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The Premier League, known as The Premiership or The English Premier League, is the top professional men's football league in England.
It was formed in 1992 when top flight clubs broke away from the English Football League First Division to take advantage of the lucrative television rights deals on offer. Its formation saw the break-up of the Football League that had been in existence for 104 years.
The Premier League is a corporation, in which all 20 teams with a place in the league are share holders.
The Premiership season runs from August to May, during which the 20 teams in the league play each other twice, at home and away. 3 points are awarded for a win, 1 for a draw and none for a loss. Teams are ranked within the league on their points, then by goal difference, then goals scored. If there is a tie for relegation or qualification for other competitions at the end of the season then a play-off match will take place at a neutral venue.
The top 4 teams in the Premier League qualify for a place in the UEFA Champions League, and the team in fifth place will qualify for the Europa League. There are potentially 2 further places available in the Europa League. If the winners of the FA Cup or the League Cup have already qualified for the Champions League then that spot is given to the next highest placed team in the Premiership.
At the end of the season the three bottom ranked teams in the Premier League are demoted to the Championship. The top two teams in the Championship are then promoted automatically, with a third promotion spot going to the team that wins a series of play-offs between the teams placed 3rd-6th.
Since the creation of the Premier League 49 clubs have competed in the league, but there have been only 6 winning teams up to 2017. Manchester United have been the most successful club with 13 wins, followed by Chelsea with 5, Arsenal with 3, Manchester City with 2 and Blackburn Rovers and Leicester City with 1 each.
The “Big Four” of Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea dominated the league in the 2000's. All four top places in the league went to these teams for 5 out of 6 seasons between 2003-2009. In recent years there has been more movement, with other teams moving into the top spots. Chelsea earned their 5th win in the 2016/17 season, with the rest of the top 4 spots being taken by Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Liverpool.
Increased revenues from television has seen a widening gap with lower leagues and many leagues that obtain promotion from the Championship have struggled to avoid relegation the following season. The are only 2 seasons between 1992 and 2017 in which at least 1 promoted team has not been relegated and in the 1997-98 season all 3 promoted teams were relegated at the end of the season. This makes placing bets on relegation for recently promoted teams popular.
As the most watched football league in the world, with a potential audience of 4.7 billion, the Premiership is a hugely popular gambling opportunity.
Outright bets can be placed on particular teams to win the league, as well as whether they will place in the top 4, top 6, or in the top or bottom half of the table. It is also popular to place bets on teams to finish in relegation position or bottom of the table.
The dominance of certain clubs within the league means that there is also the option to place bets on one of the “Big Four” finishing outside of the top 4 positions.
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