What Are The Biggest English Cities Without a Premier League Team?

min read
Sheffield United's Billy Sharp celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League soccer match between Sheffield United and Fulham at Bramall Lane stadium in Sheffield, England, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020.
(Gareth Copley/Pool via AP)
Gary Pearson @newagejourno Oct 04, 2022, 11:53 AM
  • Bristol has never had a team in the Premier League.
  • Sheffield is the biggest city without a Premier League team.

Only one of the five biggest English cities without a Premier League team has failed to play at least one season in the country’s elite soccer division in its 30-year history. 

Premier League odds have Bristol City, the most prominent club in the largest city never to have a Premier League team, as massive +6600 long shots to earn promotion from the Championship. 

While highly unlikely, Bristol’s inhabitants will hold on to dreams of seeing their club in the Premier League one day. 

London, the biggest city with a Premier League team, has seven top flight sides.

What Are the Biggest Premier League Cities Without a Premier League Team?

Sheffield, England’s fourth largest city in terms of population, is the biggest without a Premier League team. 

Based on population, here are the five largest cities without a Premier League team.  

5. Sunderland 

Population: 335,000

Last in the Premier League: 2016-17

Year Relegated from Premier League: 2017

Year Founded: 1879

Sunderland denizens live for their football, and they were treated to 10 successive seasons of Premier League action when Sunderland FC last played in the top flight. 

The Black Cats haven’t been back in the Premier League since 2016-17, when they finished last place and dropped into the Championship. The following season things got substantially worse, with Sunderland suffering consecutive demotions.

They played four seasons in England’s third division (League One) before earning promotion to the Championship for the 2022-23 season. Currently eighth in the Championship, Sunderland is pegged at +4000 to return to the Premier League. 

Sunderland is in the country’s northeast, just 14 miles from their most heated rivals, Newcastle.  

4. Coventry

Population: 359,000

Last in the Premier League: 2000-01

Year Relegated from Premier League: 2001

Year Founded: 1883

Coventry, home of Coventry City FC, hasn’t seen its most prominent football team in the Premier League since 2000-01. 

Coventry City FC was a Premier League club in the inaugural 1992-93 and enjoyed a nine-year run in England’s newly formed top division before suffering relegation in 2000-01. 

Including their nine-year spell in the Premier League, Coventry City FC was in England’s top division for 34 years, dating back to the 1967-68 season.

Like Sunderland FC, Coventry City FC’s demotion from the Premier League was just the start of their downward spiral. They dropped into League One in the 2012-13 season and fell even further five seasons later, plummeting into League Two, England’s fourth tier. 

They’ve since climbed back into the Championship but are currently anchored to the bottom of the standings. 

Coventry is  in the Midlands, just 24 miles from Birmingham. 

3. Stoke-on-Trent

Population: 372,000

Last in the Premier League: 2000-01

Year Relegated from Premier League: 2001

Year Founded: 1863

Stoke-on-Trent is equidistant between Birmingham and Manchester. The football team, Stoke City FC, enjoyed a 10-year run in the Premier League from 2008 to 2018. 

Stoke City FC was relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2018 season and has spent the last five seasons in the Championship. 

Currently 17th in the standings, Stoke City FC is pegged as astronomical +8000 long shots to return to the Premier League. 

2. Bristol 

Population: 617,000

Last in the Premier League: N/A 

Year Relegated from Premier League: N/A

Year Founded: 1894

Bristol is the odd one out, as they have never had a Premier League team. 

Bristol City FC has spent 13 of the previous 15 seasons in the Championship. Their first season in the Championship, in 2007-08, saw them fall just one hurdle shy of securing Premier League football. 

Bristol City FC lost 1-0 to Hull City in the playoff final, the closest the club has come to gaining entry into England’s most prestigious competition. They haven’t finished higher than eighth since and currently sit in 13th place. 

Bristol is situated in the country’s southwest, skirting the Bristol Channel and on the Wales-England border. 

1. Sheffield 

Population: 685,000

Last in the Premier League: Sheffield United 2020-21, Sheffield Wednesday N/A

Year Relegated from Premier League: Sheffield United 2021, Sheffield Wednesday N/A

Year Founded: Sheffield United 1889, Sheffield Wednesday 1867 

Sheffield is 42 miles southeast of Manchester and 36 miles south of Leeds. With two prominent soccer teams (Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday), the city has a population of about 685,000.

Sheffield United is the only of the two clubs with Premier League experience. They enjoyed a two-season run in the top flight from 2019 to 2021. 

Their city rivals, Sheffield Wednesday, haven’t yet broken into the Premier League. They played in nine consecutive Championship seasons, from 2012 to 2021, before being demoted at the end of the 2021 season. 

Sheffield Wednesday now plies its trade in the third tier of English soccer (League One).

In 2015-16 and 2016-17, Sheffield Wednesday came closest to gaining promotion into the Premier League but lost in the consecutive playoff semifinals. 

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About the Author

Gary Pearson

Read More @newagejourno

Gary Pearson is a freelance sports writer who contributes regularly to BetMGM, specializing in hockey, tennis and soccer coverage.

Gary Pearson is a freelance sports writer who contributes regularly to BetMGM, specializing in hockey, tennis and soccer coverage.