London is known worldwide as the football capital, this has everything to do with the 17 football clubs that are based in London. These football clubs are located in different parts of the English capital. In this blog, we highlight all London football clubs that play in the Premier League, Championship and League One.
Currently, 7 clubs from London are playing in the Premier League, the highest level of football in England. The London Clubs Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur are favourites for the title every year, while Crystal Palace, Watford and West Ham United are mid table clubs.
|Brentford FC||1889||Brentford Community Stadium|
|Crystal Palace||1905||Selhurst Park|
|Tottenham Hotspur||1882||Tottenham Hotspur Stadium|
|West Ham United||1895||Olympic Stadium|
Founded at the end of 1886 by workers from the Royal Arsenal, the royal arms factories in Woolwhich, Arsenal is indispensable in the Premier League. Arsenal won the most prizes of all football clubs in London: 13 league titles, 13 FA Cups, 2 League Cups, 16 Community Shields and 1 European Cup II. However, it’s already 15 years ago that Arsenal won the title in the Premier League.
You can reach the Arsenal stadium, the Emirates Stadium, by taking the dark blue Piccadilly line in the direction of Cockfosters. After that you have two options to get off; Holloway Road or Arsenal. Our tip is to get off at Arsenal, because you have the opportunity to take a look at the old Highbury. Nowadays, it’s an apartment complex but the old main stand still looks the same from the front.
Brentford was founded in 1889 and best known for their old Griffin Park stadium, which had a pub on each corner of the stadium. Today, Brentford plays at the Brentford Community Stadium, which has been home to the football club since 2020. By winning the play-off final, Brentford achieved promotion to play in the Premier League in season 2021-2022.
Chelsea, founded on March 10, 1905, is the only London club ever to win the Champions League. Since the first of July in 2003, Chelsea has been a permanent member of the top 6 of the Premier League. On that day Mr. Abramovich took over the club and the financial possibilities were endless. Of the six championship titles, the club won 5 after 2003.
The Chelsea stadium, Stamford Bridge, can be reached via the dark green District line with the Wimbledon stop as final station. Get off at Fulham Broadway station, walk 400 meters to the left and you will see Stamford Bridge immediately.
Crystal Palace was founded on September 10, 1905, named after the crystal palace built for the 1851 world exhibition. The Eagles play their games in southern London at iconic Selhurst Park.
Want to visit Selhurst Park? At Blackfriars train station, take the Thameslink line to Gatwick Airport and get off the train at Norwood Junction. Turn onto Oliver Grove and turn left onto Holmesdale Road. After 500 meters go straight on, the stadium is on your right.
The biggest rival of Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, saw the light of day on September 5, 1882. In recent years, the Spurs have performed so well that they are part of the top 6 in the Premier League. Despite these good performances, it has been more than fifty years since Tottenham became champion.
In the season 2018/2019 Tottenham Hotspur moved into its new stadium, now the Tottenham Hotspur stadium, which is built on the same site as the old White Hart Lane. During the entire previous seasons they played their games at Wembley.
Officially, Watford FC, founded in 1881, is not in the city of London, but in the suburb of Watford which is the metropolis of London. Since 2015-16 Watford FC is part of the Premier League again. However, most of the club’s history Watford FC played on the second, third or four fourth level. Watford plays its home games on Vicarage Road. The stadium can be reached by taking the metro towards Watford (Metropolitan line).
West Ham United was founded in 1895 as Thames Ironworks. From 1900 the name changed to West Ham United and in 1919 the club joined the Football League (the predecessor of the Premier League). The most memorable prize the club won is the FA Cup; in 1964, 1975 and 1980. To the displeasure of the fans, The Hammers left the Boleyn Ground for the London Stadium in 2016.
This season there are three clubs from London competing in the Championship, the second highest level in England. Fulham, Millwall and Queens Park Rangers have been playing at this level for a while. Recently only QPR (2014-2015) played in the Premier League.
|Millwall||1885||The New Den|
|Queens Park Rangers||1882||Loftus Road|
Fulham, founded in 1879, is the oldest London club ever to play in the Premier League. However, throughout history, Fulham has never managed to win a prize. In 1975 and 2010, The Cottagers were close to winning a prize. Unfortunately in 1975 the club lost the FA Cup final to West Ham United and in 2010 the Europa League final to Atlético Madrid.
Millwall, from the south of London, was founded in 1885. The club is, partly due to the famous movie Green Street, known as a raw English club. In the 91 seasons of Millwall in the Football League it managed to be promoted 11 times but also relegated 9 times. Millwall played most of her history on the second or third level. The biggest achievement of the club is reaching the FA Cup final in 2004, allowing The Lions to enter Europe.
Queens Park Rangers, abbreviated QPR, was founded 136 years ago in 1882. They achieved the most important result in club history in 1967, when QPR won the League Cup. The Hoops also became champions in the lower divisions a few times. QPR plays its home games on Loftus Road. The stadium is fairly close to the city centre of London.
Two London football clubs are currently playing in the Football League One, the third level of England. Coincidentally, both clubs from the south of London: Charlton Athletic and Wimbledon.
|Charlton Atletic||1905||The Valley|
Charlton Athletic plays its matches in the southeast of London. The Addicks play their matches in the iconic stadium The Valley. In this stadium the supporters saw their club playing in the Premier League between 2001 and 2007. In the 2003-2004 season, Charlton Athletic even finished 7th and in 1947 it won its only prize by winning the FA Cup. Since relegation in 2007, Charlton Athletic has fluctuated between the Championship and the League One.
AFC Wimbledon has a bizarre history. The club was established in 2002. Fans of old Wimbledon FC decided to set up their own club after their club moved to Milton Keynes (100 kilometres outside of London). In addition, the new owners changed the clubs name from Wimbledon FC to Milton Keynes Dons FC. Between 2002 and 2011, the new AFC Wimbledon climbed from the ninth level to the Football League Two. Nowadays, The Dons even play their games on the third level, the Football League One.
In addition to the three largest leagues in England, six football clubs in London play in League Two and Conference International.
Leyton Orient and Sutton United play in League Two. Barnet, Bromley, Dagenham & Redbridge and Wealdstone compete in the Conference International. In total, no fewer than seventeen (!) Clubs from London play at a professional level.
Read also our blog about the best London derbies.
Have you always wanted to take a football trip to London? View our overview of football matches, filter on London as a city and see all football matches in London.