The Premier League started operating in its current guise in 1992 and is the successor to the old First Division. The Premier League has seen some exceptional teams and managers in its three decades. However, as we all know, English football did not start in 1992.
The English top flight has played host to some of the best-ever managers in its history. However, which managers have won the English league title the most? Here are the managers who have guided their team to the top-flight English title on most occasions:
Sir Alex Ferguson (13 titles won with Manchester United)
There is no doubt who has been the most successful boss in terms of winning the English top-flight title. Sir Alex Ferguson is in a league of his own when it comes to winning the top-flight crown.
From 1993 until 2013, when he retired, Ferguson’s United team lifted the Premier League trophy on 13 occasions, which is more than double the number of titles of the managers who are joint second on our list.
Quite simply, Ferguson is a managerial legend, and some claim that the former Aberdeen manager is the greatest manager ever.
George Ramsey (six titles won at Aston Villa)
Ramsey was something of a football innovator, as between 1894 and 1910, he guided the Villans to the English top-flight title on six occasions. The Scot wasn’t happy with just dominating the league, though, as the team the Midlands also won the FA Cup on six occasions under Ramsey.
The fact that Ramsey was at Villa for over 40 years as Villa boss is simply incredible. Villa has only won one more top-flight title since Ramsey’s extraordinary spell at the Midlands club.
Bob Paisley (six titles won at Liverpool)
In the 1970s and 1980s, Liverpool dominated the English top flight. One of the reasons for that was the quiet man in the dugout, Bob Paisley. He started his non-playing career as Bill Shankly’s assistant from 1959 until 74 before becoming Liverpool boss in his own right in 1974.
Paisley guided Liverpool to the English top-flight title six times during his nine-year career as Reds boss. Not only did Liverpool win domestic titles under Paisley, but the Reds also lifted the European Cup on three occasions during his tenure on Merseyside.
Bob Paisley is the most successful English manager of all time and is regarded by most as a managerial great.
Tom Watson (five titles won with Sunderland and Liverpool)
The Newcastle-born boss did battle with George Ramsey during his managerial career in the late 1880s and early 1990s. While Ramsey won the English title on one more occasion than Watson, winning five titles with Sunderland and Liverpool is still a massive achievement.
Watson spent eight years as Sunderland’s manager between 1888–1896, winning three league titles in seasons 1891–92, 1892–93, and 1894–95. In 1896, Watson joined Liverpool, where he spent 19 years as boss, winning the English top-flight title in 1901 and 1906.
The titles with Liverpool made Watson the first manager ever to win English top-flight titles with two different clubs.
Sir Matt Busby (five titles won with Manchester United)
Sir Matt Busby is a legend of the British game. The Scottish boss took Manchester United to five English league titles between 1951 and 1967. Busby was one of the few United personnel that survived the Munich disaster in 1958, which killed a number of the renowned ‘Busby Babes’ as well as other club officials and journalists.
Tremendously determined, Busby rebuilt his United team and not only went on two win the league title on two more occasions after the disaster but also guided United to the 1968 European Cup. The Red Devils became the first English club to win the trophy and only second British club after Celtic, who had claimed the trophy in the previous campaign.
Herbert Chapman (four titles with Huddersfield and Arsenal)
Chapman was regarded as a visionary in his managerial career during his time with Northampton, Leeds, Huddersfield and Arsenal. Chapman won the English title four times combined with the latter two clubs.
Chapman spent from 1921 until 1925 with Huddersfield, where he claimed the title in 1924 and 1925 before his switch to Arsenal, where he claimed a further three top-flight crowns in 1931 and 1933.
Such was his legacy at Arsenal that there is now a statue of Chapman outside their home ground, the Emirates Stadium.
Sir Kenny Dalglish (four titles with Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers)
‘King Kenny’ as he is known at Liverpool, was that rare breed of a highly talented and successful footballer becoming a highly successful manager. Dalglish won his first title on Merseyside as Reds boss in 1985, with two more following in 1988 and 1990.
The Scot then won the fourth and last English title of his managerial career in 1995, when he guided big-spending Blackburn Rovers to the crown. Ironically, Rovers’ final game of the season was at Anfield, where a 2-1 defeat meant little, as his team lifted the Premier League trophy due to results going their way elsewhere.
His managerial record only added to the legend of his playing career. In 2017, the Centenary Stand at Anfield was officially dubbed ‘The Sir Kenny Dalglish Stand’ in recognition of his contribution to the Reds, both on and off the pitch.
Pep Guardiola (four titles won with Manchester City)
For many, Pep Guardiola is the best manager ever to grace a football dugout and an innovative coach. After trophy-laden spells at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, Guardiola moved to Manchester City in 2016.
He set about transforming Manchester City into a winning machine in the Premier League. City won the title four times from 2018 to 2022, failing to lift the trophy just once in season 2019/2020 when they were pipped to the post by Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.
Guardiola has also won the League Cup four times and the FA Cup once. Meanwhile, they finished as Champions League runners-up in 2021, beaten 1-0 in the final by compatriots Tottenham.
Bill Shankly (three titles with Liverpool)
The Scot is a genuinely legendary manager who is regarded as the man that started Liverpool’s winning culture. In 1962 he guided Liverpool to promotion to the Frist Division from England’s Second Division.
Two seasons later, Liverpool won their first title under Shankly. The Reds went on to win two more English top-flight titles in 1966 and 1973 and the FA Cup in 1965 and 1974.
The former Preston player also guided Liverpool to their first European trophy, the UEFA Cup, in 1972. During his time as Liverpool boss, he was flanked by right-hand Bob Paisley, who, of course, took Liverpool on to even greater glory during his managerial career.
In 1982 gates were erected outside the Reds’ home ground Anfield, dubbed ‘The Shankly Gates’ with the words ‘YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE’ inscribed on them.
Arsene Wenger (three titles with Arsenal)
When “The Professor’ as he has been nicknamed, arrived at Arsenal in 1996 from the Japanese club Grampus Eight, he was unknown to the majority of English football fans.
However, all that changed as he transformed Arsenal into a modern, forward-thinking team and club. It is also acknowledged that Wenger led the way in improving players’ fitness and diet, not just at Arsenal but within the English game in general.
It took him only until 1998 to win the Premier League for the first time before repeating the feat in 2002 and 2004 with the Gunners. The north London team also won the FA Cup on seven occasions under the Frenchman.
Wenger served as Arsenal’s manager for 22 years before retiring from the game he loved in 2018.