Premier League is regarded as one of the best soccer leagues in the
world. It is certainly one of the richest.
It comprises the best 20 clubs in the country and is one of the most
watched soccer leagues in the world, with a television audience of
over 500 million.
The top Premier League players are the rock stars and movie stars of
our time and can command salaries of £3 or £4 million($5-$7
million)a season. This may be small in relation to some of the top
sports stars in the United States but it is regarded as obscene by
many soccer fans who pay hard earned cash to watch the game.
The 20 Premier League clubs play each other once home and away
giving a total of 38 games. At the end of these games the club with
the highest points total are the winners. The three teams with the
lowest points total are relegated to another division, now known as
the Championship. The Championship itself provides the three
replacements teams to make up the 20 for the next season.
In summary at the end of every season three clubs lose their Premier
League status, and the riches that this entails, to be replaced by
three from the Championship.It goes without saying that relegation
from the Premier League is financial disaster for those clubs
involved, while promotion is regarded as a lottery win for the
Thierry Henry is one of the star players for
current English Premier League Champions Arsenal.
In addition the top two sides in the league qualify automatically
for the UEFA Champions League for the next season( A competition I
will explain in future articles). The teams that finish third and
fourth qualify for the final qualifying round of the UEFA Champions
League. The fifth-placed team qualifies for the UEFA Cup.
England also has two other important soccer competitions, the F.A.
Cup and the Carling Cup.
The F.A. Cup is one of the oldest sports tournaments in the world
and is a competition open to clubs from every division in England,
from Premier League through to part time clubs playing Non League
As a result a team with part time players and a tiny following can
find itself playing a glamour tie against Chelsea, Arsenal or
Manchester United. It is for this reason that the F.A. Cup has
always had an aura of romance surrounding it.
Ties are drawn at random and the competition is played on a knock
out basis, which means if you lose one game you are out of the cup
for that season. Eventually the teams are reduced to just two who
play the F.A Cup Final in May with a place in the UEFA Cup at stake
as well as the prestige of winning such an historic trophy.
The Carling Cup is a knock out trophy too, but without the romance
of the F.A. Cup, although it still delivers a UEFA Cup place for the
If a club already in Europe wins the FA Cup, the UEFA Cup place goes
to the runners-up. If the runners-up are also already in Europe, the
place will go to the next highest-placed Premier league team. If the
winners of the Carling Cup are already in Europe the UEFA Cup place
goes to the next highest-placed Premier league team.
All in all it might seem complicated and in truth it is. However the
main thing to remember is that the most important trophy to win in
England is undoubtedly the English Premier League, with the F.A. Cup
regarded as the second most important and the Carling Cup in third