The Premier League Is The World's Most Watched Sporting League.



The Premier League was founded in February 1992. It is the country's primary football competition and is competed by the top 20 football clubs in England.

The English Premiership operates on a system of promotion and relegation with The Football League. Seasons run from August to May, with teams playing 38 games each, totalling 380 games for the season. It is currently sponsored by Barclays Bank and therefore officially known as the Barclays Premier League.

Since its break away from The Football League in 1992 to take advantage of a lucrative television rights deal, the Premier League has become the world's most watched sporting league.

It is also the world's most lucrative football league, with combined club revenues of alomst £2 billion in 2007–08.

Only four clubs have won the Premier League title since it was formed in 1992: Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers, Arsenal, and Chelsea.

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The current champions are Manchester United, who won their eleventh Premier League title in the 2008–09 season, the most of any Premier League team

Winners of the Premier League Title

  • 1992–93 Manchester United
  • 1993–94 Manchester United
  • 1994–95 Blackburn Rovers
  • 1995–96 Manchester United
  • 1996–97 Manchester United
  • 1997–98 Arsenal
  • 1998–99 Manchester United
  • 1999–2000 Manchester United
  • 2000–01 Manchester United
  • 2001–02 Arsenal
  • 2002–03 Manchester United
  • 2003–04 Arsenal
  • 2004–05 Chelsea
  • 2005–06 Chelsea
  • 2006–07 Manchester United
  • 2007–08 Manchester United
  • 2008–09 Manchester United

  EPL Table                
  2008 - 2009 Season P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Manchester United 38 28 6 4 68 24 90 44
2 Liverpool 38 25 11 2 77 27 86 50
3 Chelsea 38 25 8 5 68 24 83 44
4 Arsenal 38 20 12 6 68 37 72 31
5 Everton 38 17 12 9 55 37 63 18
6 Aston Villa 38 17 11 10 54 48 62 6
7 Fulham 38 14 11 13 39 34 53 5
8 Tottenham Hotspur 38 14 9 15 45 45 51 0
9 West Ham United 38 14 9 15 42 45 51 (3)
10 Manchester City 38 15 5 18 58 50 50 8
11 Wigan 38 12 9 17 34 45 45 (11)
12 Stoke 38 12 9 17 38 55 45 (17)
13 Bolton 38 11 8 19 41 53 41 (12)
14 Portsmouth 38 10 11 17 38 57 41 (19)
15 Blackburn Rovers 38 10 11 17 40 60 41 (20)
16 Sunderland 38 9 9 20 34 54 36 (20)
17 Hull City 38 8 11 19 39 64 35 (25)
18 Newcastle United 38 7 13 18 40 59 34 (19)
19 Middlesbrough 38 7 11 20 28 57 32 (29)
20 West Bromwich Albion 38 8 8 22 36 67 32 (31)

There are five Premier League clubs in London for the 2009/10 season, the same number as in the 2008/09 season. They are Arsenal, Chelsea, Fulham, Tottenham Hotspurs and West Ham.

Arsenal, nickname - the Gunners, was founded in 1886. They left their famous home in Highbury after 93 years and moved to the Emirates Stadium for the start of the 2006/07 season.

The ultra-modern Emirates Stadium at Ashburton Grove has a capacity of 60,432 and offers probably the best spectator facilities and comfort levels of any venue in the EPL today. Arsenal have been one of London's most successful clubs, having won the Premier League title three times.

They have a young squad and on their day are capable of beating anyone. Under the capable management of Arsene Wenger, the second longest serving manager in the EPL after Sir Alex Ferguson, the team plays breathtakingly fast and attractive passing football.

With a talented squad that includes Cesc Fabregas, William Gallas, Tomas Rosicky, Robin Van Persie Theo Walcott and Andrey Arshavin, Arsenal are capable of retaining their position as one of the "top four" Premier League clubs.

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Chelsea, nickname - the Blues, was founded in 1905 by the owners of the Stamford Bridge Athletic Ground, Gus and John Mears. Chelsea are unique as they had a ground before they were formed, and were elected to the Football League without even playing a match.

Stamford Bridge where Chelsea play their home matches, have a capacity of 42,449. Stamford Bridge was originally offered to Fulham to play there but they declined the chance and so Chelsea grabbed hold of the opprtunity instead. Success at Chelsea wasn't so easy to obtain and the league title, achieved in 1955, was the club's first major honour.

There were more silverware in 1970 in the form of the FA Cup, and the European Cup-Winners Cup followed in 1971. Chelsea then hit a rough patch from 1975 onwards until the arrival of Ruud Gullit and Gianluca Vialli at the end of the 1990s. This was a period that saw Chelsea once again playing attractive football and challenging for trophies.

But it wasn't until the arrival of owner, Roman Abramovich, who appointed Jose Mourinho as manager that they finally achieved the club's first Premiership title in the 2004/05 season. They also managed to retain the Premier League title in the 2005/06 season.

The departure of Jose Mourinho in September 2007 saw a period of upheaval in the club.

The appointment of the largely unknown Avram Grant surprised fans and neutral observers alike. However, Avram Grant did not do too badly as he came close to winning the Premier League title in 2007/08 and also the European Champions League in the same season, losing to Manchester United on both occasions.

Avram Grant was replaced by Luiz Felipe Scolari in the summer of 2008. Due to lack of success and unrest in the squad, Luiz Felipe Scolari was sacked in February 2009 and replaced by Guus Hiddink on a temporary basis.

Guus Hiddink did a marvellous job to stop Chelsea's bad run in the league matches and managed to clinch a third spot in the Premiership title of 2008/09. He also won the FA Cup in May 2009 before returning to his full-time job as manager of the Russian National team.

The current manager is Carlo Ancelotti, ex-manager of AC Milan. Chelsea have got off to a good start in the 2009/10 season under his guidance.

Chelsea have a matured but talented squad and are in a good position to challenge for the Premiership title again.

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Fulham, nickname - the Cottagers, was founded in 1879 and is located in Stevenage Road, in south west London. Craven Cottage with a capacity of 19,250 is where they play their home matches.

Millionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed purchased Fulham FC in the summer of 1997 when it was in Football League Division 2. He installed the management partnership of Ray Wilkins (as First Team Manager) and Kevin Keegan (as Chief Operating Officer), pledging that the club would reach the Premier League within five years.

Ray Wilkins left the club in May 1998 after an argument over team selection. After Kevin Keegan was appointed the full managerial position, and with the help of his team captain Chris Coleman, he steered the club to a spectacular promotion to Division 1 in 1998/99 season.

Keegan then left to become manager of the England team, and veteran player Paul Bracewell was put in charge.

Bracewell was sacked in March 2000, as Fulham's form dwindled away to mid-table mediocrity.

Frenchman Jean Tigana was put in charge and he guided Fulham to their third promotion in five seasons to the Premier League in the 2000-01 season. The promotion gave Fulham top flight status for the first time since 1968, which accomplished Al Fayed's pledge.

The only player to play for the club in all four leagues was Sean Davis who is one of few players to ever have played in all four divisions of professional football with one club.

Fulham used the Queens Park Rangers ground in Loftus Road, during the 2002-3 and 2003-4 seasons while their own stadium was rebuilt.

Fulham were threatened with relegation in the 2002/03 season. Chris Coleman took charge for five games at the end of that (2002-03) season, earning Fulham 10 points out of a possible 15 and preserving a place in the Premier League for the next season.

Fulham struggled in the 2006/07 season. Between mid-December and May however, Fulham only won a single game, a 2-1 victory over Newcastle United. Chris Coleman was sacked in April 2007 and Northern Ireland manager Lawrie Sanchez was put in temporary charge.

Despite a return of just 4 points from a possible 15, Fulham avoided relegation and Lawrie Sanchez was rewarded for his efforts with a permanent contract.

Fulham struggled in the 2007/08 season and Roy Hodgson was named as the new manager of Fulham on 28 December 2007. After an initial struggle, Roy Hodgson managed to help Fulham avoid relegation on the very last day of the season.

Fulham did much better in the 2008/09 season finishing in the 7th place in the premier League.

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Tottenham Hotspur, nickname - Spurs, was founded in 1882 and is located in north London. White Hart Lane with a capacity of 36,236 is where they play their home matches.

Spurs were the first club in the 20th century to achieve the League and FA Cup Double, winning both competitions in the 1960–61 season. In 1963, Spurs became the first British club to win the European Cup Winners' Cup.

Spurs have also been very successful through 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and in the new millennium, winning at least a trophy in each of the last six decades - an achievement only matched by Manchester United.

Spurs have a long-standing rivalry with near neighbours Arsenal, and both sets of fans loathe each other with equal passion. Matches between the two teams are known as the North London derby.

By their high standards, Spurs have been under-achieving over the last decade, owing to difficulties appointing a decent manager. Having sacked Glenn Hoddle in 2003, David Pleat took over temporary manager of the club until May 2004, before Jacques Santini was appointed for the start of the 2004/2005 season.

Following Santini's departure, Martin Jol went about putting togetherg a talented squad capable of challenging for trophies. Talented Bulgarian international Dimitar Berbatov proved a revelation, teaming well with Spurs' established striker, Robbie Keane.

Jol departed in 2007, following a poor start to this season's campaign.

However, new manager Juande Ramos' reign looks promising, with the club achieving a respectable mid-table finish for the 2007/2008 season.

Ramos was in turn sacked in October 2008 after losing to Udinese in the UEFA Cup and struggling in the Premier League. He was replaced by Harry Redknapp. Spurs finished the 2008/09 season in a respectable 8th position.

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West Ham United, nickname "The Hammers" was founded in 1895 and is located in the East End of London. Boleyn Ground Satdium (better known as Upton Park) with a capacity of 35,595, is where they play their home matches since 1904.

West Ham United have won the FA Cup three times: in 1964, 1975 and 1980. They have also been runners-up twice, in 1923 and 2006.

In 1965, West Ham United won the European Cup Winners Cup, and in 1999 they won the Intertoto Cup.

Their players, Booby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters are considered an important factor behind England's victory in the 1966 World Cup.

The "Champions" statue in Barking Road commemorates West Ham's three sons who helped win the 1966 World Cup. Also included on the statue is Everton's Ray Wilson.

West Ham have strong rivalries with several London clubs, especially with their Premier League neighbours Tottenham Hotspur and also with Chelsea.

The strongest and oldest rivalry, however, is with Millwall known as The East London derby.

Since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, West Ham have been members for all but three seasons. Their highest finish in the Premiership competition was 5th in 1998–99.

West Ham finished in 9th position in the 2008–09 season.

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The Premier League operate two transfer windows each season during which the clubs can buy and sell players. The first window is usually open from 1 July until midnight of 31 August and the second one from 1 January until midnight on 31 January the same year.

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