A Guide to the Premier League for Americans

Image credit: By Sdo216 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8844669

The Premier League is quite simply the most famous domestic soccer league on the planet, and is the top league in the entire English soccer league system. Just to give you an idea of how globally famous it is, during the Premier League’s 2016/17 season, their match day stream revenues alone amounted to a total of $785 million. There are very few countries where the Premier League is not watched.

Also called the Premiership, the Premier League was established as a 22-team league in 1992. Since 1995 however, it’s been comprised of 20 different English soccer clubs, each of which plays one home and one away match with every other club in the league. A victory equals three points, a draw results in a point for each team, and loss is zero points. With no post-season games or tournaments to decide the winner, the Premier League’s champion is simply the soccer team that ends the season with the most points.

The top four clubs in the overall league standings go on to play in the UEFA Champions League the following season. The Champions League is the biggest club tournament in the world, where the top clubs in Europe compete to be crowned the best in the continent. The three clubs with the least points are relegated at the end of the season. They are replaced by the top three teams that emerge from the EFL Championship.

A total of 49 different soccer clubs have played in the Premier League since 1992, including the current season. The 2018/19 season, which is the league’s 27th, will be played by the following English soccer clubs: Arsenal, AFC Bournemouth, Brighton and Hove Albion, Burnley, Cardiff City, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Everton, Fulham, Huddersfield Town, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, Watford, West Ham United, and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Out of these 20, the most famous team is none other than Manchester United. This year, Forbes placed the team at the top of its World’s Most Valuable Soccer Teams list for the second consecutive year. Apart from being reportedly worth $4.12 billion overall, Manchester United also holds the record for winning the Premier League 13 times. Right behind Manchester United is Chelsea with five Premier League wins, followed by Arsenal and Manchester City who are tied with three, and Blackburn Rovers and Leicester City who are tied with one win each.

As you can imagine, the greatest teams in the Premier League have rather impressive stadiums that they call home. Some teams have been at their stadium for over a century. Blackburn Rovers reside at Ewood Park, which has been their home stadium since 1890. For Manchester City, home is the 55,000-capacity Etihad Stadium, which was originally built to host the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Even more impressive is the home of Arsenal, the 60,000-capacity Emirates Stadium, and the second largest in the league. And finally, Manchester United play at Old Trafford, also known as the largest stadium in the league. Being the home stadium of arguably the most famous team in English soccer, Old Trafford hosted its share of World Cup games in 1966.

The Premier League isn’t the only British pastime you might be missing out on. Here at The Juice, we have the scoop on other exciting British sporting events like the Grand National, the Cambridge & Oxford Boating Race, and Cartier International Polo.