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League FootballIn the 1980’s English league football witnessed its darkest hour. Violence and hooliganism between rival supporters escalated to increasingly dangerous levels. A series of stadium disasters left the reputation of English football severely tarnished. On Saturday 11th May 1985 the Valley Parade Stadium caught fire during a match between Bradford City and Lincoln City. 56 football supporters lost their lives in the chaos and mayhem that followed. The Heysel Stadium Disaster (Brussels, Belgium) occurred on the 29th May 1985. This disaster happened during the European Cup Final between Liverpool and Juventus (Brussels, Belgium). As a direct result of violence and football hooliganism between rival fans, a wall collapsed killing 39 supporters. Liverpool fans were blamed for the disaster. European football’s governing body UEFA excluded English football clubs from playing in European competitions indefinitely. When Liverpool played Nottingham Forest on 15th April 1989 at Hillsborough Stadium (Sheffield, England) nobody could have predicted the outcome. 96 people lost their lives when too many supporters were allowed to enter the stadium. The Hillsborough disaster led to an in depth investigation by Lord Justice Taylor. The resulting report, known as “The Taylor Report” was published in January 1990. The contents of the report brought unpredicted changes to the face of English football. The Taylor Report revealed that English football stadiums had declined into a state of dereliction and recommended that clubs make expensive improvements. It is likely that this report was the catalyst that led to the creation of the English Premier League.
English football clubs had tried to negotiate a higher percentage of broadcasting rights with the Football League. When these negotiations failed they decided to form a break-away league of their own. On the 20th February 1992 all 22 football clubs in the Football League First Division resigned. In the following months the Premier League was established and was ready for action for the 1992-1993 football season. The premier league was set up as a limited company with football clubs taking the place of shareholders. The league made an agreement with satellite television broadcaster SKY to televise the matches. The original five year deal to televise the football matches was worth £191 million. The last deal for premier league television packages was worth £1.7 billion. The European Commission had intervened to ensure that from the 2007-2008 season onwards, no broadcaster will be able to hold all the live premier league television football rights. Setanta Sports broke Sky’s monopoly by getting two of the six packages available.
The Premier League has a main sponsor and the responsibility of creating a suitable title for the competition. They are given a certain amount of authority to adjust the title of the league to fit with their company, products, branding or advertising strategy. In the beginning Carling sponsored the league and it was called the FA Carling Premiership until 2001. Barclaycard took over as official sponsor from 2001 to 2004 and they re-titled the league as the Barclaycard Premiership. Barclays took over the sponsorship and called the league the Barclays Premiership from 2004 to 2007 . Then for the first time the sponsor remained the same but the name was changed to the Barclays Premier League. This name change went unnoticed by many sectors of the media who still refer to the league as the Premiership, some soccer clubs even get sponsorships from online casinos and betting site.
Premier league training
The English Premier League has become the most financially lucrative football league in the world withe help of huge sponsorships from online casino and gambling sites . Despite the run-away success controversy and media criticism has never been too far away. Important decisions made by referees on the field of play can have huge financial implications off the field. For this reason all refereeing decisions and performances are heavily scrutinised by the media. Pressure is mounting on the premier league to introduce goal line technology to improve accuracy of vital decisions. Foreign ownership of clubs is another favourite topic of conversion for the press. The most significant negative criticism of the Premier League is that it stifles the progress of young English players. Instead of bringing players through their training academies clubs are paying to buy the best young players from overseas. Some football supporters and commentators feel that this is the reason that the England national side has underperformed. The counter argument from football managers and coaches is that the English players will benefit from playing in such a high profile league competition. This should, in theory, make the England team stronger and more competitive. Putting the negative aspects to one side, English football has come a long way since the premier league’s conception in 1992. The dark days when the Taylor Report was published are long gone and in its place bright floodlights shine instead. When the referee blows the whistle at the start of a high profile Premier League game, football supporters from 202 countries around the world will witness the greatest display of football available today.