English clubs · English league · Records & statistics

Clubs Finishing In The Top 3 Despite Not Winning At Least Two-Thirds Of Their Home Games


Continuing from here, in the 108 seasons since 1888, 87 clubs have managed to finish in the top three in England despite not winning at least two-thirds of their home games, or winning more points at home than away.

On 4 occasions, clubs won the title despite failing to win more points at home than away from home – Everton in 1914-15, Huddersfield Town in 1924-25, Arsenal in 1930-31 and Arsenal again in 1988-89. Of these, Arsenal in 1930-31 was the only occasion when the club managed to win at least a third of their home games.

There are 5 seasons in which all of the top 3 clubs failed to win at least two-thirds of their home games – 1914-15, 1954-55, 1988-89, 1991-92, 2001-02. Surprisingly, it has occurred more often in the last 19 seasons than it had in the preceding 89.

On 12 occasions, clubs actually won the title despite failing to win at least two-thirds of their home games:

  • 1897-98 – Sheffield United
  • 1914-15 – Everton
  • 1924-25 – Huddersfield Town
  • 1927-28 – Everton
  • 1946-47 – Liverpool
  • 1949-50 – Portsmouth
  • 1954-55 – Chelsea
  • 1973-74 – Leeds United
  • 1988-89 – Arsenal
  • 1991-92 – Leeds United
  • 1996-97 – Manchester United
  • 2001-02 – Arsenal

The longest period without a club managing to finish in the top three despite not winning at least two-thirds of their home games was from 1961 to 1969. I suppose one could say that the top clubs had better home form during this period because crowds were more fervent – more so “the 12th man” than for other times and places where the over-used metaphor has been bandied about.

If Chelsea fail to beat Bolton at home on Sunday, they will become the 87th club to finish in the top 3 despite not winning at least two-thirds of their home games.

If they lose to Bolton, they will also become the 10th club since 1888 to finish in the top 3 despite not having won more points at home than away.

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

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One thought on “Clubs Finishing In The Top 3 Despite Not Winning At Least Two-Thirds Of Their Home Games

  1. Chelsea drew, so their record for this season goes into the list.

    For the second successive season, in finishing second in the league, Chelsea have only managed to win 12 games at home despite remaining unbeaten – an identical “Won 12, Drew 7, Lost 0”. Too many draws at Stamford Bridge in successive seasons. What does that say about Chelsea. Or Stamford Bridge.

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

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