Cities With More Than One Football Club

Anfield and Goodison from above
Anfield (top) and Goodison (bottom) from above

If you’ve spent a bit of time browsing the pages of this site then you’ll know that we’re all about football grounds. We want you to be able to head to any match in Europe and be comfortable and confident that you’ll be able to find your way around and even have some knowledge about the football club that plays there or the stadium the match is taking place in. We also tell you about stadium tours, when they’re available, because you don’t only have head to a football ground when there’s a match on.

Yet are there any cities where you can head to kill two birds with one stone? Anywhere that you can visit two or more football grounds in order to rack up the number of stadiums that you’ve been to? Obviously the answer to that question is 'yes' or else this would be an entirely pointless article. But where are they? What do you need to know about them? Are there any notable mentions for towns that have managed to fit more than one football club within its borders? Hopefully we’ll be able to give you most if not all of the answers to those questions here…

English Cities With More Than One Football Club

Let’s start in England, where there are more than a couple of cities that boast multiple football clubs within their borders. There’s one in particular that unquestionably leads the way…

London

If it’s multiple football clubs you’re after on your visit to any particular city then there’s no question that London takes the biscuit. The capital of the United Kingdom boasts not one, not two, not even three of four stadiums. Instead there are a grand total of fourteen different grounds where football is played within the borders of London itself, presuming you’re only willing to go down as far as League Two. Go down further than that and you’re looking at a number closer to the forty mark.

In alphabetical order, starting with the clubs in the Premier League, you’ve got Arsenal, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United. There are other clubs like Watford that are on the border of London, but that don’t count towards this particular topic. Meanwhile down in the Championship there four more London clubs, with Brentford, Charlton Athletic, Fulham and Queens Park Rangers. At the time of writing Fulham are aiming to get back into the top-flight, so they could have achieved it by the time you’re reading this.

Shift down to League one and you’ll find Millwall, holding their own in the third division of English football. One division down and you’ll encounter AFC Wimbledon, the club formed when the original Wimbledon had financial problems that forced them to relocate to Milton Keynes, Barnet, Dagenham & Redbridge and Leyton Orient. Fourteen clubs playing professional football in the same city is remarkable and you could spend the best part of your time just trying to visit the grounds within the borders of the capital, should you wish to.

Birmingham

How’s this for a remarkable statistic: Despite having eleven less clubs than London, Birmingham as a city has the same number of European Cups to its name as the nation’s capital. Aston Villa, who play their games at Villa Park, won what is now known as the Champions League in 1982, a full thirty years before Chelsea would manage it.

Birmingham City are Villas main rivals, though nearby West Bromwich Albion have never been the Villains biggest fans, either.

Bristol

There are two big football clubs in Bristol, with neither being a big fan of the other. That’s hardly a surprise, of course, considering the two clubs’ proximity to each other. Bristol City was formed in 1894, eleven years after Bristol Rovers was founded as Black Arabs Football Club.

The two clubs played each other for the first time in 1897 and have played 105 times as this article goes to press.

Liverpool

Liverpool is the most successful footballing city in England, with Liverpool and Everton having won 55 major trophies between them. The red half of the city outshines their blue brethren on that front, with 41 of those trophies sitting in the Anfield cabinet. With five European Cups, Liverpool are also the most successful British club when it comes to European football.

Everton might not be able to compete when it comes to shiny things, but Goodison Park is one of the oldest purpose-built football grounds in the UK and was also the first stadium to have undersoil heating.

Manchester

It’s a similar story in Manchester, with the red side dominating the blues when it comes to trophies won. United have won forty major competitions, presuming that you don’t include the likes of the Charity Shield and the Cup Winner’s Cup.

Manchester City have come into the game a little bit more in recent years, but even then they’ve only won thirteen trophies, so less than half of the amount won by their bitter rivals. Despite the dislike between the two cities, Liverpool and Manchester have together won more European Cups than the rest of the country combined.

Nottingham

Not that we’re suggesting that you should tour England based on the number of European Cups in each city, but Nottingham is worthy of a shout on that front too. In two years, under the management of Brian Clough, Nottingham Forest won more of Europe’s biggest club competition than London has to date.

There’s a rivalry between Forest and, well, most clubs in the country, but Notts County are the closest of all of those rivals.

Stoke

Technically Stoke boasts two football clubs, with Port Vale coming under the jurisdiction of Stone-On-Trent. The other club is, of course, Stoke City and they’re the side that most people most readily associate with the city.

That’s for a number of reasons, not least of which is the fact that Port Vale have never played top-flight football, whilst Stoke City have won the League Cup in days of yore.

Sheffield

Sheffield boasts two of a few things, including major universities and top-class theatres. It’s the football clubs we’re interested in, however, with both Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United playing their games there.

This is one occasion when a club typically associated with the colour blue is more successful than the one that plays in red, as Sheffield Wednesday have won eight trophies compared to United’s five.

English Towns With More Than One Football Club

A quick honourable mention for the impressive number of towns in England that boast more than one football club, depending on how low down in the league pyramid you’re willing to go. Southend has Southend United and Southend Manor, for example, with the latter playing their games in the Essex Senior League.

We won’t list all of the clubs, but if you’re hoping to see more than one team when you visit a town in England then head to Ipswich, Plymouth, Barrow, Boston, Lincoln, Colchester, Eastbourne, Blackpool, Runcorn, Reading, Cheltenham or Enfield.

Scottish Cities With More Than One Football Club

Glasgow

Residents of Edinburgh, Falkirk and Dundee might resent the idea that it’s Glasgow that gets the nod ahead of them, but just one of the Glasgow clubs has one more trophies than the rest of them put together. That’s to say nothing of the fact that the Old Firm Derby is one of the most fiercely competed football matches anywhere in the world.

The Celtic Football Club has won the Scottish top-flight 48 times, with another 36 Scottish Cups and 16 Scottish League Cups on top of that, to say nothing of a European Cup. Rangers, on the other hand, have won 54 leagues, 33 Scottish Cups and 27 League Cups.

Dundee

When it comes to Scottish football, it’s natural to look mainly towards Glasgow in terms of thinking about major rivalries. Dundee isn’t a place to forget though, if for no other reason than Dens Park and Tannadice Park are the closest grounds to each other geographically in all of the UK. We’re not joking when we say that, either. You’re talking a matter of about two hundred metres, with the ability to see one stadium from the other.

Dundee might feel that they were extraordinarily close to being a great club, having employed a man named Shankly as their manager. Unfortunately for them it wasn’t the Bill Shankly who would go on to be the father of the modern day Liverpool FC, but rather his brother Bob. Dundee United, meanwhile, came close to making an impression on the European stage when they made it to the semi-finals of the European Cup and the final of the UEFA Cup in the 1980s, winning neither.

Edinburgh

The Old Firm match between Celtic and Rangers will always grab the headlines when it comes to talking about Scottish football’s biggest on-pitch battle, but however much Glasgow might win the footballing bragging rights Edinburgh is still Scotland’s capital city. As such it’s no surprise that there are two interesting football clubs that play their games in the shadow of Arthur’s Seat. It’s fair to say that there isn’t much blood and thunder when Heart of Midlothian go up against Hibernian, but the two sides are close enough geographically to mean that both sides will want to win.

They played their first match against each other on Christmas Day of 1875, the first competitive match that Hibernian ever played. That makes this one of the oldest city derbies in football, which is a decent claim to fame all of its own. There’s a slight religious undertone to the match between the sides, but it’s not taken anywhere near as seriously as the big game across Scotland. Whatever else, Hibs fans will always have something over their city rivals - Hearts was formed by a group of friends who were part of a dancing troupe. And a one and a two and a…

Multi-Club Cities From Around The World

It’s fair to say that this list will not be exhaustive. If you want to head off to the likes of Japan, Brazil or America then you’d find multiple cities with many football clubs within their borders. Instead we’re going to concentrate on the most obvious examples in Europe.

Madrid

When it comes to honours alone, Real Madrid have got the rule on their neighbours. You can’t be too down on Atletico Madrid, however, as Los Blancos are technically the most successful football club in the world. In 2014 they won 'La Decima', otherwise known as their tenth European Cup. Add that to 32 La Liga titles and 19 Copa del Reys and you get a sense of why they’re so revered.

They’ll never truly be considered 'the people’s club', though, because Atletico was formed by dissidents from Real. El Derbi Madrileño is another one that has no love lost when it comes to kick-off time.

Milan

Head to Northern Italy and you’ll find a city that is home to two football clubs. As if that in itself isn’t impressive enough, the two sides don’t even bother to take up that much space as they share a football ground. Talk about killing two birds with one stone! AC Milan play in red and black, whilst their rivals Internazionale play in blue and black; can you guess which team’s the most successful?

Yes, it’s AC, but not by much! Both clubs have won Serie A 18 times and they’ve each won the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana 12 times, but it’s in Europe that AC get away from their rivals. They’ve won the European Cup 7 times compared to Inter’s 3, though they’ve never won the UEFA Cup and Inter have done so three times.

Rome

England isn’t the only country that has multiple football clubs in multiple cities, with Rome vying with Milan for the honour of being Italy’s most populated footballing city. The Roman clubs haven’t enjoyed the success of those from Milan, but both Roma and Lazio play their games in the Stadio Olimpico, so they do have ground-sharing in common with AC and Inter.

Moscow

Ok, Russian football isn’t exactly renowned as one of the best leagues in the world. Still, you can’t talk about great footballing cities and not mention Moscow, considering the capital of the former USSR boasts four of the country’s best football teams. If you don’t want to go and watch a CSKA Moscow then you can head to Spartak Moscow instead.

Failing that then why not opt for Lokomotiv Moscow or Dynamo Moscow? Put it this way, head to Russia during the football season and you won’t be caught short of options.

Lisbon

The last city we’ll give a mention to is Lisbon, the Portuguese capital and the largest city in the country. Much like the Russian Premier League the Portuguese Primeira Liga doesn’t have the same sort of respect that the likes of La Liga or the Bundesliga boasts around the world.

That’s perhaps a touch unfair, however, with exciting football available to those that want to watch it. If you’re looking to head to just one Portuguese city in order to get your footballing fill then you’ll find both Sporting Lisbon and Benfica within Lisbon’s walls. The latter club is the country’s most successful, whilst the former is the third-most. Porto is sandwiched in between, just FYI.

Trivia

We couldn’t let you read this entire piece and then not furnish you with a couple of bits of interesting information for you to use in pub quizzes in the future. In no particular order, here’s what we think you might like to know:

Dundee, Two Closest Stadiums
Dundee, Two Closest Stadiums
  • Dundee boasts the two closest stadiums in the world. It takes less than a minute to walk between them as they’re around 0.2 miles away from each other.
  • Anfield and Goodison Park are less than a mile from each other, making that the most successful mile in world football.
  • Sao Paulo is the third biggest city in the world, yet it has just four football clubs.
  • Ciudad Juarez in Mexico is the largest city in the world without a professional football club. Cobras de Juarez and then Indios de Juarez have been clubs for the city with over 2.5 million residents, but both have since folded.