Five clubs that have successfully DEFENDED the title most often

first_img 6 6 6 Getting to the top is easy, staying there is the hard part, so the saying goes, and English football has proved that time and again.Manchester City will testify to that, having failed to defend a Premier League title they fought so hard to win, following their 2014 success with an even more lamentable defence than they put up after claiming top spot in 2012.REVEALED: CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT WHAT IS THE WORST TITLE DEFENCE EVERBut successful title defences are much rarer in the English top flight than you might think.Up to and including the 2014/15 campaign, there have been 115 opportunities for the champions to defend their title, since Preston North End claimed the first Football League championship in 1889.Preston did indeed become the first club to win back-to-back titles, in 1890, but since then top spot has been defended successfully on just 23 more occasions, by 10 different clubs.Like Preston, Sunderland (1893), Sheffield Wednesday (1904), Portsmouth (1950), Wolves (1959) and Chelsea (2006) have all achieved the feat once.But which club has managed to defend the title more than any other?Only five clubs have defended the title successfully more than once…Joint third: Arsenal have successfully defended the title twice, in 1934 and 1935You have to go all the way back to the 1930s (see the picture below) to find an Arsenal team that managed to defend the title, in a decade when the Gunners dominated English football.Under the management of Herbert Chapman, Arsenal won their first league title in 1931, only to finish runners up to Everton a year later.But the title went back to Highbury in 1933 and, despite the tragic passing of Chapman from pneumonia in early 1934, the Gunners successfully defended their title 12 months later with George Allison in charge.Allison oversaw another successful defence to secure a hat-trick of titles in 1935, but despite the club winning another nine top flight titles to date, Arsenal have never managed to finish first in consecutive seasons since. Second: Liverpool have successfully defended the title five times, in 1923, 1977, 1980, 1983 and 1984With 18 league titles to their name, Liverpool have managed to hang on to top spot five times in their illustrious history.The first successful defence came way back in 1923, but it was during the glory years of the late 1970s and early 1980s when the Reds were at their imperious best.In the period between 1976 and 1984, Liverpool only failed to win the First Division twice, in 1978 and 1981, and on those two occasions they won the European Cup!But after achieving a hat-trick of titles in 1984, their next three titles (in 1986, 1988 and 1990) were followed by unsuccessful defences and they are still waiting to finish first in the Premier League era. First: Manchester United have successfully defended the title seven times, in 1957, 1994, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2008 and 2009With a record 20 top flight titles to their name, Man United have had more opportunities than any other club to defend top spot and they’ve done a pretty good job of it.Sir Matt Busby’s legendary ‘Babes’ were responsible for the first of those successful title defences, before the tragedy of the 1958 Munich air disaster.United subsequently went 26 years between the last of Busby’s titles (in 1967) and the first under Sir Alex Ferguson, but between 1993 and the latter’s retirement in 2013 they racked up an astonishing 13 Premier League trophies.In 1994 (pictured below), United defended their Premier League title as part of their first league and FA Cup double, before winning back-to-back titles in 1996 and 1997.A hat-trick of titles followed in 1999, 2000 and 2001, and United became the first club to claim a second title hat-trick with first place in 2007, 2008 and 2009.No club has managed to defend the title since United’s success six years ago. Joint third: Huddersfield Town have successfully defended the title twice, in 1925 and 1926Before he made Arsenal one of English football’s greatest clubs, Herbert Chapman had made his name by turning Huddersfield into the best team in England.Chapman (pictured below, far left, in a Huddersfield team photo) led the Terriers to titles in 1924 and 1925, before taking the Arsenal job, leaving Cecil Potter to guide Huddersfield to a hat-trick of championships in 1926.center_img Chelsea celebrate back-to-back Premier League titles in 2006 6 Joint third: Aston Villa have successfully defended the title twice, in 1897 and 1900Historically one of English football’s giants, Villa had won six titles by 1910, but have claimed just one since, in 1981.But at the turn of the century they were a force to be reckoned with, defending the title they’d won in 1896 by claiming the league and cup double in 1897.A quirk of that campaign is that Villa became the only team to win both the Football League and FA Cup trophies on the same day – a defeat for Derby County in the First Division gave Villa the title on the same Saturday they won the FA Cup final against Everton (pictured below).Three years later they were celebrating another back-to-back title success, but little did Villa fans know that success would prove a lot harder to come by in future.  6 6last_img

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