Sheffield United have broken the record by conceding 104 league goals in 2023-24. Here, we chart the teams with the most goals conceded in a Premier League season.

Goals are the best thing about football. Unless they’re going in your goal.

Being in the Premier League is a dream for many, but it turned into a nightmare for some teams who just couldn’t stop opposition teams from putting goals past them. Sheffield United in 2023-24 are the latest example of that, and they ended the campaign with a record 104 goals conceded.

After they broke an unwanted record, we run down those who have conceded the most goals in a Premier League season since the competition began in 1992.

Most Goals Conceded in a Season:

Sheffield United (2023-24): 104
Swindon Town (1993-94): 100*
Ipswich Town (1994-95): 93*
Derby County (2007-08): 89
Fulham (2013-14): 85
Luton Town (2023-24): 85
Norwich City (2021-22): 84
Barnsley (1997-98): 82

Burnley (2009-10): 82
Wolves (2011-12): 82

* = 42-game season

Most Goals Conceded in a Premier League Season

Sheffield United – 104 goals (2.74 goals per game)

Well, they’ve only gone and done it. After a 1-0 defeat to Everton at Goodison Park on 11 May, Sheffield United broke the Premier League record for the most goals conceded in a single season with a game to spare.

Abdoulaye Doucoure netted the winner on the half-hour mark in the win, with his goal the 101st that the Blades conceded in 2023-24, breaking Swindon Town’s record from 1993-94 (100). They then added three more in a typically dismal final-day defeat to Tottenham.

Paul Heckingbottom and Chris Wilder oversaw a side that conceded 2.74 goals per game in the Premier League over the course of the campaign – the highest rate seen in a single campaign in the competition and the worst in English top-flight history since Ipswich Town in 1963-64 (2.88).

The last team to concede as many as 101 goals in an English top-flight season were also Ipswich that season (121), while United have now bettered (or worsened?) their worst tally of goals conceded in the top flight (101 in 1933-34).

*Swindon Town (1993-94) – 100 goals (2.38 goals per game)

In just the second year of the Premier League, Swindon made a brief appearance in England’s top flight. Their time there had its moments, with wins over Southampton, Tottenham and Coventry, and they even did the double over Queens Park Rangers.

However, John Gorman’s side also struggled to keep clean sheets, with just four in their 42 games. Within their first four games of the season, they had conceded five against both Liverpool and Southampton.

Their back-to-back wins against Spurs and Coventry were sandwiched between conceding six at Everton and five at Aston Villa. A 7-1 defeat at Newcastle United in March was the most they conceded in one game, but an insipid farewell outing on the final day also saw them reach three figures for goals conceded, with a 5-0 loss at home to Leeds United taking their tally to a nice round century.

* 42-game season

*Ipswich Town (1994-95) – 93 goals (2.21 goals per game)

1994-95 saw Ipswich Town concede the third-most goals in a Premier League season (93), but their fans will no doubt be keen for us to point out that it’s only fourth-most in terms of goals per game.

The Tractor Boys only kept three clean sheets in their 42 games, but only once did they concede more than four goals in a game.

That came in their famous 9-0 defeat at Manchester United, which remains tied as the biggest margin of victory in Premier League history. Unsurprisingly, as happened with Swindon, Ipswich finished bottom.

* 42-game season

Derby County (2007-08) – 89 goals (2.34 goals per game)

It remains the worst Premier League campaign of all time, with Derby amassing just 11 points in the 2007-08 season. In terms of goals per game, it is also the third-worst in the league’s history.

It was an ominous start for Paul Jewell’s men, losing 4-0 at Tottenham, 6-0 at Liverpool and 5-0 at Arsenal in their first seven games.

Things didn’t really get better at any point, with Derby keeping just one clean sheet in their final 28 games. Their last 10 games included a 6-1 loss at Chelsea, a 6-0 home defeat to Aston Villa and a 6-2 home loss to Arsenal. They appropriately ended the season by losing 4-0 at Pride Park to Reading.

Fulham (2013-14) – 85 goals (2.24 goals per game)

The first team in this list not to finish bottom of the league, though that presumably wasn’t much consolation for Fulham as 19th place still gets you relegated.

2013-14 was a campaign that saw three managers give it a go, but none of Martin Jol, René Meulensteen or Felix Magath could stop Fulham from conceding goals. It was more a steady stream of goals than regular thrashings, though their biggest margin of defeat was a 6-0 loss at Hull City in late December.

They conceded four against both Everton and Manchester City just before Christmas, with City putting another five past them in the reverse fixture. Both Cardiff City (692) and West Ham (677) actually faced more shots than Fulham (671) in total that season, but only conceded 74 and 51 goals respectively.

Luton Town (2023-24) – 85 goals (2.23 goals per game)

The 2023-24 campaign broke the record as the highest-scoring season in Premier League history, and much of that was down to Luton Town’s defence being almost as leaky as the Sheffield United side mentioned above.

Rob Edwards’ side flirted with the idea of survival for a portion of the season but only one win in their final 17 games saw them give up any hope.

They are the first team in this list to finish as high as 18th, doing so despite conceding a whopping 85 goals, but that still meant relegation for the Hatters after just one season back in the big time.

Norwich City (2021-22) – 84 goals (2.21 goals per game)

One of the Premier League’s most notorious ‘yo-yo’ clubs, Norwich were promoted back to the Premier League after a very strong 2020-21 season in which they won the Championship with 97 points, conceding just 36 goals in their 46 games.

Expectations were high that they could finally establish themselves in the Premier League, but things frankly could not have started worse. They lost 3-0 to Liverpool and 5-0 to Manchester City in their first two – admittedly difficult – games, before shipping seven away to Chelsea in late October.

After Dean Smith replaced Daniel Farke they still struggled to pick up points but did at least seem to stop the heavy defeats, though a 5-0 loss at home to Arsenal on Boxing Day suggested a turnaround in form wasn’t imminent. Another 5-0 home defeat to Tottenham on the final day was an appropriate way to sign off their latest brief Premier League visit. Their expected goals (xG) against total of 77.4 was 8.4 more than the next worst team (Leeds – 69.0).

Norwich concede v Spurs

Barnsley (1997-98) – 82 goals (2.16 goals per game)

Like Swindon, it was one and done for Barnsley in the Premier League, though the Tykes weren’t quite as leaky at the back as the Wiltshire side.

A 1-0 win away at Crystal Palace in their second game suggested Barnsley might be a tougher prospect than many anticipated, though a 6-0 home defeat to Chelsea in their next outing indicated otherwise. There was also a 5-0 loss at Arsenal, a 7-0 hammering at Manchester United, and a 6-0 thrashing at West Ham to follow.

Barnsley managed to avoid finishing bottom, though, with their 35 points enough to finish ahead of Crystal Palace, but relegation was still the end result.

Burnley (2009-10) – 82 goals (2.16 goals per game)

When Robbie Blake slammed in the winner for Burnley in a 1-0 victory against Manchester United at Turf Moor, their fans must have been excited about what their first Premier League campaign would bring. Despite another 1-0 win against Everton in their next game, however, the 2009-10 season mostly brought goals at the wrong end and ultimately, relegation.

Trips to Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs saw a combined 12 goals go past them, while they also conceded five in away games against West Ham and Aston Villa.

Burnley had been relatively solid at home until 6-0 and 4-0 defeats against Man City and Liverpool in the last two months of the season. They finished with 30 points and were relegated in 18th.

Wolverhampton Wanderers (2011-12) – 82 goals (2.16 goals per game)

Wolves had avoided relegation by a single point in the 2010-11 season, but it turned out they were just delaying the inevitable as Mick McCarthy and then Terry Connor were unable to keep the wolf from the door.

It started well enough, with Wolves conceding just once in their first three games, but from the end of August to the middle of the following April, they didn’t keep another clean sheet in the Premier League. A 4-1 loss at Manchester United was the only time they conceded more than three in a game until an embarrassing 5-1 home defeat to rivals West Brom, which spelled the end of McCarthy’s reign.

Connor oversaw 5-0 defeats away at Fulham and at home to Man Utd, and in reality, Wolves never looked like repeating their achievement of staying up as they finished with just 25 points, 12 off safety.

McCarthy and Connor

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