English clubs · English league · European football · Records & statistics

Same Top 2 Three Seasons In A Row

Winning the title three seasons in a row may not be as uncommon in the other major European leagues as it is in England, so at first glance, Inter doing so this season would appear to be no big deal, especially since most of their major rivals were “taken out” by the 2006 scandal. In England, it’s only been achieved four times:

  • Huddersfield Town – 1924, 1925, 1926
  • Arsenal – 1933, 1934, 1935
  • Liverpool – 1982, 1983, 1984
  • Manchester Utd – 1999, 2000, 2001

Likewise, a club finishing runners three seasons in a row, as Roma have this season, is not that uncommon in the rest of Europe. In England, it has happened 4 times:

  • Preston North End – 1891, 1892, 1893
  • Manchester United – 1947, 1948, 1949
  • Leeds United – 1970, 1971,1972
  • Arsenal – 1999, 2000, 2001

However, the same two clubs finishing first and second three seasons in a row, as has occurred in Serie A, is much rarer in the major European leagues of England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France. In fact, it has only happened twice before – in Italy from 1933 to 1935 (with Juventus as champions and Inter as runners up on each occasion), and in England from 1999 to 2001.

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


5 thoughts on “Same Top 2 Three Seasons In A Row

  1. In reply to

    Lyon have won the French League 7 years in a row.

    All the more amazing when you consider that they hadn’t won the French title before 2002.

    Winning 3 or more titles in a row is not uncommon outside of England, even in the major leagues of Spain, Italy, Germany and France.

    In Spain:

    • Real Madrid – 1961 to 65 (5), 1967 to 69 (3), 1978 to 80 (3), 1986 to 1990 (5)
    • Barcelona – 1991 to 94 (4)


    • Juventus – 1931 to 35 (5)
    • Torino – 1943, 46 to 49 (5)
    • AC Milan – 1992 to 94 (3)
    • Inter Milan – 2006 to 2008 (3)

    In Germany (since 1964):

    • Bayern Munich – 1972 to 74, 84 to 87, 1999 to 2001
    • Borussia Moenchengladbach – 1975 to 77


    • St Etienne – 1967 to 1970 (4), 1974 to 1976 (3)
    • Marseille – 1989 to 1992 (4) (stripped of 1993 title due to financial irregularities.
    • Lyon – 2002 to 2008 (7)

    The current record is held by Skonto, who won the Latvian League in its first 14 seasons (1991 to 2004) after it resumed following the end of Soviet control.

    Rosenborg won 13 titles in a row in Norway between 1992 and 2004. Coincidentally, both the runs of Skonto and Rosenborg ended in the same season.

    I remember that for a long time, the record was 9, held jointly by CSKA Sofia (1954 to 1962) and Celtic (1966 to 1974, subsequently equalled by Rangers – 1989 to 1997).

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

  2. In reply to

    This record was broken by Dynamo Berlin, who won the East German title ten times in a row between 1979 and 1989

    Thanks for reminding me.

    I had a look at their record. Like Lyons, they hadn’t won the title before that, and as the East German league did not last much longer beyond 1989, they didn’t win any after either, so their total of 10 titles were all in a row!

    It is striking how poorly the former East German powerhouses are doing in the unified Germany – a sad commentary on east Germany’s standing post-unification.

    In the recently concluded season in Germany, Dynamo Berlin were in the fourth tier. Dynamo Dresden and FC Magdeburg were in the third tier, but only Dynamo Dresden have made it to the new 3rd Liga (third tier).

    Carl Zeiss Jena have been relegated from the 2nd Bundesliga and will join Dynamo Dresden in the 3rd Liga next season. Hansa Rostock, who didn’t really have a pedigree in the old East German league, save that they rose to prominence after the fall of the Berlin wall, and won the last East German title before the league was disbanded, have been relegated from the Bundesliga.

    FC Madgeburg were the only East German side to win a European trophy – the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1974. Carl Zeiss Jena lost in the Cup Winners’ Cup Final in 1981.

    Lokomotiv Leipzig, the third East German side to reach a European final (losing in the European Cup Winners’ Cup Final in 1987) were in the 5th tier last season.

    Only Energie Cottbus are in the Bundesliga, and they hardly had any pedigree in the old East German league.

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

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