Which teams have spent the most seasons in the Premier League?
As we reached the final few games of the 2021/22 season, it looked as though we could lose a long-standing member of the English top flight.
On Thursday evening in Liverpool, the dark clouds were gathering over Goodison Park, home to Everton FC. As Crystal Palace visited, in both teams’ penultimate game in the Premier League, there was a very real risk that the Toffees, now under manager Frank Lampard, could be relegated from the English top flight. If that was to happen it would end one of the longest ever runs of existence there by a club.
Everton: league presence continues
By half-time in the game, those clouds were at their blackest, the home team losing 0-2. As the second 45 minutes progressed, however, chinks of light shone through, before completely clearing by the final whistle, as an incredible turnaround ended with a 3-2 victory. Lampard was close to tears, as it secured their Premier League survival.
The Chelsea legend called it “one of the greatest moments of my footballing life” at the game’s conclusion shortly after Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s header completed the comeback. There was no doubt that the Blue half of Merseyside - and several on the Red half that enjoy a couple of local derbies each season - were just as delighted.
What teams have never been relegated from the Premier League?
The answer to that question is rather simple, given that the Premier League has only been around since 1992. In what has grown into arguably the best league in the world, there have been six clubs that have been in it continuously from its birth, namely, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Everton.
One other club that deserves attention when dealing with this topic is Brighton and Hove Albion who, although only being promoted to the EPL ahead of the 2017/18 season, they have remained there since. Not bad going given relative budget to several others.
Now, if we open up the question to clubs that have never been relegated from the English top division, the answer is... none!
Every club has had to deal with relegation from the English top flight at some point in their often long histories but, once promoted again, Everton sit second on the list of continuous service since. The Toffees went down in 1951 before returning for the 1954/55 season and have stayed up to this day.
The longest run goes to Arsenal, which was named Woolwich Arsenal back in 1913 when they finished bottom of the league. A bounce back in 1919 has seen the Gunners as a mainstay. Liverpool come in third in longest members (since promotion in 1962) and then Man Utd (since 1975), Spurs (since 1978) and Chelsea (1989).
More on Everton’s late survival
Following their stunning comeback, Everton can now go into Sunday’s final fixture at Arsenal with a massive weight lifted from the club.
“In my career, I’ve been fortunate to have amazing times, especially at Chelsea as a player and a coach,” said Lampard. “But when you feel the desperation of what relegation brings, it is something different.
“You need to dig in and it is tough. Coming here (to Everton) three months ago with my amazing staff, positive people that work so hard to try and change things, and then getting a reaction from the players and the fans... this club is special and I’m very proud to be the manager of Everton on this night.”
Lampard celebrated wildly at the final whistle and then with fans up in the stands as supporters poured onto the Goodison Park pitch in celebration.
“I thought I might cry, I might jump out of my own body,” he said, before defending the pitch invasion. “Nobody can question the celebrations at the end tonight. People can easily say, ‘Well, the club haven’t won anything’. But come and work at this club for a few months, see how much it means to people to stay in this league.
“See the character this team had showed. The fans have pulled us over the line, there is no doubt about it. They have been more than a 12th man and the players have played their part too.”