Soccer teams in England
In England, the game of soccer is known as football, as in most parts of the world, and it is organized into four professional leagues at the apex of a pyramid of semi-professional and amateur leagues. There are 92 professional teams and innumerable semi-pro and amateur sides. The four professional leagues comprise the Premier League (20 teams), the Championship, League One and League Two (24 teams each). Below League Two, the Conference league provides a stepping-stone for semi-pro sides to gain promotion to the professional leagues.
English soccer teams typically call themselves a "football club" (F.C.).
Premier League teams
- Arsenal F.C. is based in north London. The team is managed by Arsene Wenger. Finishing fourth in the English Premier League in the 2006/7 season, the team features major international stars of football. Former star Thierry Henry has recently left the team after eight years of huge success, departing to Barcelona in the summer of 2007. In 2006 the team moved from their old stadium, Arsenal Stadium, located in, and more commonly known as Highbury. The team's new stadium is named after the Dubai airline and sponsor, Emirates.
- Aston Villa F.C. is based in Aston, Birmingham, in the English Midlands. One of the 12 founder members of the Football League. Currently coached by Gérard Houllier. They finished the 2006/7 season in 11th position in the English Premier League.
- Blackburn Rovers F.C. is an English football team that play in the Premiership . The club hails from the town of Blackburn in Lancashire. Formed in 1875, Rovers were one of the 12 founding members of the Football League. They have won the league championship a total of 3 times and were 1994-5 Premiership champions, in addition they have won the F.A. Cup 6 times and the League Cup once. Blackburn's current manager is Steve Kean. Their home stadium is Ewood Park.
- Bolton Wanderers F.C., one of the 12 founder members of the Football League, play in the town of Bolton, north-east of Manchester. Historically, they have played in either of the top two divisions of the League. They have won the F.A. Cup several times but have never been League champions.
- Chelsea F.C. play at Stamford Bridge, in west London. The club is owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich was managed by Avram Grant for most of the 2007-08 season. In 2007-08 the side finished second in the Premier League.
- Everton F.C. is based in Liverpool. Founded in 1878 as a church sports side they were became of the 12 founder members of the Football League in 1888. However, owing to a rent dispute in 1892 they left their home ground of Anfield and moved to a new site at Goodison Park, where they have played ever since. There are plans under discussion to move outside the city of Liverpool and establish a new ground over a Tesco supermarket in nearby Knowsley. The club's nickname is The Toffees; although there are several hypotheses about how the name arose it is likely that it derives from the black and white striped, toffee filled, candy known as an Everton Mint. Everton's biggest rivals are Liverpool who were formed in 1892 to utilise the abandoned Anfield ground. Despite Everton's successes over the years they have been overshadowed by their illustrious neighbours who hold the records for the most top flight championships as well as European trophies won in the English game.
- Fulham F.C. is based in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. Their nickname is The Cottagers, after their home ground of Craven Cottage alongside the River Thames, which can usually be seen during the Oxford and Cambridge boat-race. The club was founded in 1879 and are the oldest professional soccer team in London. The club strip comprises white shirts and socks with black shorts. Despite their long history they have never won any major honors. The club is currently owned by the Egyptian millionaire and owner of Harrods, Mohamed Al-Fayed who took control in 1997. Official site Premier League - Fulham
- Liverpool F.C. was founded in 1892. It is based in Anfield stadium, although is expected to relocate to Stanley Park in 2011. The club has become the most successful club in English league history, winning eighteen League titles as well as five European cups. The current manager is Kenny Dalglish. The Club's most bitter rivalries are with Everton, Manchester United and Chelsea. The club was founded after a dispute between the owner of the Anfield Road Ground, John Houlding, and the team that was the tenant, Everton FC. Everton built and occupied their own ground, Goodison Park, leaving Houlding with an unproductive and vacant Anfield. Houlding began Liverpool F.C. to utilize his asset. The Club's first ever manager was an Irishman, John Mckenna. McKenna brought in a lot of players to the club, many of them from Scotland. Under his supervision it was promoted twice: first from the Lancaster League to the Second division, and then from the second to first divisions. He also worked with Houlding to develop Anfield and expand its capacity. The club won its first League title in 1900-01.
- Manchester City F.C. is the smaller of two English Premier League teams in the city of Manchester. Usually lying lower in the Premier League than their derby rivals, Manchester United, City is managed by Roberto Mancini. The team plays at the City of Manchester Stadium, built as the main stadium for the 2002 Commonwealth Games. The stadium hosted the UEFA Cup Final 2008. They won the 2011 FA Cup, beating Stoke City 1-0 in the final.
- Manchester United F.C. Manchester United play in red shirts, white shorts and black socks. They were the first English club to win the European Cup, in 1968, winning again in 1999 and 2008. The club joined the Football League in 1892 under the name Newton Heath. Their official nickname is the "Red Devils" and the club badge features a small black devil holding a trident. They are known to their fans either as Man U, Man United or just United. In 2005 the club was taken over by the American billionaire, Malcolm Glazer. After two seasons with little success by their standards they won the Barclays Premier League again in 2007 and 2008.The club is noted for the exceptionally cosmopolitan nature of its support, regularly drawing large numbers of fans from all over the the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. As a result it is consistently the most supported team in England. The Club maintains bitter rivalries with Manchester City, Liverpool Leeds United and Arsenal
- Stoke City F.C., based in the Midlands city of Stoke on Trent, were newly promoted to the Premier League in 2008. Stoke was one of the 12 founder members of the Football League.
- Sunderland A.F.C. are based in the north-eastern city of Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, where they play in the Stadium of Light. The club's nickname is The Black Cats, or the Mackems, and the club's crest depicts two black lions support a heraldic shield. The club strip comprises red and white striped shirts with black shorts and socks. The club was founded in 1879 and joined the Football League in 1890 (replacing Stoke City). They remained continuously in the top division until 1958. Since then they have been promoted to and relegated from the the top flight several times and are one of the 2007-8 season's Premier League new boys. Sunderland were successful in their early years, being League Champions five times between 1892 and 1913, with the addition of a sixth title in 1936. They won the FA Cup in 1937 and then again in 1973, which has been their only notable honor since World War II. The club is currently managed by Steve Bruce. Official site Premier League - Sunderland
- Tottenham Hotspur F.C. ('Spurs' to their supporters) are a north London team, Arsenal's long-standing rival. They are based at White Hart Lane Stadium.
- West Ham United F.C. ('The Hammers', colloquially) are a London team, managed by Avram Grant, and with their home ground in Upton Park.
- Wigan Athletic F.C. is based in the northwestern town of Wigan, Lancashire (now part of Greater Manchester). The club's nickname is The Latics. The club was founded in 1932 after several unsuccessful attempts to run a soccer club in a town where Rugby League is the most popular sport. After playing in the minor leagues for many years, Wigan gained entry to the old Fourth Division of the Football League in 1978 and promoted to the Third Division in 1982. In 1993 they were relegated to the lower league and were bought in 1995 by David Whelan, an ambitious local millionaire who had made his fortune selling sportswear. Two years later, in 1997, they were promoted back to third-tier football and within six years had secured a further step up the second tier. It took only a further two years for them to complete a remarkable progression from fourth-tier to top-tier, when they were promoted to the Premier League in 2005. The club play at the JJB Stadium which they share with Rugby League club Wigan Warriors (also owned by Devid Whelan). The stadium was built in 1999 and named after Whelan's sportswear chain JJB Sports. The club continues to struggle for support and its highest ever home attendance is 25,000 for visitors Liverpool in February 2006. After raising ticket prices in 2006 Wigan had to cut them in response to falling attendances and have kept them low at a time when almost all other Premier League clubs were making significant increases. After a poor 2006-7 season in which they just managed to avoid relegation, their manager Paul Jewell resigned and was replaced by Chris Hutchings. Hutchings was sacked after a poor start to the 2007-8 season. Roberto Martinez is the current manager. Official site Premier League - Wigan Athletic
- Wolverhampton Wanderers FC One of the founder members of the League.
- Barnsley FC
- Bristol City FC
- Cardiff City FC
- Charlton Athletic FC
- Coventry City FC
- Derby County FC Their nickname is The Rams, after the symbol for the county of Derbyshire and also the club. One of the founder members of the League. Their current home ground is Pride Park, but they previously played at the Baseball Ground. Derby County was relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2007-08 season. Official site
- Doncaster Rovers FC
- Ipswich Town FC
- Middlesbrough F.C. ('Boro') is based in Middlesbrough, in north-east England. The side was founded in 1876 by members of Middlesbrough Cricket Club. Between 1903 and 1995 its home ground was Ayresome Park but in 1995 it moved to the Riverside Stadium. Middlesbrough were winners of the League Cup in 2004.
- Norwich City FC
- Nottingham Forest FC
- Plymouth Argyle FC
- Preston North End FC One of the founder members of the League.
- Queens Park Rangers FC
- Reading FC are an English football club based in the southern town of Reading, Berkshire. The club's nickname since 1970 is The Royals (Berkshire is known as the Royal County); formerly they were known as The Biscuitmen after the Huntley & Palmers biscuit factory. The club strip comprises royal-blue and white hooped shirts with royal-blue shorts and socks. The club was founded on Christmas Day 1871 and in 1920 joined the Third Division of the original Football League. Apart from brief excursions to the second and fourth tiers, Reading were generally a third-tier team until 2002 when the made the longer term move to second level competition. They were promoted to the Premier League in 2006 after running away with The Championship, but relegated to the Championship at the end of the 2007-08 season. The club play at the Madejski Stadium, built in 1998 and named after their multi-millionaire owner John Madejski who bought the club in 1990. Reading's worst ever defeat was by Preston North End in 1894, when they lost 18-0. Reading have registered their fans as an official (unpaid) member of their team squad, in recognition of the effect their support has for the team, and given the Number 13. The club is currently managed by Steve Coppell. Official site Premier League - Reading
- Sheffield United FC
- Sheffield Wednesday FC
- Southampton FC
- Swansea City AFC
- Watford FC
League One teams
- Brighton & Hove Albion FC
- Bristol Rovers FC
- Carlisle United FC
- Cheltenham Town FC
- Colchester United FC
- Crewe Alexandra FC
- Hartlepool United FC
- Hereford United FC
- Huddersfield Town FC
- Leeds United FC, based in the northern city of Leeds, play at Elland Road stadium. Their traditional strip is white shirts and shorts. Leeds has long been one of the strongest sides in England, but financial mismanagement of the club in the early years of this decade, reflected in sporting performance, has brought it to its current lowly situation
- Leicester City FC
- Leyton Orient FC
- Millwall FC
- MK Dons FC
- Northampton Town FC
- Oldham Athletic FC
- Peterborough United FC
- Scunthorpe United FC
- Southend United FC
- Stockport County FC
- Swindon Town FC
- Tranmere Rovers FC
- Walsall FC
- Yeovil Town FC
League Two teams
- ↑ Blackburn Rovers FC Homepage
- ↑ http://www.whufc.com/
- ↑ http://www.mfc.premiumtv.co.uk/page/HistoryDetail/0,,1~51936,00.html
- The Football League: http://www.football-league.co.uk/page/Home/0,,10794,00.html