The Beginner’s Guide to the English Premier League

If you’re new to the Premier League this season or new to EPL Talk, we’re glad you found us and even more excited you’ve been drawn into the Premier League, easily the most entertaining and exciting domestic football league in the world.

Maybe you caught some recent matches during the 2010 World Cup and were intrigued by a certain player or maybe you’ve got some friends or family interested in soccer. Regardless of the root of your new found hobby, passing interest or new found passion, it’s possible you’ve got a few questions concerning the basic rules, various competitions involved or resources needed to further your knowledge of the game. If so, you’ve come to the right place as I’ll outline all the pertinent information you need to enjoy the 2010-2011 Barclays Premier League season.

So you’re ready to enjoy your first Premier League season? First off, you need to know a little history about the Premier League. Originally founded as the FA Premier League in 1992 when clubs in the Football League First Division decided to break away from the The Football League, the Premier League (now officially the Barclays Premier League) soon became the world’s richest football league when they cashed in on a huge television deal to broadcast matches the world over.

Twenty teams make up England’s top flight domestic league while every year the teams who finish in the bottom three (18th, 19th and 20th) are relegated, or sent down to the league below now called the Npower Championship. Oppositely, the teams that finish first and second in the Championship (and a third team who wins the Championship playoffs) gain promotion to the Premier League and have their chance to play against some of the best footballers in the world.

Promotion and relegation is unlike anything currently in American sports where bottom finishing teams get rewarded for their poor performance with a high pick in an amateur draft. Relegation adds excitment to every game played as it ensures games throughout the entire season leading up to its culmination are just as important as a match featuring the top two teams battling for the title. Just think of how exciting it can be watching two teams literally fight for their survival.

Each team plays 38 games over the course of a long and arduous season that runs from August through May. League play is comprised of playing each team twice, once home and once away, while a Champion is decided based on point accumulation over the course of the season. A win is worth 3, draw worth 1 and a loss is worth 0.

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