English clubs · English league · European football · Sociology & community

Biggest City Not To Have Had A Top Flight Club


In reply to

I just recently read on another forum that Hull is the biggest City in Europe not to have ever had a Top Flight Football team.

Is this true? Or is their any other City bigger not to have a Top Flight side?

I don’t know about that, but if you look at urban areas, even within England, the Bournemouth Urban Area has a population of 383,713, while the Birkenhead Urban Area has a population 319,675 (see here), and neither have had a club in the top flight in England.

Of all the clubs in England and Wales never to have played in the top flight, Hull has spent the most number of seasons in the second tier. That’s probably the most number of seasons any club in Europe has spent in the second tier without ever playing in the first tier.

It used to be Barnsley before they played one season in the Premier League in 1998-99. Only Barnsley (67) and Leicester City (57) have spent more seasons in the second tier than Hull (53).

See here.

(First posted on Tony Kempster’s Non-League Forum)

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4 thoughts on “Biggest City Not To Have Had A Top Flight Club

  1. In reply to

    But that’s the “local urban area”. Try telling somebody from Poole they’re from Bournemouth (even if it is the local urban area) and all you’ll get is a mouthfull. Same with Wallasey & Birkenhead. Looking it like that, Bournemouth’s population is around 160,000 and Birkenhead’s is around 80,000. Half and quarter Hull’s population respectively.

    and in reply to

    The ‘Bournemouth Urban Area’ is made up of 3 to 4 individual towns. Christchurch, Bournemouth and Poole (some include Ringwood as well) but they are 3 towns based each still with their own identities. Christchurch and Poole can trace their roots back about 1,000 years where as Bournemouth only came to be in the victorian age when the first house was built (now the Royal Exeter Hotel). Bournemouth swallowed up all the local villages (Pokesdown, Boscombe, Iford etc.) but the two main towns Poole and Christchurch stayed as they were.

    Hull on the other hand has always been a city expanding over time but always remaining as the City and thats why they are deemed and the largest in Europe without a top flight team. I have heard this before about Hull though.

    According to this, it’s the Russian city of Ufa, and in Western Europe, the German city of Wiesbaden.

    (First posted on Tony Kempster’s Non-League Forum)

      1. The city of Almere in the Netherlands has about 200,000 inhabitants, and never had a professional team until the creation of FC Omniworld, now Almere City FC, in 2001. Almere is the fastest growing city in the Netherlands, and the population is estimated to reach 300,000 in 2030.

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