The Premier League, one of the most popular sporting events globally, has it all. From the most significant players who ever graced the game to iconic moments that changed the game completely, there is nothing in soccer that hasn’t happened in this league. But often, a debate is stirred: Is the Premier League the best soccer league in the world? It is according to the number of people who watch it in the world, but today we shall be looking at several factors that might give us the idea of whether it is the best league in the world or not.
The factors that will help us decide whether the Premier League is the league which it supposedly is: competition in the PL, broadcast coverage, rivalry of coaches, soccer quality, atmosphere of stadiums, players, continental success, national representation, playing style of teams, and finances.
Let us begin without any further ado.
Brief History of The Premier League
The competition was founded in 1992 as the FA Premier League, which resulted from the break-up of the 104-year-old Football League, which operated within four divisions. The first season also had 22 teams, but the teams were reduced to 20 in a single season after a few years. Not only that, since the inception of the Premier League, 49 clubs have taken part in it, with Manchester United being the most successful club having 13 titles. So in terms of competition, this indeed is a challenging game for skilled footballers to compete with one another.
The amount of competition the Premier League offers is staggering. Teams have a go at each other since the starting minute, with the outcome of matches tough to predict. That’s one of the reasons why it is the best league in the world.
Being the highest level of the English soccer league system, 20 teams spread around geographically in the United Kingdom compete against one another. It adopts a promotion and relegation system with the teams ending in the last three positions in the table relegated to the English Football League (EFL). The entire Premier League season runs from August of a year to the May of the next year, with each team playing 38 matches, 19 at home and 19 away.
Manchester United is the most successful club having 13 titles, but they haven’t reached this feat without their fair share of competition. The competitiveness is second to none as at least six teams compete for the title every year. Even at the lower end of the table, the relegation battle goes down to the wire, with teams fighting desperately to stay up in the top flight until the last game week.
When compared to the other elite leagues in Europe, three teams are fighting for the title in Spain, two in Germany, and three in Italy. The more the competitiveness, the better the quality of football, which is why the Premier League leaves all other leagues behind in this category.
Since it is the best league globally, all broadcasting networks challenge each other every year to see who bags the rights to broadcast the league for the following year. It is what their viewers demand more than La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, or any other league, for that matter.
Media broadcast has had a significant impact on the exposure of the Premier League over the years. SkySports, which has aired the Premier League for many years, combined the quality of the league’s soccer with the public’s demand for the games to be shown. Television broadcasting companies have dished out bumper contracts to obtain rights to show the Premier League every season.
The first deal between BSkyB and the Premier League for three seasons from 2001 to 2002 and 2003-04 was for £1.024 billion when the new millennium began. The league brought in £320 million from its international rights for the three years from 2004 to 2005 to 2006–07. The total broadcasting revenue in 2018/19 for the league was £3 billion.
WOW!! These figures were the second-best figures for a sports league watched throughout the year, with the NFL being first. The Premier League generated higher revenues than the NBA and La Liga.
Over the years, broadcasting rights spread to other networks, with the game reaching the ends of the globe. For the 2020-21 season, the Premier League distributed rights to be televised on live television by Sky Sports, BT Sport, and Amazon. Sky will be paying £1,193 million per annum as part of a new deal agreed between the broadcaster and the league in 2020/21.
Bar a few, the greatest coaches in world soccer have had the experience of managing a team in the Premier League and led those teams to country and continental success. With such incredible diversity, it would be hard to argue against it being the best league in the world.
The Premier League has seen the world’s best coaches come here and coach some quality teams over the years. Alex Ferguson is the most successful manager in the history of the Premier League, managing Manchester United for a staggering 27 years. His most famous rivalry is undoubtedly with Arsene Wenger, who managed Arsenal from 1996 to 2018. Wherever Premier League managers are talked about, Jose Mourinho is impossible not to mention, ranking almost always as number three behind Ferguson and Wenger.
Additionally, other world-renowned managers that have coached or are coaching in the Premier League are Carlo Ancelotti, Rafa Benitez, Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola, Antonio Conte, Marcelo Bielsa, and Claudio Ranieri. The presence of such names is due to English clubs having a frequent presence in Europe’s elite club competitions, which improves the overall status of the club.
The Premier League’s soccer quality is undoubtedly superior to the other domestic leagues around Europe. The top international players from their respective countries come and play in the Premier League, which helps increase their value and value.
The playing style in the Premier League varies differently with every team, but the game is usually fast-paced and physical. The technique is comparatively lower than that of La Liga, Spain’s top footballing league, yet fans worldwide tend to enjoy the Premier League more frequently.
Furthermore, there has been criticism for the officiating done in the league, with referees unable to call even the simplest fouls. The Premier League is followed religiously by fans worldwide, with people tuning in from different time zones to watch their favorite English team play.
The fans are what make football what it is, and since Premier League fans are the greatest fans in the world, it’s not rocket science that the league itself is the best there is.
The atmosphere on match days is electric. The vibes on the day of the game are second to none. In 2019/20, the total aggregate attendance at the games was 11.33 million. This significant drop in attendance was because the teams played the final 92 fixtures behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. British hooliganism was set into the game as an element of banter for sets of fans of different teams. With fans packed in the stadium to watch their teams play. You wouldn’t believe that those unable to make it to the stadium fill up the bars and cafés to support their team from their couch.
Derby days are even more special. When local rivals are in action, the energy between the two sets of fans goes through the roof. Premier League fans are usually very vocal inside the stadium, trying to put players of opposing teams off with whistles, chants, and slangs. In contrast, they have songs and chants for their players and managers that help the team perform better. In some instances, fan support seems so vital that it becomes the team, the twelfth man.
The most significant players worldwide have taken to the field on English soil, making it the best league in the world.
The best players in world soccer have played in the Premier League and contributed to the rise of their team and the league itself. The most notable names include Alan, Shearer, Thierry Henry, David Beckham, Matt Le Tissier, Gianfranco Zola, Wayne Rooney, Roy Keane, Eric Cantona, Patrick Viera, John Terry, Steven Gerrard, Tony Adams, Cristiano Ronaldo, Dennis Bergkamp, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Sergio Aguero, Harry Kane and many more legendary players that have made the league what it is today.
The players who are active in the league today have the most demanding fitness levels in all of the world soccer since this league demands many physicalities. If you don’t have a body that can sustain lots of pushes and hits, then this league isn’t for you. The Premier League has higher sprinting outputs from players concerning the other major leagues around Europe.
The presence of English clubs in Europe’s elite competitions is a norm. The top four places in the Premier League are reserved for teams that will enter into the UEFA Champions League. The top three enter the Champions League group stages, with the fourth place entering the playoff to enter the group stages. The fifth-place team in the league heads over to the group stage of the UEFA Europa League.
Premier League teams had had their share of continental success, with the most recent one coming in 2019 when Liverpool won their 6th Champions League trophy in 2019 after beating another English side, Tottenham Hotspur, by two goals to nil. That was Tottenham Hotspurs’ first appearance in a European Cup final. Other English winners apart from Liverpool’s six wins include Manchester United (1968, 1999, 2008), Chelsea (2012), and Nottingham Forest (1979). As for the second-tier European competition, the Europa League has been won thrice by English sides, with Chelsea in 2013 and 2019, while Manchester United won it in 2017. **
EPL Players in National Teams
In the 2018 FIFA World CupOne hundred eight players from the Premier League* were selected by their respective countries. The most from any league. If that isn’t enough convincing about how it’s the best league in the world, we don’t know what to say!
Performance in their club colors leads to players having a chance to be called up to their national sides. When players show good performance while playing for their clubs, it helps to make a good impression on the management of their country, which in turn select the player to represent the country for international duty. Being the most physically demanding league globally, players who perform consistently in the Premier League manage to make their place in the national squads reasonably easily.
While speaking of consistency, adapting to the Premier League’s style and pace helps players develop their entire game. You can often play in the Premier League if you can play anywhere in the world. And when we see the players who manage to play in the league perform on the national stage, this narrative comes down as a fact.
Different playing styles from the teams show how they play the best games in the world in the Premier League.
The playing style in the Premier League varies team by team and with the tactics of the manager. Usually, the “top six” clubs play the most attractive soccer in the league, which is great to watch as a neutral. Usually, teams deploy the 4-4-2 formation, but nowadays, sides such as Manchester United and Manchester City have adopted the 4-3-3 formation for better offensive play. Under Ole Gunnar Solksjaer, Manchester United has made use of counter-attacking soccer. In contrast, Manchester City’s playing style under Pep Guardiola, which incorporates passing and putting full-backs in midfield, has brought the team much success.
Teams like Arsenal have stuck to their basics over the years, using fluid soccer with lots of passing and every teammate involved in the goal-scoring process. Whereas teams in the lower half of the table usually play with heavy defensive tactics using low-blocks and putting all eleven men behind the ball, they play on the counter when they need a goal.
Home to the most valuable football clubs globally, the Premier League’s finances are in gargantuan amounts.
The Premier League is the ‘Fourth Wealthiest’*** professional sports league. It has the highest revenue of any association soccer league globally with total club revenues of 2.48 billion Euros in 2009-10. The gains are generated by the club, sponsors of the league, and broadcasting rights. There is no sort of salary cap for the players, and the salary can go as high as the player wants, given that the club can afford that wage.
For transfer, transfer fees are paid, and players can transfer to another team in the league and leagues outside the Premier League. There is no restriction on this, but these transfers are carried out only during the transfer window.
You know pretty well that the winning prize of the Premier League is the Premier League trophy, a 30-inch trophy made of sterling silver. But above all, the winning team receives a staggering cash prize of $182 million****. But these values recently took a toll due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We will have to wait and see how much the newly-crowned champions will be getting after the last game week of the season, which will occur in May.
With a fan following worldwide and people following this league religiously, the Premier League has an immaculate fan base that will take years for La Liga, Serie A, and Bundesliga to achieve. With its rich history of players and incidents etched in the memories of its fans, the teams in the Premier League will always end up delivering the highest-octane levels of soccer on the planet. Since they’re the most popular and most prominent clubs globally, they have to give their fans the highest quality of soccer.
And since they’re committed to keeping the game beautiful, we have no doubts that soccer will only progress to greater heights, and the Premier League will be spearheading this progress. With all the facts and figures mentioned above, it would be fair to say that if the Premier League didn’t exist, the soccer world would be missing a massive piece in its jigsaw puzzle. The Premier League is truly the greatest soccer league in the world!