Manchester United vs Liverpool: Which is the bigger club?

28 Jun

Manchester United vs Liverpool: Which is the bigger club? Tough question…perhaps, but I think I have the answer…

We all argue with emotion and opinion when it comes to football (especially Manchester United vs Liverpool), meaning any argument over which club is superior can never really be settled.The only way to objectively judge a club is by looking at the facts and when it comes to football the facts lie in titles, trophies and money. Gone are the days when we can solely judge teams on the quality of their players and the manner in which they win their titles (Barcelona of 2009-2012 being an exception).

Money has polluted the beautiful game enough to ensure a select few clubs dominate the world of football. The sad fact is that money delivers trophies and in turn trophies bring in more money (in the form of endorsements, shirt sales etc). It’s a vicious circle. The differentiator is how the money is managed and spent.

Many clubs today are guilty of being too dependant on money (Man City, PSG) and not enough on their scouting and academies…Liverpool under Rodgers, most definitely! Van Gaal’s big summer spend in his first season in charge..definitely (to United’s credit, the core of the treble winning 1999 team came through the academy)

An interesting way to judge the two clubs would be titles and trophies. We can speak about dominance, but that argument will never be settled because of pride and ego. Man United have been a dominant force in English football for the better part of the last two and half decades just as (actually more so) Liverpool were in the 80s. I may believe that to be fact but there will be loads of both Mancs and Scousers that will disagree for the sake of disagreeing or the inability to accept that as truth (or pure delusion  in the case of many LFC supporters)… Once again we’re back to titles and trophies, a fact no one can dispute.

Liverpool have won more European Cups than United (as every Liverpool never forgets to remind anyone who’ll give them an ear), making them the most successful English team in Europe but their European exploits pale in comparison to that of Real Madrid and AC Milan. Expand on that and Liverpool’s domestic dominance has been trumped by United. Under Sir Alex, United have certainly not fulfilled their potential In Europe (partly because they were unfortunate to play two finals against the finest football team in club football history – 2009, 2011) but there is no argument that they have dominated English football. International club football holds very little weight in this discussion and is not considered as glamorous or as prestigious as European and Domestic success but in this arena Liverpool have had no success (despite a couple of attempts) whereas United have lifted a Cup or two.

So, how do we settle this? I propose each trophy/title is allocated points on the basis of its general perceived prestige and importance. Still not a flawless system, but lends itself as close to fact as possible. The titles and trophies we’re looking at are as follows:

Domestic Titles

Premier League (old First Division)

Worth 3 points being the most sort after title in England
Man United 20 titles
Liverpool 18 titles

FA Cup

England’s open domestic cup – Worth 2 points, not as popular as it was back in the day, but a still a title that commands respect in English football.
Man United 11 Cups
Liverpool 7 Cups

Football League Cup/Carling Cup

England’s domestic league cup – Worth 1 point. To be honest, not a trophy big clubs are interested in winning.
Liverpool 8 Cups
Man United 4 Cups

Community/Charity Shield

Worth just 0.5 point, not really silverware but is counted as a title by the FA
Man United 20 Shields
Liverpool 15 Shields


Man United – 96 points
Liverpool – 83.5 points

European Titles

*UEFA Champions League (old European Cup)

Worth 5 points, The Holy Grail
Liverpool 5 Titles
Man United 3 Titles

Europa League (old EUFA Cup)

Worth 1 point. The “we’re not good enough” cup, for clubs that just aren’t good enough to hack it in the Champions League
Liverpool 3 Cups
Man United 0 Cups

UEFA Super Cup

Worth 0.5 point. Winner of Champions League vs Winner of Europa Leagur
Liverpool 3 Cups
Man United 1 Cups

UEFA Cup Winners Cup

Worth 0.5 point. Cup Winners in Europe competing against each other. No longer even acknowledged by bigger clubs.
Man United 1 Cups
Liverpool 0 Cups


Liverpool – 29.5 points
Man United – 16 points

*Interesting to note, the true kings of Europe are Real Madrid and AC Milan – 10 and 7 CL titles respectively. No English club comes close to that going on the points system above.

International Club Titles

FIFA Club World Cup

Worth 1 point. Still not considered a major cup, but rapidly rising in popularity because of the money being invested into the tournament
Man United 1 cup
Liverpool 0 cups

Intercontinental Cup

Worth 1 point. Predecessor to the Club World Cup
Man United 1 cup
Liverpool 0 cups


Man United – 2
Liverpool – 0

Grand Total:
Liverpool – 113 Points
Man United – 114 Points


So, there you have it. No doubt, this will have the Liverpool supporters up in arms but, these days, what doesn’t get them riled up eh…Next year will be your year boys…next year…