December 1, 2022
The English Premier League
The Premier League is one of the top football leagues in the world. In Europe one of the big 5 Leagues which include Germany’s The Bundesliga, Spain’s LaLiga, France’s League A and Serie A of Italy
It’s not surprising that football is described as the “world’s game”. With 100’s of professional football leagues existing worldwide, it is not exactly difficult for a newcomer to find a way in. Tournaments are plentiful, the rules are simple, and every team is passionate about building their way up the ranks and becoming the very best.
Speaking of passion, there is arguably no country more passionate about the beautiful game than the home of football itself, the English Premier League.
Modern football originated in England in the 19th century, becoming standardised when the professional game was formed in 1885. Today, The English Football League (England’s professional level, beginning at the fourth tier) is fed into by 57 leagues – a mix of semi-professional and amateur – across tiers twelve to five. The professional portion consists of League Two, League One, and the Championship, before eventually reaching the promised land of The English Premier League (EPL), which sits atop the pyramid, and in some people’s eyes, the top of European football and the wider footballing world.
This is the promised land that every fan dreams their team will reach. A total of 20 teams battle it out to reach the very top.
But what exactly is the EPL and why is it so popular? Well, that’s not exactly an easy answer. There is a lot to know about the Premier League and why it is so coveted amongst football fans, so let’s kick off with the basics:
The 101 of the English Premier League:
- The EPL – English Premier League – was founded on 27th May 1992, following the decision from clubs of the First Division to break away from the league founded in 1885.
- It is the highest level of the men’s football league system in England.
- There are 20 teams in all, each one of which battle it out to earn points and finish at the top of the table.
- By the end of the season, the bottom three teams of the EPL are relegated and the top two of the EFL (level 2) get automatically promoted into the EPL. The third spot is decided with play-offs by the next four.
- Today, nearly 1.4 billion people worldwide identify as an EPL fan, and nearly 40% of the entire UK watched the live coverage of last season.
A Brief History Of The EPL
As mentioned before, English football has been around for a long time. In terms of the professional game, however, it technically began in the late nineteenth century, when up to 30,000 spectators began turning up to each friendly. After it began leaking through to other countries and regions, the international football association (FIFA, short for Fédération Internationale de Football Association) was formed in 1902 and the concept of domestic leagues began.
Throughout the twentieth century, football was defined by its First Division, the Football League. But after a floundering of the league in the 1980s, the 22 clubs that made up the division elected to resign and return under a new set-up: the English Premier League.The EPL was to have commercial independence from the FA and Football League, meaning it was free to organise its own sponsorship and broadcast agreements. After partnering up with BSKYB – a big move for the time, but a good one, seeing as Sky has played a key role in developing and broadcasting the league – the first campaign kicked off on 15th August 1992. This included a total of 22 inaugural members:
- Aston Villa
- Blackburn Rovers
- Coventry City
- Crystal Palace
- Ipswich Town
- Leeds United
- Manchester City
- Manchester United
- Norwich City
- Nottingham Forest
- Oldham Athletic
- Queens Park Rangers
- Sheffield United
- Sheffield Wednesday
- Tottenham Hotspur
It was decreed that these 22 teams would be sliced to 20 in order to promote development and build a football ecosystem based on improvement and excellence – at both club and international levels. The first relegation, however, took place two years later, toward the end of the 1994/95 season. In this instance, four clubs were relegated – Nottingham Forest, Middlesbrough, Crystal Palace, and Ipswich Town – and two were promoted – Newcastle United and West Ham United.From then on, the EPL has grown from strength to strength. The overall capacity and comfort of stadiums across the country grew and the live-viewing audience consistently rises by 5% season-on-season. The EPL is now the most watched football league in the world, with record-breaking audiences – such as the UK peak of 3.24 million for the Manchester derby in 2017/18 – and an estimated global audience of 4.7 billion.
The EPL English Premier League Timeline:
- 1885 – the English Football League is founded
- 1980 – Football begins going downhill, with poor stadium quality and a lowering attendance rate.
- 1991 – English First Division clubs restructure the game and sign a Founder Members Agreement, establishing the principles for a new set-up.
- 1992 – The first season of EPL begins.
- 1994 – The process of relegation and promotion takes place, with four teams removed from the EPL and two teams allowed to join.
- 1995/2022 – The league continues to grow, with a number of television contracts and iconic fixtures driving in record audience figures. Today it is known as the most coveted league in the world.
A Fresh Season: The EPL English Premier League 2022/23
Since the beginning, there have been many outstanding and iconic seasons. Who can forget Ferguson’s Man Utd taking on Newcastle’s 12-point lead in 1996/97? Or what about the classic underdog story of 2015/16, when Leicester City managed to ignore all preconceptions of the league and claim the trophy in a thrilling, defence-smashing few months?
The league is a hodgepodge of incredible moments and tear-inducing success stories and, in 2022/23, we might be about to have another one.
For the last two years, Man City have cruised their way to the title, having lost only three out of thirty-eight games in the 2021/22 season. This year, however, Man City have only played fourteen games and has already lost two – with a further 2 draws bringing their win rate to 10/14.
Meanwhile, Arsenal is undergoing a transformation. So far, the team has won 12 out of their first fourteen games, with players like Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Jesus – both listed in the top 10 rankings – carving it up to provide some game-changing assists and tackles.
Having said this, Manchester City remain the favourites to win the trophy next year. Having already defended their title successfully, it would be wrong to write off the likes of Pip Guardiola and co to put in a solid challenge and – as of right now – they are right on Arsenal’s heels.
The EPL English Premier League: Best Players
Of course, as with any sport, the sponsorships, television deals and media buzz would all come to nothing if it wasn’t for the most important thing: the players. And boy, the EPL has had some.
Previous greats include the likes of Thierry Henry, who lit up the Premier League when he found a home in Arsenal’s gruelling attack line back in 1999. Fans will remember him as a lightning sprinter on the left side of the field, but he had several strings to his bow, with an ability to operate centrally, a sharp defence and a pin-point boot that led to over 228 goals scored for the club.
Cristiano Ronaldo is another player who can’t go without a mention. Although he is in the spotlight now for controversial comments about Manchester United’s ownership, and subsequently ‘leaving by mutual agreement’. He was their golden boy back in the Ferguson days of 2003. He was the first Portuguese player to sign for the club, shooting a staggering 42 goals in the 2007/08 season, and he is best known for being the key to Man United’s attack which led them to a three-win streak for the 2006-2009 EPL seasons.
Who else is there to mention? Tony Adams, best known now for his Strictly rumbas, was once featured in the Team of the Decade for the EPL’s first ten years. Alan Shearer averaged 0.667 goals per game and is still the leading EPL all-time scorer. Ryan Giggs led his team to 12 EPL titles, four FA cups and two UEFA Champions League trophies. The list could go on and on.
But the point is, the EPL is successful because it breeds and nurtures the best players in the world, giving them a stage to develop their skills and become the very best the world has to offer. In short, it has given the players a way to polish their boots and let them glisten. And although many of those boots have since been hung up in the locker rooms, they still shine as bright as they did when they were on the pitch.
The EPL English Premier League: DAZN Bet’s Pop Quiz
It can be hard to believe that the EPL has only been going on for thirty years, such is the wealth of history and memories that everyone can associate with it. Having said that, it’s time to put your knowledge to the test and find out how big of a fan you really are with our pop quiz below.
This will distinguish whether you’re one of those know-it-all fans who only tune into a derby now and then, or if you’re a seasoned ticket holder who has been to every one of your club’s games since you could fit into a football shirt.
Q: Starting Things Off, What Teams Play In The EPL Today?
A: Since the table of 1992 – shown earlier – there are eight new additions who have found a foothold in the EPL. These are: Newcastle, Brighton, Fulham, Brentford, Leicester City, Bournemouth, West Ham, and Wolves.
Q: Who Is The Most Successful Player Of All Time In The EPL?
A: Although others have scored more goals or won more championships, Thierry Henry was recently voted the most successful EPL player ever, with a peak that was higher and lasted longer than any other rival. If you want to judge the success of a player on goal scoring alone, however, then Alan Shearer is the greatest goal scorer in league history, with a record of 260 goals.
Q: Who Is The Top Scorer So Far In 2022?
A: So far this season, Erling Haaland is the top scorer of the competition, with a stat of 18 goals in fourteen games for Manchester City. Harry Kane is behind him on 12, whilst Ivan Toney is on 10 for Brentford.
Q: Which EPL Teams Have Never Been Relegated?
A: As mentioned before, the competition in the EPL is high, meaning only a small handful have never been relegated. These include Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Everton and Chelsea. Will all that change this season? Probably not. But hey, Leicester City won the trophy a few years ago. You never know what’s going to happen.
Q: Has A Relegated Team Ever Gone On To Win The EPL?
A: Both Leicester City and Manchester City have risen from relegation to eventually win the EPL trophy. On the other end of the stick, however, Blackburn Rovers are the only EPL team to have been subsequently relegated after winning a trophy.
Q: Which Team Has Won The Most EPL Titles?
A: Manchester United remains the leading club when it comes to Premier League titles. They have an impressive 13 trophies in their cabinet, with Manchester City holding 6 and Chelsea behind on 5.
Q: Who Is The Highest Rated EPL Coach?
A: If we’re talking the highest rated EPL coach ever, then that mantle would have to go to Sir Alex Ferguson, who led Man United’s charge to become the best team in the EPL and, arguably, the world. With regards to the best coach right now, however, it would have to be a toss-up between Pep Guardiola and Antonio Conte, both of whom have done wonders for their teams in the last couple of years.
Q: Has An EPL Team Ever Gone An Entire Season Without A Loss?
A: Being a highly competitive championship, this is the rarest of all achievements, but it has been done before. Back in 2003/04, Arsenal went a whole season without defeat, the only team to ever have done so. Bless you, Thierry Henry.
Q: Who Is The Youngest Player To Ever Score A Goal In The EPL?
A: James Vaughan became the youngest EPL player to ever score back in April 2005. He scored the fourth goal in the 4-0 win between Everton and Crystal Palace, and he was only 16 years old when he did it. A young whippersnapper making his name on the biggest stage in the world.
Q: What EPL Stadium Has The Highest Capacity?
A: This one goes to Manchester United again. Old Trafford is the biggest stadium in the EPL, with a capacity of 74,310 – which also makes it the second-largest football stadium in all of England after Wembley.
Q: What Is The Best EPL Goal Ever Scored?
A: Now this one is subjective of course, but many fans will agree that Paolo Di Canio’s 2004 goal against Wimbledon is one of the most stunning to ever have been scored. To this day, fans agree that it’s a beautiful goal to watch and it served as an indicator of the overseas talent that was just beginning to light up the English game at the time.
Our Predictions: The EPL English Premier League 22/23
To finish it all off, what’s the predictions when it comes to the here and now? Well, if you’re looking at the data, Man City still has the biggest chance of winning the title, sitting at 46% over Liverpool’s 30% and Chelsea’s 11%. They certainly look in good shape, but with Arsenal currently sitting at the top of the league, they still have some catching up to do.
So, what about Arsenal? Why aren’t they given a fair shot by the odds? Well, it might be because history demonstrates that good starts are not enough when it comes to winning the league. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Take Mancini’s Manchester City side in the 2011/12 season. They won 13 of their first 16 games and yet found themselves 8 points behind Utd after a loss at the Emirates. This left them having to win all of their remaining 6 fixtures, before eventually becoming victorious due to goal-difference alone. The margins are tight, form is important, and Man City have buckets of it.
With this being said, there is a certain magic to the EPL. Leicester City has shown us that miracles can happen and – although not many have raised their head above the parapet in fear of being shot down – Arsenal do have a genuine chance. With a little bit of courage and with a little bit of magic, they can do it. This is why our prediction for the EPL champions of the 2022/23 season are…
Man City. You gotta go with what you know, people. But either way, it’s going to be an enthralling few months ahead. Game on!