Welcome to The Turf’s three part series titled “The Beginner’s Guide to the Premier League”. So you’ve just spent the summer watching the World Cup. The greatest sporting tournament in the world. You’ve spent a month watching the youth and diversity of France counter attacking their way into your heart. A month watching England shatter stereotypes. A month watching V.A.R, set pieces, Fortnite celebrations, penalties, underdog upsets, and amazing crowd atmosphere. Now the come down is kicking in. That itch you can’t quite scratch with baseball, or NBA free agency. You need your soccer fix god damnit, and you need it now!
Don’t worry friend. I’ve been there, I had that itch, and the Premier League is here to scratch that itch! The problem is where do you even begin? How does a “beginner” get into the Premier League? Have no fear I’ll be your guide to shepherd you through your first season of your new religion.Yes it will become a religion. When your neighbors might be getting up and putting on a nice shirt for church on Sunday morning. You will be putting on a slightly different shirt to attend your place of worship, the Premier League.
I’m not here to guide you on which team to pick. I’m not going to have you answer asinine questions about your life in order to spit out which club you should pick. As the old saying goes, “you don’t pick the club, the club picks you”. What I will do, is what I had to do back when I found my religion. I will guide you through the ins and outs of this beautiful game, and the best league in the world.Let’s dig right in shall we?
Twenty total teams spread out across England and Wales. Each team plays every other team twice. One home, one away. As Thanos said, “Perfectly balanced. As all things should be” There is a total of 38 Premier League games. Three points for a win, one point for a draw. The league is a single table, no Eastern and Western conference, no National and American League. Just a straight 20 team table. Easy enough so far? Good. Next is the fun bit.
At the end of the season the worse 3 teams get “relegated” to the league below the Premier League. That’s one way to stop tanking huh? Those three teams are removed from the Premier League at the end of the season (May), and replaced with the best three teams from the 2nd tier league the following season (August).
You will hear that a lot. Top four. Before we get into what that’s all about, let’s focus on how and who wins the league. That part is easy. Whoever has the most points by the end of the season wins the league. No playoffs, no championship game. Have more points than everyone else, you win. Easy. Now back to the Top four. Top four is race to finish in the top four spots in the league. The four teams with the most points. This is extremely important. Finishing in one of the top four spots means you qualify for the Champions League. I won’t get into that today. For now think of it as a World Cup for club teams rather than countries. Also think of it as Money. Lots and lots of Money.
Be sure to check back later this week for Part 2 where we will meet the teams of the Premier League.