Still waiting – the clubs that have had little to sing about

EVERTON fans won’t need reminding that they are going through a tough time this season and their recent FA Cup defeat at Manchester United meant the rest of the campaign will be all about preserving their Premier League status.

Everton’s followers have waited 28 years for a glimpse of silverware. It was 1995 when they last won a major prize, beating Manchester United at the old Wembley stadium. Although they have been part of the Premier League since it started, in recent years life has been quite precarious.

For most clubs, winning a trophy is an unlikely event, but success is also measured by promotion to a higher level. Only 43 clubs have won major honours, 49 of the 92 have never won silverware but every single club has, at some stage, won promotion. Of those that have won pieces of objet d’art in the past, Bradford City and Barnsley have been waiting for 112 and 111 years respectively to add to their haul. Sheffield United, Huddersfield Town and Cardiff City will all be celebrating the centenary of their last major triumph.

Everton’s 28-year stretch is the longest in their history without a prize for the cabinet. The previous longest barren spell was 24 years between 1939 and 1963, although the club was promoted in 1954 back to the first division. Everton’s run is notable because, for a long time, they were one of English football’s blue riband clubs.

Ipswich Town are another club who are enduring a long, painful period without some form of success. Now playing in League One, they have not won a trophy since 1981 and last enjoyed promotion in 2000. If they don’t go up this season – they are currently third in the table – it will be 23 years without a glimpse of bunting.

Tottenham’s lack of silverware is well documented and fans from rivals like Arsenal and Chelsea taunt Spurs for their lack of the killer touch.

Their last prize was the EFL Cup in 2008 and if they don’t break their duck this season, it will be 15 years since their last hurrah. Tottenham’s trophies down the years have usually come in clusters: 1961 – 1967, five; 1971 – 1973, three; 1981 – 1984, three. They’ve won just three cups in 30 years, a record that wouldn’t be tolerated at some clubs.

  Last success – years agoSource/CompetitionYear
1Everton28FA Cup1995
2Ipswich Town23Promotion2000
3Carlisle United17Promotion2006
 Colchester United17Promotion2006
5Derby County16Promotion2007
 Walsall16Promotion2007
7Tottenham Hotspur15EFL Cup2008
 Stoke City15Promotion2008
9Birmingham City12EFL Cup2011
 Stevenage12Promotion2011
11West Ham United11Promotion2012
 Southampton11Promotion2012
 Reading11Promotion2012
 Sheffield Wednesday11Promotion2012
 Crawley Town11Promotion2012
16Crystal Palace10Promotion2013
 Swansea City10EFL Cup2013
 Gillingham10Promotion2013
 Bradford City10Promotion2013
 Mansfield Town10Promotion2013
 Newport10Promotion2013
     

For Everton, Tottenham, Newcastle United (last trophy 1969) and West Ham (1980 FA Cup), desolate periods without success become all the more galling in this age of winner takes all. In fact, of the 60 domestic competitions over the past 20 years, 88% have been won by just six clubs (Manchester City 14, Chelsea 13, Manchester United 12, Arsenal 7, Liverpool 6, Tottenham 1). On top of that, Chelsea (4), Liverpool (2) and Manchester United (2), have won eight European trophies since 2003.

Of the 92 clubs in the EFL and Premier, 53 have experienced some form of success within five years, while another 24 have waited for between six and 10 years. Only two, Everton and Ipswich, have gone beyond 20 years. How long will they have to wait?

Traditionally, Everton have had to wait an average of around eight or nine years between trophies, but the current gap of 28 years has taken that average to around 10 years. Of the current big six clubs, Liverpool and Manchester United have an average of less than four years, Arsenal five years and Chelsea six. Manchester City’s average between trophies is currently nine years, but each season that passes changes that situation.

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