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Who are the Premier League’s ‘big six’?

The Premier League's 'big six'
(Image credit: PA)

In recent years, a group of clubs known as ‘the big six’ have established themselves as the most powerful in the Premier League.

They have the biggest budgets, the most high-profile players and attract the biggest TV audiences with their global fanbases.

The big six consistently qualify for European competition, reaping the financial rewards that entails and widening the gulf between themselves and the rest.

The group is made up of the six wealthiest and most successful clubs in England – Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur.

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Between them, they have won the title in all but two of the 29 Premier League seasons so far.

The only exceptions are Blackburn Rovers, who surged to the top under Jack Walker’s ownership in the 1994-95 season, and Leicester City, who shocked the world five years ago.

Man United are the fourth richest club in the world according to Deloitte, with revenue in excess of £500million per year, while Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City and Tottenham all rank inside the top 10.

Arsenal sit just outside in 11th, with revenue of £340million even during the coronavirus-affected 2019-20 season.

The Gunners also finished the lowest of the big six in the table last season, behind Leicester and West Ham United in eighth place.

But in terms of trophies, they have enjoyed much more success than local rivals Tottenham during the Premier League era.

Arsenal won three titles under Arsene Wenger and are the most successful club in the history of the FA Cup, with four of their 14 victories coming in the last seven years.

The big six were all recently involved in plans to set up an invitation-only European Super League alongside the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus.

The controversial idea, which soon collapsed under the weight of widespread disapproval, would have entrenched their advantages even further and torn apart the very fabric of football.