The Longest Title Droughts in Sports

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PSG’s search for Champions League glory will be forced to continue into 2021 after losing Monday morning’s final to Bayern Munich.

After the Qatari backed club poured over A$1 billion into transfers building this super-team to compete for Europe’s highest honour, frustration in the French capital is building.

In their 50 seasons of existence, this was the first time they had made the final of the top flight European club competition and it took them 115 Champions League matches to get to that point.

For many sides, their quest for title continues in vain as we take a look at some of the other teams that are still chasing that elusive silverware.

A-League: Perth Glory

A powerhouse in the dying days of the NSL winning two Grand Finals, Perth’s tenure in the A-League competition has not quite yielded the same success.

While they did win their maiden premiership in 2018/2019, Perth have lost both A-League Grand Finals they have participated in.

In 2012 they went down to the dynastic Brisbane Roar on a still hotly debated penalty in second half stoppage time to Besart Berisha (and it was a penalty), before losing at home to Sydney FC on penalties in 2019.

English First Division/Premier League: Crystal Palace, Southampton, Watford, West Ham (to name a few)

Only seven clubs have won the Premier League in its 27 year history, but English football dates back to the 1800’s and some clubs are still yet to win the top division title despite several chances.

Just 24 clubs have claimed the English league title with Manchester United the most successful side with 20 to their name.

Of the current Premier League clubs, Crystal Palace, Southampton and West Ham have not won the top division in their history with the Saints going closest in 1983/1984 finishing runners up behind Liverpool, who won their first title in 30 years in 2020.

The longest drought of a side that has previously won a title is Sheffield United who last won in 1898.

Honourable mention has to go to Tottenham for last winning the league in 1961, but maintaining without fail for the last 60-odd seasons that “this is our year!”

Champions League: Arsenal

Speaking of North London sides trying in vain to win a title, Arsenal holds the unwanted record of “Most European Matches without Winning the Competition” with 201 Champions League fixtures.

They were mainstays in the continental top flight from 1998-2017, making the final in 2006 before going down to Barcelona 2-1 after an early red card to Jens Lehman.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions, Tennessee Titans, San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers, Cleveland Browns, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals

Since its inception in the late 1960’s, the Super Bowl has been the goal for an NFL team.

12 sides have not won the Vince Lombardi trophy, but we’ll give the Jacksonville Jaguars (1995) and Houston Texans (2002) a pass on this since their history is nowhere near as long and tortured as the rest of the sides on this list.

Cleveland and Detroit have not made a Super Bowl with the Browns even seeing the original version of the franchise leave town in 1995 before being reborn in 1999.

Three sides take the cake when it comes to tortured Super Bowl history though, starting with the Buffalo Bills who lost four straight title games in the early 1990’s.

The Minnesota Vikings also lost four Super Bowls however they were not back to back, and the Atlanta Falcons made unwanted history, blowing a 28-3 lead in Super Bowl LI chasing their first title.

NBA: Sacramento Kings

When you play in a state dominated by the Lakers (and more recently also the Warriors and Clippers), the side based in California’s capital city last won a title in 1951 as the Rochester Royals.

Their best performance since their 1985 relocation to Sacramento can in 2002 when they lost Game 7 of the Conference Finals to the Lakers.

Their last playoff appearance came in 2006 when they were eliminated in six games against the Spurs in the first round.

Some may say they are getting a bit frustrated with their lack of success and are now looking for wins on Twitter instead.

MLB: Cleveland Indians

One of baseball’s most iconic franchises, Cleveland last won the World Series in 1948 and have lost four World Series’ since then.

Their most recent heartbreak came in 2016 when they took on the previously cursed Chicago Cubs who ended over a century of heartbreak in extra innings of Game 7 in Cleveland on the back of a rain delay after the ninth.

In all honesty this is probably Cleveland’s best moment since that World Series win.

NHL: Canada

Ice hockey is Canada’s national sport, the Stanley Cup originated in Canada and it has been nearly 30 years since a Canadian team won it.

Montreal was the most recent side north of the border to win it in 1993 while Ottawa is still chasing their first Cup after being admitted to the NHL in 1992.

Edmonton (1990) and Calgary (1989) headlined an era of Canadian dominance however neither side looks overly likely to get another one anytime soon.

Vancouver joined the NHL in 1970 and almost won their first Cup in 2011, losing Game 7 at home to the Boston Bruins.

Unquestionably though, Toronto is the most tortured Canadian team, last hoisting the Cup in 1967 and not making it back to the Final since then either.

On the plus side for those in the social media business, there’s evergreen tweets you can post like this one.

Cricket: South Africa

You would think a country like South Africa with all of their cricketing pedigree would have won a major international tournament but they are yet to progress beyond the semi finals of both the One Day and T20 World Cups so far.

Us Aussies all remember their elimination in 1999 quite fondly.

AFL: St Kilda

St Kilda have won just one premiership since they were a VFL foundation team in 1887 and they hold two of the longest premiership droughts in the history of the competition.

St Kilda took 69 years to win their first VFL title and there has now been 50 years since that victory in 1966.

They have lost four Grand Finals in that time, with the most heart-breaking defeat occurring in 2010 when they lost in the Grand Final replay to Collingwood.

NRL: North Sydney Bears

The poor old North Sydney Bears.

Not only have they not won a premiership since 1922, but since their horrid merger with Manly in 2000 they have not been in first grade in their own right.

A return to the NRL now appears unlikely for the North Sydney Bears and another premiership even more unlikely again.

Rugby Union: Wallabies

That bloody Bledisloe Cup has lived in New Zealand for the last 18 years and while every Wallabies fan holds out some hope that this is the year it might come back to where it belongs… it really doesn’t seem likely.

Beating the All Blacks once a year is tough enough, let alone twice.

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