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Who are the oldest teams in the Premier League?

An English football league elite division has existed for more than 130 years with Manchester City current champions of the Premier League.

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - AUGUST 14: A general view of the Premier League Nike Flight match ball prior to the Premier League match between Burnley and Brighton & Hove Albion at Turf Moor on August 14, 2021 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Im
Nathan StirkGetty Images

The English football league is one of the oldest in history with the first domestic league season taking place back in 1888 with Preston North End the first ever club to be crowned English league champions in a 12 team competition with the Lancashire based outfit topping the table with an unbeaten campaign and finishing 11 points of second placed Stoke City.

As the game developed in England and more clubs became established, additional leagues were needed with the top flight becoming the 'Football League First Division'. It retained this title for a decade before the Sky backed Premier League was introduced in 1992 as the game's popularity soared domestically following the 1990 Italy World Cup and the introduction of satellite television. It was during the 1990s that the Premier League's global appeal increased due to astute marketing and an attractive league that started to attract some of the best names in the game.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Newcastle United v West Ham United - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain -
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Soccer Football - Premier League - Newcastle United v West Ham United - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain -OWEN HUMPHREYSPool via REUTERS

Oldest Premier League teams

Debate remains to this day about the origin and formation of the oldest football club in England with many concluding that the honour sits with Sheffield FC. The club are still active and indeed have been recognized by FIFA as the oldest functioning club in football. The South Yorkshire side currently play in the Northern Premier League which is the seventh tier of English football.

To discover the origin of the first current Premier League club, we need to fast forward to 1874 when Aston Villa were formed. The club were one of the founder pioneering teams to form the first ever league championship which got underway in 1988. Currently managed by Steven Gerrard, the Villans have claimed the league title on seven occasions.

The second current Premier League club to see the late of day after Villa were neighboring Wolverhampton Wanderers. Originally called St. Lukes FC, the club adopted the current name following a merger with Blakenhall Wanderers and were another of the 12 pioneering sides to participate in the first ever English league championship in 1888 finishing third. The 1950s were the glory days for the amber and black clad side winning three championships with central defender Billy Wright the star player.

Everton are another currently Premier League side who were another founding member of the inaugural domestic championship with the Liverpool based side founded in 1878. The Toffees won the third ever league championship and have only been outside the top flight for four seasons throughout their history. The blue side of Mersey-side have also secured nine league titles in their 144 year history.