FA Premier League
The FA Premier League (which, for sponsorship/legal reasons, is often referred to as the Barclays Premiership in the UK and the Barclays English Premier League internationally) is a league competiton for English Football clubs located at the top of the English football league system (above The Football League), making it England's main football competition.
- 1 Overview
- 2 History
- 3 Premier League clubs, 2005–06
- 4 Former Premier League Members
- 5 Past Premier League winners
- 6 Top flight champions in English football
- 7 Top scorers
- 8 The "Curse of Christmas"
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
The FA Premier League comprises the top 20 football clubs in the league system of English football. It was created in 1992, when the top division football clubs broke away from the Football League after securing a greatly improved TV rights deal with the then fledgling satellite television company BSkyB. The new name was simply a commercial restructuring and a rebranding exercise as there was no innovation in competitive terms; an identical first tier league had existed the previous season. The Premiership boasts some of the best players in the world, including many from outside England.
The Premier League is the most lucrative football league in the world, with total club revenues of over £1.3 billion in 2003–04 according to Deloitte, more than 50 percent above its nearest competitor, Italy's Serie A . It is currently second in the UEFA rankings of European leagues based on their performances in European competitions over a five year period, behind Spain's La Liga, and was the best performing league in 2004–05.
There are 20 clubs in the Premier League. During the course of a season each club plays the others twice, once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents for a total of 38 games for each club and a total of 380 games in Premier League play. At the end of each season the three lowest placed teams are relegated into the Football League Championship and the top two teams from the Championship, together with the winner of a play-off involving the 3rd to 6th placed clubs, are promoted in their place.
The top four teams in the Premiership qualify for the UEFA Champions League, with the top two teams directly entering the group phase. The third and fourth placed teams enter the competition at the third qualifying round and must win a two-legged knockout tie in order to enter the group phase. The fifth placed team automatically qualifies for the UEFA Cup, and the sixth and seventh placed teams can also qualify, depending on what happens in the two domestic cup competitions. If the FA Cup champions and runners-up both finish in the top 5 of the Premier League, the FA Cup's UEFA Cup spot goes to the sixth placed team in the League. If the League Cup is won by a team that has already qualified for Europe, the League Cup's UEFA Cup spot also goes to the next highest placed team in the League (unlike with the FA Cup spot, it is never transferred to the losing finalist).
Since 1993, the FA Premier League has been sponsored. The sponsor has been able to determine the league's sponsorship name. So far, all the sponsors have referred to the competition as the 'Premiership'. The list below details who the sponsors have been and what they called the competition:
- 1993–2001: Carling (FA Carling Premiership)
- 2001–08: Barclays (Barclays Premiership; from 2001-2004, it was known as the Barclaycard Premiership)
Promoted as "The Greatest Show On Earth", the FA Premier League is the world's most popular and most watched sporting league, followed worldwide by over a billion people. Over 260 foreign players compete in the league, and 101 stars from England's domestic leagues competed in the Template:Wc in Korea and Japan. It is widely watched overseas, with matches being shown in over 150 countries. Premier League teams such as Manchester United and star players such as Thierry Henry, Steven Gerrard or Ruud van Nistelrooy have become worldwide sporting icons. The Premier League is particularly popular in Scandinavia, with ferry operators offering "football ferries" to Norwegian football fans wishing to see their favourite teams in action.
Number of foreigners
In 2000–01, the number of foreign players (players hailing from outside of the United Kingdom) participating in the Premiership was 36%. In the 2004–05 season the figure had increased to 45%. Arsenal's 85% figure (rising from 64% in 2000–01) is the highest of any club over the period. Chelsea, who were purchased in 2003 by Roman Abramovich, have been overtaken in terms of the number of foreign born players by Liverpool (72%).
The FA Premier League was formed on 20th February 1992 and played its first season in 1992–93. This meant a break-up of the 104-year-old Football League that had operated until then with four divisions. A number of events during the mid and late Eighties had sent clear signals that fundamental changes were needed to the structure of professional football. The English game was at possibly its lowest ebb ever. Stadiums were crumbling, supporters were faced with poor facilities, hooliganism was rife and English football was banned from European competition. The old First Division became a selling league as many top players were lured by the financial attractions of the continent.
A radical restructuring was required if English football was to prosper. A proposal for the establishment of the league was tabled that would bring more money into the game overall. The Founder Members Agreement, signed on 17th July 1991 by the game's top-flight clubs established the basic principles for setting up the FA Premier League. The newly formed top division would have commercial independence from the Football Association and the Football League, giving the FA Premier League license to negotiate its own broadcast and sponsorship agreements.
In 1992 the First Division Clubs resigned from the football league en masse and on 27th May 1992 the FA Premier League was formed as a limited company, which worked out of an office at the then Football Association's headquarters, Lancaster Gate.
Premier League clubs, 2005–06
|First season in
|First season of|
current spell in
|Sunderland||1st in The Championship, promoted||1890–91||2005–06|
|West Bromwich Albion||17th||1888–89||2004–05|
|West Ham United||6th in The Championship, promoted via the play-offs||1923–24||2005–06|
|Wigan Athletic||2nd in The Championship, promoted||2005–06||2005–06|
* Played in every Premier League season.
† Founding member of Premier League
Former Premier League Members
||Years in most
recent spell in top
|First season in
most recent spell in
top division of
|Final season of|
most recent spell in
top division of
|Queens Park Rangers†||13||1983–84||1995–96|
† Founding member of Premier League. (a) Now Milton Keynes Dons F.C.
- Team movements for 2005–06 season:
- Crystal Palace, Norwich City and Southampton were relegated to The Championship. On a dramatic final day of the season, last-place West Bromwich Albion defeated Portsmouth, but had to see other results go their way. Norwich City, who started the day outside the drop zone, were destroyed 6–0 by Fulham. Southampton lost 2–1 to Man United. Palace were eight minutes from survival and leading Charlton 2–1, but Charlton equalised, consigning the Eagles to the drop.
- Sunderland have won The Championship for 2004–05, assuring themselves of a return to the Premier League for 2005–06.
- The second automatic promotion spot is taken by Wigan Athletic, which will play in the top flight for the first time in their history.
- The third and final promotion spot is taken by West Ham United when they defeated Preston North End 1–0 in the playoff final on May 30th, 2005, at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
Past Premier League winners
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from:1992 till:1993 text:"1st Manchester United 1" color:ManUnited from:1993 till:1994 text:"2nd Manchester United 2" color:ManUnited from:1994 till:1995 text:"3rd Blackburn Rovers 1" color:Blackburn from:1995 till:1996 text:"4th Manchester United 3" color:ManUnited from:1996 till:1997 text:"5th Manchester United 4" color:ManUnited from:1997 till:1998 text:"6th Arsenal 1" color:Arsenal from:1998 till:1999 text:"7th Manchester United 5" color:ManUnited from:1999 till:2000 text:"8th Manchester United 6" color:ManUnited from:2000 till:2001 text:"9th Manchester United 7" color:ManUnited from:2001 till:2002 text:"10th Arsenal 2" color:Arsenal from:2002 till:2003 text:"11th Manchester United 8" color:ManUnited from:2003 till:2004 text:"12th Arsenal 3" color:Arsenal from:2004 till:2005 text:"13th Chelsea 1" color:Chelsea
|Past winners of the Premier League|
|1992–93||Manchester United||1 (8)||First Premier League winners||Aston Villa|
|1993–94||Manchester United||2 (9)||Also won the FA Cup||Blackburn Rovers|
|1994–95||Blackburn Rovers||1 (3)||First league championship since 1914||Manchester United|
|1995–96||Manchester United||3 (10)||Also won the FA Cup||Newcastle United|
|1996–97||Manchester United||4 (11)||Newcastle United|
|1997–98||Arsenal||1 (11)||Also won the FA Cup||Manchester United|
|1998–99||Manchester United||5 (12)||Also won the FA Cup,
UEFA Champions League
|1999–2000||Manchester United||6 (13)||Arsenal|
|2000–01||Manchester United||7 (14)||Arsenal|
|2001–02||Arsenal||2 (12)||Also won the FA Cup||Liverpool|
|2002–03||Manchester United||8 (15)||Arsenal|
|2003–04||Arsenal||3 (13)||Undefeated in League||Chelsea|
|2004–05||Chelsea||1 (2)||Also won the League Cup||Arsenal|
* Premier League championships (total English football championships)
Up to 1992, the winners of the First Division of The Football League were the English football champions.
Liverpool hold the overall record with 18 championships.
The other two top honors that an English club can win are the FA Cup and the European Cup. Winning the FA Cup and the League Championship is known as a double. Manchester United is the only team to win all three, known as the treble.
Top flight champions in English football
The following clubs have won the top division in English football, that is the Football League from 1888–89 to 1991–92 and the Premier League since the 1992–93 season.
- 18 wins: Liverpool
- 15 wins: Manchester United
- 13 wins: Arsenal
- 9 wins: Everton
- 7 wins: Aston Villa
- 6 wins: Sunderland
- 4 wins: Newcastle United, Sheffield Wednesday
- 3 wins: Blackburn Rovers, Huddersfield Town, Leeds United, Wolverhampton Wanderers
- 2 wins: Burnley, Chelsea, Derby County, Manchester City, Portsmouth, Preston North End, Tottenham Hotspur
- 1 win: Ipswich Town, Nottingham Forest, Sheffield United, West Bromwich Albion
|Season||Top scorer, club||Goals|
|1992–93*||Teddy Sheringham, Tottenham Hotspur||22|
|1993–94*||Andy Cole, Newcastle United||34|
|1994–95*||Alan Shearer, Blackburn Rovers||34|
|1995–96||Alan Shearer, Blackburn Rovers||31|
|1996–97||Alan Shearer, Newcastle United||25|
|1997–98||Chris Sutton, Blackburn Rovers
Dion Dublin, Coventry City
Michael Owen, Liverpool
|1998–99||Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Leeds United
Michael Owen, Liverpool
Dwight Yorke, Manchester United
|1999–2000||Kevin Phillips, Sunderland||30|
|2000–01||Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Chelsea||23|
|2001–02||Thierry Henry, Arsenal||24|
|2002–03||Ruud van Nistelrooy, Manchester United||25|
|2003–04||Thierry Henry, Arsenal||30|
|2004–05||Thierry Henry, Arsenal||25|
|* For the first 3 seasons of the Premier League (1992–93, 1993–94, 1994–95)|
there were 22 clubs and therefore 42 games played by each club. For all
seasons since there have been 20 clubs and therefore 38 games played.
|1||Alan Shearer *||252|
|2||Andy Cole *||182|
|3||Robbie Fowler *||154|
|5||Teddy Sheringham *||143|
|6||Thierry Henry *||142|
|7||Michael Owen *||122|
|9||Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink *||117|
|* Playing in the Premier League in 2005-06.|
The "Curse of Christmas"
Over the history of the Premier League, the so called "Curse of Christmas" became apparent—from the first season onwards, the team who was bottom of the league on Christmas Day was always relegated. This curse was only broken in season 2004–05, when West Bromwich Albion finished 17th on the final day.
|2002–03||West Ham United||18th|
|2004–05||West Bromwich Albion||17th (safe)|
- ^ Curse of a 'Beautiful Game', Associated Press
- ^ Template:Web reference
- ^ Campbell, Dennis, United (versus Liverpool) Nations, The Observer, January 6 2002.
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