|Major Honours||Football League Championship (1), Football League One (2), Football League Two (3)|
The Bees have been on a great run of form in recent seasons, finally getting themselves back to the top flight for the first time since 1946/47.
Brentford Football Club are based in Brentford, West London. They compete in the English Premier League, having won promotion from the Championship at the end of the 2020/21 season.
Brentford won the tier two title in 1934/35 and remained in the top flight until after the end of the Second World War. They did not return until their 2020/21 promotion under Thomas Frank despite several near misses and playoff defeats, particularly in recent years.
Now, a new era beckons at the Brentford Community Stadium and so it is worth looking back on the history of the club nicknamed "The Bees".
Brentford's early history
Brentford were founded on October 10, 1889, and initially played amateur football before entering the London League in 1896. They were elected into the Football League in 1920.
Brentford clinched the Third Division South title in 1932/33 and then won the Second Division title in 1934/35. Their best ever finish was fifth in the top flight in 1935/36.
Brentford's post-World War Two decline
Three relegations after World War Two left Brentford in the Fourth Division by 1962. In the 1962/63 season, they began to bounce back, finishing the campaign as Fourth Division champions.
Brentford were, however, subsequently relegated in 1966 and then gained promotion again in 1971/72, only to be relegated once more in 1973. After gaining promotion to the Third Division in 1977/78, they stayed in that division for 14 seasons.
In 1991/92, Brentford won the Third Division title, but they were relegated again in 1993.
In 1998, they were relegated to the fourth tier, but then they won promotion as champions in the 1998/99 campaign.
Brentford rise up the ranks and spell in the Championship
In 2007, they were relegated from the third tier, but they then won the League Two title in 2008/09. In 2013/14, they were promoted to the Championship out of League One.
Alan Judge's penalty secured a 1-0 win for the Bees and proved to be the goal which sent them up to the second tier of English football.
In 2013, Brentford partnered with Icelandic 1. deild karla club UMF Selfoss, which enabled the London club to send their youth players to Iceland to gain experience. Brentford also utilise Selfoss' scouting network.
They also have links with Gulu United in Uganda while Brentford owner Matthew Benham has a majority stake in FC Midtjylland, with staff from both clubs collaborating.
In the 2014/15 season, Brentford finished an impressive fifth place in their first season back up in the second tier. However, they lost to Middlesbrough in the play-off semi-finals and were thus unable to secure immediate promotion to the Premier League.
In 2015/16, Brentford finished the Championship season in ninth place.
In 2016, Brentford made the decision to ditch their academy in favour of a new structure which would fast-track Premier League outcasts into their first team after developing them. The decision would go on to pay dividends within the next five years.
Brentford finished the 2016/17 season in 10th place, then ninth in the following campaign. It was at this point that Neal Maupay began to establish himself as a lethal goalscorer for the Bees.
In the 2018/19 campaign, Brentford finished 11th in the Championship, but Maupay shone with 25 goals. By this time, Thomas Frank had taken over as the manager of the first team, having been promoted following the departure of Dean Smith.
The 2019/20 season saw Brentford reap the rewards of their new youth system with Ollie Watkins scoring 25 goals for the Bees as they once again made the playoffs. However, they lost to West London rivals Fulham in the playoff final.
The 2020/21 campaign saw Brentford finally come good under Frank's guidance, as they earned promotion to the Premier League, shaking off their "Choker" tag.
Should they continue to reap the rewards of their unique methods and make large profits off players after benefitting from their performances, Brentford will likely be a team to watch.
Brentford have recently moved into a new stadium as their long-term home, Griffin Park, gave way to the Brentford Community Stadium in 2020. The stadium is also home to rugby union side London Irish.
Actor and comedian Bradley Walsh played professionally at Brentford in the 1970s, but he never made the first team. Meanwhile, Brentford FC is often mentioned in the BBC Comedy People Just Do Nothing.
Fulham and Queens Park Rangers, Brentford's fellow West London clubs, are widely regarded as the Bees' main rivals. Chelsea are also in close proximity to the Bees and they have met in the FA Cup in recent years.
Brentford were often a match for Chelsea in their stint in the top flight prior to World War Two. However, in recent years, they have been consistently outclassed by the 2012 and 2021 European champions.
In 2013, Brentford managed to force a replay against Chelsea in the FA Cup after a 2-2 draw. However, they lost this tie 4-0. In 2017, Antonio Conte's Chelsea beat Brentford 4-0 en route to the final of the FA Cup.
Brentford's owner is childhood fan Matthew Benham, a sports gambler who has earned respect for his thrifty management of the club. He also introduced the 'Moneyball' method of management, which sees statistical analysis and recruitment based on factors including expected goals.
- Sep 25, 2021
- Sep 11, 2021