Football is a national sport in England. It plays a great role in the English lifestyle and culture. The sport was legalized in the end of 19th century and it became a starting point for the development of English professional football. The Football Association (also known as the FA) was created in 1885, and the English Football League (also known as the EFL) was founded by William McGregor in 1888. He shared both positions: the president of the FA and the chairman of the EFL, being at the same time a committee member of Aston Villa. English Football Association became the first professional football organization in the world. Several leagues were created one by one. The only question had been left: how to unite all football clubs and elaborate the system that could monitor the progress of teams; how to delegate teams to the top leagues irrespective what league it belongs. According to FIFA stats, England ranks first in the world by the number of football clubs and it reaches up to 40k.
1992 became a prominent year for the English football history. The Football League failed and took a back seat. Prestigious English clubs resigned from the Champions League and created their own, the Premier League. The main target of the new organization – to increase the revenue of the football clubs. According to the statute, 3 bottom clubs in the leaderboard relegate from the main tournament. The Premier League have 20 clubs nowadays. The EPL champion of 2016 was unexpected for all over the world – Leicester City. According to the inner procedures, every EPL team is a holder of the even block of shares. It guarantees the equal rights and responsibilities of all English clubs.
Apart from the Premier League, there is a so-called English Football Conference (also known as the Conference National). It consists of 68 teams from National, South and North Conferences. It is the initial stage for all semi-professional teams.
1999 saw some new football entities, e.g. Premier Reserve League (Northern and Southern). It has 20 more clubs in reserve. They take an active part in the Champions League. Numerous clubs try to attract very young players to turn them into very talented and famous players. The top division for all young players is the Premier Academy League launched in 1997. U18 Clubs with their own football academy can only take part in the tournament. Thus, if you like to be at the front side, you need to come through numerous levels.
EPL consists of 20 football clubs starting from 1995. 3 teams with the bottom positions in the leaderboard at the end of a season relegate from the tournament and play in the first division. At the same time, the other 3 teams from the first division are delegated to the Premier League. FIFA requested the top European championships to decrease the number of teams up to 18 in 2006. The EPL became the one that approved the request and it is played with 18 teams starting from the season 2007-2008. The English leaderboard is based on the number of points and ratio between goals scored and missed at home and away. The top 4 Premier League clubs are qualified to the Champions League. The fifth one is qualified to the UEFA Europa League. The sixth and seventh positions can also take part in the UEFA, but it depends on the results in the FA Cup and League Cup.
Premier League has a corporate management under the chair of 20 clubs-member of the league. Every team is a separate shareholder and has its own single vote in case of some rule changes of the Premier League. Every club has its own Chairman, Executive Officer and Management Board for the EPL to control all routine operations of the championship. The FA is not involved in the everyday agenda of the organization. However, it has the veto right as a special shareholder during the elections of a Chairman and Executive Officer. Furthermore, they can take part in voting for any rule change of the league.
The General Premier League Sponsor appeared first in 1993. Carling was the acting sponsor until 2001. Starting from 2001, Barclays remains the General Sponsor of the league. The EPL is one the most profitable football championships in the world. The total profit is over 1.7 billion pounds. It can only lag by the criteria behind NBA, NHL and NFL. The average amount of visitors in 2015-2016 seasons reached 38 875, and ranked 4th among all sports leagues worldwide. The visitors’ activity over 15 years has been increased by 60%. If we speak about the transfer budgets, the records are being broken each year. For instance, MU paid Internazionale 28,1 million pounds for Juan Sebastián Verón, Chelsea bought Andrei Shevchenko from Milan for 37 million pounds. Several record transfers of EPL happened the last 10 years:
Chelsea was the first squad in the football history consisting of 100% of legionaries in 1999. Arsenal became the 2nd by the criteria in 2005.
7 Clubs that took part in all the 17 Premier League championships: Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Man United and Tottenham. Newcastle did not relegate from the EPL since the last time it qualified to it. There are only 4 clubs that won the championship at least once. Manchester United won 14 times, Chelsea – 4, Arsenal – 3 times, Man City, Leicester City and Blackburn Rovers – once.