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Premier League doc Premier League (DOC)


									Premier League
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For other uses, see Premier League (disambiguation).
"The Premiership" redirects here. For the former ITV football programme, see The Premiership (TV
series). For the RTÉ football programme formerly called "The Premiership", see Premier Soccer

The Premier League is an English professional league for association foot ball clubs. At the top of
the English football league system, it is the country's primary football competition. Cont ested by 20
clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with The Foot ball League. The P remier
League is a corporation in which the 20 member clubs act as shareholders. Seasons run from August
to May, with teams playing 38 games each totalling 380 games in the season. It
is sponsored by Barclays Bank and therefore officially known as the Barclays Premier League. In the
Premier League, most of the games are played during Saturdays and Sundays, with a few games
played during the weekdays.

The competition formed as the FA Premier League on 20 February 1992 following the decision of
clubs in the Football League First Division to break away from The Foot ball League, which was
originally founded in 1888, and take advantage of a lucrative television rights deal. The Premier
League has since become the world's most watched sporting league.                It is the world's most lucrative
football league, with combined club revenues of £1.93 billion ($3.15bn) in 2007–08.                It is also ranked
first in the UEFA coefficients of leagues based on performances in European competitions over the
last five years, ahead of Spain's La Liga and Italy's Serie A.

A total of 43 clubs have compet ed in the Premier League, but only four have won the title: Manchester
United, Blackburn Rovers, Arsenal, and Chelsea. The current champions are Manchester United, who
won their eleventh Premier League title in the2008–09 season, the most of any Premier League team.
This title triumph also levelled United and Liverpool on 18 top -flight championships altogether.
Incidently, Liverpool have never won the Premier League in its current format, and have not won any
since 1990.


The original logo of The Premier League (1992–2007)

Despite significant European success during the 1970s and early 1980s, the late 80s had mark ed a
low point for English football. Stadia were crumbling, supporters endured poor
facilities, hooliganism was rife, and English clubs were banned from European competition for five
years following the events at Heysel in 1985.         The Football League First Division, which had been the
top level of English football since 1888, was well behind leagues such as Italy's Serie A and Spain's La
Liga in attendances and revenues, and several top English players had moved abroad.                       However, by
the turn of the 1990s the downward trend was starting to reverse; England had been suc cessful in
the 1990 FIFA World Cup, reaching the semi-finals. UEFA, European football's governing body, lifted
the five-y ear ban on English clubs playing in European competitions in 1990 (resulting inManchester
United lifting the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1991) and the Taylor Report on stadium safety
standards, which proposed expensive upgrades to create all-seater stadia in the aftermath of
the Hillsborough disaster, was published in January of that year.

Television money had also bec ome much more important; the Foot ball League received £6.3 million
for a two-year agreement in 1986, but when that deal was renewed in 1988, the price rose to £44m
over four years.          The 1988 negotiations were the first signs of a breakaway league; ten clubs
threat ened to leave and form a "super league", but were eventually persuaded to stay.                As stadia
improved and match attendanc e and revenues rose, the count ry's top teams again considered leaving
the Football League in order to capitalise on the growing influx of money being pumped into the sport.
See also: Foundation of the Premier League

At the close of the 1991 season, a proposal for the establishment of a new league was tabled that
would bring more money into the game overall. The Founder Members Agreement, signed on 17 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
ownbroadcast and sponsorship agreements. The argument given at the time was that the extra
income would allow English clubs to compete with teams across Europe.

In 1992 the First Division clubs resigned from the Football League en masse and on 27 May 1992 the
FA Premier League was formed as a limited company working out of an office at the Football
Association's then headquarters in Lanc aster Gate.             This meant a break-up of the 104-y ear-old
Football League that had operat ed until then with four divisions; the Premier League would operate
with a single division and the Football League with three. There was no change in competition format;
the same number of teams compet ed in the top flight, and promotion and relegation between the
Premier League and the new First Division remaine d on the same terms as bet ween the old First and
Second Divisions.

The 22 inaugural members of the new Premier League were Arsenal, Aston Villa, Blackburn
Rovers,Chelsea, Coventry City, Crystal Palace, E verton, Ipswich Town, Leeds
United, Liverpool, Manc hester City, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Norwich City, Nottingham
Forest, Oldham Athletic, Queens Park Rangers, Sheffield United, Sheffield
Wednesday, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, andWimbledon.
See also: List of Premier League seasons

As of the end of the 2008–09 season, there had been 17 complet ed seasons of the P remier League.
The league held its first season in 1992–93 and was originally composed of 22 clubs. The first ever
Premier League goal was scored by Brian Deane of Sheffield United in a 2–1 win against Manchester
United. Due to insistence by FIFA, the international governing body of football, that domestic leagues
reduce the number of games clubs played, the number of clubs was reduced to 20 in 1995 when four
teams were relegated from the league and only two teams promoted. On 8 June 2006, FIFA requested
that all major European leagues, including Italy's Serie A and Spain's La Liga be reduced to 18 teams
by the start of the 2007–08 season. The Premier League responded by announc ing their int ention to
resist such a reduction.             Ultimately, the 2007–08 season kicked off again with 20 teams. The league
changed its name from the FA Premier League to simply the Premier League in 2007.
[edit]Corporate structure

The Premier League is operated as a corporation and is owned by the 20 member clubs. Each club is
a shareholder, with one vot e each on issues such as rule changes and contracts. The clubs elect
a chairman, chief executive, and board of directors to oversee the daily operations of the
league.          The Football Association is not directly involved in the day -to-day operations of the Premier
League, but has vet o power as a special shareholder during the election of the chairman and chief
executive and when new rules are adopted by the league.

The Premier League sends representatives to UEFA's European Club Forum, the number of clubs and
the clubs themselves chosen according to UEFA coefficients. The European Club Forum is
responsible for electing three members to UEFA's Club Competitions Committee, which is involved in
the operations of UEFA competitions such as the Champions League and UEFA Europa League.
[edit]Competition format and sponsorship


There are 20 clubs in the Premier League. During the course of a season, which lasts from August to
May, each club plays the others twice, once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents,
for a total of 38 games. Teams rec eive three points for a win and o ne point for a draw. No points are
awarded for a loss. Teams are ranked by total points, then goal difference, and then goals scored. At
the end of each season, the club with the most points is crowned champion. If points are equal, the
goal differenc e and then goals scored determine the winner. If still equal, teams are deemed to occupy
the same position. If there is a tie for the championship, for relegation, or for qualific ation to other
competitions, a play-off match at a neutral venue decides rank.                     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 play-offs involving the third to sixth placed Championship clubs, are
promoted in their place.
[edit]Qualification for European competitions

As of the 2009–10 season qualification for the UEFA Champions League changes. The top four teams
in the Premier League qualify for the UEFA Champions League, with the top three teams directly
entering the group stage. Previously only the top two teams qualified automatically. The fourth-placed
team enters the Champions League at the play-off round for non-champions and must win a two-
legged knockout tie in order to enter the group stage.               The fifth team automatically qualifies for the
UEFA Europa League, and the sixth and seventh-placed teams can also qualify, depending on the
winners of the two domestic cup competitions. If one of the cup winners qualifies for Europe through
their league position, the sixth-placed team in the Premier League will qualify for the Europa League. If
both of the cup winners qualify for Europe through their league position, the sixth and seventh-placed
teams in the Premier League will qualify for the Europa League. A further place in the UEFA Europa
League is available via the Fair Play initiative. If the Premier League has one of the three highest Fair
Play rankings in Europe, the highest ranked team in the Premier League Fair Play standings which
has not already qualified for Europe will aut omatically qualify for the UEFA Europa League first
qualifying round.

An exception to the usual European qualification system happened in 2005, when Liverpool won the
Champions League, but did not finish in a Champions League qualific ation place in the Premier
League that season. UEFA gave special dispensation for Liverpool to enter the Champions League,
giving England five qualifiers.          UEFA subsequently ruled that the defending champions qualify for the
competition the following year regardless of their domestic league placing. However, for those leagues
with four entrants in the Champions League, this means that if the Champions League winner falls
outside of its domestic league's top four, it will qualify at the expense of the fourt h-placed team in the
league. No association can have more than four entrants in the Champions League.

The Premier League was recently promoted to the top of the UEFA rankings of European leagues
based on their performances in European competitions over a five -year period. This broke the eight-
year dominance of the Spanish league, La Liga.                The top three leagues in Europe are currently
allowed to enter four teams into the Champions League. The UEFA president Michel Platini, had
proposed taking one place from the top three leagues and allocating it to that nation's cup winners.
This proposal was rejected in a vote at a UEFA Strategy Council meeting.                   In the same meeting,
however, it was agreed that the third-placed team in the top four leagues would receive automatic
qualification for the group stage, rat her than entry into the third qualifying round, while the fourth -
placed team would enter the play-off round for non-champions, guaranteeing an opponent from one of
the top 15 leagues in Europe. This was part of Platini's plan to increase the amount of teams qualifying
directly into the group stage, while simultaneously increasing the num ber of teams from lower-ranked
nations in the group stage.

The Premier League has been sponsored since 1993. The spons or has been able to determine the
league's sponsors hip name. The list below details who the sponsors have been and what they called
the competition:

       1993–2001: Carling (FA Carling Premiership)
       2001–2004: Barclaycard (Barclaycard Premiership)

       2004–2007: Barclays (Barclays Premiership)
        2007–present: Barclays (Barclays Premier League)

See also: List of Premier League football club owners
The Premier League is the most lucrative foot ball league in the world, with total club revenues rising
26% to £1.93 billion ($3. 15bn) as of 2007–08.         Eleven of the twenty Premier League teams made an
operating profit in that year. Wage costs also reached €1. 51 billion in 2007/08, considerably higher
than that of the next highest-spending league, the Italian Serie A (at €972m). Individual salaries are
rarely, if ever, confirmed in public, although a survey of players in 2006, conducted in conjunction with
the Professional Footballers' Association, showed the average basic wage in the Premier League was
£676,000 per year, or £13,000 per week, before bonuses.

The Premier League's gross revenue is the fourth highest of any sports league worldwide, behind the
annual revenues of the three most popular North American major sports leagues (the National Football
League, Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association), but ahead of the National
Hockey League. On a per club basis, the average revenues of the 20 Premier League teams are
thought to be close to equal to those of the 30-team NBA. However, there is much greater financial
disprity between Premier League clubs when compared to the members of any of the "Big Four" North
American leagues.

In terms of world football, the Premier League clubs are some of the richest in the world. Deloitte, who
annually release figures on club revenues through its "Football Money League", listed eight Premier
League clubs in the top 20 for the 2005 –06 season.              No other league has more than four clubs in
this table, and while La Liga rivals Real Madrid and F.C. Barc elona take up two of the top 3 places, no
other Spanish clubs are listed in the top 20. Premier League teams have dominated the list for many
years, and even topped the list for almost a decade until the 2004 –05 season. After the Premier
League's new TV deal went into effect, the league-wide increase in revenues is expected to increas e
the Premier League clubs ' standing in the list, and there is a possibility that a Premier League club will
be top of the list.

Another significant source of regular income for Premier League clubs remains their revenue from
stadium attendances, which, with the 2005–06 average attendance of 34,364 for league matches, is
the fourth highest of any domestic professional sports league in the world, ahead ofSerie A and La
Liga, but behind the German Bundesliga. This represents an increase of over 60% from the average
attendance of 21, 126 recorded in the league's first season (1992–93).                      However, during the 1992–93
season the capacities of most stadia were reduced as clubs replaced terraces with seats in order to
meet the Taylor Report's 1994–95 deadline for all-seater stadia.                     The 2005–06 figure is lower than
the Premier League's record average attendanc e of 35,464, set during the 2002–03 season, although
average attendances obviously fluctuate depending on which teams are in the league.
[edit]Media coverage

See also: List of Premier League broadcasters
[edit]United Kingdom and Ireland
See also: English football on television

    A 2004 match betweenManchester United and Tottenham Hotspur
Television has played a major role in the history of the Premier League. The money from television
rights has been vital in helping to create excellence both on and off the field. The League's decision to
assign broadcasting rights to BSkyB in 1992 was at the time a radical decision, but one that has paid
off. At the time pay television was an almost untested proposition in the UK market, as was charging
fans to watch live televised football. However, a combination of Sky's strategy, the quality of Premier
League football and the public 's appetite for the game has seen the value of the Premier League's TV
rights soar.

The Premier League sells its television rights on a collective basis. This is in contrast to some
European Leagues, including Serie A and La Liga, in which each club sells its rights individually,
leading to a much higher share of the total income going to the top few clubs. The money is divided
into three parts:             half is divided equally bet ween the clubs; one quarter is awarded on a merit basis
based on final league position, the top club getting twenty times as much as the bottom club, and
equal steps all the way down the table; the final quarter is paid out as facilities fees for games that are
shown on television, wit h the top clubs generally receiving the largest shares of this. The income from
overseas rights is divided equally bet ween the twenty clubs.
The first Sky television rights agreement was worth £304 million over five seasons.                           The next
contract, negotiated to start from the 1997–98 season, rose to £670 million over four seasons.                              The
third contract was a £1.024 billion deal with BSkyB for the three seasons from 2001–02 to 2003–04.
The league brought in £320 million from the sale of its international rights for the three-year period
from 2004–05 to 2006–07. It sold the rights itself on a territory -by-territory basis.                 Sky's monopoly
was broken from August 2006 when Setant a Sports was awarded rights to show two out of the six
packages of matches available. This occurred following an insistence by the European
Commission that exclusive rights should not be sold to one television company. Sky and Setanta paid
a total of £1.7 billion, a two-t hirds increase which took many commentators by surprise as it had been
widely assumed that the value of the rights had levelled off following many years of rapid growth.
Setanta also hold rights to a live 3 pm match solely for Irish viewers. The BBC has retained the rights
to show highlights for the same three seasons (on Match of the Day) for £171.6 million, a 63%
increase on the £105 million it paid for the previous three year period.                Raidió Teilifís
Éireann broadcast the highlights package in Ireland. Sky and B T have agreed to jointly pay
£84.3 million for delayed television rights to 242 games (that is the right to broadcast them in full on
television and over the internet) in most cases for a period of 50 hours after 10 pm on
matchday.            Overseas television rights fetched £625 million, nearly double the previous
contract.          The total raised from these deals is more than £2.7 billion, giving P remier League clubs an
average media income from league games of £45 million a year from 2007 to 2010. They also receive
smaller amounts from media rights for the domestic cups and in some cases substantial amounts from
media rights for European matches.

The TV rights agreement between the Premier League and Sky has faced accusations of being a
cartel, and a number of court cases have arisen as a result. An investigation by the Office of Fair
Trading in 2002 found BSkyB to be dominant within the pay TV sports market, but concluded that
there were insufficient grounds for the claim that BSkyB had abused its dominant position.                                   In July
1999 the Premier League's method of selling rights collectively for all member clubs was investigat ed
by the UK Restrictive Practices Court, who concluded that the agreement was not contrary to the
public interest.            The BBC's highlights package on Saturday and Sunday nights, as well as other
evenings when fixtures justify, will run until 2013.                    Television rights alone for the period 2010 to 2013
have been purchased for £1.782bn.

On 22 June 2009, due to the troubles encountered by Setanta Sports after it failed to meet a final
deadline over a £30m payment to the Premier League, ESPN was awarded the two packages of UK
rights containing a total of 46 matches that were available for the 2009/10 season as well as a
package of 23 matches per season from 2010/ 11 to 2012/13.

Promoted as "The Great est Show On E arth", the Premier League is the world's most popular and
most watched sporting league, followed worldwide by over half a billion people in 202
countries,          frequently on networks owned and/or controlled by News Corp who also own Sky Sports.

In the United States, coverage is shared between Fox Soccer Channel, Setanta Sports
USA and ESPN; NewsCorp sometimes buys pitch-side advertising boards with the Fox Soccer
Channel logo replacing that of Sky.                    ESPN's acquisition of UK rights was originally said to have no
effect on Setanta Sports in Nort h America, which is a ―separate operation that has separate
agreement to show the Barclays Premier League‖ in the U.S.                               ESPN's U.S. channels later acquired
two game packages that Setanta's also-financially troubled North American branch returned to
NewsCorp to ensure its survival (Setanta retai ned about half of its original rights).

In Canada, Setanta Canada broadcasts all but two EPL games each week; Rogers Sportsnet and The
Score broadcast one weekend game each. On 4 December 2009, Sportsnet announced on-air that
they had secured the EPL rights for the next three years, starting with the 2010-11 seas on.

In Australia, Fox Sports (Australia), shows the games with a Viewers Choice option for up to five live
games and up to nine games live on any given game -week.

The Premier League is particularly popular in Asia, where it is the most widely distributed sports
programme.             For example, in the People's Republic of China, matches attract television audienc es
between 100 million and 360 million, more than any other foreign sport.                               Due to this popularity, the
league has held three pre-season tournaments in Asia, the only Premier League affiliated tournaments
ever to have been held outside England. In July 2003, the FA Premier League Asia Cup was held
in Malaysia, featuring three Premier League clubs, Chelsea, Newcastle United and Birmingham City,
and the Malaysia national team.                 In 2005 the Asia Trophy feat ured a similar format, held
in Thailandand featuring the Thailand national team competing against three English clubs—E verton,
Manchester City and Bolton Wanderers, the last of which won the trophy.                                 In 2007, the Barclays Asia
Trophy was held in Hong Kong and featured Liverpool, Portsmout h, Fulham and the Hong Kong FA
Cup winning team, South China, with Portsmouth winning the competition.

The FA has faced difficulty fighting internet copyright infringement. In an effort to stop the broadcasting
of streams of live games on the net they have hired Net Result, a company that specialises in
protecting trademark rights online.

The Premier League did not launch their first official website,, until April
2002, although there was an existing website being run by the title sponsor Barclaycard, who intended
to continue it in parallel.

Widening gap between lower leagues
See also: Premier League–Football League gulf

One of the main criticisms levelled at the Premier League is the increasing gulf between the Premier
League and the Foot ball League. Since its split with the Football League, many established clubs in
the Premier League have managed to distance themselves from their counterparts in lower leagues.
Owing in large part to the disparity in revenue from television rights between the leagues,               many
newly promoted teams have found it difficult to avoid relegation in their first season in the Premier
League. In every season except 2001–02 (Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers and Fulham) at least
one Premier League newcomer has been relegated back to the Football League. In 1997–98 all three
promoted clubs were relegated at the end of the seas on.

The Premier League distributes a small portion of its television revenue to clubs that are relegated
from the league in the form of "parachute payments". Starting with the 2006–07 season, these
payments are in the amount of £6.5 million over the club's first two seasons in lower leagues, although
this rose to £11.2 million per year for clubs relegat ed in 2007 –2008.           Designed to help teams adjust
to the loss of television revenues (the ave rage Premier League team receives £45 million while the
average Football League Championship club receives £1 million),            critics maintain that the payments
actually widen the gap between teams that have reached the Premier League and those that have
not,          leading to the common occurrence of teams "bouncing back" soon after their relegation. For
some clubs, including Leeds United, Charlton Athletic, Nottingham Forest, Sheffield
Wednesday, Bradford City, Leicester City, Southampton and most notably Wimbledon F. C. who have
failed to win immediate promotion back to the Premier League, financial problems, including in some
cases administration or even liquidation have followed. Further relegations down the footballing ladder
have ens ued for several clubs unable to cope with the gap.

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