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The Start of the Premier League
To the theme-tune of 'Alive and Kicking' by Simple Minds the Premier League was introduced to the world for the 1992/93 English football season. Complete with exciting new innovations such as fireworks, cheerleaders and Monday Night Football the Premier League felt like a new beginning.
The first televised match with broadcast partner Sky Sports had a two-hour build-up as opposed to the five minutes normally devoted on the terrestrial television. Each match was built-up like an FA Cup final. Improved television coverage, new graphics and new statistics all helped the 'new dawn' feel.
The first live game was Nottingham Forest against Liverpool at the City Ground. Teddy Sheringham scored the only goal in an exciting game but one in which the broadcasters will have hoped to be a goal-fest. The very first Monday Night Football Manchester City hosted Queen's Park Rangers at Maine Road in a hard-fought 1-1 draw.
Massively improved broadcast deals brought improvements to stadiums still in the teething stage of settling into and implementing all-seater stadiums after the Taylor Report.
The Premier League was started after the clubs in the English Football League voted to leave the Football League structure and accept the comparative financial riches on offer with a move to the Premier League. This move meant that the English Football League carried on with tiers two to four of the league pyramid with promotion into and relegation from the Premier League.
Any skepticism about the new structure was quashed after the first few months proved a resounding success. English football was indeed alive and kicking despite increased ticket prices.
Early Premier League Seasons
The very first Premier League goal was scored after five minutes at Bramhall Lane in Sheffield United's 2-1 victory over Manchester United. It is ironic that Manchester United would go on to be one of the Premier League's most successful clubs and Sheffield United would have an on-off relationship with the Premier League, often dipping in and out of the Premier League through promotion and relegation.
Manchester United, losers on that first day of the season won the league taking their first top flight title to Old Trafford for the first time in 26 years and taking over from Leeds United who had won the old First Division title the season before.
Nottingham Forest who scored the first ever Premier League goal live on Sky television were relegated in that first 1992/93 season and have not returned to the top flight ever since.
There are many names from that first Premier League season like Nottingham Forest who have suffered more difficult times both on an off the pitch. Oldham Athletic currently ply their trade in League Two, Wimbledon in their original guise are no longer as the club became MK Dons, although AFC Wimbledon formed and soon shot up the divisions from a lowly start.
Coventry City and Ipswich Town also stand out as former top flight regulars.
With increased money into the game came increased European and worldwide players and coaches gracing the dugouts over the next few seasons. Highlights included Tino Asprillia coming into Newcastle United, Juninho at Middlesbrough and Ruud Gullit in at Stamford Bridge. It was an exciting time. Arsene Wenger would grace the Highbury bench and Gianluca Vialli the Chelsea bench as the English game brought in European ideas.
In the first five seasons Manchester United would win the title five times interspersed by Blackburn Rovers in between. Aston Villa and Newcastle United would try but fail to win the title.
In 1993 the Premier League was renamed the Premiership until 2007 when the name reverted back to the Premier League (Barclays Premier League).
Top Premier League Teams
Manchester United are the most successful club in the Premier League era with 13 championships and all of them coming under the watch of manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Famously Ferguson was reportedly on the brink of being sacked until a Mark Robins goal in a third round FA Cup tie supposedly saved his job. He went onto be one of the most successful managers of all time not just in the English Premier League but the United Kingdom and Europe.
Chelsea and Manchester City are next on the list of successful Premier League teams with five titles each.
Chelsea FC under Roman Abramovich's investment have turned Stamford Bridge into an imposing place to play football. Never shy to sack a manager after a trophy win the football club is transformed to the one that played in the 1980's and early 1990's where the ground was open and would not always sell out. Now Premier League tickets are a valuable commodity in this part of London.
Manchester City, completely transformed with the riches from the Middle East took their first Premier League title to the Etihad Stadium in 2012 and have since added a further four. With seemingly the monopoly on the world's footballing talent, Man City look destined for success for the coming decades. Struggling in the lower reaches of the EFL during neigbour's Manchester United's reign they are now very much holding the cards in the EPL.
Arsenal have won three Premier League titles but not for close to 20 years and not at their new ground, The Emirates Stadium that they moved into into for matchdays from 2006. But at Highbury they were often unstoppable, especially in 2003/04 when they went unbeaten through the whole 2003/04 season.
Blackburn Rovers, Leicester City and Liverpool have all won the Premier League once.
The 2020/21 Premier League Season
Manchester City are the latest Champions of the Premier League, securing the title by 12 points over city rivals Manchester United. Liverpool in third place after looking like they could challenge in the early part of the season but form at Anfield in particular in the New Year ruled out any chance of a significant title threat and they finished in third place.
Chelsea finished in fourth place in the final Champions League position. Leicester City and West Ham United finished in fifth and sixth spots to bring Europa League football to the King Power Stadium and London Stadium respectively.
West Bromwich Albion, Fulham and Sheffield United were relegated with Fulham a full 11 points behind Burnley in 17th, 13 points behind Brighton & Hove Albion in 16th, 15 points behind Southampton in 15th and 16 points behind the nearest London club in terms of position, Crystal Palace in 14th.
It was an unusual season played largely behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions that came with it. Arguably it was the clubs who rely on the crowd at Premier League matches to level up the difference between the top six and the rest who missed their support the most.
Premier League football was played in front of every stadiums at Turf Moor, Vicarage Road, Molineux and Villa Park. Goodison Park managed to have a few more matches than others due to the COVID situation on Merseyside.
Near the top Liverpool FC faltered without the roar of the Kop. Liverpool tickets were for live streams rather than live matches.
Coming into the league for the 2021/22 season were Carrow Road's Norwich City as champions alongside Watford and Brentford.
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