Football Features

Every Premier League club’s highest and lowest single-season points total

By Chris Smith

Premier League: Highest and lowest points total for every club

Published: 16:00, 26 December 2021

Over the past few years, Manchester City and Liverpool have completely redefined the word ‘domination’ in the Premier League.

The two North-West giants have posted respective points totals of 100, 98, 97  and 99 over the past few campaigns.

Of course, neither side has always been this good and both, especially so in City’s case, have suffered through lean periods in their recent history.

With that in mind, we decided to take a look at the highest and lowest single-season Premier League points totals for every team currently occupying a top-flight place with the exception of Brentford who have never completed a full campaign.

Arsenal

Highest single-season points total: 90 (2003/04)

Finishing position: 1st

Arsenal’s most prolific Premier League season is also one of, if not the most memorable campaigns the competition has ever seen; their 2003/04 ‘invincible’ title win.

The Gunners picked up a massive 90 points that year, going unbeaten throughout the entire 38-game campaign and conceding just 26 goals. To think, that was the last time Arsenal could call themselves English champions.

Lowest single-season points total: 51 (1994/95)

Finishing position: 12th

Of course, just as they’re struggling now, there was a time during the Premier League‘s early years where Arsenal had to settle for mid-table obscurity. Never was that more apparent than in their 1994/95 campaign when they had to settle for a 12th-place finish with a miserable 51 points from 42 games.

Ian Wright was the only Gunner to net double figures across all competitions that season, netting 30 times in 45 games, including 18 in the Premier League.

Aston Villa

Highest single-season points total: 74 (1992/93)

Finishing position: 2nd

Never has it been better in the Premier League for Aston Villa than during the competition’s inaugural 1992/93 season, when Ron Atkinson led the Midlands side to a second-place finish with 74 points.

Dean Saunders, Dwight Yorke and Co pushed Man Utd all the way in the title race and were actually top of the league with six games to go. However, a disastrous run of three consecutive defeats to close out the season saw them finish 10 points behind the Red Devils in the end.

Lowest single-season points total: 17 (2015/16)

Finishing position: 20th

Ask any Villa fan and they’ll take a title collapse every day of the week over what they had to suffer through in 2015/16, when the former European champions won just three of 38 games to finish bottom with a pathetic 17 points, sealing relegation from the top-flight for the first time since 1987.

Brighton & Hove Albion

Highest single-season points total: 41 (2019/20 & 2020/21)

Finishing position: 15th (19/20) & 16th (20/21)

Brighton registered their highest single-season Premier League points total on two separate occasions; their first came in 2019/20 — the club’s third top-flight campaign since the mid-1980s. Graham Potter’s side then equalled that a season later, but couldn’t improve on their placement.

Lowest single-season points total: 36 (2018/19)

Finishing position: 17th

The season before that first big score just so happens to be Brighton’s worst Premier League performance, registering just 36 points from 38 games. However, that was still enough to keep them in the top flight as the Seagulls finished two points clear of relegated Cardiff City.

Burnley

Highest single-season points total: 54 (2017/18)

Finishing position: 7th

Sean Dyche has done a wonderful job establishing the Clarets as a safe and secure Premier League outfit and the high-point of his reign so far simply has to be their 2017/18 campaign, when they finished above the likes of Everton and Leicester City in seventh place with 54 points, sealing Europa League football in the process. As always, Burnley‘s success under Dyche was predicated on a rock-solid defence, with 36 goals scored and 39 goals conceded in 38 Premier League games that season.

Lowest single-season points total: 30 (2009/10)

Finishing position: 18th

This Burnley side are quite different to the one which made the club’s Premier League debut back in 2009/10, with Owen Coyle and, later, Brian Laws overseeing an immediate return to the Championship with their 30 points only good for 18th place. Unlike Dyche‘s defensive masters, this Clarets side leaked a ridiculous 82 goals from 38 games.

Chelsea

Highest single-season points total: 95 (2004/05)

Finishing position: 1st

Antonio Conte came close in 2016/17 with 93 points but Chelsea’s best Premier League return to date came in Jose Mourinho‘s first season in charge, when the Blues mopped up 95 points to seal a first top-flight league title since 1955. The west Londoners conceded a competition record-low 15 goals in 38 games that season and lost just once, firmly placing them among the best teams this country has ever seen.

Lowest single-season points total: 50 (1995/96 & 2015/16)

Finishing position: 11th (95/96) & 10th (15/16)

Long before Roman Abramovich’s takeover, Chelsea finished 11th in 1995/96 with just 50 points. However, more curious is the fact that the Blues repeated this unwanted feat in 2015/16 when Mourinho‘s defending champions simply fell to pieces and had a disaster of a season which saw the Portuguese relieved of his duties in December to be replaced by Guus Hiddink.

Chelsea conceded 53 goals that season — their worst defensive performance since 1996/97 (55) and a far cry from Mourinho‘s original title winners.

Crystal Palace

Highest single-season points total: 49 (2018/19)

Finishing position: 12th

To say Roy Hodgson has re-built his reputation following his failure with England is probably an overstatement but there’s no questioning the veteran manager is doing a great job at Selhurst Park and last season, despite only finishing 12th, he was able to deliver Crystal Palace‘s highest Premier League points total to date.

For a long time, it looked like they’d break that this season but a post-lockdown collapse has put those hopes to bed, although they’re more than safe for another year in the top-flight.

Lowest single-season points total: 32 (1997/98)

Finishing position: 20th

Palace’s lowest return to date was during their first 38-game Premier League campaign in 1997/98, when they were relegated with just 32 points, finishing bottom. Their struggles saw the Eagles cycle through three managers over the course of the campaign: Steve Coppell, Attilio Lombardo and Ray Lewington.

Everton

Highest single-season points total: 72 (2013/14)

Finishing position: 5th

Given their high-spending yet inconsistent nature over the past few years, it’s understandable that Evertonians look back with a sense of what could have been at Roberto Martinez’s first season at Goodison Park, which saw the Toffees finish fifth with an impressive 72 points.

Martinez seemed to add attacking vigour to the defensive structure left behind by David Moyes and came oh so close to securing Champions League football. Since then, however, there have been far more downs than ups, with some fans still blaming Martinez for contributing towards in following campaigns.

Lowest single-season points total: 39 (2003/04)

Finishing position: 17th

Everton are Premier League ever-presents but it’s not always been cut and dry, with a number of near misses and disappointing campaigns. One such season of struggle was in 2003/04 when the Toffees could only muster 39 points, finishing 17th with just nine wins from 38 games.

Wayne Rooney was sold the following summer but luckily, Bill Kenwright chose to stick with Moyes and the Scot rewarded that faith with a fourth-place finish and Champions League qualification against all the odds a year later.

Leicester City

Highest single-season points total: 81 (2015/16)

Finishing position: 1st

Who could forget Leicester City’s Premier League title-winning season? Whether it was Claudio Ranieri’s entertaining, often ludicrous, always honest press conferences, Jamie Vardy’s multitude of parties or just the inspirational leadership of captain Wes Morgan, the Foxes were a joy to watch as they went from relegation fodder to champions of England in the space of just 38 games, taking 81 points along the way.

Lowest single-season points total: 28 (2001/02)

Finishing position: 20th

A far cry from being crowned the best team in the country, Leicester finished bottom of the Premier League back in 2001/02 with just 28 points, cycling through four managers as they desperately looked for some sort of balance. However, when your top goalscorer nets just seven goals across all competitions, you can bet you’ll likely land yourself in a bit of trouble.

Leeds United

Highest single-season points total: 73 (1994/95)

Finishing position: 5th

A few seasons removed after becoming the last Football League First Division champions Leeds under Howard Wilkinson showed their mettle by accumulating 73 points across 42 matches but that wasn’t enough to worry eventual champions Blackburn Rovers who sat 16 points ahead.

Lowest single-season points total: 33 (2003/04)

Finishing position: 19th

In the late 90s and early 2000s there were good things being shown at Elland Road and David O’Leary’s young guns would comfortably finish inside the top four places. However, the wheels would soon come off culminating in their painful 2003/04 relegation, which saw them yield a measly 33 points. That setback led to 16 years in the wilderness before Marcelo Bielsa returned the Peacocks back to the promised land.

Liverpool

Highest single-season points total: 99 (2019/20)

Finishing position: 1st

Liverpool were absolutely unbelievable in 2018/19, losing just one game all season and picking up 97 points — not just their highest total to date, but the third-highest in competition history. Of course, Manchester City were just that little bit better and pipped them to the title on the final day with 98 points, in no small part down to their 2-1 win over the Reds in early January.

Liverpool have gone on to right the wrongs of that season, winning their first-ever Premier League title in 2019/20, amassing a breathtaking 99 one short of becoming the second Premier League centurion.

Lowest single-season points total: 52 (2011/12)

Finishing position: 8th

While Liverpool are probably the best side on the planet right now, they were simply terrible back in 2011/12. Yes, they won the League Cup, but Kenny Dalglish had the unenviable job of picking up the pieces left from Roy Hodgson’s ill-fated tenure in charge. With just 52 points and an eighth-place finish, the Kop icon was unable to deliver in the league and was replaced by Brendan Rodgers in the summer of 2012.

Manchester City

Highest single-season points total: 100 (2017/18)

Finishing position: 1st

With 106 goals scored in 38 games (2.79 per game), Pep Guardiola masterminded an incredible title run from Manchester City in 2017/18, finishing with a remarkable 100 points — both a club and competition record. ‘The Centurions’, as they’ve become known, have really set the standard for everything that has followed in the last couple of years, which only leads us to give more credit to Liverpool for going toe-to-toe with them during that time.

Lowest single-season points total: 34 (2000/01)

Finishing position: 18th

Long before Guardiola, the City Football Group or any of the riches at the Citizens’ disposal in recent years, Man City were run on a shoestring budget and often struggled to compete in the top-flight. In 2000/01, as rivals Man Utd won the league by 10 points, the blue half of Manchester suffered relegation to the second-tier, finishing 18th with just 34 points and 20 defeats from 38 games. For context, it’s taken until this season for City to lose 20 games under Guardiola alone.

Manchester United

Highest single-season points total: 92 (1993/94)

Finishing position: 1st

With 13 Premier League titles, no side has dominated this era of English football like Man United. However, despite that level of success, their highest points total — in the 1993/94 season — comes in at 92 (2.19 per game), and even that was during a 42-game season. Their highest 38-game points total was 91 (2.39), set in 1999/2001.

Lowest single-season points total: 64 (2013/14)

Finishing position: 7th

Of course, it’s all unraveled somewhat for Man United since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, and that all started in 2013/14 when Moyes, then, after his sacking, Ryan Giggs, could only manage 64 points, finishing seventh — outside the top three for the first time since 1990/91.

Newcastle United

Highest single-season points total: 78 (1995/96)

Finishing position: 2nd

Newcastle United were one of Man United’s biggest challengers during the early years of the Premier League and in 1995/96, they finished second with 78 points, although it could and should have been so much more.

The Magpies lost just one of their opening 16 games during that campaign and by mid-January were 12 points clear at the top of the table. However, a post-New Year collapse saw them lose five of their eight Premier League matches between February 21st and April 8th, seeing to it that they were overhauled by the Red Devils.

Lowest single-season points total: 34 (2008/09)

Finishing position: 18th

It’s been a real rollercoaster for Newcastle during the Premier League era — and throughout their entire existence, for that matter — and they definitely felt one of the dips on that fairground ride in 2008/09 when they suffered a shock relegation to the Championship, finishing 18th with only 34 points. During the course of that haphazard season, they went through the likes of Kevin Keegan, Chris Hughton and Joe Kinnear as manager, while even the appointment of club legend Alan Shearer in April couldn’t save the Magpies.

Norwich City

Highest single-season points total: 72 (1992/93)

Finishing position: 3rd

Norwich were the surprise package of the inaugural Premier League season, defying the odds and budgets to finish third with 72 points. Throughout the campaign, they pushed eventual champions Man Utd and runners-up Aston Villa all the way and were even eight points clear at the top just before Christmas. Things took a turn for the worse after the festive period but it’s still a season that lives fondly in the memories of Canaries supporters.

Lowest single-season points total: 33 (2004/05 & 2013/14)

Finishing position: 19th (04/05) & 18th (13/14)

Norwich are the ultimate yo-yo team and have been bouncing between the Premier League and Championship more frequently than any other side. Their lowest top-flight points total to date is 33, which they achieved in the 2004/05 and 2013/14 seasons. Of course, with just 21 points from 37 games this season, the already-relegated Canaries are guaranteed to break that record, so expect an update soon.

Southampton

Highest single-season points total: 63 (2015/16)

Finishing position: 6th

The departure of Mauricio Pochettino in 2014 could have easily derailed Southampton’s progress but replacement Ronald Koeman did a wonderful job of continuing the Argentine’s good work, finishing seventh in 2014/15, then sixth in 2015/16 with 63 points, a club record in the Premier League era. Sadio Mane was the star that year, netting 15 goals across all competitions ahead of his move to Liverpool.

Lowest single-season points total: 32 (2004/05)

Finishing position: 20

Having been ever-presents in the top-flight since 1978, the Saints found themselves in the midst of a tense relegation battle back in 2004/05. Harry Redknapp’s side needed to beat Manchester United on the final day but succumbed to a 2-1 defeat, while West Brom pulled off a 2-0 win at home to Portsmouth to leapfrog Southampton, Norwich and Crystal Palace to complete an unlikely great escape.

Tottenham Hotspur

Highest single-season points total: 86 (2016/17)

Finishing position: 2nd

After years of mid-table obscurity, Spurs are finally rubbing shoulders with Europe’s elite having reached last season’s Champions League final and finishing second in the Premier League in 2016/17 with 86 points, largely thanks to the efforts of Pochettino in the dugout. That has only become more pertinent since the Argentine was sacked earlier this season, with Spurs floundering somewhat under Mourinho.

Lowest single-season points total: 44 (1997/98)

Finishing position: 14th

Although they’ve never been in serious relegation trouble, Spurs have had some pretty miserable Premier League campaigns and their lowest points return was back in 1997/98, finishing 14th with 44 points — almost half their highest return, which is a sure sign of just how far the club has come.

Watford

Highest single-season points total: 50 (2018/19)

Finishing position: 11th

For long stretches of last season, Watford looked nailed on for a first-ever top-half Premier League finish, but just ran out of steam towards the end of the season — you need only look to their 6-0 FA Cup final defeat to Man City for proof of that.

Still, Javi Gracia was still able to guide the Hornets to 11th with 50 points, a record they’re nowhere near matching this season despite being all but safe.

Lowest single-season points total: 24 (1999/2000)

Finishing position: 20th

It took back-to-back promotions to get Watford to the Premier League for the first time in 2000. Alas, the Hornets were simply not equipped for the top flight and even the late great Graham Taylor couldn’t save them from relegation in 1999/2000 with just 24 points.

West Ham United

Highest single-season points total: 65 (2020/21)

Finishing position: 6th

Although not their highest finish, West Ham’s most prolific season to date in terms of points came in 2020/21 when Declan Rice and Co, led by David Moyes, managed 65 points, enough to see them finish sixth and into the Europa League.

Lowest single-season points total: 33 (2010/11)

Finishing position: 20th

A 17th-placed finish with just 35 points in 2009/10 should have been warning enough that there were big problems that needed solving at Upton Park but, in typical West Ham fashion, nothing was adequately addressed and the Hammers suffered relegation to the Championship just a year later with only 33 points, enough to see them finish bottom of the table.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Highest single-season points total: 57 (2018/19)

Finishing position: 7th

Wolves earned promotion back to the top-flight for the 2018/19 season and entered the campaign as arguably the most fancied promoted side in Premier League history. With Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho and Co at his disposal, Nuno Espirito Santo did not disappoint, finishing seventh with 57 points and qualifying for Europe for the first time since 1981. It already feels like they’ve been in the Premier League forever.

Lowest single-season points total: 25 (2011/12)

Finishing position: 20th

But, of course, Wolves haven’t always been best friends with Jorge Mendes and were relegated from the Premier League after previous seasons of solidarity in 2011/12, finishing bottom with 25 points. They were then relegated to League One the following season before the resurgence got underway.

READ MORE ON THE PREMIER LEAGUE:

Premier League 2021/22 top scorers list
Premier League 2021/22 assist leaders
Premier League 2021/22 Golden Glove standings
Predictions and tips

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