Which London Football Club Has Won the Most Premier League Titles?

Chelsea trophy

Very few clubs have won the Premier League title and the vast majority of championships have gone to clubs from just two cities, Manchester and London. The Premier League was founded in 1992, with the first winners crowned at the end of the 1992/93 season. In the 30-something years of the competition, just seven different sides have tasted glory.

Manchester United and Manchester City have a massive 20 titles between them, whilst two other clubs from the North West – Blackburn Rovers and Liverpool – have also won the PL. Leicester famously defied odds of 5,000/1 (sadly we didn’t back them!) to win the title in 2015/16 and so that leaves two other clubs that have got their hands on the famous trophy.

Both of those are London teams and as with the Mancunian title kings, one plays in red and the other in blue. Are we talking about Charlton and Millwall? No, the two clubs in question, as many football fans will know, are Arsenal and Chelsea. But which has won the most Premier League titles? And, which London club has won the most top-flight titles if we include those before the Premier League rebrand?

London Side with Most Premier League Wins

Chelsea vs Arsenal logos

Just to build the tension a little more we will run through each of the PL title successes London rivals Chelsea and Arsenal have enjoyed, rather than simply telling you who are the kings of the capital. If you just want a simple answer, however, skip to the conclusion at the bottom!

1997/98 – Arsenal Claim First Premier League Win

The Gunners claimed their 11th title overall and the first PL crown by a London side in 1997/98. They pipped Man United to glory by just a single point, some feat considering the Red Devils had won the previous two Premier Leagues and would win the following three! Arsenal also won the FA Cup to earn their second double.

2001/02 – Double-Double for Gunners

Arsene Wenger further cemented his place in Arsenal history books by claiming another Premier League crown and another FA Cup, and thus a third double for the club. Thierry Henry was the PL top goalscorer with 24, with Robert Pires and Dennis Bergkamp topping the assists charts with 15 and 12 respectively. Liverpool were the runners-up, seven points behind Arsenal’s tally of 87.

2003/04 – Invincibles Set Standards

Arsenal’s third Premier League crown was the best of the lot, even if they did not add the FA Cup as well. They did, however, go the entire league campaign unbeaten, romping to the title with 90 points, 11 clear of Chelsa.

2004/05 – Chelsea get off the Mark

Chelsea won their first PL crown, and just their second title overall, and also the League Cup, in no small part down to the brilliance of Jose Mourinho. The Blues conceded just 15 league goals in 38 games, only losing once and racking up a massive 95 points. They made the semis of the Champions League too in what was an incredible season.

2005/06 – Blues Defend Title

With Mourinho in his pomp and players such as Didier Dogba and Frank Lampard to the fore, the Pensioners retained their title. Their defence was again superb, conceding just 22 goals, their 91 points eight more than Man United.

2009/10 – Don Carlo Delivers Double

Abramovich proved that continuity was not essential to success as a new boss brought more glory to the Bridge. Under Carlo Ancelotti the Blues won the league and cup double, moving level with Arsenal on three Premier League titles. They scored a huge 103 goals playing an exciting, attacking brand of football.

2014/15 – Mourinho Back for More

The Special One delivered another special season as Chelsea claimed their fourth PL title and another League Cup. Man City were now emerging but the Blues of west London were eight points too good for them.

2016/17 – Another Manager, Another Chelsea Title

Chelsea were the last team from London to win the Premier League, doing so under Antonio Conte in 2017. Diego Costa’s goals helped them to a then-PL record 30 wins and a huge 93 points. Eden Hazard, Pedro and N’Golo Kante were among the other players to excel as the club eased to the title, Spurs the runners-up, some seven points back.

Chelsea PL Kings of the Capital

Chelsea & Arsenal
Flickr.com, wonker, CC BY 2.0

So, thanks to the billions of Roman Abramovich, Chelsea have won the PL more times than Arsenal, or any other club from London. The Blues have five to their name, with Arsenal stuck on three since their last win in 2003/04.

What About Overall Top-Flight Honours?

Whilst the Blues have the edge when we look only at the Premier League, who are the most successful London side when we look at titles won since the founding of the Football League back in 1888? Chelsea were only founded in 1905, so they are new kids on the block compared to many of the oldest teams in English football. The Gunners were founded in 1886, initially as Dial Square, then soon changing their name to Royal Arsenal. They became Woolwich Arsenal by 1893 and eventually settled on just Arsenal by around 1915.

Nonetheless, name changes aside, it is still the same club, almost 20 years older than Chelsea. Does that lengthier history translate to more league titles though? Well, yes and no, because Arsenal do come out on top, although they didn’t win the top-flight title, or First Division as it was then, until 1930/31, well after Chelsea had been formed.

Even so, largely thanks to a glorious era in the 1930s, when they won five titles, Arsenal are well out in front in terms of overall league glory. In addition to their PL titles and that first success in 1931, they also won the league in 1933, 1934, 1935, 1938, 1948, 1953, 1971, 1989 and 1991.

In contrast, their rivals from the west of London claimed their first title in 1955, at which stage the Gunners had six trophies in their cabinet. By the time Chelsea won their second overall, in the shape of their first PL, Arsenal had moved on to the 13 they still have. The Blues narrowed the gap by claiming further success under Abramovich but even so, the overall score stands at Arsenal 13-6 Chelsea. Some game that would be!

Conclusion: Chelsea Have Most PL Titles in London, But Arsenal Have Most Overall

There we have it – for those only interested in the Premier League era, Chelsea are the kings of the capital. With five PL titles, they have two more than Arsenal. However, if we look beyond the PL and consider all top-flight titles won, it is the Gunners that have the edge, including number of trophies won. In terms of total top-tier championships won, only Man United and Liverpool can better Arsenal’s tally of 13. Chelsea are well behind on “just” six, having only won the league once prior to the 21st century, in 1954/55.