The history of football is closely linked to England, modern football as we know it today was born in English lands, in addition to other variants such as rugby, which has a common origin.
Therefore, it is natural to think that the Premier League should have been the first football league in the world. Although this is not really the case since the English league is only 25 years old. Its formation as such began in 1992, specifically on February 20, according to Wikipedia, at the gates of the 21st century. Although evidently its roots are much deeper. Let’s see how this story developed.
The 19th Century Soccer League
In 1888 the Football League was founded, the first official football league in history. It is very curious that, far from disappearing, in reality, this league is still in operation, so this is the true historical league of England. It competes in England and Wales football teams are considered the highest category of English football until the Premier League emerged.
This first league was run by a manager of Aston Villa, W. McGregor, who was tired of each team organizing in a different way. Until then you could see differences between the number of players that could be in the field, the size of these and other matters. McGregor wrote to several commissions to suggest the creation of an orderly competition, capable of unifying criteria and guaranteeing the evolution of football towards something more professional.
With the passage of time the league was organized into four divisions, the First Division is the most important in the League, where some figures played that could well have been part of the best alignment in history.
The League lost importance between the 70s and 80s due to the incidents that led the violent fans of some teams, the sadly known hooligans, in addition to an avalanche in Heysel due to these fans eventually prevented the English teams from playing outside their borders. Income was affected and the influx to the fields as well. This began to develop the process that led to the formation of the Premier League.
The Income and the Foundation of the Premier
Due to the low income from ticket sales, the main clubs began to focus on getting money from television broadcasts. The amount of revenue skyrocketed and the teams began to negotiate, showing a disagreement that led ten of them to threaten to leave the League and form their own competition. In the end, they managed to avoid it and stayed. The fields began to welcome fans again and the most important teams again considered leaving the league and forming their own that would generate more benefits.
In mid-1991, it was proposed to create a league by the most important teams, independently to negotiate their contracts with the media and enter more money, which would allow them to strengthen themselves in the face of continental competitions, in which they could participate again. In the end, in 92 these teams were unmarked from the Football League and formed the Premier, an independent limited company in which its members acted as shareholders. The first season was 92-93 and it was won by Manchester United. You can check the results of all the games played from the beginning on the official website of the Premier League.
For sponsorship reasons, this competition has been called Barclays Premier League between the seasons 2004 and 2016. However, from 16-17 the name of the sponsor disappears to give a less commercial aspect.
Of the 22 teams that initially started, only 7 have remained in the Premier and have not lost the category. 4 of them, known as the Big Four, remained in the 2000s as the only ones that could finish in the top positions: Machester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Liverpool. although the latter never managed to be in the first position ever.
What Happened to the League?
Does this mean that the Football League disappeared? As we have said the principle, no. It only happened to have 4 divisions to three, being the First Division considered as the second category after the Premier.
The system of ascents and descents has remained the same, so that those who finish last in the Premier descend to the First and those who qualify first in this arrive at the Premier the following season, although basically they are two separate competitions, except for this detail. The English have always been somewhat peculiar to everything and with football, they could not be less.