To many players and most fans, trophies are all-important. Yes, it’s great to qualify for the Champions League or the tournament’s less prestigious continental siblings. But nothing tops the feeling of your team actually winning something. Whether that’s the Premier League title, the FA Cup or a European competition, the moment the players dance around with the trophy held aloft is what every fan wants to see.
At the time of writing – early in the 2023/24 Premier League season – Arsenal are the last EPL side to have won a trophy. Okay, the Community Shield the Gunners landed recently doesn’t compare to the trio of trophies their vanquished opponents won last season. But even so, Arsenal have the bragging rights in the ‘most recent trophy winners’ stakes.
In this article, we’ll look at the other end of the spectrum and we’ll answer the question, which (current) Premier League side has been waiting the longest to win a trophy? So let’s run through the current crop of top-flight clubs and find out when they last picked up some silverware.
Premier League Clubs Most Recent Trophy Triumphs
Here we’ll put the current Premier League sides in order of how recently they’ve won a trophy.
|Club||Last Trophy Won||When|
|Arsenal||FA Community Shield||6 August 2023|
|Manchester City||Champions League||10 June 2023|
|West Ham United||Europa Conference League||7 June 2023|
|Manchester United||League Cup||26 February 2023|
|Liverpool||FA Community Shield||30 July 2022|
|Chelsea||FIFA Club World Cup||12 February 2022|
|Tottenham Hotspur||League Cup||24 February 2008|
|Aston Villa||League Cup||24 March 1996|
|Everton||FA Charity Shield||13 August 1995|
|Nottingham Forest||League Cup||29 April 1990|
|Luton Town||League Cup||24 April 1988|
|Wolverhampton Wanderers||League Cup||15 Mar 1980|
|Newcastle United||FA Cup||7 May 1955|
|Sheffield United||FA Cup||25 April 1925|
|Brighton & Hove Albion||FA Charity Shield*||5 September 1910|
Note that, for the purposes of this article, we are counting winning the following competitions as trophy triumphs: Premier League (or old First Division), FA Cup, League Cup, Community/Charity shield, major European tournaments (i.e. not the Intertoto Cup!). We are also not counting lower division titles or play-off triumphs.
*Note that when Brighton won the Charity Shield, it was contested between the Football League winners and the Southern League winners. Brighton won the latter in the previous season.
Premier League Clubs That Have Never Won a Major Trophy
As you can see from the table above, there are four sides from the 2023/24 Premier League crop who have never won a major trophy… and one (Brighton) with rather spurious claims to have done so. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.
- Biggest Trophy Won – Second Tier Title, 2014/15
It could be seen as a little unfair to disregard the second-tier title as a major trophy, but we had to draw the line somewhere. But when Bournemouth won the Championship by a single point from Watford in 2014/15, they won their most significant trophy ever. And it was far more recent than some other current Premier League sides.
- Biggest Trophy Won – Second Tier Title, 1934/35
Brentford, too, won the second-tier title, but it was a long time ago, way back in 1934/35 in fact. Since them they have also won the third tier (1991/92) and the fourth tier (three times) and they have won the Football League Trophy three times, most recently in 2010/11. But although they’ve won a handful of trophies, they’ve never landed one that we – and most footy fans – would consider “major”.
- Biggest Trophy Won – Second Tier Title, 1978/79 & 1993/94
It’s hard to imagine these days, but it wasn’t too long ago that Crystal Palace finished third in the top flight of English football (in 1990/91, behind Arsenal and Liverpool). They’ve also been runners-up in the FA Cup twice, in 1989/90 and 2015/16, both of which they lost to Manchester United, and both by very fine margins.
- Biggest Trophy Won – Second Tier Title, 1948/49, 2000/01 & 2021/22
As well as winning the second-tier title three times, Fulham has also finished as runners-up in the FA Cup (1974/75) and the Europa League (2009/10). They even achieved European success when they won the 2002 Intertoto Cup, but – as stated earlier – that tournament doesn’t cut the mustard with us.
Brighton & Hove Albion
- Biggest Trophy Won – Charity Shield, 1910
As stated in the note above, Brighton’s Charity Shield victory in 1910 only came after they won the Southern League the season before. As such we’re not really sure it counts in the same way as more recent Charity Shields (or Community Shields) that have (usually) been contested by the winners of the top flight and the FA Cup. As such, it’s probably fairer on the other four sides mentioned to suggest that Brighton haven’t actually won a major trophy after all. And given the best they’ve managed in the second tier is to finish as runners-up (most recently in 2016/17), they are maybe even less successful than the other four.
Conclusion: Which Premier League Side Has Waited Longest?
Of the sides in the Premier League in the 2023/24 season, all but five have won at least one major trophy. Of those, the side that has waited longest to add to their last major trophy is Sheffield United. They won the FA Cup way back in April 1925, and though they’ve since won the second, third and fourth-tier titles, they’ve never added another version of what we would deem a major trophy.
But of course, five of the current top-flight crop – including Brighton – have never won a significant trophy at all. But which has therefore waited the longest? It comes down to which side has been going the longest. Fans of Crystal Palace would no doubt suggest their club is the oldest of the trophyless few, with some sources suggesting the club was formed way back in 1861. But that is heavily disputed and other sources assert that the club was really created in 1905, thus making Palace relative spring chickens.
We are therefore going with Fulham, who were founded back in 1879 and have thus been waiting an astounding 144 years for their first major trophy. That 2-0 loss to fellow Londoners West Ham in the 1975 FA Cup final must really have stung!