The beginners guide to the English Premier League

The Barclays Premier League, also known to fans as the English Premier League is the most popular soccer league in the world. Even though the first match of the league was in 1992, thanks to big-name teams like Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Chelsea, quickly rose in prominence, with some team’s household names as far away as China.

The format of the league is quite simple. 20 teams play each other twice throughout the season. The two games between teams consist of one game at home and one game away. Traditionally, due to home crowd support, away games are harder for most teams.

The Premier League is unique because there is no winter break, with matches running until the end of the league. The only respite is during FIFA mandated breaks for international matches. Clubs release players for these games and resume as soon as the period is over. The league and clubs believe that the winter is the best time to increase crowds and increase sales.

What makes the Premier League special? Probably the collection of world-class players. As a percentage, English sides have more world class players than clubs in other countries. Even in the La Liga, the truly world class players are in the two top clubs: Real Madrid and Barcelona. In the EPL, several teams have the budgets to woo world-class talent. Also, the clubs market their brands globally and fly around for exhibition matches.