It’s 30 years since a secret plot was hatched by a group of five tightly knit football club chairmen to form an elite breakaway league.
The English Premier League (EPL) may be the biggest brand in the football world today, but back in the early 1990s the football landscape was a lot different.
Now, a four-part documentary series, Fever Pitch! The Rise of the Premier League’ tells the story, from its founding in 1992 to its present-day success and its short-lived rival, the Super League. It opens against the backdrop of a declining interest in football throughout the 1980s, until Rupert Murdoch’s new television network Sky took a punt on the breakaway Premier League.
Produced by David Beckham’s ‘Studio 99’ production company and featuring interviews with the like of Vinnie Jones, Eric Cantona and Alan Shearer, BBC 2 will air the first one hour episode tonight (Monday 6 September, 2021) at 9pm detailing the story of how the English Premier League was formed.
When was the Premier League formed?
The Premier League was officially formed on May 27, 1992 and began play on August 15, 1992 with it’s inaugural season which concluded and on May 11, 1993.
However, the origins of the Premier League go back to October 1990 when Greg Dyke, managing director of London Weekend Television, met with the representatives of the "big five" clubs – Arsenal, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.
Why was the Premier League formed?
Under the old Football League system, money from TV deals was shared equally between all three divisions.
Dyke’s plan was that, by breaking away and forming the Premier League, the larger clubs in the country could featured more prominently on national television and secure a larger share of television rights money.
Who formed the Premier League?
The 22 inaugural members of the new Premier League were: Arsenal, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Chelsea, Coventry City, Crystal Palace, Everton, Ipswich Town, Leeds United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Norwich City, Nottingham Forest, Oldham Athletic, Queens Park Rangers, Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur and Wimbledon.
Only 12 of those teams currently play in the Premier League today.
Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool, Everton and Chelsea have never been relegated from the Premier League.
Who won the first ever Premier League season and who was relegated?
Manchester United were the champions of the 1992-92 season.
Alex Ferguson’s side finished ten points clear of second place Aston Villa.
Nottingham Forest finished bottom while Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace were also relegated after finishing 21st and 20th respectively.
Palace went down on goal difference with just two goals throughout the season saving Oldham Athletic from the drop after both finished on 49 points.
What was the Football League?
Founded in 1888, the Football League still exists today as the EFL (English Football League) and comprises of 72 teams across the Championship, League 1 and League 2.
Although it stopped being the top league of English Football in 1992 it remains the oldest league competition in world football and features teams from England and Wales.