History of English Premier League (EPL)

English Premier League

English Premier League (EPL) is the most prestigious battle of English football titans. It is the league that decides who to entitle as English Football Champions.

It is the most-watched league globally, having a viewer base in tunes of billions.

The League has a colorful history and interestingly gets rechristened quite frequently.

Let’s go back to the times when it started and find how it has evolved since its inception.

When English Premier League (EPL) Started?

English Premier League started in 1992, intending to restructure English Football. It was formed as a result of separation from the Football Association formed in 1888.

22 clubs resigned collectively from FA and formed this competition to bring English Football to an international forum.

Some important dates in the History of the English Premier League are:

17th July 1991 Founder Members Agreement signed to lay the rules and principles of conducting this competition
20 Feb 1992 22 clubs resigned from FA and united to form the league
27th May 1992 English Premier League was launched as a limited company
15th August 1992 English Premier League campaign started

What led to the foundation of the English Premier League (EPL)?

After seeing the golden period in the 1970s, English Football saw a painful slump at the start of the 1980s.

Lack of infrastructure, unruly mobs at stadiums, and poorly managed associations threatened the Football League’s very existence. The lowest point of the period was the Heysel Stadium disaster that led to the five-year ban on English teams in European competition.

In an attempt to revive English Football, the people at the helm of affairs decided to reinvent the football scene.

Also, the 1980s was the time when TV came up as a spectator’s medium, and sports marketing got a newer avenue to strike gigantic deals. Thus, the need for change in management strategy to derive the benefits of TV deals, among other factors, led to the foundation of the English Premier League.

Which were those 22 clubs that participated in the maiden English Premier League (EPL) Tournament?

The first tournament of the English Premier League saw the participation of these teams:

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

From 22, the number of clubs to have participated in the English Premier League has risen to forty-nine since inception. Only these seven from 49 clubs have managed to win the EPL title to date: Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Blackburn Rovers, Leicester City, and Liverpool.

Which clubs dominated the Premier League (EPL) in the 2000s?

English Premier League has received flak many times for being quite predictable. A few of the clubs were never brought down below the top 4 ranks and named ‘Top Four.’ These clubs were: Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, and Chelsea.

Later, the top 4 expanded to the Big Six when Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur managed to break into this club. 2011-12 saw a change in the top 4 names when Manchester City won the title that season.

How many times was English Premier League (EPL) renamed?

Though for not any particular reason, the English Premier League has been renamed about 4 times since its inception.  Here are its four official names:

At the start: FA Carling Premiership

2001: Barclaycard Premiership

2004: Barclays Premiership

2007: Barclays Premier League

However,  most of the time, the name remains as English Premier League or the Premiership.

Which club has won titles most of the time?

Manchester United has won the highest number of times, 13 times to be precise. Its coach Sir Alex Ferguson is known as the most successful coach. Interestingly, none of the English coaches have ever tasted success in the English Premier League. Even Sir Alex is Scottish.

Manchester United also holds the record of winning the Premier League three times in a row twice. It held the title from 1999-2001 and 2007-2009. They have also scored wins for four consecutive years, once from 2001-2004.

The other most successful teams to have held the English Premier League trophy are:

Manchester United 13 wins
Chelsea 5
Manchester City 4
Arsenal 3

Which clubs are always present in the English Premier League tournament?

Following are the six clubs that have made an appearance in each season of the English Premier League:

  • Manchester United
  • Chelsea
  • Arsenal
  • Manchester City
  • Everton
  • Tottenham Hotspur

To keep the excitement in the league alive, there are relegation rules introduced for the bottom scorers.

The two lowest rankers of the league are relegated to the second-tier football tournament, English Football Championship. And those scoring the top positions in this Championship are promoted to become part of this league.

Which goalkeeper has scored maximum clean sheets in EPL?

Petr Cech is the most impressive goalkeeper in the English Premier League’s entire history, with 202 clean sheets in 443 games. His career is marked by various proud moments like winning Premier League Golden Glove four times and representing two different clubs.

Other decorated goalkeepers to have scored maximum clean sheets in the History of the English Premier League are:

David James 169 in 572 matches
Mark Schwarzer 151 in 514 matches
David Seaman 141 in 344 matches

For how much the TV broadcasting rights of the first English Premier League were sold?

English Premier League was launched as a limited company in 1992 to be able to enter into a contract for selling TV rights. For the first time, the league’s TV rights were sold to Sky and BT group for broadcasting 116 and 38 games, respectively. The deal was signed for the amount worth  £1 billion a year.

The clubs participating in the league are stakeholders in the league, and revenue money is apportioned among the clubs.

What was the prize money for the first season of the English Premier League (EPL)

The history of the English Premier League reveals that this league is a big fat monetary pie where every club gets to warm its pocket. In the first year of the league, in 1992, the prize money was £38m. Currently, the game has gone way high up in financial standing. In 2016, the gigantic prize money of about £1.64bn was distributed among the clubs.

The clubs are given the prize money in the following proportions:

  • Equal share: 50% of all earnings are distributed equally among the clubs
  • Merit payments: The final position on the league table determines the share of the club; 25% is shared on a position basis
  • Facility Fee: It is given based on the number of televised matches in which teams appeared

Also, there are heads like central commercial revenues and international broadcasting revenues, which are equally divided among the clubs.

To conclude,

English Premier League is the tip of the pyramid of English Football. It is the top-tier from where the participants for European leagues are selected. This league deserves all the respect and recognition because of the way it organized the disoriented English Football into a systematic framework. The league has done its colossal bit in making English Football a respectable name in the global sports scene.