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A history of the English Premier League

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The Barclays Premier League is well known in every nook and corner of the world today. But the transformation into the world’s popular football league didn’t happen overnight. We take a look at the 23-year history of the Barclays Premier League.

The beginning

It all started in 1992 when the inaugural season started on August 15 with 22 clubs competing. All wasn’t rosy though as it took several rounds of discussions with football authorities, players and television broadcasters for the First Division clubs to resign from the Football League in May of 1992.

Any guesses on who were the inaugural members of the Premier League?

  • Arsenal
  • Aston Villa
  • Blackburn Rovers
  • Chelsea
  • Coventry City
  • Crystal Palace
  • Everton
  • Ipswich Town
  • Leeds United
  • Liverpool
  • Manchester City
  • Manchester United
  • Middlesbrough
  • Norwich City
  • Nottingham Forest
  • Oldham Athletic
  • Queens Park Rangers
  • Sheffield United
  • Sheffield Wednesday
  • Southampton
  • Tottenham Hotspur
  • Wimbledon

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Don’t blame yourselves if your favorite teams aren’t in the list or you cannot place some of these names. So far a total of 47 different teams have participated in the Premier League, with AFC Bournemouth joining the roster with their promotion for the season of 2015/16.

Of these 47 clubs, only seven have been able to participate in every campaign till date – Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspurs.

Relegation

At the end of every season, three teams at the bottom of the Premier League table are relegated to the lower division while three teams from the Championship (or Division One then) took their place. But if you see the table now, there are just 20 clubs, compared to the 22 when the League was started.

It was in 1994-95 season that the League decided to reduce the number of participating clubs to 20. As a result, that was the only year when four clubs were relegated from top tier while only two got promoted from Division One.

Title sponsor

You may be well versed with the name of Barclays preceding the Premier League for years but it was only from 2007-08 that the name got appended to this coveted league. When the League started in 1992-93, there was no sponsor and that was the only time till now that it happened so.

From the 1993-94 season, the Premier League became known as the FA Carling Premiership and this continued till 2001 when the sponsor became Barclaycard. This was the case until 2004 at which point, the Premier League came to be known as FA Barclays Premiership.

Ahead of the 2007-08 season, the competition came to be known as Barclays Premier League which continued till the end of this season. From the next season onwards, there will not be any sponsor and the competition will simply be known as the Premier League.

European competition representation

It’s not just the lure of Premier League but also the prospect of rubbing shoulders with the top teams of other leagues in Europe that makes the League interesting for players, coaches and followers alike.

The top four qualify for the UEFA Champions League while three teams enter the UEFA Europa League – providing increased matches, increased chances of revenue and greater visibility for the clubs and players. And for us viewers, do we say no to more action?

 

 

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