The Premier League has undergone a major change in the last 30 years and the league is now considered the world’s best football league. In this article, we take a closer look at this development and what lies behind this claim.
It is often said that today’s football originates from England and the British Isles. The sport of football did not become official until the late 1800s, when the English FA standardized rules and established requirements to be able to compete with a team in the country’s football divisions. English football has a history that stretches back to the 16th century when villages met each other in “folk football”, a sport where you had to both kick and throw the ball. This sport was later split into two sports, football and rugby but you can still see its similarities.
Today, of course, the reality looks completely different as English football means big business that turns over huge sums of money every year. In line with this development, other commercial actors such as sponsors and betting companies are also obvious elements in today’s Premier League. Thanks to today’s digitization of society, today football fans can bet on their favorite teams directly via mobile phone anytime, anywhere, a development that would have been considered unlikely only 30 years ago and which today generates huge sums of money for English football.
The Premier League was started in 1992 and today includes 20 clubs that compete in the highest division in English football. Until the league’s founding in 92, English league football maintained a low standard and was considered significantly inferior to both Spanish and Italian football. The consequence of the low standard of English league football meant that the big stars chose to move abroad to earn the big money. In the late 1980s, English football experienced a boom and more money began to flow into domestic football.
In 1991, the first proposal was put forward to create a new super league which would mean significantly more money for both players and club owners. The new league would be called the Premier League and would be commercially independent from the English Football Association and thus would negotiate its own sponsorship deals and TV rights.
Today, the Premier League is the world’s financially strongest and most popular league, and earlier this year the league signed a new TV agreement of six years with American NBC Sports worth approximately SEK 24 billion. The Premier League is alone in this kind of breathtaking numbers and thanks to this financial muscle it can also sign the world’s best players and consolidate its position as the world’s best league.
The Premier League has had many of the world’s best players of all time and the list of the league’s top scorers since its inception in 1992 includes many legendary players such as Alan Shearer, Michael Owen, Thierry Henry, Didier Drogba and more. To this day, Alan Shearer and Andy Cole have scored the most goals in a season with 34 goals. Today’s stars are chasing this record and the active player who has come closest is Liverpool player Mohammed Salah who managed to score an impressive 32 goals in the 17/18 season. Many experts believe that Manchester City’s new acquisition Erling Haaland will be the big star of the future. The Norwegian superstar has had an incredible goal average in all the clubs he has previously been in and many believe that the large striker will be the last piece of the puzzle in Pep Guardiola’s team building.
The Swedes who have scored the most goals in a Premier League season are Fredrik Ljungberg and Johan Elmander who both managed to score over 10 goals for Arsenal and Bolton respectively. Fredrik Ljungberg is still considered today as the best Swede who played in the Premier League as he was a big part of Arsenal’s greatness in the early 00s which consisted of 12 individual goals, two league titles, three FA Cup titles and a Champions League final.