Premier League

The Premier League began in 1992/93 preceded by the First Division of the Football League that was founded in 1888. Today the league holds the status of the best football league in the world. Even though the top clubs in England don’t win the biggest European Cups with same frequency as the top clubs in Spain, the Premier League is still considered to contain the toughest competition overall. (Premier League was earlier sponsored by Barclays Bank, thus the reason for its previous official name Barclays Premier League.)

League system

Premier League is since the 1992-1993 season the top tier of the English football league system (before that Division One had the same function). The next three tiers are incorporated in the so-called English Football League (EFL). When two additional tiers follow, which are part of the National League. An overview of the current league system in England is presented in the table below.

Table 1. English football tiers
Club Tier
Premier League 1
Championship 2
League One 3
League Two 4
National League 5
National League North / South 6

Below National League North and National League South follows several other tiers divided by regions.

Teams and players

Teams with most titles

Statistics of all English clubs that have won the Premier League, concerning the period 1993-2018.

Table 2. Clubs and Premier League titles
Club Titles
Manchester United 13
Chelsea 5
Arsenal 3
Manchester City 3
Blackburn Rovers 1
Leicester City 1

This is only based on the seasons since the league changed name. If all seasons going back to the year 1888 would be included the list would look different. Manchester United would still be on top, though, with 20 titles, but Liverpool would come as the second best with 18 titles.


Premier League winners year by year

All winners since first season including collected points per season by the winner.

Table 3. Accumulation of points by the winning team
Season Winner Points
2017-18 Manchester City 100
2016-17 Chelsea 93
2015-16 Leicester City 81
2014-15 Chelsea 87
2013-14 Manchester City 86
2012-13 Manchester United 89
2011-12 Manchester City 89
2010-11 Manchester United 80
2009-10 Chelsea 86
2008-09 Manchester United 90
2007-08 Manchester United 87
2006-07 Manchester United 89
2005-06 Chelsea 91
2004-05 Chelsea 95
2003-04 Arsenal 90
2002-03 Manchester United 83
2001-02 Arsenal 87
2000-01 Manchester United 80
1999-00 Manchester United 91
1998-99 Manchester United 79
1997-98 Arsenal 78
1996-97 Manchester United 75
1995-96 Manchester United 82
1994-95 Blackburn Rovers 89
1993-94 Manchester United 92
1992-93 Manchester United 84

Since the league consists of 20 teams (except the three first seasons in which 22 teams were included), which meat each other two times (home and away) per season, 380 games are played in total. Most points by a team in a season, 100 (2.6 per match), was collected by Manchester City in season 2017-18.

Top goalscorers

Alan Shearer holds the record in the Premier League by 440 goals from the years in Newcastle. Other notable top scorers are Andy Cole (187 goals), Wayne Rooney (187 goals), Frank Lampard (177 goals), Thierry Henry (175 goals), Robbie Fowler (163 goals) and Michael Owen (150 goals). Extra impressive is Henry with most goals per match: 0,68.

The audience

Soon after the start of Premier League, the terraces for standing were forbidden and instead the whole audience was to sit down to watch the games.

Capacity of Premier League stadiums

The table shows the capacity of all Premier League club stadiums (based on the teams that participated in the league season 2016–2017). Manchester United's Old Trafford is the biggest in the league with capacity for over 70,000 people.

Table 4. The stadium capacities in the Premier League season 16-17
Team Stadium name Capacity
Arsenal Emirates Stadium 60,260
Bournemouth Dean Court 11,464
Burnley Turf Moor 21,401
Chelsea Stamford Bridge 41,631
Crystal Palace Selhurst Park 25,456
Everton Goodison Park 39,572
Hull KCOM Stadium 25,450
Leicester King Power Stadium 32,312
Liverpool Anfield 54,167
Manchester C City of Manchester 55,097
Manchester U Old Trafford 75,653
Middlesbrough Riverside Stadium 33,764
Southampton St Mary's Stadium 32,505
Stoke Stoke-on-Trent 27,902
Sunderland Ellis Short 49,000
Swansea Liberty Stadium 20,972
Tottenham White Hart Lane 36,228
Watford Vicare Road 21,977
West Bromwich The Hawthorns 26,852
West Ham Olympic Stadium 60,010

To put the capacity in relation to the actual audience per match we could take Manchester United as an example. During the 2015/2016 season the average attendance was 75,279. The tickets are mostly sold in season package, but for comparison, a match-day ticket in season 2015/2016 would cost from £22 (Leicester) to £52 (Chelsea).

Attendance per season

The matches in Premier League are well sought after and the big stadium is regularly full or almost at the competition. The diagram below shows aggregate attendance at games over the last seven seasons.

diagram audience

The money

Premier League is a league with lots of money involved. The television contracts are extremely expensive and result in big revenues for the association and the clubs. The gap of revenues is huge between Premier League and the Football League Championship. Also, in the top league there are differences. The broadcast payments are divided into three parts: 1) Equal share payments – the biggest part which all teams get in the same size; 2) Facility fees – payment for a club being featured in a live match; 3) Merit payments – based on performance.


The kit sponsorship revenues from the Premier Legues is enormous and expected to be over €100 million per year. The diagram below shows the total revenues of the Premier League clubs in 2014/2015 (in million pounds).

diagram revenue by club


Millions of pounds are involved in buying and selling players. The diagram below shows the total spending of Premier League clubs in the January transfer window from 2006 to 2016 (in million pounds).

diagram transfer money per year

Qualification for European Cups

The Premier League has four places in the Champions League and one place in Europa League (winners of the FA Cup and the Capital One Cup also qualify for the Europa League).


The three teams placed at the bottom of the table (places 18-20) will be relegated to EFl Championship.