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English Premier League

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English Premier League

The Premier League had already secured a TV rights package worth £304 million, and the prospect of such money being shared between just 22 teams was too much to resist, and thus the old Football League was broken up. From the 1992/1993 season onwards, the Premier League became the new top division, operating as a single division, while the Football League continued to operate the three other professional divisions below the Premier League.

The League

So, that’s the history lesson out of the way, now let’s get into how the league is structured. There are 20 teams, and each of them plays each other twice—home and away. So each team plays a total of 38 games. The season starts in August and runs until May.

Games are usually played across the weekend, with a game sometimes taking place on Friday night. Most of the games, however, kick off on a Saturday afternoon at the traditional time of 3 PM. There is finally a Monday night game at 8 PM to round off the week’s fixtures. Sometimes there are midweek fixtures kicking at either 7:45 PM or 8 PM, but these are infrequent. Teams earn three points for each win, one point for a draw (tie) and nothing for a defeat. There are no playoffs or equivalent to the Super Bowl, it’s basically a first past the post system. So, for example, if a team scores 80 and concedes 30, then the Goal Difference is +50. Likewise, if a team scores just 30 and concedes 80, then the difference is -50.

The idea of a league with no playoffs or one off final match to decide the champion may seem boring at first hand, but there two knock out competitions that run alongside the Premier League. The FA Cup is the primary competition and is steeped in history; it is the oldest knockout tournament in the world, open to professional, semi-professional and amateur teams alike. The League Cup, another knockout competition, is often regarded as a secondary competition and is open to all 92 teams in the Football League.

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