Manchester United on cusp of longest trophy drought for 40 YEARS

Manchester United are in danger of going on their longest trophy drought for 40 YEARS, while rivals Arsenal, Tottenham and Everton are also seeing silverware stress… but how do other Premier League sides fare when it comes to landing major honours?

  • Manchester United have not landed major silverware since 2017 Europa League
  • Arsenal’s wait for a league title could become their longest in 91 years 
  • Tottenham are on their longest post-war run without a trophy, Everton of all-time
  • Four Premier League teams have never won a major trophy in their existence

While there may be presents given out in December there are no certainly no trophies being collected as English football heads into its annual deluge of fixtures.

It’s just as well the wait for silverware comes late in the season because the vast majority of clubs will miss out on the big prizes, which for many have been elusive for decades.

But just how bad has the wait to land a trophy been for the sides currently in the Premier League? Counting just the major English honours of the top flight, FA Cup and League Cup – as well as Europe’s top competitions in the Champions League, Europa League and the now defunct European Cup-Winners Cup – Sportsmail looks at each top English club’s current trophy drought.

Chelsea’s trophy cabinet is in good health after winning the 2021 Champions League final


Current trophy drought: One year

Longest ever: 44 years (1886-1930) 

The good news for Arsenal supporters is that here has been no shortage of silverware coming in at all in the last 10 years, underlined by four FA Cup wins taking them to a record 14. That includes their latest in a victory over Chelsea last year.

But one significant milestone looks set to be reached by the end of the current season. Failure to win the Premier League crown this term will mean at the very least the Gunners will enter a 19th year without winning the top flight. 

This hasn’t happened since they went 45 years from their foundation to 1931 before clinching their first league crown a year after their first FA Cup win and subsequent dominance of the decade. 

Arsenal went the season unbeaten to win the 2003-04 Premier League title but have failed to win the top flight since

Aston Villa

Current trophy drought: 25 years

Longest ever: 37 years (1920-1957)

There’s a proud history at Aston Villa, especially when you consider that in their cabinet is a European Cup from 1982, while only Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Everton have more than their seven league titles.

Yet for the past quarter of the century, they haven’t won anything – spending much of the last decade just trying to stay in the Premier League.

But there have been near misses since they smashed Leeds United to win the League Cup in 1996. They narrowly lost out to Chelsea in the last FA Cup final to be played at the old Wembley in 2000, before they were destroyed 15 years later by Arsenal 4-0.

The League Cup has also brought two recent final defeats in 2010 and 2020 both by a 2-1 scoreline and both by the respective Manchester clubs in United and City. 

Savo Milosevic (centre) is mobbed by team-mates after scoring in the 1996 League Cup final


Current trophy drought: 132 years 

We need a bit of context here for Brentford who are actually enjoying one of their finest-ever periods in the club’s history. For instance this is their first season in the top flight since they were relegated in the first campaign following the end of the Second World War.

They haven’t even spent much of that time in the second tier and have typically been bouncing through what today are considered League One and League Two.

So it’s also no surprise to see they have never reached a major cup final, and just one major semi-final – which was this year when they were beaten by Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham in the League Cup. Still success is relative so good luck trying to find a disgruntled Bees supporter right now.


Brighton striker Michael Robinson in action during the 1983 FA Cup final

Current trophy drought: 120 years 

Like Brentford, context is needed for Brighton who as recently as the late 1990s were at a huge risk of dropping out of the Football League altogether without a proper home.

Now they are playing in an unprecedented fifth consecutive season in the top flight and are playing an exciting brand of football as an established top-flight outfit.

Talking trophies though, they came close to sealing a shock win over Manchester United in the 1983 FA Cup final, drawing 2-2 before then losing the replay 4-0.

But since then they have reached just one semi-final, being narrowly beaten 1-0 by Manchester City in the FA Cup just two years ago. 


Current trophy drought: 61 years

Longest ever: 61 years (1960-present)

These days success for Burnley is staying in the Premier League, and in a football word that has become more corporate with global fan bases, it’s remarkable Sean Dyche has kept the Clarets in the top flight with competency in the last five years.

But apart from minor league championships, Burnley haven’t had a sniff of major success since lifting their second league title in 1960, which for the record saw them reach the quarter-finals of the European Cup a year later!

Remarkably though they have not reached a cup final since being beaten by Tottenham in the 1962 FA Cup. They have only reached one semi-final since 1983 via the League Cup… which also saw them defeated by Spurs. 


Current trophy drought: N/A 

Longest ever: 50 years (1905-1955)

Trophy drought at Chelsea? That isn’t going to be happening anytime soon – especially one that lasts half a century from their inception to winning their first league title.

Don’t just think it has been Roman Abramovich’s money which started bringing in the pots though, the current European champions have been regular silverware collectors since Ruud Gullit’s men ended a 26-year wait for a trophy with the FA Cup in 1997.

Going a full season without winning anything represents some sort of crisis these days at Stamford Bridge – bearing in mind they have never gone two full campaigns without lifting some sort of trophy since Abramovich took over in 2003. 

Roberto Di Matteo scored what was at the time the fastest goal in an FA Cup final when he gave Chelsea the lead against Middlesbrough at Wembley in 1997

Crystal Palace

Current trophy drought: 116 years

Nine consecutive seasons in the top flight already makes this the best period of Crystal Palace’s history, which is just as well for a club who curiously have struggled to win anything at all – let alone the big pots.

They have twice reached the final of the FA Cup memorably drawing 3-3 after extra-time in 1990 against Manchester United before losing the replay 1-0. They were then beaten by the same opponent 26 years later, despite taking the lead 12 minutes from the end – which produced the iconic touchline dance from manager Alan Pardew. 

Curiously though since the formation of the Premier League, they have only landed one minor honour in winning the second-tier title – and that was back in 1994. 


Current trophy drought: 26 years 

Longest ever: 26 years (1995-present)

Is there a bigger sleeping giant in English football right now? Everton are a club who boast a proud history to the extent that when the Premier League was founded in 1992 they were considered as one of the ‘big five’ along with Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.

Yet since then they have won just one trophy when Paul Rideout’s header defeated Manchester United in the 1995 FA Cup final.

It’s not just the lack of cups these days at Goodison Park though, it’s that they don’t even get a sniff of them. A club that has nine league titles has just one top four finish since the Berlin Wall fell, and have only reached one final since 1995 – when they were beaten 2-1 by Chelsea in the 2009 FA Cup. 

Everton are on their longest ever trophy drought having not won any silverware since 1995

Leeds United 

Leeds duo Gary Speed (left) and David Batty celebrate winning the 1991-92 top flight

Current trophy drought: 29 years

Longest ever: 49 years (1919-1968)

In all fairness to Leeds, they have only just started to become a normal club again after the financial turmoil at the start of the century which led to their relegation from the Premier League.

Since then it has all been about survival as a club at Elland Road while trying to avoid one slapstick situation after another before resuming their top-flight status last year.

No trophies in the Premier League era though for Leeds, although they were the last club to win the old First Division title in 1992, which was also the last time in Howard Wilkinson that an English manager won the top flight.

However, since then they have reached just one final in the 1996 League Cup defeat by Aston Villa and one other semi-final in the Champions League in 2001 when they were knocked out by Valencia – before fortunes quickly nosedived. 

Leicester City

Current trophy drought: N/A 

Longest ever: 74 years (1890-1964)

Now to one of the biggest over achievers of the Premier League era. Up until 1997, Leicester’s only major trophy had been the 1964 League Cup.

But having gone 106 years with just one trophy, Leicester have since won three cups including two more League Cups and last season’s FA Cup after defeating Chelsea in the final.

Oh, and there was that small matter of recording one of the biggest sporting shocks of all time when they won the Premier League in 2016. Relatively speaking it’s been a remarkable 25 years at Leicester.

Leicester City have been one of England’s biggest overachievers in the last 25 years


Current trophy drought: One year

Longest ever: 24 years (1923-1947) 

With 43 major trophies, no team in England have won more than Liverpool, which is why it is strange that before their recent success under Jurgen Klopp they found it quite difficult to land much joy.

For instance one league title in over 30 years is not good enough for the Reds.

Not even the domestic cups have trickled in recently. Since winning the FA Cup in 2006, their only other triumph saw them stumble past Championship side Cardiff City to win the 2012 League Cup on penalties.

Of course, recent Premier League and Champions League wins have put them back into the big time and they look in as good of a position than they have ever done to start winning major honours on a consistent basis again.

Liverpool’s stunning top flight success in 2020 was their first league title in 30 years

Manchester City

Current trophy drought: N/A

Longest ever: 35 years (1976-2011)

It’s fair to say the Manchester City fans who stuck it out through the barren years between winning the League Cup in 1976 and the FA Cup 35 years later have been handsomely rewarded in recent times. 

Since the trophyless first year under Pep Guardiola in 2017, the Spaniard has ensured silverware every year since – the longest run in the current top flight.

But the current Premier League champions have largely dominated the last decade since winning that FA Cup, winning five league titles and a remarkable seven more domestic cups.

Defeat in the Champions League final a few months back was hard to take but surely that hurdle will be overcome sooner rather than later.

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City team are the current Premier League champions

Manchester United

Current trophy drought: Four years 

Longest ever: 37 years (1911-1948) 

For a generation that grew up of only knowing constant success under Sir Alex Ferguson, the years following his retirement must feel like a famine.

United never went more than three seasons without winning the Premier League title under Ferguson, which makes the current streak of eight years sound like a total disaster.

But it gets worse, should Ralf Rangnick fail to lift a trophy this season – United will match their longest run without silverware in 40 years.

Since Ferguson’s departure they have only lifted the FA Cup under Louis van Gaal in 2016, before winning the League Cup and Europa League under Mourinho a year later.

Manchester United have not won silverware since triumphing in the 2017 Europa League

Newcastle United

Current trophy drought: 66 years

Longest ever: 66 years (1955-present) 

Everton may be the modern day sleeping giant, but is there any side currently in English football with a more ridiculous trophy drought than Newcastle United.

Well, of any of the Premier League teams to have lifted silverware, at 66 years they are on the longest trophy drought of any other side.

To put that into context, Newcastle before then had four league titles and six FA Cups behind them.

They have been very close to breaking that streak that started after defeating Manchester City in the 1955 FA Cup final. There have been two FA Cup final losses at the back end of the 20th century and a League Cup defeat in 1976 too.

But the one that really stings will be the two runners-up campaigns in the Premier League in 1996 and 1997. The former especially given Kevin Keegan’s ‘Entertainers’ at one point held a 12-point lead over eventual winners Manchester United. 

Norwich City 

Current trophy drought: 36 years

Longest ever: 60 years (1902-1962)

Norwich’s history is not littered with trophies, but the cabinet isn’t completely barren of silverware having won the League Cup in 1962, as a second division side, as well as in 1985.

Two more final defeats in the same competition intervened these years but they have not come close to success since beating Sunderland at Wembley 36 years ago.

You could even argue their cup record has been poor in recent times, reaching just two quarter-finals since 1996.

In fact when Canaries fans tend to reminisce, it tends to be back to the early part of the 1990s when they finished third in the inaugural season of the Premier League before sensationally knocking Bayern Munich out of the UEFA Cup in 1993 – including a sensational victory at Munich’s Olympic Stadium.  

Mick Channon (left) celebrates Norwich City’s 1985 League Cup win with boss Ken Brown


Current trophy drought: 45 years

Longest ever: 91 years (1885-1976)

It took 91 years for Southampton to win their first and only trophy, but it was a huge moment in English football when it came.

The appeal of the FA Cup was arguably at its peak by the mid-1970s and that is when the Saints caused one of the all-time shocks when Bobby Stokes stunned Manchester United, with his goal enough to record a sensational victory for the Second Division outfit.

In all fairness to Southampton, they have punched their weight since, reaching another FA Cup final in 2003 when they were defeated by Arsenal, while League Cup final defeats have also come in 1979 against Nottingham Forest and in 2017 against Manchester United. 

Bobby Stokes kisses the FA Cup as Peter Osgood looks on after his goal gave Southampton a shock victory over Manchester United at Wembley in 1976

Tottenham Hotspur

Current trophy drought: 13 years

Longest ever: 30 years (1921 – 1951)

The poster boys of trophy dodging but is it an unfair tag or justified given their status in the football pyramid?

Spurs have rich history behind them. Winning the first double of the 20th century in 1961, becoming the first British team to win a European trophy in the Cup-Winners’ Cup two years later and being crowned record winners of the FA Cup when they lifted the trophy for an eighth time in 1991.

Yet since then they have seriously underachieved despite near misses. Granted they have won two League Cups, but they have a runners-up finish in the Premier League, the Champions League and another four in the League Cup.

They are the only ever present club in the Premier League not to reach the FA Cup final since the league’s inception, and have incredibly lost their last eight semi-finals in the competition – an FA Cup record. 

Tottenham Hotspur are on their longest drought since the Second World War with their last major trophy coming in the 2008 Carling Cup victory over Chelsea


Current trophy drought: 140 years

Having started life as Watford Rovers 140 years ago, it’s been quite a long wait to finally put a pot in the cabinet.

But in fairness to Watford, they hadn’t played in the top flight until the 1982-83 season, when they sensationally finished second behind Liverpool.

A year later they were beaten in the FA Cup final by their Merseyside rivals Everton before then gradually sliding down the top flight and out of it by the end of the 1980s.

They reached the FA Cup final again in 2019, but it was a day Hornets fans would rather forget as their side were given the joint biggest defeat in the competition’s final history when they were hammered 6-0. 

West Ham United

Current trophy drought: 41 years

Longest ever: 69 years (1895-1964)

Trevor Brooking’s goal to defeat Arsenal at Wembley in the 1980 FA Cup final seems a very long time ago now, yet what is now a 41-year trophy drought was seconds away from ending 15 years ago.

West Ham looked on course to claim a famous 2-1 win against Liverpool in the last FA Cup to be played at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, only for Steven Gerrard to step up in stoppage time and with a stunning 25-yard effort send the game into extra-time.

The Reds of course then went on to win on penalties, and West Ham’s best chance to win a pot since 1980 had passed.

But this season they are going strong in the Europa League – catching the eye with performances on the continent. Could David Moyes be on the course of leading a fresh new challenge for silverware? 

West Ham stars celebrate their famous 1980 FA Cup triumph over Arsenal at Wembley

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Current trophy drought: 41 years

Longest ever: 41 years (1908-1949; 1980-present)

Wolves’ failure to win a trophy last season means they will now enter a club-record 42nd season without silverware – and in that timeline they have rarely come close to ending that streak.

Andy Gray’s goal to defeat Nottingham Forest in the 1980 League Cup final was just not just their last trophy but also their last major final to date.

Three FA Cup semi-final defeats have followed since including in 1981 to Tottenham, 1998 to Arsenal and also two years ago against Watford. 

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