Have The Tables Turned In West London?

London is considered a major sporting destination globally thanks to its high-profile soccer teams, such as West Ham, Brentford, and Fulham. The city’s role as the United Kingdom’s capital and central financial hub has directly played a role in growing soccer and the local leagues. 

At one point in the 19th century, it was the largest city in the world and grew into an industrial centre full of soccer fanatics. The fans’ matchday attendance, ticket sales, and shareholding are why it is home to some of the wealthiest teams in the world.

In the 1880s, factory workers in the greater West and North London played soccer as a leisure activity alongside cricket and rugby, and the sport’s competitive edge attracted fans. Eventually, it was commercialised and stimulated the growth of professional association football teams. The regulation and new rules also influenced legally enforced betting markets as fans could bet on the newly founded teams such as Tottenham and Arsenal.

Such a similar transition also happened with casinos in West London. Initially, gambling was only for the elite few and slowly transitioned into brick-and-mortar establishments. Afterwards, laws were put in place to regulate the industry which was rapidly growing, and fast forward to today, you can play at some of the best online casinos and even for free. 

For football, it was in 1961 where betting was legalised after the popularity of soccer in Europe was boosted by the first UEFA Euros in 1960. At the onset of the 1970s, modern-day football in England began taking shape. The demographics of a populous London spearheaded local rivalries that exist today. London’s most popular teams are Fulham, Chelsea, Brentford, Tottenham, West Ham, Crystal Palace, and Arsenal. 

The city has the highest number of Premier League teams in the UK. In North London, Arsenal and Tottenham reign supreme, while West Ham is situated in the East, Crystal Palace is in the city’s South, and the rest are in the West.

Rivalry In West London

The most successful team in the city is Chelsea from West London, alongside Brentford, Fulham, and Championship team QPR (Queens Park Rangers). In the just concluded 2022/2023 season, Premier League newcomers Brentford and Fulham have finished above Chelsea. 

Brentford earned promotion to the Premier League for the first time in their history in 2021. Fulham also played in the second tier of English football, gaining climb and then getting relegated again twice before making promotion in 2022.

In the 2022/2023 season, Chelsea finished 13th; the 2nd lowest-ever finish in the Premier League era. Surprisingly, Brentford finished 9th while Fulham finished 10th. Chelsea fans have demanded that the team’s board effect significant changes to ensure that it challenges for the championship in the upcoming season.

It was a disappointing season, considering Chelsea broke the world transfer record spending in a year after splashing about 600 million on new players. 

What Do We Expect In The 2023/2024 Season?

Unsurprisingly, Chelsea hired Mauricio Pochettino to effect its new policy under the current owners of investing in exciting youth prospects. Most of the senior players have been put up for sale as the club aims to balance the books and avoid penalties or sanctions for breaking spending limits.

The team has brought in youngsters Levi Colwill and Ian Matseen from loan spells as they look to break into the first team. Prolific Senegalese striker Nicolas Jackson and French talents Christopher Nkunku and Malo Gusto have joined the team for pre-season. 

Players such as Pulisic, Loftus-Cheek, Kovacic, Koulibaly, Azpilicueta, and Kante have left the team after helping win the UEFA Champions League in 2021. 

Pundits predict that the upcoming season will be a heated one considering Chelsea has sold top talents like Kovacic and Havertz to rivals Manchester City and Arsenal, respectively. Most soccer experts claim that strengthening their rivals, particularly those who finished above them in the title race, is ill-advised. 

As for Brentford, the concluded season was their best-ever top-flight season after finishing 9th, an improvement from 13th in the previous one. It was a memorable campaign for their star striker Ivan Toney who finished as the 3rd highest scorer in the league with a whopping 20 goals. However, he has since been found guilty of breaching betting rules and will miss eight months through suspension.

Such a lengthy suspension might affect their chances of a top-ten finish which is an advantage for Fulham. After promotion in 2022 to the Premier League, they invested in top players like Brazilians Willian, Vinicius, and Perreira. Willian has played for Chelsea and Arsenal while Vinicius played previously for Tottenham, and Perreira came through the academy at Manchester United.

They contributed immensely to Fulham’s success, and the board seems happy with the current squad. Some returning younger players, like Cavaleiro and Mbabu, were sent out on loan for further development, and they might have a part to play in the coming season. So far, Fulham isn’t very active in the transfer market.


In the 2024 season, Chelsea is expected to bounce back from a disappointing season and challenge for the title. At worst, fans expect the team to finish in the top four and qualify for the UEFA champions league. 

Brentford and Fulham will be okay with placing in the mid-table, with the primary objective being avoiding relegation. Nonetheless, they aim to qualify for European football by finishing in the top seven. Punters already have the odds in favour of Chelsea challenging for the league title, finishing in the top four and becoming the top team in West London again.