The Premier League guide
The Premier League: Beginner’s Guide
The Barclays Premier League is the most watched football league in the world. There’s a good chance that you already know something about it. Over 650 million homes around the world have access to Barclays Premier League football on TV.
However, if you are new to the excitement and thrills of the Barclays Premier League, here are some of the key facts about the biggest continuous sporting event on TV.
At its most basic, the Premier League is the lead competition in English football. Developed following years of under-investment in stadiums and playing talent, the League played its first season in 1992/93 and was originally composed of 22 clubs. In 1995/96 the League was reduced to its present number of 20 clubs.
Widely regarded as the elite club league in world football, the Premier League is owned by its 20 shareholders; the member clubs, whose membership of the League is dependent on the performance of their football team in the Barclays Premier League.
There are 20 teams in the league and the season runs from August to May. Each team plays each other twice, once at home in its own stadium and once away in the other team’s stadium. This gives each team a total of 38 matches in a season. Teams get three points for a win, one point for a draw and no points when they lose. The team with the most points at the end of the season are the champions. If two teams have the same number of points then goal difference is used to decide who wins.
At the end of the season the three teams at the bottom of the league are relegated to the second tier of English football, the Championship. Three teams from the Championship are promoted to take the place of the relegated teams.
Around the world, the Premier League has over 80 live broadcast partners who help screen the Premier League in over 200 countries. The Premier League has a high standard of football and attracts the top football stars from around the world. More fans watch the Premier League in its stadiums than any other league in Europe and the good performance of its clubs in European football means that it is rated as the number one league in Europe.
Forty seven different teams have competed in the Premier League – Bournemouth, who arrived from the Championship for the 2015/16 season, were the 47th. Only seven teams have played in each of the Premier League’s 23 seasons: Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur. Five different teams have won the Premier League: Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Blackburn Rovers. United lead the way, winning their thirteenth Barclays Premier League trophy in the 2012/13 season.
Where are the Clubs?
Fans follow their clubs home and away. This is where they will have to travel in the 2014/15 season:
London - five of the current Barclays Premier League teams are based in London. Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, (often called Spurs) are north London rivals. Chelsea is based in west London, West Ham are in east London and Crystal Palace are in south London. Watford is just north of London.
The North West - the north west of the country is where four of the current Premier League teams are based. The two major cities in the region, Liverpool and Manchester, each have two teams – one in red and one in blue. Liverpool (in red) rival Everton (in blue) for the affection of fans on Merseyside and Manchester United (red) and Manchester City (blue) divide fans there.
The Midlands - the central area of England is known as the Midlands and have four teams in the Premier League. Aston Villa and West Bromich Albion are both based in Birmingham with Leicester City and Stoke City not far away.
The North East - Sunderland and Newcastle United are strong local rivals in the North East and Hull City is also on the east coast of England.
The South - Southampton and Bournemouth are the only Barclays Premier League club based on the south coast of England.
East Anglia - Norwich City is based in East Anglia, which is a region in the east of England.
Wales - Swansea City play in the English Premier League but are actually based in Wales. They play in England for historical reasons.
Investing in the future of football
The Premier League recognises its obligations to contribute to the rest of English football and to achieve a high standard of Corporate Social Responsibility. The grassroots of the game are hugely important to the Premier League. The Premier League invests in the players of tomorrow and is funding a new generation of facilities.
Under the Creating Chances umbrella, Premier League clubs are at the heart of their communities and the Premier League uses the power of football to engage local communities in intervention programmes which address the four key social issues of education; health and wellbeing; social inclusion and equalities. In addition, the Premier League has an International Good Causes programme – and Premier Skills is at the centre of that.
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