Importance of Longer League/ Unified League – Part 1


Before going into Indian Football Leagues, we all should know how the best league im the world works.Let’s start with basics, Premier League has 20 clubs. It starts in August and ends in May. A month league. Each team plays a total of 38 games, each team playing each other twice. The Premier League is set up so there are no playoffs, only relegation and promotions. Bottom 3 of Premier League clubs get relegated and best 3 of 2nd division which is championship get promoted to Premier League.

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So, essentially, each league just switches out three teams every year to keep things interesting. It gives teams a chance to prove, or demolish, themselves. Another thing: since there are no playoffs, a team can will the title before the season ends; the winner is just whoever has the most points and no one else can possibly catch up to them. The table is set up so that the top six teams qualify for the Europa League, the fourth place team goes to qualifying rounds for the Champions League, and the top three teams automatically qualify for the Champions League. In terms of domestic cups, there is the FA Cup and the FA Community Shield, which is played between last year’s Premier League winners and the FA Cup holders


The current Premier League was founded in 1992 when it was known as the FA Premier League and took over the position of England’s top league from theFootball League First Division which had been around since 1888.

The reason for this drastic rebranding was the difficult situation in the 1980s, which is considered the historic low point of English football:

  • Economic and sporting difficulties
  • Stadiums in disrepair
  • Problems with hooligans

Putting all of this together, it’s hardly a surprise that in each and every way, the foremost League in English football fell far short of the attendance figures and economic strength of other European elite Leagues such as the Serie A and ones such as the Primera Division in Spain. The best players in England therefore, understandably, left the domestic league and joined foreign clubs.

Premier League Economics

Ever since the Premier League was founded, (private) television has played a crucial role in its development. Increasing revenues from TV broadcasting rights have steadily led to a rise in the EPL’s playing standards. Since 2017’s ludicrous media deal, the Premier League has been drunk on money, driving prices on the transfer market to unprecedented heights.

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The Premier League markets its TV rights on a collective basis, which is a major difference from other European leagues (such as Italy, Spain) in which the clubs do their own marketing. This leads to a more equitable system which is not just of benefit to the top clubs. The highest-earning Club received 1.6 times the amount received by the lowest-earning Club in 2016/17. In 2018 this ratio was fixed at 1.8:1. Compared to a ratio of 3.7:1 in La Liga and 3.2:1 in the Bundesliga.

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The economic activity supported by the League is distributed across much of England and Wales, due to the geographical spread of Premier League Clubs. Since its inception, 49 different teams have competed in the Premier League and in 2016/17 each of the major regions of England and Wales had at least one Premier League Club.

Matchday revenues and tickets

Premier League Clubs have taken a range of steps to reward loyal fans and promote the match day experience to fans of all ages. This ensures that Clubs have an engaged, sustainable fan base who generate the match day atmosphere.

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Clubs make tickets available at different price points and offer a variety of discounts, including loyalty reward schemes and age-based concessions. In addition, many Clubs opt to freeze their ticket prices from season to season. The system of discounts means that more than half of attending supporter pay less than the full listed price.
In 2018/19, the average (mean) price paid for a ticket across all Premier League Clubs is £31 per match (including season tickets calculated at a per match price); a quarter of fans pay £20 or less. For junior ticket holders, the average cost is £12
per match. For away fans specifically, the League has placed a £30 cap on away ticket prices in recognition of their loyalty; a three-season agreement in place since 2016/17. The average away ticket price is £28 in 2018/19.

League Structure

As mentioned earlier, beneath the Premier League is the Championship. Beneath that is League 1, then League 2, then the National League.

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There are many, many more leagues that continue down from there but it would take a long time to list them all, as there are hundreds of leagues and divisions in the English football league system. These go right down to divisions in very specific areas of the country where teams can compete at local grounds.

In theory, any team in the country playing in any of these leagues could work their way up to the Premier League, but it would take many years for them to do this.

Prizes based on League Position

Stats of 2017-18 and league position of 2018-19

  1. £38.4m – Man City
  2. £36.5m – Liverpool
  3. £34.6m – Chelsea
  4. £32.6m – Tottenham
  5. £30.7m – Arsenal
  6. £28.8m – Man Utd
  7. £26.9m – Wolves
  8. £25m – Everton
  9. £23.1m – Leicester
  10. £21.1m – West Ham
  11. £19.2m – Watford
  12. £17.3m – Crystal Palace
  13. £15.4m – Newcastle
  14. £13.4m – Bournemouth
  15. £11.5m – Burnley
  16. £9.6m – Southampton
  17. £7.7m – Brighton
  18. £5.8m – Cardiff
  19. £3.8m – Fulham
  20. £1.9m – Huddersfield

Derbies and Upsets

Before the season starts obviously clubs like Manchester United would be favourites but because of the structure of league even relatively small clubs like Leicester City have won the league.
There has been a “Big Four” dominance era in the 2000s, which are typically the top four clubs to dominate: Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Liverpool. Though in recent years, Tottenham Hotspurs and Manchester City have been serious contenders for the top four, as well. Every season is filled with upsets, underdogs, and rivals. The most obvious rivalry, or derby, is between Manchester United and Manchester City, the two teams splitting the city of Manchester in half. Other infamous derbies include Tottenham vs. Arsenal, Liverpool vs. Everton, Cardiff City vs. Swansea City, Chelsea vs. Arsenal – the big teams playing each other is just usually an automatic rivalry because they are often in contention for the title with you and it’d be a huge victory.

Some more Important Features

  • £2.8bn broadcast revenues
    18 profitable Clubs in 2016/17
  • 97% stadium utilisation
  • 1.3bn fans globally
  • Investing in stadia,
    facilities and future
    footballing talents
  • Converting interest into commercial success and sustainable growth
  • £1.1 billion in annual broadcast exports

Sources – EY, World Soccer Talks, Theodysseyonline.