The UK Premier League Soccer is also called the English Premier League (EPL) or, especially in the UK, just the Premier League. Barclays Bank currently sponsors the league, so it is officially called Barclays Premier League. It is at the top of the English football league system and consists of 20 clubs. Each club acts as a shareholder. Each team plays a total of 38 matches, once at home and once away with each team in the league. In total 380 matches are played per season, and these seasons last from August to May.
The Football League was founded in 1888, but in 1992 on February 20th the clubs in the Football League First Division decided to separate from the Football League. They wanted to seize a television rights deal which was worth £1 billion a year in 2013-2014. The league makes €2.2 billion per year in international and domestic television rights. Out of all of the football leagues in the world, the Premier League is the most watched with 4.7 billion people as potential T.V. audience. The average attendance at a match was 35,363 in 2010-2011 with a stadium occupancy of 92% capacity. Five out of the 46 clubs which have competed since the birth of the Premier League have won the title: Manchester United (13),Chelsea (3), Arsenal (3), Manchester City (2), and Blackburn Rovers (1).
The 1970s and early 80s were quite successful for the Football League, but in the late 80s things were significantly slower, as the league fell behind other leagues, and only poor facilities were available. The Heysel Stadium disaster in 1985 lead to English clubs being banned for five years from European competition. The 1990s signified a change for the better, however. England reached the semi-finals in the 1990 FIFA World Cup. The five-year ban was lifted by the European football's governing body in the year 1990. As a consequence of the ban being lifted, in 1991 Manchester United was able to lift the UEFA Cup Winner's Cup. Expensive upgrades were also proposed by the Taylor Report on stadium safety standards.
Critics are unhappy about the increasing gap between the Football League and the Premier League. As a result of this gap, newly promoted teams in the Premier League find themselves relegated back to the Football League. This has happened in nearly every season, primarily due to the low level of revenue from television rights between the leagues. All three clubs that got promoted in the period of time from 1997-1998 were relegated by the end of the season. The Premier League distributes “parachute payments,” this means it sends some of its television revenue to teams which have relegated from the league. Critics believe that this is not helping the gap between leagues at all, but in fact is making it bigger between teams which haven't reached the Premier League and those who have. The gap may yet be rectified in the future, but in the mean time the UK Premier League of Soccer provides entertainment to viewers across the globe.