The Premier League is considered by many to be the best soccer league in the world. And not for less. The national competition put the most athletes at the 2018 World Cup, with a total of 130 players (almost 12 full teams). The high level of competitiveness, the packed stadiums, the passionate fans, the organization, and the great matches are other ingredients that make this competition grow. And all this glamour makes many people interested in a better understanding of how the Premier League works.
Briefly, the Premier League is played by 20 clubs on a round-robin points basis, with a total of 38 rounds. At the end of the Championship, the best team fighting in the premier league title race with the highest score is considered the champion. The top 4 places guarantee a direct place in the UEFA Champions League, while the fifth and sixth places qualify for the UEFA League. The last three finalists are relegated to the Championship, the English second division.
History of the Premier League
England is the birthplace of soccer and, naturally, has century-old teams scattered throughout its territory. Each of these clubs carries with it the honor and history of soccer and its neighborhoods, cities, and ancestors.
Therefore, it is impossible to determine the number of teams in the country, but they are estimated to exceed thousands.
Within the structure of English soccer competitions, we will find the Premier League at the top of the list, with a single division consisting of 20 clubs. Below the Premier League, we see the English Football League, which is made up of three divisions of 24 clubs each. All of these 92 clubs are professional.
The rise of the Premier League
Two main reasons for creating the Premier League on February 20, 1992: violence and money.
Due to “Hooliganism,” violence in stadiums was rampant, with several cases of fights and gangs, and the damage was evident. Sponsors lost interest in the Championship, and the stadiums were increasingly empty.
The height of the violence came on April 15, 1989, in the Hillsborough tragedy, where a riot of fans at the entrance to the stadium during an FA Cup match resulted in the deaths of 96 people.
On the other hand, there was great dissatisfaction among the clubs with the financial return from the competition, particularly with the negotiations for television rights by the Football League, founded in 1888, which organized the English competitions at the time. Dissatisfied with the low revenue from television rights, some of the Football League’s First Division clubs decided to break away from the association and set up their league.
Something had to be done to save the country’s soccer, and England’s top clubs came together to make decisions that would forever change the course of English soccer.
Major changes to the Premier League
- Security and crowd profiling in stadiums
Several changes began to emerge, and many of them have evolved over the years. The main changes were:
- There is less movement and grouping of fans, with less chance of crowds.
- Increase in ticket prices, motivated by the reduction in the size of the stadiums, but which ended up “elasticizing” soccer.
- There is a division among fans, maintaining an empty block to separate supporters.
- There is a reduction in stadium capacity, with fans needing to be seated in their seats. With this, the “general” with standing fans was abolished.
- Average audience
Today’s Premier League has the second-highest average audience among professional soccer leagues, second only to the Bundesliga (Germany). In the 2018/19 season, the average audience in English stadiums was 38,200 fans.
- Television revenues
The Premier League is the most broadcast league in the world, with eighty television networks broadcasting the competition to more than 200 countries worldwide.
Revenues from the sale of broadcasting rights are in the order of 2.4 billion euros.
Regulations of the Premier League
The Premier League has adopted the “league system” model, where 20 clubs play each other in round-robin matches, totaling 38 dates.
Each victory gives the winner 3 points, and both teams receive one point each in the event of a draw. In defeat, the losing team is not entitled to any points.
At the end of the 38 rounds, the club with the most points will be declared champion. In case of a tie-in point, there are two tiebreakers: balance of goals and number of goals scored. In the event of a tie in all three criteria, an additional match will be played on a neutral field.
The last three teams in the table are demoted to the Football League Championship, based on the same criteria to determine the champion as the sum of points, the balance of goals, and the number of goals scored. An additional match on a neutral field is decided if the tie persists.
For promotion, the top two places in the Championship are promoted directly, with the winner of the play-offs involving clubs from third to sixth place in the tournament.
Only six clubs have won the Premier League since its foundation in 1992. Manchester United, which has won 7 of the first ten editions, is the top champion with 13 Premier League titles in total, followed by Chelsea with five wins, Manchester City with 4, Arsenal with three titles, and Blackburn Rovers and Leicester close the select group of champions, with one achievement each.
Premier League Pool, the most significant English champion until the creation of the Premier League, never won this competition.