English Premier League History

The English Premier League’s origins can be traced back to the Football League that was formed in 1888. Find out more about the Premier League’s history below.

As most fans know, the English Premier League is the top English football league and the most popular football league in the world. To learn more about it, we must first know about its roots and how it came to be.

The English Premier League did not come out of nowhere. It started from an entirely different league known as The Football League which was founded back in 1888. Also known as the npower Football League through its sponsors, The Football League is a league that features professional association football clubs from both England and Wales. This league is considered the oldest competition in world football and was the top league in England since 1888 to 1992.


The Football League has 72 clubs divided into 3 divisions. This has been the custom since 1995, with the three divisions known as The Championship, League One and League Two. Championship clubs are allowed to exchange places with the lowest placed clubs in the Premier League through the extended central feature of the league which is promotion and relegation between the divisions.

William McGregor, a director of Aston Villa, first established order in the league which allowed clubs to rearrange their own fixtures. McGregor wrote to Aston Villa, his own club, and to the committee of Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Preston North End and West Bromwich Albion on March 2, 1888. He suggested creating a league of their own with guaranteed fixtures for its member clubs each season.

The Football League

On the eve of the FA Cup Final on March 23, 1888, the first meeting for this new league was held. In Anderson’s Hotel that evening, The Football League was formally created. It was named in Manchester in another meeting held on April 17 at the Royal Hotel.

Unfortunately for the Football League, the First Division clubs resigned in 1992 in order to take advantage of a lucrative television rights deal for them. The Premier League as we presently know was created and formed on May 27, 1992.

Because of the resignation of the First Division clubs, the 104-year-old Football League broke up and had to operate with only three divisions, having four divisions in the past. The Premier League, on the other hand, operated with only a single division.

Premier League Inauguration

The new Premier League was inaugurated with 22 members: 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.