The Premier League
Manny Day 2.14.19
Football, or soccer, is the national sport of England and it’s what fans their live and breathe. In 1888, the English Football League was created, and it was where all the best teams around England played. In 1992, the Premier League was created, and it became the top league in England, making the EFL the 2nd league.
The cool thing about soccer in England is that they have a relegation-promotion policy between all the leagues. In each league, there are between 18 and 24 teams, with four professional leagues. At the end of each season, the three last place teams are demoted to the lower league, and the top three of the lower leagues are promoted to the higher league. Promotion is crucial for a team, as they gain larger fanbases, contracts, and players that can greatly expand their team.
In the Premier League, there are exactly 20 teams each year. The season lasts from August to May each year. Every team plays 38 games, two against every team, one home and one away. This ensures that every team gets as fair of a chance to win the league title without any strength of schedule issues or issues that teams may have with the schedule. It’s completely even, and everyone has the exact same shot at winning the title.
Something else that’s different between the Premier League and sports and leagues in America is the playoffs. In every American sport, there’s one winner at the end of a season through a round of playoffs. MLB, NHL, NBA, NFL, even American soccer has a final championship game where the winner is crowned after one game. In England, as well as many other leagues in all the other soccer focused countries, they do quite the opposite. Instead of having a tournament where only a game or two decides the final standings of the nine month season, they let the results of every season game count for who wins.
During the 38 game season, the points are scored based on wins, ties, and losses. If a team wins a game, they receive 3 points. If they tie, the receive 1, and if they lose they receive 0. After each game, the points are tallied, and the standings are put out. Usually, a team that wins the league will score anywhere between 75-90 points per season, with the point record being broken last season by Manchester City, who scored an astounding 100 points, the first team to ever reach 100.
Personally, I enjoy the point system instead of the tournament style finish for this league. It may not be as exciting, but it really gives a good indicator for who was the best team over the 38 game period. It eliminates the chance for a fluke and it means a lot more to win. It rewards team for playing consistently and not being streaky. It’s also fun for all teams, because there’s a lot to qualify for. The lower ladder of the standings are fighting to avoid relegation, or demotion into the lower league, and the middle of the pack teams are all fighting for better final standings. This ensures that all of the fans stay active throughout the season and makes each game exciting for everyone, not just the two or three teams competing to win the league.
The 2018-19 season race for the title is a close one. Through 26 games, three teams lie within a five-point difference. Liverpool is in 1st place with 65 points, Manchester City in 2nd with 62, and Tottenham in 3rd with 60. With 12 games remaining in the season, Liverpool is looking to hang on to their title hopes. Being one of the perennial title challengers, they actually haven’t won the league in 29 years. Man. City is right on their heels and gaining quickly. As the reigning champions, I expect them to win in the end. Tottenham’s best two players are injured, which is a devastating blow for their title chances. Personally, I think Manchester City will end up winning. They have the winning experience and the right players to get the job done. There are still 12 games remaining, and it should be a close finish!