The Premier League has millions of viewers who enjoy the game on an annual basis. While there is much to be discussed about the game itself, in this article, we will be focusing on the evolution of the league itself. We will be offering detailed information on its predecessor and how it has grown to its current status.
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Before the Premier League
As you should have guessed by now, the English Premier League was not always known by that name. The league was known as the Football Association League and enjoyed extended periods of success during the 70s and 80s.
However, this changed during the late 80s and early 90s. Hooliganism became ripe in football matches as over-enthusiastic fans brought violence and commotion in the stadiums. Facilities crumbled as sponsors and TV stations drew themselves away from the trouble.
To add fuel to the fire, other competitive leagues in other countries in the region were thriving. The La Liga in Spain and Serie A in Italy were drawing in millions of Euros in revenue and attendance costs. Something had to be done.
Seeking to make the league profitable, the management broke away and rebranded the league into the English Premier League in 1992. This was the highest level of professional football in England. The new format was to have 22 teams; with each team pitted against the other for a home and away match.
Some of the teams that formed the first league of 1992 included Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool, Southampton, Wimbledon, Tottenham, Leeds United, and Nottingham Forest.
To make it more competitive, the Premier League corroborated with other leagues to have a seasonal Champions League. At the end of a season, the top four teams in the league would proceed to the Champions League next season.
There would also be relegation. The bottom three teams would be relegated to the second-tier football league known as the Championship. This ensured that teams played competitively to maintain their position in the Premier League.
The new league was an instant success in terms of attendance, sponsorship, and attendance by fans. While it was a break from a decade of tradition in football history, it was a welcome change from the conditions of the dreadful 1980s and 90s.
The Quartet dominance of the 2000s
At the onset of this new league, a few teams, four to be specific, set themselves apart from the rest. They came to be known as the Top Four i.e. Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, and Liverpool. They managed to secure the top four positions of the league at the end of almost every season. It meant that they enjoyed continuation in the league and a spot in the Champions League.
Their dominance also led to an increased fan base and notoriety, not only in England but throughout the world. Many professionals and experts opined that the dominance of these four teams would disturb the balance of the league.
However, this balance changed over the decades.
The Addition of two more
At the turn of the century, two more football clubs entered the fray, aiming to change the format of the ‘ ‘Top Four’’; Manchester City and Tottenham. The term ‘top four’ changed to the ‘big six’.
Buoyed by rich investors, Manchester City was able to reshuffle its team and compete with the big boys. From 2010 to date, no team has won more trophies domestically than Manchester City. This of course irks their chief rivals, Manchester United.
Tottenham was able to stake its claim through prudent purchases and exceptional management.
Trouble in Paradise
As things stand, there is a lot of uncertainty about the dominance of the top six teams in the league. Teams such as Leicester and West Ham have been known to play competitively against the top teams in the Premier League.
This has led to a change in the influence and financial power of the league. With a greater share in the amount of revenue, experts predict a change in the powers over the next decades. There could be a new structure for the top six teams in a few years.
There you have it. A comprehensive guide on how the English Premier League has evolved. However, the football league is not the only one that has enjoyed success and thrills millions of fans worldwide. The Indian Premier League is its honest competitor in size and fame.
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Santosh Kumar, He is a SEO + Blogger have 12 years of experience in writing tutorial, informative and product reviews topics.