The English Football League, more commonly known as the EPL, is considered the top-level football event that takes place in the English football world.
It garners millions upon millions of international fans, and sees some of the most prominent English clubs and football teams that the county has to offer competing against one another.
The EPL season runs from August to May, where every team involved will participate in around 38 matches in total. Almost all of the games are played on either a Saturday or a Sunday afternoon, and it’s become an almost cultural practice for many English people to attend the matches during their free weekends.
It’s been the home to some of the greatest moments in footballing history and giving rise to many of the most talented players of the modern age. Here we will look at the origins of the EPL and how it’s evolved over the decades.
The Origins Of The EPL
While football saw much success in the 1960s and the 1980s, it saw a huge drop in popularity in the 1980s. Stadiums were falling apart, hooliganism was at an all-time high, and many clubs were battling to bring in both funds and new players to take part in the games.
The Football First League Division, an exclusively English-sided branch of football, had fallen behind many other European leagues of the same nature, meaning that fewer fans were being involved and clubs were not making ends meet on a financial level.
It proved to be the 1990 FIFA World Cup where the downward trend started to make a reverse, and it provided an opportunity to start working on something entirely new. This was also the time that managing director Greg Dyke met with representatives of some of the biggest clubs in the country and decided to form an entirely new league that would include all of England’s most prestigious clubs.
How It Was Formed
By the end of the 1991 season, a proposal had been put forth to create a new tournament that would only include clubs and teams that were from England.
This also meant that many of these clubs, as part of the deal, would have financial independence from the Football Association, which by that stage had not been as eager to create a new league, feeling that it would detract from the FA and take fans and players elsewhere.
Despite this, the EPL was signed into being on the 17th of July in 1991, and it didn’t take long for it to become a national staple for football fans, such as Bingo Australia.
It’s Growing Popularity
For the very first season of the EPL, only 22 clubs were involved, but they were some of the biggest names in the industry. The influence of these clubs meant that fans were now given a choice of what they could watch.
Brain Deane of Sheffield United was the first person to score a goal for the league, and it marked a precedent that would render it popular for the rest of its existence to this day.