Our very own methodology has the EPL as the number one league in the world, and we are certainly not the only ones. Almost everyone in the game, whether they are a player, a manager or “just” a fan, would give you the same answer. It is the league that everyone wants to play in, manage in and also the one most people want to watch. But why is that? What makes the top tier of English football so special? What makes it so different? What makes it so much better? Well, as you would expect, it is not just one ingredient, but many, which is why other leagues have found it so hard to compete against it.
The History and the Structure
England was where the game was invented, certainly in the professional sense of the game. Football is embedded into the society that no other sport has managed. Many towns and cities are defined by the success or otherwise of their football club or clubs. That goes not just for the top teams but for all the 92 clubs in the top four leagues. That structure is unique in world football, a professional pyramid (that goes considerably lower than the top four tiers) that creates such a strong base for the clubs fortunate enough to be at the pinnacle. Everyone knows, no matter who they are, how big they once were, that it is far too easy to slip down the leagues. League 1, the third league in England contains clubs who have won the FA Cup and even Europe competitions within very recent history.
That structure mentioned above is partly responsible for the incredible competitive nature of the EPL. Every club turns up to every game thinking, even believing they can and will win. The fight for the top place, the top four, the top six as well as the battle to survive, very often go down to the wire, and involve clubs that no one would have picked in August. Practically every game is a bona fide competitive match.
Another aspect of the EPL is the sheer relentlessness of the season. It truly is gruelling. Fixture congestion may be something that every manager complains about, particularly over the Christmas period, but that Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday rollercoaster is what helps to make it so special.
Style of play
Strip away everything else from the game and the one thing that people love about the EPL is the pure excitement of the games. The pace, style, ferocity and skill simply cannot be matched. Teams and managers just won’t be tolerated if they attempt to adopt a more pragmatic, safety-first approach. Money talks in football, like it does in all aspects of business and life, and the incredible figures that TV companies are willing to pay for the rights to screen the EPL speak for themselves about the quality of the product.
Players and Managers
The league attracts the best players in the world. Few can claim to have fulfilled a glittering career at the very top unless they have managed to do it in the EPL. Likewise managers. The EPL can legitimately claim to currently have the four best managers in world football. That in itself creates a virtuous circle, with the best players wanting to play for them, and the tactical head to heads adding yet another layer of intrigue and fascination into the mix.
There are several more reasons we could go into, but the one we will end with is one that certainly not be forgotten. The passion on the pitch is every bit matched in the stands. Recent events showed just how important that twelfth man is for the game, and the fans in England, in terms of their vociferousness, humour and unadulterated passion are second to none.
Other leagues may well have one, two or three of the factors mentioned above, but none have all of them, and that is why unless things change drastically, the EPL will continue to dominate world football.