Back in 1992 the brilliant Simple Minds song Alive and Kicking was the backdrop to the launch of a new competition that promised to revolutionise English football.
Dubbed ‘a whole new ball game’ by Sky Sports’ marketing team, the Premier League has achieved its goal in some style and is widely recognised as one of the most exciting competitions around.
Newcastle United spent that first year on the outside looking in, but justified their 888 sports betting odds to win promotion from Division One to the top flight under manager Kevin Keegan.
Read on as we take a closer look at the appeal of the Premier League and assess whether it deserves to be described as ‘the greatest sports league in the world’.
A truly global phenomenon
The Premier League has reached a global audience of more than 3.2 billion people this season – more than any other competition in the world.
That figure is even more impressive when you consider just how many other top-class football leagues are staged elsewhere.
Contrast that to other major leagues like the NFL, NBA and NHL which are the pinnacle of their respective sports, but have no other serious competitors.
The Premier League’s appeal is unmatched by any of its rivals or leagues in other sports, making it a truly global phenomenon.
All aboard the gravy train
The first two Premier League broadcast contracts with Sky in 1992 and 1997 were worth £191.5 million and £670m respectively.
When you contrast those figures with the current £5bn deal, it is impossible to describe the competition as anything other than successful.
With so much money sloshing around, England’s top flight has inevitably become a big magnet for massive investment from abroad.
Newcastle’s impending takeover by a Saudi Arabian group will make them the 19th current Premier League club to have changed owners this century, highlighting the attraction of the competition.
A stage for the best talents to shine
In addition to being attractive to global audiences and foreign investors, the Premier League has featured some of the best players and managers to ever grace the game.
Lionel Messi aside, the list of top players to play in England’s top flight reads like a ‘who’s who’ of football in the modern era.
It is a similar story on the managerial front, with the world’s best bosses eager to prove they have what it takes to succeed in English football.
This ethos is what makes Newcastle such an attractive proposition to Mauricio Pochettino – the Premier League is undoubtedly the place to be.
Foundations built on historic legacy
An important part of the Premier League’s global appeal is the fact it has built on the solid foundations laid down in the past.
Professional football in England dates back to the late 1800s and the clubs in the current league pyramid are integral parts of the communities they are based in.
That history gives the Premier League a more natural feel to it, particularly when you compare it to the franchise-based system in North America.
The Premier League has used this historic legacy to its advantage and this helps to cement its status as the greatest sports league in the world.