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How has the Premier League changed over the years?

How has the Premier League changed over the years?
© Reuters
How has the Premier League changed over the years?

A little under three decades ago, a new era in the history of English football began.

Although English football has always had a special place in the history of the beautiful game – particularly as the game was first played in its modern format here – it was arguably the establishment of the English Premier League that propelled football into the modern era.

Despite the hallowed space the Premier League has come to inhabit, however, things were not always glistening so brightly in the world of English football. In the years preceding the establishment of the Premier League in 1992, English club football was in somewhat of a bleak place – attendances were hitting record lows, hooliganism was rife at matches, TV coverage was scarce at best, and morale among many fans had essentially gone bust.

Despite this inauspicious setting, however, English club football would hit new highs within a few short years following the establishment of the English Premier League. As testament to the success the English Premier League has gone on to achieve, we can see how much of a draw it is based on Betsafe odds alone. If the interest among sports bettors is any indication, the Premier League is a unique attraction in the football world.

Judging by the prominence English football teams have achieved in the world of global football, the landscape of professional football would not look the same without the contribution of the Premier League. But how exactly has the Premier League changed football in the years since it was first established? Is it simply a case that it has accelerated the commercialisation of professional football or has it changed something more fundamentally about how the beautiful game is played? With these questions in mind, let's take a look at some of the ways in which the English Premier league has evolved over the course of its history.

Match attendance

One of the most obvious ways in which the Premier League has changed English football is in rejuvenating a love for football as a spectator sport. Although much of the focus is on the viewing figures of live broadcasts these days, we must remember that before the Premier League started, attendance figures at matches were in dire straits.

This has completely changed, with some weekends drawing just shy of half a million football fans to live games across the UK.

Getting hold of tickets to the major league teams has also become something of an art form these days, with surging attendance figures from both home and abroad creating ticket scarcity.

The costs of being a fan

For dedicated fans of Premier League football, one of the most obvious and disheartening ways the Premier League has changed football is in the cost of being a fan.

Before the league got started, football was very much a working man's sport, with ticket prices kept low to encourage people of any socio-economic status to attend.

This is far from the reality nowadays, however, with basic tickets to certain team games costing well over a day's wages for the average worker. This is in addition to other fan essentials, such as football jerseys, which can often cost an eye-watering sum for the average fan. Premier League football is big business these days. Unfortunately for fans, this business has been driven by ratcheting up the costs of being a fan.

The international game

Although for much of its history English football prided itself on the homegrown talent it produced, this is not necessarily the case nowadays. In fact, despite its humble domestic origins and objective to raise the standard of English football, the Premier League is now one of the most international leagues.

Foreign influences are everywhere in Premier League football these days. This is particularly true of the star players who grace the pitches of the big-name clubs, with a truly international array of talent filling the rosters of Premier League teams. This has been fuelled, in part, by the fact that Premier League clubs do not have any limits on where players may come from, which gives mangers free rein to choose the best talent from around the world.

But the foreign influence has also had a negative impact, in the eyes of some dedicated fans. There is a growing feeling that the influx of foreign money and investment into the Premier League has brought about an era of overly commercial football, with players receiving bloated salaries that have served to corrupt the focus of the game. This has even triggered fan-led campaigns against the ownership of teams such as Chelsea and Manchester United.

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