Longest Title Droughts in European Football

    When a season begins, opposing fans love to remind Liverpool supporters of how long it’s been since their last championship. Well, 26 years is quite a long time, but there are quite a few clubs in Europe’s top leagues, that have been waiting for a lot longer. Some of them are quite massive, and it’s surprising to find out they haven’t won a championship in such a long time.

    So without too much filler noise, here are the nine clubs playing in Europe’s top 5 leagues (England, Germany, Italy, Spain, France) and are currently in the top flight, waiting the longest for a championship. We only included clubs that have already won a league title.

    OGC Nice – 57 years

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    Nice won their fourth league title in 1959, the end of a terrific decade for the club from the French Riviera. Jacques Foix, a French international during the 1950’s, led them in scoring with 18 goals that season, finishing ahead of Nimes in the table. Their only other title since then has been the Coupe de France in 1997.

    Eintracht Frankfurt – 57 years

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    When Frankfurt won the German championship for the first and only time, the Bundesliga wasn’t even established. Regional champions and runners up formed two groups to play in the Oberliga, ending with a final between Frankfurt and Kickers Offenbach, with a hat trick by Eckehard Feigenspan leading them to a 5-3 win. They’ve won four German Cups and the UEFA Cup (1980) since that title, also losing in the European Cup final of 1960 to Real Madrid, a famous 7-3 results, with Alfredo Di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas splitting the scoring work.

    FC Schalke 04 – 58 years

    Schalke 1958 champions
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    Like Frankfurt, Schalke won their last German championship before the Bundesliga, in the Oberliga format, beating Hamburg 3-0 in the final, enjoying a brace from Bernhard Klodt, a world champion with West Germany in 1954. That was the last of 7 league titles for Schalke, finishing as runner-up six times since, winning the German Cup four times, and the UEFA Cup in 1996.

    Sevilla FC – 70 years

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    Sevilla won their first and only La Liga title in 1946, finishing ahead of Barcelona with one point separating the two teams (two point per win at the time). They finished as the runner-up twice since then (1951, 1957). They’ve done better in cup competitions, winning the Copa Del Rey three times since (last in 2010) and the Europa League five times since 2006, including the last three years.

    Sunderland AFC – 80 years

    Sunderland 1936 champions

    Sunderland won the championship for the sixth and final time in 1936, finishing ahead of Derby County. They won the FA Cup in 1937 and for a second time in 1973, but for the most part, their last 8 decades have been quite uneventful in terms of playing for trophies. Moving up and down between divisions has kept things interesting.

    Real Betis – 81 years

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    The interesting thing about Betis’ first and only championship back in the 1934-1935 season is that their name was Betis Balompié at the time. The season took place under the Second Spanish Republic, and therefore the clubs with former (and now restored) royal patronage were forced to adopt different names. They’ve won the Copa Del Rey twice since then (1977, 2005), but haven’t finished better than third in the La Liga.

    Hertha BSC – 85 years

    Hertha Museum
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    Unlike the Oberliga that came later on, the German championship that Hertha won was in a knockout tournament format, with 16 clubs qualifying through regional competitions. In the final, Hertha beat Munich 1860 3-2, winning their second consecutive title after finishing on top in 1930 as well. They’ve finished second once in the Bundesliga era (1975), and lost in the German Cup final three times, last time in 1993.

    Genoa CFC – 92 years

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    Genoa won their ninth and final championship in 1924, with the league named Prima Divisione at the time, split into regional groups, culminating in a two-leg final, in which Genoa beat Savoia 4-2 on aggregate. Genoa finished as runners up in 1925, 1928 and 1930, and their only title since that championship has been their 1937 Italian Cup. They haven’t even been to a Coppa Italia final since 1940.

    West Bromwich Albion FC – 96 years

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    The Baggies were founded in 1878. Their only league title came in 1920, when it was still the Football League, winning the league with nine points between them and Burnley, which was quite a big margin in the two-point-per-win era. West Brom scored over 2.2 goals per match that season, with the second best scoring team averaging only 1.3 per match (Liverpool). Fred Morris was their top scorer that season with 37 goals. Since then, West Brom have finished in second place twice (1925, 1954), have won three FA Cups (1931, 1954, 1968) and the League Cup in 1966.


    The other clubs with more than 10 years since their last league title:

    Arsenal – 12

    Valencia – 12

    Werder Bremen – 12

    Nantes – 15

    Roma – 15

    Monaco – 16

    Deportivo – 16

    Lazio – 16

    Sampdoria – 25

    Liverpool – 26

    Napoli – 26

    Everton – 29

    Bilbao – 32

    Hamburg – 33

    Sociedad – 34

    Saint Etienne – 35

    FC Koln – 38

    Borussia Monchengladbach – 39

    Torino – 40

    Cagliari – 46

    Fiorentina – 47

    Bologna – 52

    Tottenham – 55

    Burnley – 56