Longest Trophy Droughts in English Football [Last Trophy by Club]

There are 20 clubs in the English Premier League, and only three “major” trophies to be won each season – the Premier League title, the FA Cup and the League Cup (with the latter two obviously up for grabs by any of the 92 clubs in the English Football League, in theory).

On top of this, only a handful of English clubs get the chance to strut their stuff in European competition each season against the best teams from across the continent, with only three trophies available to win there as well – the Champions League, Europa League and the Conference League.

So, it’s clear that winning a major honour isn’t the easiest thing to do, which is borne out by some of the trophy droughts that even the biggest English clubs are experiencing or have experienced over the years.

In fact, five of the 20 EPL clubs from the 2022/23 campaign have never won a major trophy in their history – step forward Bournemouth, Brentford, Brighton, Crystal Palace and Fulham.

How long has it been since the EPL clubs won a major trophy? Let’s have a closer look.

Premier League Club Trophy Droughts

ClubLast Major TrophyYear Won
ArsenalFA Cup2020
Aston VillaLeague Cup1996
Bournemouth
Brentford
Brighton & Hove Albion
ChelseaChampions League2021
Crystal Palace
EvertonFA Cup1995
Fulham
Leeds UnitedFirst Division (pre-Premier League era)1992
Leicester CityFA Cup2021
LiverpoolFA Cup2022
Manchester CityPremier League2022
Manchester UnitedEuropa League2017
Newcastle UnitedFA Cup1955
Nottingham ForestLeague Cup1990
SouthamptonFA Cup1976
Tottenham HostpurLeague Cup2008
West Ham UnitedFA Cup1980
Wolverhampton WanderersLeague Cup1980
Last Updated: 19 January 2023

Longest Trophy Droughts in English Football

Of the EPL clubs currently experiencing a major trophy “drought”, we have to go back furthest in time to find Newcastle’s last honour, which is the FA Cup in 1955

They were EPL runners-up in 1996 and 1997, and lost two FA Cup finals in the 1990s, but it remains 68 years since the Magpies lifted a major trophy.

At the geographical other end of the country, Southampton have not won a major honour since 1976, when they won their only major honour by, as a second-tier side, defeating Manchester United 1-0 at Wembley in the FA Cup final.

Next in the dreaded “drought list” are two teams that between them did the English domestic “cup double” in 1980 – West Ham won the FA Cup and Wolves won the League Cup that year, but neither have won a major honour since.

Unfortunately for them, so-called “big clubs” are experiencing significant trophy droughts, including Everton, who have gone a record-breaking 28 years since winning the FA Cup against Manchester United in 1995.

Given their success over the years, Manchester United are now on their longest major trophyless run in 40 years, having failed to lift a cup since the Europa League victory in 2017, while Spurs are now 15 years without a trophy, their longest drought post-World War Two.

Trophyless Clubs in Premier League

Five current EPL clubs have never won a major trophy in their history – Bournemouth, Brentford, Brighton, Crystal Palace and Fulham – despite being among the oldest clubs in the country.

Since being formed in 1899, Bournemouth have actually won a “minor” honour – the EFL Trophy in 1984 – and won the Championship in 2015 to earn promotion to the EPL. 

Founded in 1889, Brentford have won the English second tier once, the third tier twice and the fourth tier three times, the last as recently as 2009.

Brighton, founded in 1901, were the Southern League champions in 1910, leading them to the early staging of the-then Community Shield, which they also won. They have been tier-three champions three times and tier-four champions twice, and lost the FA Cup final to Manchester United after a replay in 1983.

During their 117-year history, Crystal Palace have won the Full Members Cup for lower-division sides in 1991, the English third tier once and the second tier twice, and were runners-up in the FA Cup as recently as 2016.

Fulham, since their formation in 1879, actually have a minor European trophy on their honours list, having won the now-defunct Intertoto Cup in 2002. They have also won the English second tier three times – including in 2022 – and the third tier twice.

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Thomas Smith

Tommy is a freelance writer and editor based in Spain but originally from the north east of Scotland. A former daily newspaper reporter, he is passionate about football, loves cricket and snooker and enjoys watching most sports.

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