When it comes to club football, there is no greater spectacle than the English Premier League. Players from all over the world aspire to join one of the twenty clubs that competes in the league each season and hopes to write themselves into club folklore by scoring goals that help secure their team the title. Premier League clubs have long been at the forefront of European competitions, too, and fans of clubs like Manchester United, Arsenal, and Liverpool can be found worldwide.
But why is the Premier League so successful? What makes people tune in from all over the world? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons behind the English Premier League’s success.
It starts with money.
The English Premier League is unrivalled when it comes to financial value, clubs generate revenue through sponsorship, with betting companies (over 50 in the UK) spending millions on yearly deals and sportswear brands looking to get their logo on team kits. According to Deloitte, the English Premier League generates some 4.8 billion Euros in revenue each season. This is more than 2 billion Euros more than its nearest rival, the German Bundesliga, which narrowly overtook the Spanish La Liga in recent times. When you couple this with the fact that the average annual salary of premier league players is more than £3 million, you can start to see how attractive the offer to play in the Premier League is to players worldwide.
The history of football starts in England.
Formed in 1888, the English football league is the oldest such competition in the world. The first division was the top league until 1992 when the Premier League was created for the country’s top 22 teams (this was reduced to 20 teams in 1995). When you think about the game’s prestige and the rich history of English football, players want to be part of this and play for the clubs that pioneered the great game that we all love today. It’s easy to understand the Premier League’s appeal because of this, and we have history to thank for its journey to the top.
The fanatical support.
Jock Stein, legendary manager of Celtic, coined the now-famous phrase:
“Football without fans is nothing.”
As the coronavirus has forced English Premier League clubs to play behind closed doors, players miss the fervent support of their loyal fans. Although football is well supported globally, the number of fans the Premier League attracts to grounds is astounding. In 2018/19, the average attendance at Premier League grounds stood at an impressive 38,168, with Manchester United boasting an impressive average of 74,498. This is slightly lower than the more than 40,000 fans that attended Bundesliga games in the same season, but this is perhaps down to the fact that it’s much cheaper to attend games in Germany, with many clubs committing to fair ticketing agreements for fans.
The Premier League can be enjoyed by fans in the UK from the comfort of their own homes, but the same is true for fans worldwide. After the 2018/19 Premier League campaign, cumulative global audiences for live Premier League matches rose 11 per cent to 1.35 billion. Incredibly, the Premier League is shown in 188 of the world’s 193 countries recognised by the United Nations, with only Afghanistan, Moldova, Turkmenistan, North Korea, and Cuba not showing live matches. When we consider this fact, it’s clear why the Premier League is so popular with fans worldwide.
Overall, the English Premier League is undoubtedly the most successful domestic competition in world football. It’s where players want to play, and the biggest clubs in the division boast some of the most talented players on the planet. Clubs only hope that they can welcome their fans back into the grounds sooner rather than later.