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Liverpool or Man Utd? Which UK club have won the most major trophies?

18:32 BST 22/08/2019
Liverpool Manchester United most trophies
Liverpool tasted yet more trophy success following their UEFA Super Cup glory, but does that mean that they have surpassed Man Utd in major titles?

Legendary Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson famously stated that his mission was to knock his club's great rivals Liverpool off their perch and he managed to do just that.

The Scottish manager won 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups and three Champions League honours during his time with the Red Devils, and is regarded as one of the greatest of all-time.

Following Liverpool's success in their sixth Champions League title in June 2019, however, Jurgen Klopp's side have shown that they are able to challenge for the highest honours once again.

But which team can claim to be the most successful side on English soil, and how many trophies has each side won? Goal takes a look.

Who won has won the most titles in England?

Well, it depends on who you ask.

After Liverpool won their sixth UEFA Super Cup title in August, beating Chelsea through a penalty shootout in Istanbul, Reds fans were quick to claim that they became the most successful club in English football.

In beating the Blues, Liverpool lifted their 46th major trophy, with supporters believing that they had surpassed great rivals Manchester United, who, they said, have 45 trophies.

While it is indeed true that the Reds have now won 46 major prizes – including the league, FA Cup, League Cup, Champions League/European Cup, the UEFA Cup/Europa League and the UEFA Super Cup – their count disregards one title.

Liverpool's 46 major titles excludes the number of Community Shield titles they have won, which is the key point of the discussion – as Man Utd have a record 21 Community Shields to their name, compared to Liverpool's 15.

And so, if Community Shield titles are to count in the trophy haul, Man Utd have won 66 major titles to Liverpool's 61, sealing their status as the most successful side in England.

Competition Man Utd titles Liverpool titles
First Division / Premier League 20 18
FA Cup 12 7
League Cup 5 8
UEFA Cup / Champions League 3 6
Europa League 1 3
Cup Winners' Cup 1 0
UEFA Super Cup 1 4
FIFA Club World Cup 1 0
Intercontinental Cup 1 0
Community Shield 21 15
Total 66 61

*Accurate as of August 22, 2019.

Does the Community Shield count as a major trophy?

The key point of contention between the sets of supporters is about whether or not the Community Shield counts as a major title. Once again, it depends on who you ask.

The FA considers the Community Shield to be an official honour in English football, and it is seen as the first game of the new English top-flight season, though its status as a 'major title' has been contested by certain football figures and fans.

The Community Shield is seen as a minor trophy to some compared to the likes of the FA Cup and League Cup, with some referring to it as a 'glorified friendly' – especially as yellow card and red cards earned in the match do not carry on to other competitions.

In 2008, Ferguson stated: "The Community Shield is a prestigious match, but I have used players in it who were not quite fit, and we are more or less in the same situation again."

However, for the most part, players and managers involved in the Community Shield respect its status as a major trophy, and regard it as the first 'final' of the season.

Speaking on his players' fitness levels ahead of the 2018 Community Shield against Chelsea, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola said: "We have just four or five days to prepare for the first final [Community Shield]. so we have to adapt. 

"Some of them are coming back before, some are coming back after the final."

Moreover, in 2016, ex-Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri added: "Why do you say this question, a friendly? [Since] when is the Community Shield a friendly?

"Of course we will be at the maximum and Manchester United will be at their maximum. The two teams want to win. I am very excited."