Often referred to as the English Premier League (EPL) outside of England, the Premier League is the foremost level of the English football league system. Contested by 20 teams since its inception in 1992, the Premier League operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the English Football League (EFL).
Of the 49 clubs which have competed in the Premier League since its inception, 6 of these have won the title. Here’s everything you need to know about the English Premier League
History of the Premier League
Following significant success in the 1970s and 1980s, the late 1980s saw an all-time low for English football – stadiums were falling to ruin and English clubs were banned from all European competitions for 5 years following the Heysel Stadium disaster of 1985.
However, the early 1990s brought good news when England reached the semi-finals in the 1990 FIFA World Cup and UEFA lifted the 5 year ban.
By 1992, the First Division clubs had struck a £304 million over five years deal with BskyB in order to secure exclusive television rights and the teams resigned from the Football League en masse. The Premier League was born.
Competition Format of the Premier League
The Premier League consists of 20 clubs and during the course of the August to May season, each club plays every other club twice in a double round-robin system for a total of 38 matches which is almost as thrilling as online blackjack!
Operating on a point system, teams are awarded 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, and 0 points for a loss.
Teams are firstly ranked by total points, then goal difference, and finally goals scored and if the team points are still equal they are considered to occupy the same position.
If a tie for the championship, for relegation, or qualification for other competitions occur, a play-off match is held.
Qualification for the UEFA Champions League
The top 4 teams in the Premier League automatically qualify for the following season’s UEFA Champions League group stage and the winners of the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League also qualify for the following season’s UEFA Champions League.
As a nation is only permitted to have a maximum of 5 teams competing in the UEFA Champions League, if 6 Premier League teams qualify, the 4th placed Premier League team plays in the UEFA Europa League and the 5th placed team qualifies for the UEFA Europa League group stage.
Top Scorers in the Premier League
Since the Premier League’s inception, Manchester United has won the title a total of 13 times, followed by Chelsea with 5, Arsenal and Manchester City with 3 each, and Blackburn Rovers and Leicester City with 1 each. Here are the all-time top scorers of the Premier League:
- Alan Shearer: 260
- Wayne Rooney 208
- Andrew Cole: 187
- Frank Lampard: 177
- Thierry Henry: 175
- Robbie Fowler: 163
- Jermain Defoe: 162
- Sergio Agüero: 162
- Michael Owen: 150
- Les Ferdinand: 149