How has the Premier League changed from its origins until now?

In 1992, the inaugural Premier League season kicked off beginning a new ear for English football which has rippled out across the world.

The first 22 teams joined the new league and since its formation, only Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham have been ever present.

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The league was formed to develop the game and make it flourish on the world market. The league would have commercial independence from the Football Association which has meant that its broadcasting and sponsorship deals have been made by the Premier League itself.

Now, the league is front runner for the most popular sport in the world. It has even become the most bet on sport in the world, with around 70% of all sports bets globally being on football. Premier League betting sees figures of around £2.7 million bet per match on average.

It was clear that there was an opportunity to develop the league on a commercial basis which was not happening under the previous regime.

The Premier League was able to offer clubs the chance to strengthen and improve their brands globally. By ensuring fans could see their favourite teams and players live through the television.

Teams themselves had been trying to build their customer and fan base further in the early 1990s. Manchester United were one of the top sides in the country and have been run as a global powerhouse to this day.

A 3 o’clock black out was introduced to ensure that the games at this time were not broadcasted in the UK so that stadium attendances were not affected.

BSkyB were the first broadcasters wot strike up a deal with the Premier League which was huge in its time. It has since been a key provider of Premier League matches ever since and remains so today.

The Premier League has now become the most watched league in the world. It is broadcasted over 212 territories to 643 million homes worldwide.

During the 2018/19 season 3.2 billion people watched the league which is more than what the second most popular league, La Liga in Spain, manage. They recorded around 2.5 million viewers in 2019-20 with fans tuning in to see teams like Barcelona and Real Madrid.

The money available has become incomparable with other leagues. In 2022 Premier League sides spent £3.01 billion in transfer fees, up for £940 million in 2013. La Liga in Spain spent £720 million in 2022, up from £460 million in 2013. In Italy, Serie A sides spent £1.03 billion in 2022, up from £580 million in 2013. The increases have been exponential in the Premier League while others have seen much smaller increases.

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The Premier League has now eclipsed all other leagues in viewer figures, spending, budgets and betting. It is the dominant football league on the planet and is showing no signs of slowing down.

Teams across the league are often out spending what they receive in transfer fees year on year. The 2022/23 season will see Premier League sides spend more that 1.8 billion than they received in transfers leaving the league.

With the revenue they make from broadcasting as well as having been able to grow their brand over the past 30 years puts any team that is part of the league at an advantageous position.

Even at the lower half and relegation threatened sides, they can go to big teams in other European leagues and offer higher wages to bring in the best players.

This season players like Fulham signed João Paulinha from Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon, they had just been promoted this year to the league. Players would prefer to come to play in the Premier League with no guarantees on what to expect, than playing for Champions League or Europa League teams abroad.

As well as the financial importance to players, the chance to play in the Premier League ensures they are seen by people around the world, and maybe more importantly by international coaches.

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By competing against the best players in the world regularly will help in pushing a player into his international side, which will continue to make agents build their links with the teams across the country to find routes for their players to come to the Premier League.

With this dominance globally and the following on fans across the world, the Premier League will only build its brand and quality further. Financially it will be the most dominant and, on the pitch, the best players and coaches all want to be seen to play or manage a Premier League side.

Even with the issue of visas and work permits due to Brexit, this hasn’t changed the increase in spending from teams in the Premier League on foreign players.

Its tough to see how another league can grow to a point of competing legitimately to be seen as a true rival.

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