Liverpool were by far England’s most successful football club in the years before the Premier League era began in 1992, having won 18 titles by 1990.
The Red enjoyed initial success early in the 20th century and immediately after both the First and Second World Wars. But their dominance really came to the fore once Bill Shankly was appointed manager in 1959 and set up a culture of repeated success.
Shankly, who was responsible for implementing Liverpool’s iconic all-red kit, won three league titles himself, before retiring and handing control to assistant Bob Paisley.
Paisley was a product of Shankly’s famous Anfield ‘Boot Room’, where coaches were bred within and continued consistently winning league titles over the course of three decades. After Paisley won six domestic league titles and Liverpool’s first three European Cups, Joe Fagan took over, with Kenny Dalglish later following and delivering the 18th league title in the 1989/90 season.
For all of their dominance in the 1970s and 1980s, Liverpool have famously only won one Premier League title since the breakaway competition was launched in 1992. However, they have come agonisingly close to glory on a number of other occasions.
After their last pre-Premier League title in 1989/90, the Reds finally ended what became a 30-year drought in the 2019/20 season when they ran away from the competition.
Liverpool remarkably won 26 of their first 27 games to leave the challengers in their dust. Even with a late wobble during ‘Project Restart’ following the three-month Covid-19 hiatus, the hard work was already done and Jurgen Klopp’s side finished 18 points clear of Manchester City.
Liverpool have had plenty of near misses in the Premier League as well. They finished second behind Arsenal in 2001/02 and again behind Manchester United in 2008/09.
Only a late collapse against Chelsea and Crystal Palace cost them the 2013/14 title, while they have twice finished just a single point behind Manchester City – in 2018/19 and 2021/22 – with points tallies that would have resulted in emphatic title wins in most other seasons.
Liverpool league titles: 1900/01, 1905/06, 1921/22, 1922/23, 1946/47, 1963/64, 1965/66, 1972/73, 1975/76, 1976/77, 1978/79, 1979/80, 1981/82, 1982/83, 1983/84, 1985/86, 1987/88, 1989/90, 2019/20