If you are new to the game of soccer and looking for an entry point, there is no better place to start than the UEFA Champions League. Famous for its frenetic and entertaining style of play, massive rivalries and an array of stars cherry-picked from across the globe, England’s top division is today the most-watched soccer league anywhere in the world. In this article, we will give you some of the basics about the league to help you make sense of the beautiful game in the country where it was born!
Fans of Soccer are often left asking where the playoffs figure in deciding who the Premier League winner is. The answer is that the Premier League does not operate a postseason playoff tournament. Instead, the team that finishes at the top of the table when they have played their 38 league games is crowned champion. Each team is awarded three points for a victory, one point for a draw, and zero points for a defeat. Although this is undoubtedly less dramatic, it is arguably a fairer way, as teams are rewarded for consistency rather than performance in one-off games.
2. Champions League
The top four teams in the table at the end of every season qualify for next season’s lucrative European Champions League competition. Champions League qualification nets a club upwards of $100 million in prize money, so the race to get there is always one of the highlights of any Premier League season.
3. Europa League
Clubs that miss out on the Champions League can still qualify to play in Europe via UEFA’s second-tier continental competition, the Europa League. The Europa League is nowhere near as big a money-spinner as its big brother, but winning it represents another means of qualifying for the Champions League. The fifth-placed team automatically qualify, as do the winners of the FA Cup and the League Cup, providing they do not qualify for the Champions League by finishing in the top four. If this is the case, the Europa League positions are awarded to the sixth and seventh-placed teams.
Soccer Clubs that finish at the bottom of the league are relegated to the league below. Three teams drop down to the English Championship and are replaced by a new crop of hopefuls the next season. While the loss in revenue can have a brutal impact on a club’s finances, the influx of new blood and the underdog mentality of the new teams is what keeps the league fresh.
The Premier League is the biggest league in the world today, but things have not always been this way. Thirty years ago, English soccer was a backwater, with English teams constantly playing second fiddle to their European counterparts in continental competition. If you would like more information on how the league evolved, visit the excellent football reference site equaliserfootball.