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Premier League Wikipedia





Premier League
Premier League.svg
CountryEngland
Other club(s) fromWales
ConfederationUEFA
Founded20 February 1992
Number of teams20
Levels on pyramid1
Relegation toFootball League Championship
Domestic cup(s)FA Cup


FA Community Shield
League cup(s)League Cup
International cup(s)UEFA Champions League


UEFA Europa League
Current championsManchester City (2nd title)

(2013–14)
Most championshipsManchester United

(13 titles)
TV partnersSky Sports & BT Sport (live matches)


Sky Sports & BBC (highlights)
WebsitePremierLeague.com
2014–15 Premier League
The Premier League is an English professional league for men's association football clubs. At the top of the English football league system, it is the country's primary football competition. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the Football League. Besides English clubs, some of the Welsh clubs can also qualify to play, and participation by some Scottish or Irish clubs has also been mooted.

The Premier League is a corporation in which the 20 member clubs act as shareholders. Seasons run from August to May, with teams playing 38 matches each, totalling 380 matches in the season. Most games are played in the afternoons of Saturdays and Sundays, the other games during weekday evenings. It is currently sponsored by Barclays Bank and thus officially known as the Barclays Premier League. Outside England, it is commonly referred to as the English Premier League (EPL).

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 Football League, which was originally founded in 1888, and take advantage of a lucrative television rights deal. This deal is worth £1 billion a year as of 2013–14, with BSkyB and BT Group securing the rights to broadcast 116 and 38 games respectively. The Premier League is the most-watched football league in the world, broadcast in 212 territories to 643 million homes and a potential TV audience of 4.7 billion people. In the 2010–11 season the average Premier League match attendance was 35,363, the second highest of any professional football league behind the German Bundesliga, and stadium occupancy was 92.2% capacity. The Premier League ranked second in the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) coefficients of leagues based on performances in European competitions over the last five years.

Since 1888, a total of 23 clubs have been crowned champions of the English football system. Of the 46 clubs to have competed since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, five have won the title: Manchester United (13), Arsenal (3), Chelsea (3), Manchester City (2) and Blackburn Rovers (1). The current champions are Manchester City, who won the title in the 2013–14 season.

Contents

                History

                Origins

                Despite significant European success during the 1970s and early 1980s, the late '80s had marked 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 Heysel Stadium disaster 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 successful in the 1990 FIFA World Cup, reaching the semi-finals. UEFA, European football's governing body, lifted the five-year ban on English clubs playing in European competitions in 1990 (resulting in Manchester 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 become much more important; the Football League received £6.3 million for a two-year agreement in 1986, but when that deal was renewed in 1988, the price rose to £44 million over four years. The 1988 negotiations were the first signs of a breakaway league; ten clubs threatened to leave and form a "super league", but were eventually persuaded to stay. As stadia improved and match attendance and revenues rose, the country's top teams again considered leaving the Football League in order to capitalise on the growing influx of money being pumped into the sport.
                SeasonChampionsRunners-up
                1992–93Manchester UnitedAston Villa
                1993–94Manchester UnitedBlackburn Rovers
                1994–95Blackburn RoversManchester United
                1995–96Manchester UnitedNewcastle United
                1996–97Manchester UnitedNewcastle United
                1997–98ArsenalManchester United
                1998–99Manchester UnitedArsenal
                1999–2000Manchester UnitedArsenal
                2000–01Manchester UnitedArsenal
                2001–02ArsenalLiverpool
                2002–03Manchester UnitedArsenal
                2003–04ArsenalChelsea
                2004–05ChelseaArsenal
                2005–06ChelseaManchester United
                2006–07Manchester UnitedChelsea
                2007–08Manchester UnitedChelsea
                2008–09Manchester UnitedLiverpool
                2009–10ChelseaManchester United
                2010–11Manchester UnitedChelsea
                2011–12Manchester CityManchester United
                2012–13Manchester UnitedManchester City
                2013–14Manchester CityLiverpool
                Further information:


                English football champions
                Further information:


                See section: "Big Four" dominance

                Foundation

                See also: Foundation of the Premier League
                At the close of the 1991 season, a proposal was tabled for the establishment of a new league 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 licence to negotiate its own broadcast and sponsorship agreements. The argument given at the time was that the extra income would allow English clubs to compete with teams across Europe.

                The managing director of London Weekend Television (LWT), Greg Dyke, met with the representatives of the "big five" football clubs in England in 1990. The meeting was to pave the way for a break away from The Football League. Dyke believed that it would be more lucrative for LWT if only the larger clubs in the country were featured on national television and wanted to establish whether the clubs would be interested in a larger share of television rights money. The five clubs decided it was a good idea and decided to press ahead with it; however, the league would have no credibility without the backing of The Football Association and so David Dein of Arsenal held talks to see whether the FA were receptive to the idea. The FA did not enjoy an amicable relationship with the Football League at the time and considered it as a way to weaken the Football League's position.

                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 Lancaster Gate. This meant a break-up of the 104-year-old Football League that had operated 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 competed in the top flight, and promotion and relegation between the Premier League and the new First Division remained the same as the old First and Second Divisions with three teams relegated from the league and three promoted.

                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. The 22 inaugural members of the new Premier League were Arsenal, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Chelsea, Coventry City, Crystal Palace, Everton, Ipswich Town, Leeds United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Norwich City, Nottingham Forest, Oldham Athletic, Queens Park Rangers, Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, and Wimbledon. Luton Town, Notts County and West Ham United were the three teams relegated from the old first division at the end of the 1991–92 season, and did not take part in the inaugural Premier League season.

                Development

                See also: List of Premier League seasons
                Due to insistence by the International Federation of Association Football (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 announcing their intention 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.

                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 vote 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 current chairman is Sir Dave Richards, who was appointed in April 1999, and the chief executive is Richard Scudamore, appointed in November 1999. The former chairman and chief executive, John Quinton and Peter Leaver, were forced to resign in March 1999 after awarding consultancy contracts to former Sky executives Sam Chisholm and David Chance. The Football Association is not directly involved in the day-to-day operations of the Premier League, but has veto 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 Association, the number of clubs and the clubs themselves chosen according to UEFA coefficients. For the 2012–13 season the Premier League has 10 representatives in the Association: Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton, Fulham, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur. The European Club Association 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.

                Competition format

                Competition

                There are 20 clubs in the Premier League. During the course of a season (from August to May) each club plays the others twice (a double round-robin system), once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents, for a total of 38 games. Teams receive three points for a win and one 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 difference 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 qualification 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.

                Qualification for European competitions




                Arsenal against Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League in 2011
                As of the 2009–10 season qualification for the UEFA Champions League changed, 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 team placed fifth in the Premier League automatically qualifies for the UEFA Europa League, and the sixth and seventh-placed teams can also qualify, depending on the winners and runners-up of the two domestic cup competitions. Two Europa League places are reserved for the winner of each of the domestic cup competitions; if the winner of the FA Cup qualifies for the Champions League, then that place will go to the runner-up, and if the runner-up is also already qualified, then that place will go to the next-best placed finisher in the Premier League. If the winner of the League Cup has already qualified, that place goes to the next-best placed team in the league. A further place in the UEFA Europa League is also 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 automatically qualify for the UEFA Europa League first qualifying round.

                An exception to the usual European qualification system happened in 2005, after Liverpool won the Champions League the year before, but did not finish in a Champions League qualification 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 meant that if the Champions League winner finished outside the top four in its domestic league, it would qualify at the expense of the fourth-placed team in the league. No association can have more than four entrants in the Champions League. This occurred in 2012, when Chelsea – who had won the Champions League the previous year, but finished sixth in the league – qualified for the Champions League in place of Tottenham Hotspur, who went into the Europa League.

                In 2007, the Premier League became the highest ranking European League based on the performances of English teams in European competitions over a five-year period. This broke the eight-year dominance of the Spanish league, La Liga. In 2013, La Liga regained the number one ranking, relegating the Premier League to number two.

                Sponsorship

                See also: English football sponsorship



                The Barclays Premier League sponsorship logo as used by media
                The Premier League has been sponsored since 1993. The sponsor has been able to determine the league's sponsorship name. There have been three sponsors since the league's formation.
                • 1992–1993: No sponsor (FA Premier League)
                • 1993–2001: Carling (FA Carling Premiership)
                • 2001–2004: Barclaycard (Barclaycard Premiership)
                • 2004–present: Barclays (Barclays Premier League; Barclays Premiership until 2007)


                As well as sponsorship for the league itself, the Premier League has a number of official partners and suppliers. The official ball supplier for the league is Nike who have had the contract since the 2000–01 season when they took over from Mitre.

                Finances

                See also: List of Premier League football club owners
                The Premier League has the highest revenue of any football league in the world, with total club revenues of €2.479 billion in 2009–10, and is the second most profitable after the German Bundesliga. In 2010 the Premier League was awarded the Queen's Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The Premier League was recognised for its outstanding contribution to international trade and the value it brings to English football and the United Kingdom's broadcasting industry. The Premier League's gross revenue is regularly 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).

                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 seven Premier League clubs in the top 20 for the 2009–10 season. No other league has more than four clubs in this table. 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 increase the Premier League clubs' standing in the list, and there is a possibility that a Premier League club will be top of the list.

                On 18 December 2012, the Premier League clubs agreed in principle to radical new cost controls. The two proposals consist of a break-even rule and a cap on the amount clubs can increase their wage bill by each season. With the new television deals on the horizon, momentum has been growing to find ways of preventing the majority of the cash going straight to players and agents.

                Media coverage

                See also: List of Premier League broadcasters

                United Kingdom and Ireland

                See also: English football on television


                Matches broadcast in the United Kingdom
                SeasonsBSkyBSetantaESPNBTTotal
                1992–19976060
                1997–20016060
                2001–2004110110
                2004–2007138138
                2007–20109642138
                2010–201311523138
                2013–201611638154



                A 2012 match between Chelsea and Norwich City.
                Television has played a major role in the history of the Premier League. 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 other European Leagues, including 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 between 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, with the top clubs generally receiving the largest shares of this. The income from overseas rights is divided equally between 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 Setanta 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-thirds 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 per cent increase on the £105 million it paid for the previous three-year period. Raidió Teilifís Éireann broadcast the highlights package in Ireland. Sky and BT 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 Premier League clubs an average media income from league games of around £40 million-a-year from 2007 to 2010.



                Cristiano Ronaldo preparing to take a free kick in a 2009 match between Manchester United and Liverpool.
                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 investigated 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 2016. Television rights alone for the period 2010 to 2013 have been purchased for £1.782 billion. On 22 June 2009, due to troubles encountered by Setanta Sports after it failed to meet a final deadline over a £30 million payment to the Premier League, ESPN was awarded 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. On 13 June 2012, the Premier League announced that BT had been awarded 38 games a season for the 2013–14 through 2015–16 seasons at £246 million-a-year. The remaining 116 games were retained by BSkyB who will pay £760 million-a-year. The total rights have raised £3.018 billion, an increase of 70.2% over the 2010–11 to 2012–13 rights.

                Worldwide

                Promoted as "The Greatest Show On Earth", the Premier League is broadcast to over 600+ million people in over 200 countries worldwide, often on networks owned and/or controlled by 21st Century Fox (which owns about 39.1% of BSkyB in the UK). The Premier League's production arm, Premier League Productions, is operated by IMG Productions and is responsible for producing all content for its international television partners.

                In the United States, coverage for most of the 2000s and early 2010s was shared between Fox Soccer/Fox Soccer Plus (which are also owned by News Corporation) and ESPN, with Fox Deportes and ESPN Deportes holding Spanish language rights. NBC Sports (primarily through NBCSN) replaced ESPN and Fox Soccer as the exclusive broadcaster of the league in the US (in both English and Spanish; Telemundo and Mun2 now carry Spanish-language coverage) beginning in the 2013–14 season, as the result of a new three-year, $250 million USD deal with the league, including 20 matches that start at 5 p.m. UK time on Saturdays free-to-air on the main NBC network (12 noon American Eastern). Other games are carried through gametime-only channels known as "Premier League Extra Time", and all games are carried through NBC Sports' website and the "NBC Sports Live Extra" tablet/smartphone app with TV Everywhere authentication, with USA Network carrying matches in lieu of NBCSN during the 2014 Winter Olympics. Survival Sunday coverage (under the banner Championship Sunday) will be carried on May 11, 2014 by ten NBCUniversal networks, along with Telemundo and mun2. FOX will air the FA Cup Final the following Saturday, on May 17, 2014.

                In Canada, Sportsnet owned the Premier League rights for three years from the 2010–11 season. Select games (particularly those aired by ESPN) were sub-licensed to TSN. Starting in the 2013–14 season, the matches will be divided equally between Sportsnet and TSN, with selected matches telecast on the CTV Television Network, which is co-owned with TSN. CTV will also broadcast the FA Cup Final as part of TSN's contract with the Premier League. On the weeks in which NBC does not air Premier League due to the PGA Tour, matches are cable-exclusive. All Bell Media cable networks including TSN have exclusive coverage of Survival Sunday (like NBC, CTV devotes the afternoon of Survival Sunday to the Players Championship golf tournament.)

                In Australia, Fox Sports broadcasts all of the season's 380 matches live, using their 'Viewers Choice' service to give subscribers the option of selecting which Saturday 3pm match to watch.

                The Premier League is particularly popular in Asia, where it is the most widely distributed sports programme. In India, the matches are broadcast live on ESPN and Star Sports. In China, data from 2003 suggested that matches were attracting television audiences between 100 million and 360 million, more than any other foreign sport. However, when the Chinese rights to Premier League matches were sold to a subscription channel in 2007, the number of viewers proved to be in the tens of thousands. Due to its popularity in Asia, the league has held four pre-season tournaments there, the only Premier League affiliated tournaments ever to have been held outside England. The Premier League Asia Trophy has been played in Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong and China and involves three Premier League clubs playing against a prominent team from the host nation, often the national side.

                Figures from UK tourism body VisitBritain suggest that 750,000 visitors to Britain attended a Premier League match in 2010, spending a total £595 million and an average of £766. Visitors from Norway are most likely to come to watch Premier League football, with one in 13 Norwegian tourists travelling specifically to attend matches. Second on the list is the United Arab Emirates. For those visiting family and friends, the most likely to watch a football match are from Japan, China and Australia.

                Criticisms

                "Big Four" dominance (2000s)

                SeasonACLMU
                1999–20002541
                2000–012631
                2001–021623
                2002–032451
                2003–041243
                2004–052153
                2005–064132
                2006–074231
                2007–083241
                2008–094321
                2009–103172
                Top four


                finishes
                118811
                out of 11
                This table incidates the results of the 'Big Four'


                during the 11 seasons which incorporated part of the 2000s
                Key:Champions
                2nd, 3rd or 4th place
                5th or below
                A major criticism of the Premier League in the mid-2000s was the emergence of the so-called "Big Four" clubs: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United. During this decade, and particularly from 2002 to 2009, they dominated the top four spots, which came with UEFA Champions League qualification, taking all top four places in 5 out of 6 seasons from 03-04 to 08-09 inclusive. In May 2008, Kevin Keegan stated that "Big Four" dominance threatened the division, "This league is in danger of becoming one of the most boring but great leagues in the world." Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said in defence "There are a lot of different tussles that go on in the Premier League depending on whether you're at the top, in the middle or at the bottom that make it interesting." At the height of their dominance in 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09. the Big Four formed three of the four UEFA Champions League semi-finalists in each season.

                The years following 2009 marked a shift in the structure of the "Big Four" with Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City vying for a place in the top four. In the 2009–10 season, Tottenham pipped Manchester City to finish fourth and become the first team to break the top four since Everton in 2005, with both Manchester City and Aston Villa also finishing above Liverpool, formerly a "Big Four" team. In 2010–11, Manchester City finished third, and won the title in 2011–12 season, becoming the first club outside of the "Big Four" to win since 1994–95. That season also saw two of the Big Four (Chelsea and Liverpool) finish outside of the top four places for the first time since 1994-95.

                Criticism of the gap between an elite group of "super clubs" and the majority of the Premier League has continued, nevertheless, due to their increasing ability to spend more than the other Premier League clubs.

                Widening gap with 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 Football 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) and 2011–12 (Queens Park Rangers, Norwich City and Swansea City), 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 season.

                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 2013–14 season, these payments are in excess of £60 million over four seasons. Though designed to help teams adjust to the loss of television revenues (the average Premier League team receives £55 million while the average Football League Championship club receives £2 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 Blackpool, Burnley, Leeds United, Charlton Athletic, Coventry City, Derby County, Nottingham Forest, Oldham Athletic, Sheffield Wednesday, Bradford City, Leicester City, Queens Park Rangers, Southampton, Wimbledon and Portsmouth 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 ensued for several clubs unable to cope with the gap.

                Clubs

                Main article: List of Premier League clubs
                See also: List of English football champions and All-time FA Premier League table
                A total of 46 clubs have played in the Premier League from its inception in 1992, up to and including the 2014–15 season. Seven clubs have been members of the Premier League for every season since its inception: Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United, and Tottenham Hotspur.

                The following 20 clubs will compete in the Premier League during the 2014–15 season.
                ClubPosition


                in 2013–14
                First season in


                top division
                Number of seasons


                in top division
                Number of seasons


                in the Premier League
                First season of


                current spell in


                top division
                Top division


                titles
                Last top division title
                Arsenala, b4th1903–0498231919–20132003–04
                Aston Villaa, b, c15th1888–89104231988–8971980–81
                Burnleyc2nd in the Championship1888–895322014–1521959-60
                Chelseaa, b3rd1907–0880231989–9042009–10
                Crystal Palacea11th1969–701562013–140n/a
                Evertona, b, c5th1888–89112231954–5591986–87
                Hull City16th2008–09442013–140n/a
                Leicester City1st in the Championship1908–094692014–150n/a
                Liverpoola, b2nd1894–95100231962–63181989–90
                Manchester Citya1st1899–190086182002–0342013–14
                Manchester Uniteda, b7th1892–9390231975–76202012–13
                Newcastle United10th1898–9984212010–1141926–27
                Queens Park Rangersa4th in the Championship1968-692372014–150n/a
                Southamptona8th1966–6738162012–130n/a
                Stoke Cityb, c9th1888–895972008–090n/a
                Sunderland14th1890–9184142007–0861935–36
                Swansea Cityb, d12th1981–82642011–120n/a
                Tottenham Hotspura, b6th1909–1080231978–7921960–61
                West Bromwich Albionc17th1888–897892010–1111919–20
                West Ham United13th1923–2457192012–130n/a

                • Cardiff City, Fulham and Norwich City were relegated to the Championship for the 2014–15 season, while Leicester City, Burnley and Queens Park Rangers, as winners, runners-up and play-off final winners respectively, were promoted from the 2013–14 Championship season.


                a: Founding member of the Premier League


                b: Never been relegated from Premier League


                c: One of the original 12 Football League teams


                d: Club based in Wales
                Premier League is located in England
                Aston Villa
                Aston Villa
                Burnley
                Burnley
                Hull City
                Hull City
                EvertonLiverpool
                Everton


                Liverpool
                Leicester City
                Leicester City
                Man. CityMan. United
                Man. City


                Man. United
                Newcastle
                Newcastle
                Stoke
                Stoke
                Southampton
                Southampton
                Sunderland
                Sunderland
                Swansea
                Swansea
                West Brom
                West Brom
                Six clubs, see adjacent map
                Six clubs, see adjacent map
                Location of clubs for the 2014–15 Premier League season
                Premier League is located in Greater London
                Arsenal
                Arsenal
                Chelsea
                Chelsea
                Crystal Palace
                Crystal Palace
                Queens Park Rangers
                Queens Park Rangers
                Tottenham Hotspur
                Tottenham Hotspur
                West Ham
                West Ham
                Football clubs in Greater London

                Non-English clubs

                See also: List of association football clubs playing in the league of another country
                Wales

                Besides English clubs, there are currently also six Welsh clubs (Cardiff City, Colwyn Bay, Merthyr Town, Newport County, Swansea City and Wrexham) that are members of the Football Association of Wales (FAW), but choose to play in the English football league system rather than its Welsh counterpart, and can thus theoretically qualify to play in the Premier League.

                Up to 2010–11, no Welsh clubs had qualified for the top flight in the Premier League era. In 2010–11, Swansea City gained promotion from the Championship by finishing third and then winning the play-offs. The first Premier League match to be played outside England was Swansea City's home match against Wigan Athletic at the Liberty Stadium on 20 August 2011. In 2011–12, Swansea retained their Premier League status by finishing 11th. In 2012–13, they qualified for the Europa League by winning the League Cup, and achieved a top-half finish in the Premier League by finishing 9th. The number of Welsh clubs in the Premier League increased to two in 2013–14, as Cardiff City gained promotion by winning the 2012–13 Championship.

                Because they are members of the Football Association of Wales (FAW), the question of whether clubs like Cardiff and Swansea should represent England or Wales in European competitions has caused long-running discussions in UEFA. Despite being a member of the FAW, Swansea will be taking up one of England's three available places in the Europa League in 2013–14, thanks to winning the League Cup in 2012–13. The right of Welsh clubs to take up such English places was in doubt until UEFA clarified the matter in March 2012.

                Scotland and Ireland

                Participation in the Premier League by some Scottish or Irish clubs has also sometimes been discussed, so far with little success.

                The idea came closest to reality in 1998, when Wimbledon – then in the Premier League – sought to relocate, mainly for financial reasons. Circumstances meant that the club's then owner, Sam Hammam, began to look further and further afield. Despite anger from a majority of supporters, he considered not only English locations such as Basingstoke and "Gatwick" (near Crawley), but also Cardiff in Wales, Belfast in Northern Ireland, Dublin in the Republic of Ireland, and (non-specifically) "Scotland" as potential new locations for the club. He received Premier League approval for his preferred option, Dublin, before the move was vetoed by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI), after a lengthy and often heated debate in Ireland. Had it succeeded, the Premier League would have had a team based not only outside England, but outside the United Kingdom. Wimbledon eventually moved to Milton Keynes as Milton Keynes Dons, though by then they had already been relegated from the Premier League in 2000.

                The media occasionally discusses the idea that Scotland's two biggest teams, Celtic and Rangers, should or will take part in the Premier League, but so far nothing has come of such discussions. In March 2013, Rangers chief executive Charles Green suggested that, for financial reasons, Rangers, still in the Scottish Third Division following their re-admission as a result of insolvency, should join the Football Conference and work their way up to the lucrative Premier League over the following 5 years, and that EU competition law banning restraints of trade could be used to overcome any legal barriers to such a plan. Green also suggested that neither Rangers nor Celtic would be playing in the Scottish Premier League (SPL) in 10 years time. However, the following month Scotland manager Gordon Strachan, expressed his personal opinion, said that, while agreeing that Rangers and Celtic would break away from the SPL some time in the next 10 years, he thought that it would not be to join the Premier League, but to join a future new 38-club two-division European Super League. He did not explicitly say whether he thought this breakaway European Super League would also include clubs that had broken away from the (English) Premier League.

                Stadiums

                Main article: List of Premier League stadiums
                Premier League football has been played in 50 stadia since the formation of the Premier League in 1992. The Hillsborough disaster in 1989 and the subsequent Taylor Report saw a recommendation that standing terraces should be abolished; as a result all stadia in the Premier League are all-seater. Since the formation of the Premier League, football grounds in England have seen constant improvements to capacity and facilities, with some clubs moving to new-build stadia. Nine stadia that have seen Premier League football have now been demolished. The stadia for the 2010–11 season show a large disparity in capacity: Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United has a capacity of 75,957 with Bloomfield Road, the home of Blackpool, having a capacity of 16,220. The combined total capacity of the Premier League in the 2010–11 season is 770,477 with an average capacity of 38,523.

                Stadium attendances are a significant source of regular income for Premier League clubs. For the 2009–10 season, average attendances across the league clubs were 34,215 for Premier League matches with a total aggregate attendance figure of 13,001,616. This represents an increase of 13,089 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 Premier League's record average attendance of 36,144 was set during the 2007–08 season.

                Managers

                See also: List of Premier League managers
                Managers in the Premier League are involved in the day-to-day running of the team, including the training, team selection, and player acquisition. Their influence varies from club-to-club and is related to the ownership of the club and the relationship of the manager with fans. Managers are required to have a UEFA Pro Licence which is the final coaching qualification available, and follows the completion of the UEFA 'B' and 'A' Licences. The UEFA Pro Licence is required by every person who wishes to manage a club in the Premier League on a permanent basis (i. e. more than 12 weeks – the amount of time an unqualified caretaker manager is allowed to take control). Caretaker appointments are managers that fill the gap between a managerial departure and a new appointment. Several caretaker managers have gone on to secure a permanent managerial post after performing well as a caretaker; examples include Paul Hart at Portsmouth and David Pleat at Tottenham Hotspur.

                The league's longest-serving manager was Alex Ferguson, who was in charge of Manchester United from November 1986 until his retirement at the end of the 2012–13 season, meaning that he was manager for all of the first 21 seasons of the Premier League. Arsène Wenger is now the league's longest-serving current manager, having been in charge of Arsenal in the Premier League since 1996.

                No English manager has won the Premier League; the seven managers to have won the title comprise two Scots Alex Ferguson (Manchester United, 13 wins) and Kenny Dalglish (Blackburn Rovers, one win), a Frenchman (Arsène Wenger, Arsenal, three wins), a Portuguese (José Mourinho, Chelsea, two wins), a Chilean (Manuel Pellegrini, Manchester City, one win) and two Italians (Carlo Ancelotti, Chelsea, and Roberto Mancini, Manchester City, one win each).

                The current managers in the Premier League are:
                The torso and head of a grey-haired white man in a football stadium. He is wearing spectacles and a black coat.


                Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was the longest serving and most successful manager in the history of the Premier League.
                NameClubAppointed
                France !FranceWenger, ArseneArsène WengerArsenal01996-10-01-00001 October 1996
                England !EnglandPardew, AlanAlan PardewNewcastle United02010-12-09-00009 December 2010
                England !EnglandAllardyce, SamSam AllardyceWest Ham United02011-06-01-00001 June 2011
                England !EnglandPearson, NigelNigel PearsonLeicester City02011-11-15-000015 November 2011
                Northern Ireland !Northern IrelandRodgers, BrendanBrendan RodgersLiverpool02012-06-01-00001 June 2012
                Scotland !ScotlandLambert, PaulPaul LambertAston Villa02012-06-02-00002 June 2012
                England !EnglandBruce, SteveSteve BruceHull City02012-06-08-00008 June 2012
                England !EnglandDyche, SeanSean DycheBurnley02012-10-30-000030 October 2012
                England !EnglandRedknapp, HarryHarry RedknappQueens Park Rangers02012-11-24-000024 November 2012
                Wales !WalesHughes, MarkMark HughesStoke City02013-05-30-000030 May 2013
                Portugal !PortugalMourinho, JoseJosé MourinhoChelsea02013-06-03-00003 June 2013
                Spain !SpainMartinez, RobertoRoberto MartínezEverton02013-06-05-00005 June 2013
                Chile !ChilePellegrini, ManuelManuel PellegriniManchester City02013-06-14-000014 June 2013
                Uruguay !UruguayPoyet, GusGus PoyetSunderland02013-10-08-00008 October 2013
                Wales !WalesPulis, TonyTony PulisCrystal Palace02013-11-23-000023 November 2013
                England !EnglandMonk, GarryGarry MonkSwansea City02014-02-04-00004 February 2014
                Netherlands !NetherlandsGaal, Louis vanLouis van GaalManchester United02014-05-19-000019 May 2014
                Argentina !ArgentinaPochettino, MauricioMauricio PochettinoTottenham Hotspur02014-05-27-000027 May 2014
                Scotland !ScotlandIrvine, AlanAlan IrvineWest Bromwich Albion02014-06-14-000014 June 2014
                Netherlands !NetherlandsKoeman, RonaldRonald KoemanSouthampton02014-06-16-000016 June 2014

                Players

                See also: List of footballers with a Premier League winner's medal
                RankPlayerAppearances
                1Wales Ryan Giggs632
                2England Frank Lampard577
                3England David James572
                4Wales Gary Speed535
                5England Gareth Barry529
                6England Emile Heskey516
                7England Jamie Carragher508
                7Australia

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