The soccer rivalry deep rooted in the English turfs originates based on geography. Alongside the conventional competing avenues that include disability, economic conditions, crime rates and more; the cities also compete vis à vis in sports.
London is the capital and soccer hub of the United Kingdom. Being the largest city within the UK, it has a host of soccer teams that compete in different English leagues.
The landscape of this game in London is thereby evolving rapidly.
While the myriad of soccer stadiums in the vicinity is simply impressive where more and lusher turf with state-of-the-art facilities are now being added.
With such advancements in terms of facilities and new stadiums, it will not be wrong to say that London will be able to host the World Cup on its own soon.
In this article, we will be talking about soccer teams in London no matter if they play in the Premier League, Championship, League One, or League Two.
Apart from being a host to some of the classiest soccer teams, London is also home to the famous Wembley Stadium.
Before we begin exploring soccer teams in London, let’s break down the British soccer system in terms of league rankings (highest to lowest):
- English Premier League
- Football League Championship
- Football League One
- Football League Two
How many soccer teams are in London?
As per the London F.A., there are 13 professional soccer clubs in London of which 12 are playing in the four leagues mentioned above. The remaining club plays in a ‘semi’ professional league called National League.
Apart from this, London hosts as many as 80 ‘amateur’ soccer teams in lower (rather non-professional) leagues.
Arsenal and Chelsea are the most successful clubs in London. Tottenham Hotspur is the third most successful team.
Together, these three soccer clubs have won 84 domestic and European titles over the years.
In 1891, Arsenal became the first soccer team from London to turn professional.
In 1931, Arsenal was the first London team to become English Champions.
Fulham is the oldest London soccer team established in 1879.
In 2012, Chelsea became the first club to win the UEFA Champions League after beating Bayern Munich.
Tottenham Hotspur won the Cup Winners Cup in 1963 to become the first London and British club to win a major European trophy.
We are going to further discuss in detail about the top 6 professional soccer clubs in London.
Stadium: Emirates Stadium (Capacity: 60,260)
Nicknames: The Gunners
Notable Managers: Mikel Arteta , Arsène Wenger, George Graham, Bertie Mee
(This might hurt Chelsea and Tottenham fans a bit)
Formed in 1886, Arsenal is the most decorated soccer team in London with 48 trophies. The club is only third to Manchester United and Liverpool who have a better trophy tally than the London club.
On October 1, 1996 – Arsène Wenger joined Arsenal as a manager. His initial years cemented the club’s status as one of the biggest soccer teams in domestic and European leagues.
It is the only soccer club to win the Premier League without losing a single game in an entire season (2003/2004). Captained by Patrick Viera, the star-studded squad with the likes of Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Robert Pirès, and more was given the title of ‘The Invincibles’ for this remarkable achievement.
No team has been able to achieve this feat ever since.
Regardless of their recent form and status, it is one of the most reputed soccer clubs in the country and world.
Stadium: Stamford Bridge (Capacity: 41,837)
Nicknames: The Blues
Notable Managers: Thomas Tuchel , José Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti, Antonio Conte, Frank Lampard
Let’s be honest – Chelsea has had a better run than Arsenal in the last decade or so. Even though they are still short on the total tally of trophies, 31 until the end of 2020/2021 season, they have won a lot more since Arsenal’s last PL title win in 2003/2004.
Chelsea’s fate changed when José Mourinho took charge of the club in 2004.
The arrival of the Portuguese did not only affect the club; he changed the landscape of the entire league with his unique managing style and strategy.
Jose has worked with Chelsea twice, but his first spell brought League success back to Stamford Bridge. Chelsea won two consecutive Premier League titles in 2004/2005 and 2005/2006 season.
He also won a Premier League title in his second spell at the club in the 2014/2015 season.
Under his leadership, Chelsea also posted an unbelievable 86-game unbeaten run which started in February 2004 till October 2008.
In 2021, Chelsea is managed by Thomas Tuchel with some of the most promising stars in the team.
With an incredible turnaround last season, they will be hoping to challenge for the title in the upcoming season.
3. Tottenham Hotspur
Stadium: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (Capacity: 62,850)
Nicknames: Spurs, The Lilywhites
Notable Managers: Nuno Espírito Santo , José Mourinho, Mauricio Pochettino, Harry Redknapp
The ‘almost won it all’ club.
Tottenham Hotspur has been one of the reputed names in the Premier League ever since its inception.
Despite having won only two Premier League titles in such a long time, they are now considered as one of the Top 6 English clubs constantly giving other big names a run for their money.
Over the years, they have become consistent enough to not only challenge the top teams, but finish in the top 4 and top 6 in the league.
I still remember the time when Mauricio Pochettino took his side to the Champion League final (which itself sounds like a big achievement) in 2019 without spending anything in the transfer window.
Pochettino was recently replaced by the Special One Mourinho as Daniel Levy with aspirations to bring some silverware to the club. But that did not go according to plan!
4. West Ham United
Stadium: The London Stadium (Capacity: 60,000)
Nicknames: The Hammers, The Academy of Football, The Irons
Notable Managers: David Moyes , Sam Allardyce, Manuel Pellegrini, Alan Padrew
Not as big or successful as the other London soccer teams, West Ham United is known for its loyal and die hard fan support. With a rich history, West Ham is one of the most consistent London soccer clubs to play in the top tier English league for over a decade.
It is also one of the very few clubs to not have fallen below the Football League Championship. Although the club cannot financially match the likes of Top 3 London teams, it is renowned for becoming a thorn for other soccer clubs in their domestic title runs.
In 2020 – 2021, under the leadership of David Moyes, was considered as one of the best seasons in a long time. West Ham bagged a surprising 6th position finish on the table after spending a good amount of time in the Top 4.
5. Crystal Palace
Stadium: Selhurst Park (Capacity: 25,486)
Nicknames: The Eagles, The Glaziers
Notable Managers: Patrick Viera , Roy Hodgson, Sam Allardyce, Tony Pulis, Frank de Boer
Based in the South of London, Crystal Palace has had a roller coaster of a ride in the Premier League. The club was struck with financial woes in the late 90s and struggled to make any progress.
However, since 2010, Crystal Palace has been (more or less) a consistent part of England’s top tier soccer league.
In its initial years, the primary goal of the club was to battle and avoid relegation. Although they are no title challengers, the club can make a serious roadblock in other’s way *ahem* (if you remember Crystanbul).
In 2014, Crystanbul was born!
Crystal Palace made a historic comeback against Liverpool after going three goals down in the first half. The club broke the dreams of Kopites and Steven Gerrard to lift this prestigious trophy.
Stadium: Craven Cottage (Capacity: 25,700)
Nicknames: The Cottagers, The Whites
Notable Managers: Marco Silva , Claudio Ranieri, Scott Parker, Mark Hughes, Kit Symons
No matter what club you support, you know how tough it gets when your team has to visit Craven Cottage to face Fulham.
The Cottagers is the oldest London soccer club. They are not financially stable or successful, but Fulham just consistently manages to stay in the Premier League one way or another.
The club’s most successful PL stint was between 2001 till 2014 where it tried its level best to avoid relegation. Their highest finish in the Premier League is 7th position in the 2008/2009 season.
Does London have a Premier League team?
Yes, over the years many London soccer teams have featured in the Premier League. These are:
- Charlton Athletic
- Crystal Palace
- Tottenham Hotspur
- Queens Park Rangers
- West Ham United
Which club is the pride of London?
The Blues have been on top of every London club ever since Jose Mourinho took the club’s reign in 2004.
Six soccer teams based in London compete in the English Premier League – the remaining six are in the Championship and EFL divisions.
Apart from its rich history, nature, beauty, and culture – London boasts of its classy soccer clubs. Nearly 13% of London soccer teams compete on a professional level if we talk about the British soccer system (top four divisions).
From nail biting North London derbies to fierce title runs, London soccer teams have everything to offer. Whether you support one or just watch as a neutral, you will not be disappointed.
Read more: Why Do Soccer Players Raise Their Hands? 7 Common Reasons
Hi there, I’m Jay.
The Pitch is Ours is a new beginning for me and a stepping stone to prepare before retiring from the professional soccer team. Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!