17 Things You Never Knew About The English Premier League

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Today was a big day for the popularity of the English Premier League in the US.

For the first time ever, Americans could watch all 10 “Survival Sunday” games live on TV or the internet. And when Manchester City did the impossible and scored two stoppage time goals to win the league, we saw an unlikely Sunday-morning explosion on Twitter.

For those who were roped in by this morning’s awesome EPL action, we compiled 17 interesting tidbits that you can use to impress your friends.

It's technically less than 20 years old

In May of 1992 the teams of the Football League First Division all resigned and formed the 'super league' that would become to Premier League.

Doing this allowed for increased revenue from a new TV contract, and ultimately that revenue enabled English teams to catch up to their Spanish and Italian counterparts in the money department.

An English manager has never won the league

Manchester United coach Alex Ferguson has won 12 Premier League titles, but he's a Scot.

Arsenal's French coach Arsene Wenger, Chelsea's Portguese coach Jose Mourinho and Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti, Manchester City's Italian manager Roberto Mancini and Blackburn's Scottish coach Kenny Dalglish have also managed teams to titles.

It's the most lucrative league in Europe...

Spurned by a massive TV rights deals and the most expensive ticket prices in the world, EPL revenues topped $2.8 billion in 2010-11, according to Deloitte.

... But only four of the 20 teams made money last year

Despite that massive revenue, EPL teams lost nearly $800 million in 2009-10.

Deloitte estimates that inflated player salaries have a lot to do with this. 67% of that $2.8 billion revenue went to player wages, whereas only 51% of the revenue generated by the German Bundesliga went to player wages.

25% of the current teams are based in London

There are fourteen professional soccer teams based within the London city limits.

Five of those teams -- Arsenal, Chelsea, Fulham, Queen's Park Rangers, and Tottenham Hotspur -- are currently in the Premier League.

All five teams survived relegation and will be in the top flight next year as well.

It takes just a half hour to walk from Fulham's stadium to Chelsea's.

The fans hate their American owners

Americans are the majority stakeholders in five EPL teams -- Arsenal, Aston Villa, Liverpool, Manchester United, and Sunderland.

English fans have often protested against these owners. The most famous example was the 'Green and Gold' protests staged by Manchester United supporters who were angry about the ownership tactics of the Glazer family.

The season is longer than the seasons of every major American sport

The seven-month-long MLB season is often described as a marathon. But the EPL plays from mid-August to mid-May -- two months longer than baseball.

The 2012-13 season starts in just three short months.

Five teams are sponsored by gambling sites or casinos

The norms around sports betting are very different in Europe.

Bolton, Sunderland, Swansea City, Wolverhampton, and Aston Villa all feature advertisements for betting companies on their jerseys.

However, Bolton and Wolverhampton were relegated this morning. Coincidence?

Only four different clubs have won the league since 1995

Since Blackburn won the league in 1994-95, only Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, and now Manchester City have taken home Premier League titles.

In that same span, 12 different NFL teams have won Super Bowls.

The league has been renamed four times in 20 years

The league's official name is constantly changing. First it was the FA Carling Premiership.

In 2001 it became the Barclaycard Premiership.

In 2004 it became the Barclays Premiership.

And in 2007 it became the Barclays Premier League.

For most, it's just the English Premier League, or the Premiership.

Teams spend an average of $115 million per year on player salaries

Chelsea has the biggest salary figure at about $286 million.

That's $90 million more than the New York Yankees spend on players.

You can see a team-by-team breakdown of salary figures here.

Two of the top-5 highest-paid teams in sports are in the EPL

The average Chelsea player makes $6.79 million -- about $600,000 more than the average Yankees player -- making the club the fourth highest-paying team on Earth.

Manchester City is No. 3, paying its players an average of $7.40 million each.

Check out the whole list here >

Just seven clubs have participated in all 20 EPL seasons

The Premier League has a relegation/promotion system.

That means that the three teams at the bottom of the standings each year are have to play in the English second division (the 'Championship' division) the next year.

Only Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United, and Tottenham have never been relegated.

They all finished in the top-seven this year, and will play in the top flight in 2012-13.

45 different clubs have spent at least one season in the EPL

In all, 45 teams have played in the highest level of English soccer.

Five of those teams survived just one season.

Seventeen teams have 10 or more total seasons in the EPL.

Foreign players make up nearly two-thirds of the league

About 63% of EPL players are not British.

British players are still prominent because of UEFA's homegrown player rules, but the league attracts the world's best players, regardless of nationality.

The league earns $2.3 billion in OVERSEAS television rights alone

The EPL is wildly popular overseas, especially in Asia.

In addition to the league $2.9 billion domestic TV deal, the EPL negotiated contracts with networks all over the world to broadcast its games lives. Those contracts amount to a cool $2.3 billion.

Unlike American sports leagues, the schedule is completely balanced, making it the most fair league in the world

Every team plays every other team twice -- once and home, and once on the road.

It doesn't seem like that big of a deal. But in a league with no playoffs, having a balanced schedule goes a long way in making sure a winner is legitimate.

We'd love to see American leagues adopt this type of schedule where it's possible.

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