English Football: Ranking the Professional London-Based Clubs by Division
The English Premier League as a whole is quite possibly the most challenging and exciting football league in the entire world. I say 'quite possibly' because some soccer fanatics also consider Spain's La Liga to be elite as well.
The British League boasts of European power house clubs and world class superstars from all over the world.
This particular article will not focus on the EPL as a whole. We are temporarily going to forget about the Manchester's and Liverpool clubs and narrow in on a powerful and vibrant city that boasts of classy football clubs. London.
One of the biggest and greatest city's in the world and home to the famous Wembley Stadium, how can any worthy player not want to join a team located in the heart of London.
The way British football system is constructed is fairly simple (lowest to highest):
Football League Two
Football League One
Football League Championship
No. 14: Dagenham & Redbridge F.C., Football League Two
Mark Arber, Captain of Dag&Red
Dagenham & Redbridge F.C.
Known simply as Dag & Red, this East London team is one of the newly formed clubs after a merger between Degenham and Redbridge Forest in 1992.
Nicknamed "The Daggers," they called Victoria Road their home venue and are featured in this year's Football League Two after finishing 21st last season and being relegated for Football League One.
They spent their earlier years in Conference Football system slowly climbing their way into the League Two in 2007-08 when they won the Conference National Championship.
No. 13: AFC Wimbledon, Footbal League Two
AFC Wimbledon's captain, Jason Goodliffe, celebrates Conference Championship Trophy with faithful fans
Next on the list is AFC Wimbledon. The club is based out Kingston upon Thames in London though the clubs beginnings were in Wimbledon. Currently, AFC Wimbledon sits above all other London-based team in the League Two at 17th with 48 points.
Wimbledon has an extremely interesting tale to their existence. The club's records show that AFC Wimbledon was in fact founded in 2002 coming from Wimbledon F.C.'s relocation to Milton Keynes. After the name change to MK Dons, many fans were against the franchises decision feeling a loss of their clubs' roots and traditions, and decided to start AFC Wimbledon in honor of Wimbledon F.C.
Although they only began in 2002 this team has been more than successful in their rise to the fourth tier of English football. After its formation, the club was placed in the English Counties League which is the ninth tier in English football.
In the next nine seasons, The 'Dons have seen five promotions which places them in League Two, the fourth tier of the English Football System.
Most recently they placed second in the Conference National division and were promoted via-playoff into League Two.
An interesting fact about this up-and-coming club is that they hold a record that is held throughout all of English football. In their nine seasons, they had a stretch of 78 consecutive league matches without a loss and that extends from the Premier League to the Combined Counties League.
No. 12: Barnet F.C, Football League Two
Barnet Football Club
Barnet FC is located in North London and were crowned Champions of the 2004-05 Football Conference where they were promoted to the League Two where they continuously remain today.
Barnet's consistency and history places their rank above the other London-based squads in the League Two. Founded in 1888, The Bees have seen the ups and downs between the Football Conference and the Football League.
Barnet has seen their fair share of troubles the last few seasons. Currently in the 2011-12 tables, they sit two points about the relegation zone where they were all to familiar with last season as well.
In the last fixture of 2010-11, Barnet's defeat to Port Vale and Lincoln City's loss gave Barnet a one point advance of relegation.
Barnet FC calls Underhill Stadium their home ground, which is also where Arsenal FC Reserves play their matches.
No. 11: Brentford F.C, Football League One
Brentford is a Football League One team that was formed in 1889 in the London Borough of Hounslow. Nicknamed The Bees, they are currently sitting three points behind the sixth position, which would entitle them for a play-off for the promotion from League One to the Football Championship League.
Brentford has seen most of its success in the early decades of the 1900s when they saw two top-five finishes in the League Championship.
Griffin Park, a venue which sits just over 12,000 occupants has been the home of The Bees since 1904. Although never victorious, Brentford has made successful runs in the FA Cup, making it to the quarter-finals on four separate occasions.
The have been the club team of internationally players for 13 different nations including Wales, Scotland, Ghana, Iceland and Nigeria among others.
They are the only team alongside Doncaster that have claimed the Football League Two (or fourth tier) three times, including, 1962-63, 1998-99 and most recently 2008-09.
They have split time between the third and fourth tier of English football, but could make a run into the second tier later this season.
No. 10: Leyton Orient FC, Football League One
Jonathan Tehoue Celebrates Goal Against Arsenal Last Year
Leyton Orient FC
Many of you will remember Leyton Orient for last season's match-up with Arsenal in the FA Cup. In the first leg of the series, Jonathan Tehoue scored a late equaliser for Orient and set up a good result for leg two at the Emirates where they lost 5-0 and were eliminated from contention.
This East London side has been around since 1881 and have Brisbane Road as their home ground which can be officially identified as Matchroom Stadium.
The O's are considered the second oldest London-based club behind Fulham.
No. 9: Charlton Athletic, Football League One
Charlton Athletic FC
Charlton Athletic are arguably the most popular League One team, as they were in the Premiership as recently as 2007.
Currently playing in the League One, third tier in England, they have been guaranteed promotion for next season with their victory over Carlisle United at Brunton Park where ironically they have gained promotions there in 1981 and again in 1986.
Nicknamed the Addicks, Charlton look to extend their run back to the Premiership as they call The Valley in Charlton itself home.
Charlton's most notable trophy is the FA Cup in 1947 after losing in the final in 1946.
No. 8: Millwall FC, Football League Championship
Millwall are nicknames the Lions and are currently in the second tier of English football. The Lions home ground is called, 'The Den.'
In 2004, they reached the FA Cup semifinal and qualified for the UEFA Europa Cup.
Millwall is considered the 40th most successful club in English history.
No. 7: Crystal Palace FC, Football League Championship
The Crystal Palace FC are located in South Norwood London. The Eagles had a successful run in the early 90s and saw a third-place finish in the first division as well as a FA Cup final appearance with Manchester United.
They have spent 13 years at the top tier level in England, 34 in the second and 31 in the third tier.
They play at the Selhurst Park for their home games and fit over 26,000 loud cheering fans.
They have a number of rivalries and they consist of bad blood with fellow Londoners, Millwall and Charlton.
No. 6: West Ham United, League Football Championship
West Ham United are located in Newham, London and they play in Boelyn Ground Stadium.
The club have won the FA Cup three times including 1964, 1975 and 1980 as well as being runners-up twice, in 1923 and 2006. In 1965, they won the European Cup Winners Cup, and in 1999 they won the Intertoto Cup.
Their highest placing in the Premiership was in 1998-99 with a fifth-place finish.
No. 5: Queen Park Rangers, Premiership
Queen Park Rangers
Simply known as QPR, they were the 2010-11 Football League Champions and left the second tier for the first time in 15 years.
The team from White City, London reached the final of the FA Cup once in 1982 but was unsuccessful.
The team from West London currently hold rivalries with Chelsea, Fulham and Brentford for bragging rights of the territory.
They were runners-up in the 1975-76 edition of the Premiership but could get the top spot. They did win the League Cup though, in 1981.
No. 4: Fulham FC, Premiership
The oldest team in London is in fact, Fulham FC. They are currently in their 11th straight year in the top flight.
Fulham have played a combined 24 season in the Premiership. They call the cozy, Craven Cottage home and wreck havoc on visitors.
They finished eighth place last season and also went to the Final of the Europa League in 2010 against Atletico Madrid and lost 2-1 in extra time.
They won the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 2002 and were runners-up in the 1975 FA Cup.
No. 3: Chelsea FC, Premiership
Chelsea is based in Fulham, London and they have spent most of their tenure in the top flight. Chelsea have won the English title four times, the FA Cup six times and also the League Cup four times.
Stamford Bridge is home to the Blues and Russian billionaire owner Roman Abramovich.
Their average attendance for the 2010–11 season was 41,435, the sixth highest in the Premier League.
As one of England's "Top 4" Chelsea has seen some success in Europe with a UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1970-71 and 1997-98 as well as a Super Cup in 1998.
The past 10 years has been the most successful period in Chelsea’s history, capped by winning their first league and FA Cup "Double" in 2010.
No. 2: Tottenham Hotspur, Premiership
The team that calls White Hart Lane home is the Tottenham Hotspur. They have had a great amount of consistent success in the history of the club which was founded in 1882, 130 years ago.
Tottenham have won two top tier English titles, in 1951 and 1961, respectively. They have one the FA Cup eight out of the nine times they went to the final, and they claimed the League Cup four times.
Tottenham have achieved European greatness when the Spurs won the inaugural UEFA Cup in 1972 and again in 1984.
They are the second most decorated club in London history.
No. 1: Arsenal FC, Premiership
-13 Premiership Titles
-10 FA Cup Titles
-Two League Cups
-12 FA Community Shields
Arsenal has tallied 37 domestics cups since their existence. And close out this ranking as the greatest London-based football club of all time.
Arsenal holds the record for the longest uninterrupted period in the English top flight and is the only side to have completed a Premier League season to have gone unbeaten (2004).
They call the beautiful Emirates Stadium home, and fit about 60,000 people screaming for the Gunners.
Arsenal is classy, and may they continue to play beautiful football and same to all of those based in London.