Founded in 1992, the English Premier League (EPL) has grown to captivate global audiences, with household names including Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester United. The League’s season goes from August to May. A team plays every other team twice (38 matches per team), totalling 380 matches per season. Most impressively, the average TV audience per match exceeds 12 million, more than the Bundesliga (German), La Liga (Spanish), and Serie A (Italian) combined. Over 75 broadcasters carry the EPL in over 200 territories worldwide, and famous clubs such as Manchester United call 95 million global fans their own.
This popularity is not with its downsides. Competition increased dramatically and while in 1992 there were only 11 non-British/Irish players in the EPL’s squads. By 1999, Chelsea started an all-foreign squad on the pitch, becoming the first team to do so. In 2005, Arsenal started the season with their entire squad not featuring a single local.
Visitors to London flock to the stadiums of Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur or West Ham to see a live match of their favourite club, take in the atmosphere and cheer with the crowd. Many also opt to take tours of the impressive stadiums, getting behind-the-scenes access to areas that are normally only visible to players and staff.
Tickets to live matches in London can be hard to get. Often clubs reserve access to tickets for their member pool first, with only a small percentage of tickets making it to the general sale at all. If you cannot get your fingers on a ticket for the PL, go check out tickets for a Championship game. Effectively the English second league, the Championship still displays skilled football that is just as enjoyable to watch.
Last but not at all least, you can always soak up some of the atmosphere at live broadcasts in a local pub. Some of the best options, depending on your team, are:
Arsenal: The Gunners Pub or the Twelve Pins for fans of Arsenal.
Chelsea: Wheatsheaf and Lloyds No. 1.
If you do get your hands on tickets, be aware that occasionally the match dates will be subject to changes, due to conflicting matches in special leagues (e.g. FA Cup) or TV-related events.