Currently sponsored by Barclays Bank, the English Premier League (EPL) sits atop the English Football league system (AKA Football Pyramid). The EPL is the country’s primary football competition and is the most watched soccer league in the world, broadcast to over 600 million people in over 200 countries. There have been a total of 46 clubs that have competed in the EPL since it began in 1992 and there have been only five champions: Manchester United (13 titles), Arsenal (3), Chelsea (3), Manchester City (2), and the Blackburn Rovers (1). The current 2013-14 champions are Manchester City.
The Premier League season runs from August to May. The season is 38 games long and each of the 20 clubs plays each other twice, one game at home and the other game away. Teams are ranked by total points and receive three points for a win and one point for a draw (no points are awarded to the losing team). Ties in the rankings are broken by goal differential and then goals scored.
Promotion and Relegation
The English Football league system is a series of interconnected leagues comprised of football clubs in England, with six teams from Wales and one from Guernsey. This system features a hierarchical format where clubs are promoted up or relegated down depending on their performance each season. In the EPL, the three lowest ranked teams are relegated down to the Football League Championship at the end of each season. Promoted in their place are the top two Football League Championship teams as well as the winner of the playoff series between the third to sixth place teams.
2014-15 Premier League Clubs
- Manchester City
- Manchester United
- West Ham United
- Tottenham Hotspur
- Aston Villa
- Crystal Palace
- West Brom
Qualification for European Competitions
The top four teams from the Premier League qualify for the UEFA Champions League, with the top three directly entering the group stage. The fourth place team enters at the playoff round for non-champions and has to win a two-legged knockout tie (two game competition) to enter the group stage. The fifth place team automatically qualifies for the UEFA Europa League.