Since it was founded on May 27, 1992, to replace the Football League First Division as England’s top-tier league, only seven clubs have won the Premier League in the last 29 seasons. However, what makes the Premier League the most-watched league in the world is the volatility. Despite teams like Manchester United and Manchester City dominating phases of the Premier League era, there is no undisputed king of the top-flight English football.
Premier League Winners from every season
Manchester United: The most dominant Premier League club
As is evident by the table above, Manchester United remain the best club in the Premier League by quite a margin, having won the title a record 13 times. The Red Devils had won the first Premier League title in 1992-93 and went on to win the championship 12 times in the next 22 seasons. Under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson, widely believed to be the best manager of the Premier League, Manchester United have also won five FA Cups and two UEFA Champions League titles.
Manchester United had their most glorious run between 1992 and 2001 when they became the Premier League winners on seven occasions. Barring a freak season of 1994-95, when Blackburn Rovers had stunned all to lift the Premier League trophy, only Arsenal could break Manchester United’s run three times.
Arsenal: The unique Premier League winners
The North London club, managed by French manager Arsene Wenger, was once Sir Alex Ferguson’s most fierce rivals, with the top-tier English football league remaining a two-horse race in the late 90s and the early 2000s.
However, in their tussle with Manchester United, Arsenal and Arsene Wenger had created a record that remains intact even after 18 seasons. In the 2002-03 season, Arsenal had gone their entire campaign unbeaten. They had played 38 games, won 26 and drew 12 matches before lifting the trophy as “the Invincibles”. Arsenal have three Premier League titles to their name.
Chelsea & Manchester City: Masters of current Premier League era
After Manchester United and Arsenal had paved the way and laid bare the blueprint to win the elusive Premier League, cash-rich clubs Chelsea and Manchester City came to the fore. Before Chelsea’s takeover by Russian businessman Roman Abramovic, Premier League was a place where stars were born, a trend that was soon about to change. The London club bought European football stars like Michael Ballack and Andriy Shevchenko from Bundesliga and Italy, which significantly influenced the Premier League’s popularity overseas. The heavy investment saw Chelsea winning titles in no time as they were Premier League winners in the 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2009-10 seasons.
While Manchester United had a run of three consecutive Premier titles from 2006 to 2009 in between, this time was also famous for the rise of Manchester City. Saudi Arab’s Sheikh Mansour became the owner of Manchester City in 2008 with an eye on Chelsea’s operating model to conquer European football, and there has been no looking back since. City have been Premier League winners five times in the last ten years, with Chelsea winning twice.
Leicester City: The most unlikely Premier League Champions
While Liverpool, Blackburn and Leicester City are the anomalies in the last 29 Premier League seasons for winning the league once each against the run of play, it is Leicester City’s story that makes for a blockbuster modern folktale. While Blackburn Rovers had the Premier League’s all-time top scorer Alan Shearer and Liverpool had a star-studded, talented squad at their disposal to challenge for the title, Leicester City had nothing. Interestingly, the odds of Leicester City winning the 2015-16 Premier league season were 5000/1. Nicknamed the Foxes, Leicester were promoted to the Premier League from the second-tier English Championship two seasons back with a squad largely unknown. Their tale of going up against the billionaire clubs and eventually lifting the Premier League trophy has lent massive authenticity to the English league.
Managers to win Premier League titles
While Ferguson and Wenger were pioneers in making the Premier League popular across the globe, it was the likes of Jose Mourinho, Antonio Conte, Claudio Ranieri, Roberto Mancini, Pep Guardiola, Manuel Pellegrini, Jurgen Klopp and more. They have kept the EPL a fan favourite even today.
Ferguson remains the most successful manager in the Premier League with 13 titles, which is closely followed by Wenger (Arsenal), Mourinho (Chelsea) and Guardiola (Manchester City), who have three Premier League titles each. The other managers who have become Premier League champions once are Mancini (Manchester City), Pellegrini (Manchester City), Ranieri (Leicester City), Conte (Chelsea) and Klopp (Liverpool).
Interestingly, no manager from England has ever managed to win the Premier League in all these years.