What would the English Premier League look like if its football clubs had retained their original Victorian names and colours?
This Victorian Premier League (updated for the 2017-18 season) contains only 15 teams. Five current Premier League clubs (Brighton & Hove Albion, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Huddersfield Town and Swansea City) didn't exist in the Victorian era, so they’re missing from the league table.
Brighton (1901), Chelsea and Crystal Palace (both 1905), and Huddersfield Town (1908) would qualify for an "Edwardian Premier League". Swansea City weren't formed until 1912, in the pre-war "Titanic era".
Chelsea's omission mean there is no reigning champion, with the likes of rivals Hotspur FC and Dial Square, and Newton Heath and West Gorton St Mark's battling for the title.
The Merseyside derby would no doubt cause some confusion in a Victorian Premier League, as both Everton and Liverpool originally played in blue, and were both called Everton..! Liverpool FC was formed by the owner of Anfield, John Houlding, after Everton moved from the ground to Goodison Park. Houlding named the club Everton FC and Athletic Grounds, but was forced to change the name to Liverpool FC in June 1892 following objections from the Football League.
Stanley FC are the only new club in the league for 2017-18, having been automatically promoted as champions of the second tier. In the Victorian era, promotion could only be achieved through "test match" play-offs, which Newcastle United won to gain promotion in 1898.
The oldest current Premier League side is Stoke City, who played their first match as Stoke Ramblers in 1868. Some sources claim the club was formed five years earlier than that, in 1863, while others say the original club folded in 1908, and the current club was formed as a separate entity in that year. The official club website says "details remain sketchy", but focuses on 1868, and this chart uses that date.
Only one current Premier League club, Burnley, still retain their original Victorian name. Southampton have retained their original colours, although not their sashed shirt design.
Table shows first recorded names and colours, which were not necessarily used at formation dates.
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