeds Salute", which involves beating the chest, which was reconsidered a few hours after being unveiled. Despite this, and the sacking of their manager Paul Heckingbottom, the club surprised everyone by signing Marcelo Bielsa, who led Athletic Bilbao to the 2012 Europa League final. Thanks to Bielsa's charismatic leadership, Leeds went through a blistering start to their 2018-19 season, which culminated in a playoff spot finish. However, they lost their chances to promotion after faltering 4-2 at home against Derby County in the playoff semifinals. That setback only made Bielsa and the Peacocks more determined, though, as they dominated the Championship for the entirety of the 19-20 season to finally punch their ticket back to the Premier League after a 16 year long absence.
  • Millwall F.C.
    • Modestly successful Championship side, famous mostly for their rowdy fanbase and extremely violent hooligan firm, the Bushwhackers, fictionalized in films like Green Street and The Football Factory. Their biggest successes were a two-year spell in the top flight back in the 1980s, and reaching the FA Cup Final in 2004, losing comfortably to Manchester United. They currently play in the third tier after being relegated in 2014/15.
    • In recent years, the traditional "violent Millwall fan" image has begun to become a bit stale, as violence has largely decreased. Frustration at media demonization led to the club's famous chant: "No one likes us, we don't care!"
  • Newcastle United
    "All the lads and lasses there, all with smilin' faces, gannin' along the Scotswood Road to see the Blaydon Races!"
    • AKA "The Magpies" for their black-and-white striped kit. Perennial underachievers - always looking good on paper but never ''quite'' translating it to success on the pitch. Vocal and passionate support in sufficient numbers (their fans are known as "The Toon Army") to still describe themselves as a "big club", but haven't won the League since 1927 or the Cup since 1955. To be more precise, despite a long period of not winning anything, they still maintain the third biggest club stadium in the UK: Americans, imagine a stadium slightly bigger than that of the New York Yankees! Which is consistently packed out every season. Put simply, in Newcastle you can't be considered a true Geordie unless you support the team; well-known fans of the club include Mark Knopfler, Brian Johnson and Sting. The club is owned by Mike Ashley, a London businessman who does not turn up to St. James' Park on the reasonable grounds that the fans hate him and would quite happily lynch him. Officially renaming St James' Park "The Sports Direct Arena" was not calculated to go down well. That said, it doesn't seem to matter, since even the BBC quickly stopped bothering to call it that and now usually refer to it as St James' Park. Recently, however, there were increasingly insistent reports that the club would be sold to an investment group backed by the sovereign fund of Saudi Arabia, a deal that would make the Magpies the richest club in England by a considerable margin.
    • Playing wise, they are - or were - considered a dark horse team and incredibly strong at home. In the 08/09 season their manager quit seemingly over the notably miserly transfer policy. Despite a valiant effort by former player Alan Shearer, who managed them for the last eight games of the season, they were relegated on the last day. Under new management (although not new owners), they are now back in the top flight and lurking in the bottom half of the table, much to the displeasure of the fans. They spent another 2nd division season, but again went straight back up, though with more home defeats.
  • Norwich City
    "On the ball, City, never mind the danger!"
    • Known as "The Canaries", playing in yellow and green. Founded in 1902, founder members of the Third Division in 1920. Played at current home of Carrow Road since 1935. Have only spent one season outside the top two tiers since 1960 but the only major competition they've won is the League Cup (the third highest honour in English football), in 1962 (when none of the big teams entered) and 1985 (when they were relegated and so were the beaten finalists). The club had the misfortune to have their most successful period in the late 80s and early 90s when English clubs were banned from European competition (any article on Norwich in Europe inevitably includes a list of the seasons they should have qualified), but did manage a single season in the UEFA Cup in 1993/94, where they had the satisfaction of knocking out German giants Bayern Munich (who had bemused everyone by dubbing Norwich a small village of mustard farmers). The club's anthem, "On the Ball City", is considered the oldest football anthem still in use. Have a fierce local rivalry with Ipswich Town from the neighbouring county. The fact that Norwich's local rivals are 45 miles away gives an indication of how isolated the city is.
    • Entered popular culture by playing a supporting role in the film Mike Bassett: England Manager, although the scenes set in Norwich were filmed nowhere near the city, to the locals' annoyance. Have a surprisingly high number of celebrity board members: Majority shareholder since 1996 is Delia Smith and Stephen Fry was a director for a time (he was very visible in the celebrations after Norwich's 2015 Wembley play-off win). And from 2015 to 2017, the club's chairman was Ed Balls. If American tropers don't realise how weird that is, imagine the running mate of the defeated presidential candidate quitting politics to run his home town's minor league baseball team.
  • Nottingham Forest
    • Enjoyed a few years of success at the end of the 1970s to early 1980s, winning the English League and the European Cup (as the Champions League was called then) under the inspirational leadership of Brian Clough. Relegated in the late 1990s, and have since yo-yoed between the second and third tiers. Notable for being the only club to have won the European Cup more often than their own national league, and also for being the only European Cup winner to have been relegated to their country's third tier.
  • Notts County
    • The oldest professional club in the world, formed in 1862. Despite repeatedly being relegated to the bottom league division (now Npower League Two), the club has never once become non-league. Nicknamed "The Magpies" due to their black and white striped home kit (often abbreviated to 'The Pies', which distinguishes it from Newcastle United, who also have "The Magpies" as their nickname). Notts County have accumulated a large amount of trivia over their 150-year existence:
    • Famous Italian club Juventus were gifted a set of old Notts County shirts when their old (pink!) shirts faded: Juve have played in black-and-white stripes ever since.
    • The stadium at which Notts play their home games, Meadow Lane, is the shortest distance in the English League (though not in the UK) from another stadium, the other being The City Ground, home of Nottingham Forest.
    • Notts County have changed divisions within the English League more times than any other league club, most recently getting relegated back to League Two during the 2014-15 season.
    • Most recently the club shocked the football world by hiring former England Manager Sven-Göran Eriksson as Director of Football as well as signing England defender Sol Campbell having seemingly been taken over by a group of wealthy investors from the Middle East; however, this turned out to be a fraud on a large scale and the club was sold to current owner Ray Trew for a nominal fee in late 2009. Police fraud investigations continue into these affairs. However, Trew has thankfully since been able to bring spiralling debt under control, avoid administration, attain promotion and relative stability, as well as some notable cup runs.
    • However the 2018/19 was not a good season for them when they were relegated from League Two, falling into the non-league for the first time since they were founded over 150 years ago.
  • Portsmouth
    • Nicknamed "Pompey". Had a strong spell in the early post-war years, winning the league in 1949 and 1950. They faded away until the mid-2000s, when they reached the Premier League, quickly establishing themselves before winning the FA Cup in 2008, qualifying for Europe for the first time. Severe financial problems set in the following year, however, and Portsmouth ultimately ended up sliding down the divisions until they reached League Two in 2013-14. It spent 4 seasons there before rebounding.
  • Stoke City
    • Stoke City were one of the 12 founder members of The Football League, and are well-known for being the main club of the first Ballon d'Or winner, Sir Stanley Matthews. The Premier League's current mid-table 'unfashionable' physical side. Suffered Flanderization in the media, as the club's defining characteristic was the long throw-in of Rory Delap. He has since retired, and they've partly shaken off the reputation for violent, old fashioned long ball football. Partly. It is still a Running Gag among English football fans to ask if a flair player like Lionel Messi 'could do it on a rainy night in Stoke'. Stoke reached the FA Cup Final in the 2010/11 season, losing 1-0 in the final to Manchester City. Wear red and white stripes.
    • In 2015, they baffled the footballing world by somehow acquiring former Barcelona winger Ibrahim Affelay, and former Bayern Munich and Inter Milan star Xherdan Shaqiri, the then-23-year-old star of the Swiss national team, adding them to a team that already included highly rated former Barcelona striker Bojan Krkić. Shaqiri is particularly notable not just because he was perennially linked to the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal, but because he's 5'6" and nicknamed 'the Magic Dwarf'. A more incongruous player for a team of Stoke's reputation could not be imagined.
    • Stoke did well, establishing themselves as an entertaining mid-table threat to the rest of the league on their day, until losing many of the players who got them there in the 2017 close season (Krkić foremost among them). Defensive problems led to a string of heavy defeats and an FA Cup loss to League Two side Coventry City, which led to the sacking of manager Mark Hughes. The new manager Paul Lambert improved the defence, but the attacking side faltered, leading to their relegation. Shaqiri left for Liverpool in summer 2018.
  • Sunderland AFC
    • AKA "The Black Cats". Known for being a "yo-yo team", meaning they tend to keep getting promoted and relegated, being too good for one division and not quite good enough for the next. Play in red and white vertical stripes. Proudest moment was winning the FA Cup as underdogs against the then-powerhouse Leeds in 1973, although they have won the league pre-war. Fierce rivals with nearby Newcastle. Narrowly stayed in the top flight in 2015-16, while their rivals went down, but their luck would run out, as Sam Allardyce left for his ill-fated England job, David Moyes assembled a team made up mostly of players he worked with at Everton and Manchester United that were past their best or unable to fulfil their potential, and they were relegated easily, with a month to spare. Worse still, they didn't win a home game until just before Christmas and went down AGAIN before rebounding.
  • Watford FC
  • West Bromwich Albion
    "The Lord's my Shepherd, I'll not want. He makes me down to lie in pastures green; he leadeth me the quiet waters by."
    • "West Brom" or "The Baggies" are currently a mid-table Premiership side. A former great, they last won a major trophy (the FA Cup for the fifth time) in 1968 and then spent 1986 to 2002 out of the top flight. Were one of the twelve founding members of the football league (along with several other Midlands clubs, including arch-rivals Wolves) but have only won the league once, in 1920. Like Sunderland, they have a reputation as somewhat of a "yo-yo team" - in the nine seasons from 2001-02 to 2008-09, seven resulted in either promotion or relegation, the other two being a defeat in the play-off final and a survival so improbable it was dubbed "The Great Escape". They play in navy and white stripes. Statistically have the most intelligent fans... no, seriously. Among said fans, they happen to have Eric Clapton and Liam Payne.note 
  • West Ham United
    "I'm forever blowing bubbles! Pretty bubbles in the air!"
    • AKA "The Hammers" or "The Irons". A London club, based at London Stadium (the renovated main stadium of the 2012 Olympics) in the East End neighbourhood of Stratford. Mostly hang around the middle of the Premiership table, but occasionally slip down a division (they last played in the Championship in 2011-12). Known as "The Academy of Football" as it's been the starting place for a number of famous footballers, including Geoff Hurst, who scored a hat-trick in the 1966 World Cup Final, Bobby Moore (who captained the 1966 side and has a stand at the ground named after him) and Rio Ferdinand. Play in claret and sky blue, and have one of the most die-hard fanbases in the UK. Games at Upton Park are considered some of the most highly charged and atmospheric. Have one of the most well-known club anthems, a lustily sung version of the old ditty "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles", the 'fortunes always hiding' line being something of a club motif, and the fans are proud of their underdog status. Recently got new owners, one of whom made his money in porn. This is considered better than being owned by a bunch of creditors. Their hooligan "firm" the Inter City Firm (ICF) was especially notorious - and features heavily in the movie Green Street (Green Street Hooligans in the USA) and consequently claim Elijah Wood as a celebrity fan. Another famous fan of the team is Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris, who has a bass with a sticker of the team's crest on it (which he commonly plays live with).
    • Harry Potter character Dean Thomas is another fan of the team. This was done in tribute to a Real Life friend of J. K. Rowling - it is in her honour that West Ham is the only football team identified by name in the Harry Potter series.
  • Wimbledon FC
    • A South London team, playing in all-navy, which came to prominence in the 1980s with a rapid rise up the divisions combined with the newsworthy antics of their players (known as the Crazy Gang). Won the FA Cup in 1988 against the all-conquering Liverpool, but had to abandon its ground in 1991 due to new safety rules. After sharing a ground with neighbours Crystal Palace for a time, the owners began to consider moving the team out of London. Eventually they settled on the new town of Milton Keynes, 90 km north of London. This move was incredibly unpopular with fans of Wimbledon, but also many fans of other clubs, disturbed at the prospect of American-style "franchises" that moved cities to go where the money was. The move was eventually allowed, on the understanding that the team would be renamed and would not officially retain the history and honours of Wimbledon FC. This leads us to...
    • Milton Keynes Dons
      • The team created by the move of Wimbledon to Milton Keynes. The name "Dons" is a reference to Wimbledon's old nickname, but most other fans call them "Franchise FC" due to the manner of their creation. Taking over Wimbledon's old position in the third tier of the league, they were swiftly relegated to the fourth, but bounced back to the second tier in 2015-16, picking up a minor trophy along the way. However, their stay in the second tier only lasted that season. It got worse for them in 2017–18, as they dropped back to League Two. And There Was Much Rejoicing among football fans throughout England (with the exception of Milton Keynes itself), as it meant that for the first time they were in a lower league than...
    • AFC Wimbledon
      • (A Fans' Club) Feeling alienated by all of the above, a group of Wimbledon fans founded their own team, starting in the amateur London leagues. The club was rapidly promoted through the regional leagues and gained entry to the Football League in 2011, only nine years after the club was founded. Although the club does not officially claim to be a continuation of the old Wimbledon FC, it is regarded by its own fans and most neutrals as at least a Spiritual Successor. Crowd turnout at their home games tends to be significantly higher than both home crowd turnout for other clubs in their division and MK Dons' average turnout. Brian in New Tricks is a supporter. Managed to get the honours won from Wimbledon FC to be returned to the Wimbledon area, seeing them as part of the area rather then just the club itself. They also hold the record for the longest unbeaten run in any league at 78 games! After five seasons in League Two, they won the 2016 promotion playoff, placing them in the same division as MK Dons for the first time. And then during the 2017–18 season, they got approval for a new stadium a stone's throw from Wimbledon FC's old ground, and ended the season in mid-table while seeing MK Dons suffer the drop. The 2018–19 season was mostly a disaster for AFCW, as they were in relegation trouble throughout and survived the drop only on goal difference. Meanwhile, back in League Two, MK Dons finished third, sending them back to League One to rejoin AFCW for another season. Both teams struggled to survive the drop in the 2019–20 season, cut short due to COVID-19; they finished in the last two safe spots of 19th (MK) and 20th (AFCW).
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers
    "We'd live the life we choose, we'd fight and never lose, for we're The Wolves, oh yes we are the Wolves!"
    • Currently playing in the Championship, Wolves (as they are nicknamed) had a successful spell in the 1950's. This side was dubbed "Champions of the World" due to their success at beating top foreign sides, even though official European competition was not established at the time, and they won the League three times under Stan Cullis. They were one of the founding members of the English league, and date back to 1877.
    • Their vice president is Robert Plant. Yes, that Robert Plant.
    • In 2015, they opened up a new marketing slogan: "Supporting Wolves isn't always easy. But it's never dull. #EnjoyTheRide"
    • A 2017 Chinese takeover allowed José Mourinho's agent Jorge Mendes to dictate the managerial appointments and signings, the effect being Wolves reprising their 2008-09 dominance of the division, finally marking their return to the Premier League for the 2018/19 season.

    The Scottish Football Association 

Scottish Football is dominated by two teams from Glasgow - Rangers and Celtic, the "Old Firm". Since the formation of the Scottish League in 1890, there have only been 18 instances where a side outside of these two have won the Title, the last of which was in 1985. The history between the clubs goes far beyond the usual sporting rivalry, encompassing religious and socio-economic issues that predate the existence of either side. The "Old Firm" rivalry is often associated with The Troubles; Rangers are often seen as the team of Protestant Unionists in Scotland and Northern Ireland while Celtic as the club of Catholics and Republicans. This got to the point where legendary war correspondent Kate Adie remarked in her autobiography that riots and protests tended to end in time for an Old Firm match.

  • Formed in 1872, Rangers Football Club are the older of the two, wear blue and play out of Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow's southside. The most successful side in Scottish football, Rangers have won a record 54 league championships (including nine straight championships from 1989 and 1997), 27 League Cups (they presently hold both) and 33 Scottish Cups. They also acheived European success in the form of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1972, and finished runner up in the 2008 UEFA Cup. The 'Gers once had an informal "no Catholics" signing policy, but this was abolished in the 1980s to kick-start the nation-wide anti-Sectarianism campaign with the extremely controversial (and that's putting it mildly) signing of former Celtic player Mo Johnston. Rangers went into liquidation (bankruptcy) in 2012. The assets were purchased by a Newco, which was refused entry into the SPL. As a result, Rangers were relegated to the Third Division (now known as Scottish League Two). The team have since won the championship of both the Third Division in 2012–13 and the renamed Scottish League One (the former Second Division) in 2013–14, putting them in the Scottish Championship (the former First Division) for 2014–15, where they remained for two seasons until winning the 2015–16 title and punching their ticket back to the Scottish Premiership (the former Scottish Premier League).
  • The Celtic Football Club (pronounced Seltik, not Keltic) hail from the east end of Glasgow and were formed in 1887 as a means of raising money for the poor Irish communities in the city. Their home at Celtic Park is, after a reconstruction in the late 1990s, the largest in Scotland. The first British side to win the European Cup in 1967 with the so-called 'Lisbon Lions', they reached the finals of the 1970 European Cup and the 2003 UEFA Cup. The record Scottish Cup winners (36 times winners, most recently in 2013) they also have 46 League titles (including nine consecutive victories between 1966 and 1974, breaking their own world record) and 15 League Cups. The club is also the only one in Scotland to complete two and three consecutive domestic trebles, including an undefeated domestic season in 2016-17. Celtic's green and white Hoops are known the world over, and the club boasts a sizeable support in North America and Australia.

Outside of the Old Firm, you have...

  • Perhaps the most successful non-Glaswegian side are Aberdeen Football Club, who found fantastic success under the guidance of Alex Ferguson in the 1980s. One half of the so-called "New Firm" of the 1980s, they are the last side outwith the Old Firm to win the Title and Aberdeen (known as the Dons) are the only Scottish side to win two European trophies: the Cup Winners Cup in 1983 (beating Real Madrid in the final) and the European Super Cup that same year. They have won a total of four titles, seven Scottish Cups and five League Cups. They wear red and play out of Pittodrie Stadium (but are looking to move).
  • Currently representing Dundee in the Scottish Premiership (known as the Scottish Premier League, or SPL, before 2013–14) are Dundee United, known as The Arabs. Their crosstown rivals Dundee, known as The Dee, are currently in the country's second level, the Scottish Championship. Dundee United, which have been considerably more successful that their near-neighbour in recent decades, were founded as Dundee Hibernian in 1909, and make up the other half of the "New Firm". United reached the European Cup semi-finals in 1984 and the final of the 1986/87 UEFA Cup. They have won the League only once (1982/83) and have won both Cups on two occasions each. They dropped to the Championship after finishing bottom of the Premiership table in 2015/16. They were promoted back to the Premiership in 2020, following a season left unfinished due to the Covid-19 virus; however they were so far ahead of the second place side that it was unlikely they would have been overtaken had the season been played to a conclusion. Playing in tangerine, their stadium (Tannadice Park) is just down the road from that of Dundee FC (Dens Park). As for Dundee, which play in dark blue, their golden age was in the 60s, when they won their only league title (1961/62) and reached the European Cup semifinals the next season. However, after their last significant trophy (1974 League Cup), they have had little success, and nearly went bankrupt twice in the new millennium. They were a late entry into the 2012–13 SPL after Rangers' bankruptcy, and suffered an immediate drop. They bounced back to win the 2013–14 Championship, returning to the Prem, until the 2018/19 season.
  • Heart of Midlothian (universally known as Hearts) are one of Edinburgh's two major teams; they play in maroon red and rhyming slang makes them the "Jam Tarts" or just "Jambos". Named after the 19th century dance hall where it was founded (a hall which itself took its name from a nearby jail) Hearts are among the most successful non-Glaswegian sides in Scotland with 7 Scottish Cups, 4 League Cups and 4 League titles (the last of which came way back in 1960, but they came famously close in 1986 before losing it to Celtic on the last day). Playing out of Tynecastle Stadium in the Gorgie area of the city, the club were owned by eccentric Lithuanian businessman Vladimir Romanov from 2005 to 2013, when his business empire went under and pushed Hearts into bankruptcy and eventual relegation to the Championship at the end of the 2013–14 season. The next season, they blew away the Championship field (including Rangers) to secure a return to the Prem for 2015–16. They were controversially relegated in 2020 despite the season being unfinished due to Covid-19. Fierce rivals with...
  • Hibernian. Wearing green and known simply as Hibs (or the Hibees), Hibernian's home at Easter Road is based in the Leith region of Edinburgh. Won their fourth (and so far last) Title in 1952, they have also won the League Cup three times and the Scottish Cup three times (most recently in 2016, ending a 114-year wait for the trophy that was formerly a source of mocking for Hearts fans). Sharing Celtic's Irish roots (but predating the Glaswegian side) Hibs were a Catholics-only club in the early years but have long since moved away from their sectarian/political roots. Also relegated to the Championship at the end of the 2013–14 season, but managed to return to the Prem in 2017 under Neil Lennon. Among their fans, they famously include The Proclaimers.note 
  • The youngest side in Scotland's professional league system, the SPFL, is Highlands club Inverness Caledonian Thistle (known as Caley Thistle or ICT). Founded in 1994, the club joined the SFL and soon gained a reputation as giant killers after a shocking upset victory in a Cup match at Celtic Park in 1999note . However, Caley Thistle would have to wait to pick up a major trophy until 2015, when they won the Scottish Cup. This made them the first Highland club ever to win a major Scottish football trophy. They were most recently in the Premiership from 2010 to 2017, but dropped to the Championship after a last-place finish in the Prem. Their home ground, the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, is situated beside the Moray Firth and they wear royal blue and red.
  • Kilmarnock are the oldest club side playing in the Premiership, formed in 1869. "Killie" however have only won a single top-flight title (in 1964-65 season) and three Scottish Cups (the last of which came in 1997). The Ayrshire side play at Rugby Park, wear blue and white stripes and are famous for the quality of their matchday pies.
  • Livingston are one of the newer clubs now playing in the Premiership. Originally based in Edinburgh, they formed in 1943 as the works team of now-defunct engineering term Ferranti, first as Ferranti Amateurs and a few years later Ferranti Thistle. They became Meadowbank Thistle in 1974 when they joined the old Scottish Football League. In 1995, they controversially moved from Edinburgh to the new townnote  of Livingston, adopting the town's name at that time. They have had a turbulent history in their current home, making the SPL in 2001 but going through administration twice in that decade, but eventually clawing their way back from the bottom professional level to return to the Premiership by winning the 2018 promotion/relegation play-off. Livi, or the Lions, play at Almondvale Park - also known as Tony Macaroni Arena (yes, really) for sponsorship reasons - and wear amber and black, currently all-amber at home and all-black away.
  • North Lanarkshire side Motherwell play in claret and amber and were formed in 1886. Known as the Steelmen due to the famous Lanarkshire industry, Motherwell are based at Fir Park Stadium and share a geography-based rivalry with Hamilton Academical. Winning their solitary title in 1932, 'Well also have won a League Cup and two Scottish Cups (the most famous of which was in 1991). Tragedy struck the club in December 2007 when club Captain and fan-favourite Phil O'Donnell (who scored in that 1991 victory) died of a left ventricular failure on the pitch.
  • St Johnstone - one of several clubs known as The Saints - were formed in 1884 and call McDiarmid Park their home. They hail from Perth and wear light blue, but had no major honours to their name until winning the Scottish Cup in 2014.
  • Another side recently promoted back to the Premiership is Hamilton Academical, known as "The Accies" and playing at New Douglas Park. Founded in 1874, they wear red and white hoops and have no major honours. Returned to the Prem by winning the promotion/relegation play-offs at the end of the 2013–14 season.
  • Partick Thistle, one of the Glasgow clubs outside the Old Firm, are now in the Championship after having lost to Livingston in the 2018 promotion/relegation play-off. They had most recently been promoted to the top flight in 2013. Founded in 1876, they have played at Firhill Stadium in Maryhill since 1909, but retain their "Partick" name. The Jags wear yellow and red stripes and have won the Scottish Cup once.
  • St Mirren is Paisley's only representative in top-flight football, having returned to the Premiership after winning the 2017–18 Championship crown. Formed in 1877 the club are based out of St Mirren Park, originally at Love Street (which the stadium was commonly known as) before moving to a new home in 2009. The Buddies, who play in black and white, have won the Scottish Cup on three occasions and are regular winners of the Refrewshire Cup, which they take part in every summer with old rivals Greenock Morton.

Other sides:

  • Queen's Park are a League Two (fourth division) side based in Glasgow. They are notable for a number of reasons: firstly, they play out of 52,000 seater stadium Hampden Park (Scotland's national stadium) and are the oldest club in Scotland (founded in 1867). They are also the only amateur side left in the senior Scottish game, a long-standing tradition dating back to their opposition to professionalisation in the late 19th century (their motto is "Ludere Causa Ludendi" – to play for the sake of playing). They are the only Scottish club to play in the FA Cup Final (in 1884 and 1885), own the oldest football-related structure in existence (Lesser Hampden), won the first televised game involving a Scottish side in 1951 and are the third most successful side in the Scottish Cup, winning the trophy ten times - although the last was in 1893!
  • Airdrieonians is a story worth discussing. The first Airdrieonians were founded in 1878 and were a fixture of the Scottish Leagues for decades. However in the late nineties/early 21st century the club faced financial trouble and was ultimately liquidated in 2002. Fans of the club rallied around a newly formed successor, Airdrie United, but United failed in their application to join the League (their place was given to Gretna). In desperation, Airdrie United owner Jim Ballantyne bought out the crumbling League side Clydebank FC, moved them to Airdrie and renamed them Airdrie United, thus bringing Airdrie back to the League. Airdrie United was considered a continuation of Airdrieonians, while Clydebank supporters reformed their club (now in the Junior leagues) in 2003/04 season. United changed their name to Airdrieonians in 2013 with the Scottish FA's blessing. The club is also notable for benefiting in league division placements three times in the 2008–2012 period due to misfortunes of other clubs.
  • Gretna FC began life in 1946 as a Scottish Junior League side before deciding to play across the border in the early 1980s. The club found some success in the lower regions of the English pyramid and became the first Scottish side to play in the FA Cup since Rangers had appeared in 1887. When Airdrieonians collapsed in 2002 Gretna applied to join the Scottish League and were successful. Under the ownership of grass-roots football advocate Brooks Mileson, Gretna raced up the Leagues with three successive promotions from 2005 to 2007 that took them to the Premier League. They were the first third tier team to reach the Scottish Cup final - where they lost on penalties to Hearts in 2006 - but as Hearts had qualified for the following seasons Champions League, Gretna won a spot in the UEFA Cup. However the club was in debts of m in 2008, and while it was struggling in the SPL Mileson fell ill (and later passed away), later removing his financial support and plunging the club into administration. Players and staff were made redundant, only 400 people turned up to see them be relegated. The club resigned from the League and was dissolved later that summer.

    The Football Association of Wales 

  • Cardiff City
    • The only non-English side to have won the FA Cup (in 1927) and got to the 2008 final, where they were beaten by Portsmouth. Won the Championship title in 2013, earning them a spot in the Premiership for 2013–14... but dropped back to the Championship at the end of that season. They eventually made it back to the Prem for 2018–19.
  • Swansea City
    • Finished eighth in the Championship in the 08/09 season, making a big impact in their first season after promotion from League One. They made a bigger impact in 2010/11, winning the four-team Championship promotion playoff, sending them to the top level for the first time since 1983, and making them the first Welsh team in the modern history of the English Premier League. Won the Football League Cup, a second-level trophy, in 2013, giving them a spot in the 2013–14 Europa League. Established themselves as a solid mid-table side until a disastrous 2017–18 season in the Prem sent them packing to the Championship.
  • The New Saints
    • Formerly Total Network Solutions, one of the leading clubs in the Welsh Premier League, famous for Jeff Stelling's Running Gag about dancing on the streets of Total Network Solutions whenever they win. (Stelling continues with the gag to this day, using "The New Saints" instead.) They actually play their home games in England—they absorbed Oswestry Town, a nearby English club that played in the Welsh leagues, when the latter club folded, and chose to play at Oswestry's larger home ground.

    The Irish Football Association (Northern Ireland) 
  • Ards
  • Ballinamallard United
  • Ballymena United
  • Carrick Rangers
  • Cliftonville
  • Coleraine
  • Crusaders
  • Donegal Celtic
  • Dungannon Swifts
  • Glenavon
  • Linfield
  • Lisburn Distillery
  • Portadown
  • Warrenpoint Town

Former IFA sides:

  • Belfast Celtic
  • Derry City (left Northern Ireland's football league in the early years of The Troubles and now play in the Republic of Ireland's football league)
    • Notably, their jersey appears in the music video for The Undertones' mid-sized punk hit, "My Perfect Cousin" in the very early 80s, as well as on the single sleeve, probably due to the Undertones hailing from the same city and a a reference to Subbuteo midway the song.


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