[[caption-width-right:207: [[EnglishPremierLeague England's beautiful game]] ([-[[ArabOilSheikh Property of the Quraci royal family]]-]) ]]

->''Some people tell me that we professional players are soccer slaves. Well, if this is slavery, give me a life sentence.''
-->--'''Sir Bobby Charlton'''

The richest and arguably most prestigious of the world's FootyLeagues, and certainly one of the most high-profile sports events worldwide. But first, a history lesson.

By the end of the '80s, English football was in a bit of a state. [[FootballHooligans Hooliganism]] was rife both at home and abroad--the French called it ''le malaise Anglais'', the English Disease. Liverpool fans had been blamed for the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heysel_disaster Heysel Stadium Disaster]] in 1985 and English clubs had been banned from all European competition. Revenues and attendance were plummeting and many of the stadia were crumbling, poorly maintained or hopelessly old fashioned, this being one factor in the horrific [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradford_City_stadium_fire Bradford City stadium fire]] of 1985. Tall fences were installed to stop hooligans from invading the pitch, but this practice was stopped after the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillsborough_disaster Hillsborough Disaster]] in 1989, when 96 people (most of them Liverpool fans) were crushed to death. The best English players began moving abroad, mostly to Italy or Spain, which were seen as having the best leagues at the time.

There was some light in the gloom, though. England's national team made the top four in the 1990 [[UsefulNotes/TheWorldCup World Cup]], the same year in which the post-Heysel ban on English clubs in Europe was lifted. Manchester United promptly won the now-defunct [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin European Cup-Winners' Cup]] in 1991. After the Hillsborough Disaster, Lord Taylor produced a report which forced all top-level clubs to make their stadia safer, more pleasant places to watch a game (done by removing any lawn seating entirely and having all seating be in chairs) and to take measures to clamp down on hooliganism. Slowly, attendances started to rise as parents began taking their children again, and "normal" non-violent fans were no longer put off.

Then into the mix came the dawn of satellite television, in the form of Sky TV (still the main British satellite broadcaster). [[Series/SoccerSaturday Sky's presence]] and the increasing quality of the English game meant that TV revenue from football skyrocketed from £6.3m in 1986 to over £44m in 1988. The biggest clubs in the top division felt they weren't getting a big enough slice of the cake, and that The Football League, who had been organizing English football since 1888, weren't doing enough to help, so in the summer of 1991 they decided to break away and form their own league.

The Premier League debuted for the 1992/93 season with 22 members, while The Football League was left with the lower three divisions, now confusingly renumbered so that the second tier of English football would be "Division One". Promotion and relegation between the Premier League and Division One was maintained, and fans didn't notice any immediate difference beyond the change of names and new logos. Later, a new sponsorship deal with the Football League muddied the waters even further, so that the tiers now read "Premier League -> The Championship -> League One -> League Two".

But sure enough, money started to flow into the Premier League clubs thanks to Sky's TV revenues, while the number of foreign players began to increase dramatically, particularly after 1995, when a test case at the European Court of Justice established that footballers were not exempt from European Law regarding free movement of labour and services: any EU-citizen footballer could play at any EU club with no restrictions, and any EU footballer could move to another club freely once his contract was up. The case - known as the Bosman Ruling after Belgian player Jean-Marc Bosman who took the case to court - had a massive effect on football throughout Europe, but particularly in England where the Premier League rapidly became the richest league.

In the mid 2000's, the Premier League overtook Spain's La Liga to become the highest ranked league in Europe according to UEFA. However, recent resurgence from La Liga and Germany's Bundesliga, spearheaded by Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, and Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and VFL Wolfsburg, and underachievement from PL teams means that there's been a power shift. Despite the small size of a lot of England's stadia compared to Europe, the quality of the English game is extremely high and total club revenue annually is almost billion! The Premier League's revenue is the fourth highest anywhere in the world, behind the NFL, Major League Baseball and the NBA - and with a new £5 ''billion'' television licensing deal, it's only likely to get richer.

There are problems, of course. The highest-placing teams get the most money, which is logical, but tends to mean that [[UnstableEquilibrium success is self-perpetuating]], and the so-called "Big Four" - Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City (Liverpool in place of City until about 2009) - dominate the top four positions in the league, which in turn means they all qualify for the [[UsefulNotes/UEFAChampionsLeague Champions League]] and accumulate even '''more''' money. At the other end of the table, smaller clubs promoted to the league usually struggle and are often relegated in their first season. Some clubs have tried breaking their way into the leading pack by spending big in the hope of making up the difference with money earned by getting into the Champions League, but at best have only achieved minor, temporary success, and at worst have undergone total financial meltdown and rapidly fallen away into lower-league obscurity (Leeds United, Portsmouth and Bradford City being the main examples of this).

The only way to break into the top four seems to be for a club to be bought by someone with a truly eye-watering amount of spare money to throw around - Russian oil billionaire Roman Abramovich b(r)ought Chelsea into the top four, and Sheikh Mansour recently did the same for perennial underachievers Manchester City. In Europe they contend against the best teams in the Union of European Football Associations (potentially from as far away as Vladivostok) to win the most prestigious title in world club football. The Champions League winners also compete for the less prestigious title of World Club Champion. For clubs in positions five, six and sometimes seven (or alternatively, the League Cup and FA Cup winners if they do not already qualify for Europe), there is the '''Europa League''', which was the UEFA Cup until 2009, less popular but still a good alternative for clubs.

However, the 2015/16 season has dramatically bucked this trend, with the adage 'anybody can beat anybody' coming dramatically true, with relegation tipped Leicester being two points clear at the top of the table over Christmas 2015 after several months of imperious form spearheaded by England striker Jamie Vardy and Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez, 2014/15 champions Chelsea lurking in the bottom half of the table following a disastrous first half of the season and the subsequent sacking of their manager, Jose Mourinho, while similarly relegation tipped Watford and mid table stalwarts Crystal Palace jostle with the likes of Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester Utd, Tottenham and Liverpool for top 4 places, making the Premier League by far the most entertaining and competitive league in Europe (especially since Bayern Munich, Barcelona/Real Madrid and Paris St Germain usually run away with their respective leagues, with only Atletico Madrid challenging the Barca/Madrid hegemony). This, perhaps, has something to do with the aforementioned television deal and the influx of finances.

The influx of foreign players means that Premier League fans get to watch some of the best players in the world every week, but it also means that English talent potentially gets squeezed out - in 1999, Chelsea became the first English club to field an entirely non-English starting eleven and at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, more than eighty Premier League players took part. Some say this has had a detrimental effect on the national team's talent pool.

Despite those problems there is no doubt that the current state of the Premier League showcases a remarkable turn around for football in England since the troubles of TheEighties and has helped move England back up to being one of the top footballing nations in the world. It is arguably back ahead of its cousin leagues in Spain and Italy in terms of the quality of football, certainly in terms of attendance and revenue and is now watched all around the world and particularly in the Far East. Now if only the national team could match the Premier League's success ...

'''Current title holders:''' Chelsea.

[[folder:Current members of the League]]
* ''Arsenal''
-->'''Current Manager:''' Arsène Wenger
-->'''Current Captain:''' Mikel Arteta
-->'''2014/15 Position:''' 3rd\\
A very successful north London club who lifted the crown in 1997/98, 2001/02 and 2003/04 (which was achieved unbeaten), all of which was under Arsène Wenger's management. [[LongRunners Wenger has managed the club for one thousand games, reaching the milestone on 22 March 2014 with Arsenal's fixture at Chelsea]] ([[TheRival against José Mourinho, no less]]). Stan Kroenke, owner of the [[UsefulNotes/NationalFootballLeague NFL's]] Los Angeles Rams[[note]]Kroenke also owns the Denver Nuggets of the NBA, the Colorado Avalanche of the NHL, and the Colorado Rapids of MLS; however, he had to cede control of the former two clubs to his son Josh due to the NFL's stringent ownership rules[[/note]], holds majority ownership of the club. They currently hold the record for the longest uninterrupted stay in the Top Division/Premier League (dating all the way back to 1919/20, when they were promoted under ''very'' controversial circumstances following World War I). Their ArchEnemy is Tottenham Hotspur, a derby that has led to classic matches in both league and cup competitions. Matches against Manchester United and Chelsea are also SeriousBusiness to Arsenal's fans.
* ''Aston Villa''
-->'''Current Manager:''' Rémi Garde
-->'''Current Captain:''' Micah Richards
-->'''2014/15 Position:''' 17th\\
Generally a typical mid-table side from Birmingham, the odd flirtation with either end of the table notwithstanding; their highest finish was as runners-up under Ron Atkinson in the first Premier League season. They also mounted a consistent challenge for European places under the management of Martin O'Neill, only to have reverted to old ways since then. The 2014/15 season saw the sacking of manager Paul Lambert after a dire run that left them in the relegation zone. However, ex-Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood managed to keep the team from relegation and took them to the FA Cup final. After a monumentally bad start to the 2015/16 season, Sherwood was fired and replaced by Remi Garde, former Arsenal player in Arsene Wenger's early years as manager. While he has managed to upgrade their performances from 'downright awful' to merely 'very bad', this is still not saying much. They're also controlled by an American: former Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner.
* ''AFC Bournemouth''
-->'''Current Manager:''' Eddie Howe
-->'''Current Captain:''' Tommy Elphick
-->'''2014/15 Position:''' 1st in Championship\\
An incredible story in its own right, Bournemouth spent most of their history floating around between the third and fourth tiers, the only exception being a brief spell in the second tier under Harry Redknapp in the late Eighties. By the 2008/09 season they looked doomed to extinction, having started their League Two season on -17 points due to financial problems, but after appointing Eddie Howe as manager not only did they comfortably avoid relegation, they secured promotion the next season, and then promotion to the Championship in 2013. They continued doing better and better until in the 2014/15 campaign, they sealed Premiership status for the very first time by winning the Championship. Started 2015/16 brightly, spearheaded by fearsomely talented striker Callum Wilson. After he was ruled out for the rest of the season by injury, they went into a prolonged slump, dogged by injuries. Despite this, however, they managed to reinvent themselves, grabbing a win at Chelsea and, at home, famously beating Manchester United the following week.
* ''Chelsea''
-->'''Current Manager:''' Guus Hiddink (caretaker)
-->'''Current Captain:''' John Terry
-->'''2014/15 Position:''' 1st\\
Central London-based Chelsea FC is currently owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, making the club one of the wealthiest in the Premier League. The club have won four Premier League titles as of the 2014/15 season, winning it all in in 2004/05 and 2005/06 under José Mourinho, in 2009/10 under Carlo Ancelotti, and in 2014/15 after Mourinho returned from stints at Inter Milan and Real Madrid. Their most recent title was won quite handily, with Chelsea leading almost the entire season. However, following a disastrous start to the 2015/16 season, with Chelsea only one point above the drop zone after 16 games, Mourinho was shown the door not long before Christmas. Although their traditional rivals are Fulham, Chelsea fans tend to look down on Fulham and find either Arsenal or Spurs as their [[TheRival main rival]] instead. Like Manchester City, fans of other sides find them a BaseBreaker, due to Abramovich splashing money on Chelsea and Chelsea's penchant for "bus-parking," and relying on the counter-attack.
* ''Crystal Palace''
-->'''Current Manager:''' Alan Pardew
-->'''Current Captain:''' Mile Jedinak
-->'''2014/15 Position:''' 10th\\
A South London-based club who to date have had five separate spells in the Premier League, more than any other team, and suffered immediate relegation in each of the first four (though were a little unlucky to go down in the 1994/95 season, when there was an extra relegation spot due to league reconstruction). They ''finally'' averted relegation in the 2013/14 season thanks to manager Tony Pulis, the ex-Stoke coach who has never suffered relegation with any of his teams. Pulis moved on to West Brom afterwards and Palace have further established themselves in the Premier League mix under former Newcastle manager (and ex-Palace player) Alan Pardew, who has succeeded in making them a credible threat to the very top teams, particularly the long suffering Liverpool. [[ArchEnemy They really]], '''[[ArchEnemy REALLY]]''' [[ArchEnemy don't like]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4CvRDkdp7g Brighton and Hove Albion]], and as much as they hate BHA, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFsW6vvBwHk their hate for Eric Cantona is even worse]].
* ''Everton''
-->'''Current Manager:''' Roberto Martínez
-->'''Current Captain:''' Phil Jagielka
-->'''2014/15 Position:''' 11th\\
Liverpool's major rivals from just across town. Spent the first decade of the Premier League constantly fighting relegation, but after David Moyes's appointment as manager in 2002 they often challenged for European places, and managed to break into the Champions League spots (at that time occupied consistently by the "Big Four") in the 2004/05 season (ironically the one of the Four they replaced that year - Liverpool - actually won the Champions League that season, so got a bye into the following season's competition). Roberto Martinez took over as manager after David Moyes left for Manchester United and has constructed a team that plays delightful attacking football. Unfortunately, their defending is dubious.
* ''Leicester City''
-->'''Current Manager:''' Claudio Ranieri
-->'''Current Captain:''' Wes Morgan
-->'''2014/15 Position:''' 14th\\
The Midlands-based "Foxes" had a good run under Martin O'Neill's management in the late nineties, but things went rapidly downhill after he went north of the border for Celtic in 2000. Leicester got relegated to League One in 2008, but they bounced back the following season and spent the next five seasons in the Championship. After being absent from the Premier League for ten years, the Foxes achieved promotion to the top flight following their victory over Sheffield Wednesday on 4 April 2014. In the 2014/15 campaign, they ensured continued top-flight status with a miracle run to rival Sunderland's from the year before, starting the month of April 7 points below safety and winning seven of the nine games remaining to ensure survival. [[AwesomeMoment As of February 2016, following the appointment of Claudio 'the Tinkerman' Ranieri, they have defied the odds to sit at the very top of the league with a five point cushion thanks to the goal scoring form of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez.]] [[ShockingSwerve No one's quite sure how ''that'' happened.]]
* ''Liverpool''
-->'''Current Manager:''' Jürgen Klopp
-->'''Current Captain:''' Jordan Henderson.
-->'''2014/15 Position:''' 6th\\
The second most successful club in English football, who have won the League 18 times and the European Cup 5 times, but have never won the Premier League in its present form, their best performances being runners-up in 2002, 2009 and 2014. Periodically threaten a return to the glory days and had a good record in the Champions League under Rafael Benitez, winning in 2005 and reaching the final in 2007, usually playing with attacking verve and style, but never quite succeed (usually because the defence isn't quite so effective). Owned by Fenway Sports Group, owners of the [[UsefulNotes/MLBTeams Boston Red Sox]], who took over after the era of the widely despised [[IncompetenceInc Hicks and Gillette,]] who drove the club into bankruptcy. Following an abject finish to the 2014/15 season and a poor start to the 2015/16 season, Brendan Rodgers was fired and replaced by charismatic German Jürgen Klopp, who made an immediate impact by restoring Liverpool's swagger and turning on the style to thrash last season's top 2 at their home stadiums, Chelsea 3-1 and Manchester City 4-1, and top 4 chasers Southampton ''[[CurbstompBattle 6-1]]'' at their home stadium. However, this has not translated into extended success, and Liverpool have hit a slump as top players struggle to return from injury, their strike force looks vaguely bemused and the defence is doing its time honoured impersonation of a colander.
* ''Manchester City''
-->'''Current Manager:''' Manuel Pellegrini
-->'''Current Captain:''' Vincent Kompany
-->'''2014/15 Position:''' 2nd\\
Perennial underachievers and league ButtMonkey until being bought by Arab Sheik Mansour, after which the team became serious contenders, winning the 2011-12 title under Roberto Mancini and the 2013/14 title under Manuel Pellegrini, capitalising on the faltering at the end of the season of a previously rampant Liverpool side. Fans of other teams find City as a BaseBreaker because of the team's overwhelming wealth and despite their secure position at the top end of the Premier League, they have yet to translate it to European success, the standard by which every top club is ultimately judged.
* ''Manchester United''
-->'''Current Manager:''' Louis van Gaal
-->'''Current Captain:''' Wayne Rooney
-->'''2014/15 Position:''' 4th\\
The most successful club in English football, who have won the top League a record 20 times, including a record 13 Premier League titles all won under Sir Alex Ferguson. The Glazer family, which also owns the [[UsefulNotes/NationalFootballLeague Tampa Bay Buccaneers]], holds a controlling stake in the team; however, supporters have unsuccessfully attempted to buy out Malcolm Glazer, the family patriarch and owner of the club until his death in 2014, since he saddled the club with massive debts. David Moyes took over as manager following Ferguson's retirement in 2013. Unfortunately for United, the 2013/14 season went horribly wrong and Moyes got the heave-ho after losing 2-0 to his former club Everton at Goodison Park on 20 April 2014, failing to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 1995 in the process. Their present manager is the Netherlands' Louis van Gaal, then fresh from leading his national side to a third-place finish at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He has recently been criticized for playing a very boring kind of football designed to neutralize opponents rather than attack them, to the derision of opposition fans and the frustration of their own, to the point where chants of AttackAttackAttack can be expected about fifteen minutes into the second half. Until now, Van Gaal could point to an extremely effective defense, based upon David de Gea, first choice goalkeeper for Spain, regarded as one of the best keepers on the planet (especially for his age) and eyed covetously by Real Madrid. Losing 2-1 to Norwich at home for the first time in nearly 30 years poked more holes in an already threadbare claim.
* ''Newcastle United''
-->'''Current Manager:''' Steve [=McClaren=]
-->'''Current Captain:''' Fabricio Coloccini
-->'''2014/15 Position:''' 15th\\
Owned by [=SportsDirect=] tycoon Mike Ashley, this team from Newcastle-upon-Tyne is probably most famous for Kevin Keegan's rant in 1995, where with Newcastle 12 points ahead, he declared that he'd "love it if we (Newcastle) beat them (Manchester United)". [[NiceJobBreakingItHero They let that lead slip]]. The team had something of a slide around 2007/08, leading to the sacking of Sam Allardyce, Keegan's ill-fated return, and a whole lot of off-field issues, leading to club legend Alan Shearer taking his first management job to try and save them from relegation. It failed. They came back up at the first attempt, and in their second season back in the top flight, got into Europe under Alan Pardew, who apparently had a 10-year contract but left in January 2015 to rescue the fortunes of his former club, Crystal Palace. Newcastle went into a full-blown tailspin, dropping every single game until the last day of the season, where a crucial win secured their stay in the top flight. After a dire start to the season, freak 6-2 win over Norwich excepted, they looked set for relegation. However, after a 6-1 thumping by Crystal Palace, they fought back, getting a 2-0 win at home to Liverpool (then the league's form team) and a 2-1 win away at Tottenham.
* ''Norwich City''
-->'''Current Manager:''' Alex Neil
-->'''Current Captain:''' Russell Martin
-->'''2014/15 Position:''' 3rd in Championship, won Playoff\\
Title challengers under Mike Walker in the first Premier League season, but suffered a spectacular collapse after he left the following year and went down in the 1994-95 season. Came back for one season in 2004/05, before returning again and stabilising themselves in 2011. A torrid[[note]]if you're a Yank, substitute "horrible"[[/note]] 2013/14 campaign, however, saw the Canaries being too cautious and conservative for their own good and they paid dearly by being relegated on the season's final day. Fortunately for Canary fans, the team redeemed themselves in the Championship thanks to a much more positive play-style under Scottish manager Alex Neil and they achieved promotion after comfortably beating Middlesbrough in the 2015 Playoff Finals. In the 2015/16 season, despite a famous victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford, they look likely to be relegation candidates again this time round. Owned by chef Delia Smith, and counted Creator/StephenFry as a director until January 2016.
* ''Southampton''
-->'''Current Manager:''' Ronald Koeman
-->'''Current Captain:''' José Fonte
-->'''2014/15 Position:''' 7th\\
South coast club who were regular fixtures (albeit usually struggling against relegation) until some epic mismanagement saw them relegated in 2005, and then again in 2009. Rebounded with back-to-back promotions in 2011 and 2012, though promotion-winning manager Nigel Adkins was controversially axed simply because the owners didn't think he was high-profile enough. However, the new boss, Mauricio Pocchetino, famous for his foul in the 2002 World Cup, helped Southampton climb into the top half of the table. They continued their good form during the 2014/15 season, they turned into unlikely title challengers under the management of Dutchman Ronald Koeman, and though they fell away, finished respectably. Losing yet more star players to clubs like Manchester United and Liverpool didn't immediately seem to impede them, but their confidence and form dropped dramatically after they were hammered 6-1 at home by Liverpool in the League Cup Quarter-Final, despite going in front in less than a minute.
* ''Stoke City''
-->'''Current Manager:''' Mark Hughes
-->'''Current Captain:''' Ryan Shawcross
-->'''2014/15 Position:''' 9th\\
Top-flight mainstays from Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire until the mid-80s, when they were relegated after an infamously awful 1984/85 season. They then spent the next two decades bouncing between the second and third tiers, before Tony Pulis bought them back into the Premier League in 2008. They've consistently finished in the mid-table since then, though their somewhat ugly footballing style and failure to progress saw Pulis get sacked in 2013. Now managed by Welshman Mark Hughes, who is steadily cleaning away their thuggish reputation by buying former Barcelona players Bojan and Ibrahim Affelay, former Inter Milan attacker Marko Arnautovic and highly rated starlet and talisman of the Swiss national team, Xherdan Shaqiri. This last in particular caused a lot of double takes since Shaqiri is the exact opposite of Stoke's usual kind of player, being tiny even by the standards of tiny technical players at 5'6'', which had led to him being dubbed 'the Magic Dwarf'. They are generally the team from mid-table that the big teams worry about.
* ''Sunderland''
-->'''Current Manager:''' Sam Allardyce
-->'''Current Captain:''' John O'Shea
-->'''2014/15 Position:''' 16th\\
Deadly rivals of Newcastle from just across the county, and relatively regular members of the Premier League since 1996. Challenged for the European spots for a few years in the early [=2000s=] under Peter Reid, but otherwise have generally finished lower mid-table, along with being relegated after two ''really'' awful seasons in 2003 and 2006. Under Gus Poyet, they won 4 of their last 6 games to avoid relegation (which had looked near-certain for most of the season) in 2013/14. Unfortunately, another bad run in 2014/15 saw Poyet sacked, with Dutchman Dick Advocaat hired on a short-term contract to help the team survive relegation. While he succeeded, becoming much loved by the fans [[CrowningMomentOfHeartWarming (who clubbed together to get a massive bouquet of flowers for Advocaat's wife when she reversed her decision to make him retire at the end of the 2014/15 season)]], a poor start to the 2015/16 season led to his parting company with the club and the safest of safe pairs of hands, Sam 'Big Sam' Allardyce, coming in to guide Sunderland to better fortunes.
* ''Swansea City''
-->'''Current Manager:''' Francesco Guidolin
-->'''Current Captain:''' Ashley Williams
-->'''2014/15 Position:''' 8th\\
Became the first [[UsefulNotes/{{Wales}} Welsh]] club to ever play in the top division after being promoted in 2011. After almost being relegated out of League Two in 2003 (which would have caused the club to fold due to the financial difficulties they faced at the time), they enjoyed a meteoric rise to the Premier League thanks to their attacking, possession-focused tactics. Having established themselves as consistent mid-table finishers in their first two seasons, Swansea earned their first major piece of silverware when they won the League Cup in 2013, qualifying for the Europa League in the process. They started the 2015/16 season well, but slumped significantly after the first few weeks, eventually leading to the sacking of intensely popular and widely admired manager Garry Monk, who had gone straight from retirement from playing for Swansea to management and had, at the end of the previous season, been tipped for the England job.
* ''Tottenham Hotspur''
-->'''Current Manager:''' Mauricio Pochettino
-->'''Current Captain:''' Hugo Lloris
-->'''2014/15 Position:''' 5th\\
A north London club and Arsenal's main rival. The Spurs were relatively unremarkable for the Premier League's first decade, usually finishing in a mid-to-low position, but became regular challengers for the Champions League first under Martin Jol, and then under Harry Redknapp, though to date have only actually made the top four twice, in 2010 and 2012 (and failed to qualify for the Champions League in the latter after sixth-place Chelsea won it). The 2013/14 season saw Spurs selling Gareth Bale to Real Madrid for a world record £85.3 million and sacking Andre Villas-Boas after a rocky start. In addition to loathing Arsenal, Spurs also have fierce derbies against West Ham United and Chelsea. They usually play exciting and attractive football, played by a young and talented team (they have the youngest squad in the division, albeit only by a fraction, with Liverpool close behind).
* ''Watford''
-->'''Current Manager:''' Quique Sanchez Flores
-->'''Current Captain:''' Troy Deeney
-->'''2014/15 Position:''' 2nd in Championship\\
enjoyed success under Graham Taylor in the [=80s=], and he took them back to the top-flight in 1999, only for them to be immediately relegated. They were promoted again under Adrian Boothroyd in 2006... and got immediately relegated again. Have since done reasonably well in the Championship, though repeatedly fell short of promotion, before finally winning promotion in the 2014/15 campaign. Following the surprise sacking of their previous manager, Sanchez Flores joined the club and faced the prospect of bedding in half a dozen new signings, almost all of whom spoke different languages. Despite this and consequently being tipped for relegation, he's turned the club into a force to be reckoned with (e.g. thumping Liverpool 3-0), one that would be the story of the season were it not for one of the other teams tipped for relegation, Leicester, who now look more likely to win the title.
* ''West Bromwich Albion''
-->'''Current Manager:''' Tony Pulis
-->'''Current Captain:''' Darren Fletcher
-->'''2014/15 Position:''' 13th\\
West Midlands-based club, who spent much of the [=2000s=] bouncing between the Premier League and Championship, before establishing themselves as a decent mid-table side under Roy Hodgson before he left to take over England. Best known for their "Great Escape" during the 2004/05 season, where they became the first team to escape relegation having been bottom at Christmas (in fact, they were ''still'' bottom going into their final match). They were relegated the following season, however. Under Tony Pulis, they have re-established their mid-table status, proving a hard team to break down and a consistent threat to top teams via set-pieces.
* ''West Ham United''
-->'''Current Manager:''' Slaven Bilić
-->'''Current Captain:''' Mark Noble
-->'''2014/15 Position:''' 12th\\
Despite what the name might suggest, they're based in ''east'' London (and are slated to take over the Olympic Stadium in the 2016/17 season). "The Hammers" are notable for their devoted, working class fan base and for having contributed several key players to England's only World Cup winning side in 1966. The team has featured in most Premier League campaigns and generally finishes mid-table, but have twice suffered relegation on the back of ill-advised managerial appointments (going down under Glenn Roeder in 2003, and Avram Grant in 2011). Started 2015/16 brightly, if somewhat schizophrenically, beating the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool handily away from home, but losing at home to lesser teams. After weathering an injury crisis, West Ham Saw their good form return over the Christmas period. They don't like Spurs and they '''[[SeriousBusiness really]]''' [[ArchEnemy loathe Millwall.]]

[[folder:Relegated Teams (Will play in Championship next season):]]
Teams that have been guaranteed relegation to the Championship by finishing 18th or worse in the Premier League.

->'''None yet.'''

[[folder:Promoted Teams (Will play in Premier League next season)]]
Two teams that have been guaranteed promotion to the Premier League by finishing in 2nd or better in the Championship, and one team emerged as the winner of a four-team playoff set of the teams finishing 3rd-6th.

->'''None yet.'''

[[folder:Former Members of the League]]

* ''Barnsley'' (1997-98) -- Spent 102 years trying to make it into the top flight of English football, and then were relegated after only one season, having spent virtually the entire season in the bottom three. Did manage a strong FA Cup run in the same season though, reaching the fifth round and knocking Manchester United out along the way.
* ''Birmingham City'' (2002-2006; 2007-2008; 2009-2011) -- the other major club from Birmingham. Had quite a few seasons in the Premier League during the [=2000s=], but could never quite establish themselves despite a League Cup win months before their relegation in 2011.
* ''Blackburn Rovers'': (1992-1999; 2001-2012) -- won the Premier League once back in 1994/95 under Kenny Dalglish. The only former champions to have been relegated, twice no less; the second relegation came after they were taken over by Indian poultry giant Venky's, who sacked then-manager Sam Allardyce and replaced him with the highly unpopular Steve Kean, leading to relegation the following year, and the club getting through ''four'' managers in the following season in the Championship.
* ''Blackpool'' (2010-2011) -- mostly remembered for the success they had when Stanley Matthews played for them back in the [=50s=], but they suffered some very troubled times from the late [=70s=] onward, before getting back into the top-flight after a series of promotions in the mid-late [=2000s=]. They went down straight away, albeit with a relatively high points total for a relegated side, partly due to a series of good away wins in the first two thirds of the season, before a spectacular implosion in spring. They will compete in League 1 for the 2015/16 campaign after a torrid season in the Championship, finishing bottom.
* ''Bolton Wanderers'' (1995-1996; 1997-1998; 2001-2012) -- A Greater Manchester based club; their first Premier League season was awful, and their second saw them relegated on goal difference, but they established themselves as a pretty good side under Sam Allardyce in the [=2000s=], reaching highs of 6th place and establishing themselves in the UEFA Cup (now the Europa League). Their fortunes gradually deteriorated after he left however, and they were eventually relegated in 2012.
* ''Bradford City'' (1999-2001) -- West Yorkshire club who famously survived on the last day of the 1999/2000 season by beating Liverpool. Unfortunately, in a portent of what would later happen to neighbours Leeds United, they then massively overspent on players and underwent financial meltdown, ending up in the Football League's lowest tier by 2007 (though they won promotion out of that division in 2013).
* ''Burnley'' (2009-2010, 2014-2015)-- The smallest club to have been promoted to the Premier League until Bournemouth's promotion in the 2014/2015 season. The club is based in a town in eastern Lancashire so small its population would only fill three of Old Trafford's stands. Despite starting their freshman season (2009/10) well, things went horribly wrong after promotion-winning manager Owen Coyle left and they ended up getting relegated shortly after. They got another chance in the Premier League during the 2014/2015 season, in which they had a number of notable feats, including getting a goalless draw against Manchester City, who up to that point had scored in every match. They fought hard to stay in the league, but it was not to be.
* ''Cardiff City'' (2013-14)-- The second Welsh club to have played in the Premier League. Their constant failures to get promoted to the top-flight were the source of a running joke for many years, until things finally went right in 2013 when they won the Football League Championship and earned promotion. Their owner, Vincent Tan, is a controversial figure for his constant ExecutiveMeddling [[note]]For instance, Tan changed the kit's color from its traditional blue to red, only to change it back in 2015 because of fan protests.[[/note]], [[https://twitter.com/htafc_Elam/status/417014081925947392/photo/1 his jeers toward his own players]] and his lack of knowledge for the game [[note]] [[http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1905776-cardiff-city-vincent-tans-5-most-outrageous-moments/page/3 Case in point]]: he once criticized his team's goalkeeper for ''not scoring enough goals''[[/note]]. However, his decision to sack Malky Mackay has helped vindicate his reputation after details about the former manager's... [[http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/cardiff-city/11047646/Malky-Mackay-texts-scandal-the-damning-evidence-discovered-by-Cardiff-chairman-Vincent-Tan.html unsavory text messages came to public light]]. Despite signing players such as England international Steven Caulker, their only season in the Premier League was a far cry from the success of their [[TheRival rival]] Swansea City and the Bluebirds got relegated after losing ignominiously to Newcastle on May 3, 2014.
* ''Charlton Athletic'' (1998-1999; 2000-2007) -- Another London-based club, who narrowly failed to survive in their first season, before establishing themselves as a decent mid-table side for a few years. However, things quickly went downhill after manager Alan Curbishley left, and they were relegated the following year, then again in 2009. Are currently in the Championship after winning promotion in 2012.
* ''Coventry City'' (1992-2001) -- Midlands-based club, with rivalries with Leicester City and the two Birmingham-based clubs. Like Southampton they were long time members of the top-flight, but constantly struggled and finally went down in 2001. Contrary to what ''MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' would have you believe, they ''have'' won the FA Cup (in 1987, well after the referenced sketch aired). Their failures to win promotion combined with the cost of building a new ground caused their finances to deteriorate as the decade progressed, leading to them being relegated again in 2012. To add insult to injury they were kicked out of their ground the following year, playing their 201314 "home" games 40 miles away in Northampton. They're now back in their Coventry ground.
* ''Derby County'' (1996-2002; 2007-2008) -- mostly remembered as the first team that Brian Clough made into title-winners. They were a generally decent side for a few years under Jim Smith, until they were relegated in 2002. Returned for one season after that, which can only be described as [[EpicFail a failure of the most epic kind]].
* ''Fulham'' (2001-2014) -- Probably most famously had a great escape from relegation in 2007/08 under Roy Hodgson, then the following season got into Europe, before becoming runners-up in the 2009/10 Europa League - beating many of the game's most famous names to do so. The team lost their status as a Premier League club as a poor 2013/14 campaign saw both ex-Spurs boss Martin Jol and Rene Meulensteen getting the sack. Formerly owned by Mohammed Al Fayed, they were purchased in 2013 by Pakistani-born US billionaire Shahid Khan, owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
* ''Hull City'' (2008-2010, 2013-2015) -- First entered the Premier League (and indeed the top-flight) in 2008; the debut season of the Kingston upon Hull-based team is mostly remembered for them doing well until then-manager Phil Brown decided to berate his entire team ''on the pitch'' during half-time of one match, after which they didn't win a single home game for the rest of the season, and only won once away, at Fulham, and barely avoided relegation, before going down the following year having not won a single game on their travels. Returned to the top-flight in 2013 under Steve Bruce's management, came runner-up to Arsenal in the 2014 FA Cup after being up 2-0 within 20 minutes, and then went out of the Premier League on the final day the following season.
* ''Ipswich Town'' (1992-1995; 2000-2002) -- Norwich's main rivals, and a successful club under Bobby Robson in the seventies, but their first few years in the Premier League were unimpressive, and they were relegated after a really terrible season in 1994/95. They came back in 2000, and finished fifth that year, only to end up back in the second tier (where they remain to this day) the following year.
* ''Leeds United'' (1992-2004) -- frequently won trophies in the [=60s, 70s and 90s=], reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League, but crashed and burned spectacularly after overspending in the early [=2000s=], being relegated in 2004, and then again to League One in 2007, and only avoided being tossed out of the Football League and bankrupted due to LoopholeAbuse (which cause the FA to bring in the more stringent financial rules that are in operation today). Got back to the Championship in 2010, but have never seriously looked like getting back into the Premier League since then, and in fact have only even once finished in the top half of the Championship, when they made the play-off final in 2006. Their main rivals used to be Liverpool and Manchester United, the two other traditional footballing superpowers of the North, and some fans still believe this is so, to the derision of Liverpool and United fans alike (it being one of the very few things the two groups agree on). Nowadays, their rivals are the two Sheffield clubs. Nowadays, fans quietly acknowledge that the old days of Champions League football and challenging for the title are long gone. Replaced an earlier club called Leeds City... who were tossed out of the Football League and bankrupted just after UsefulNotes/WorldWarI due to massive corruption, which included bribing league officials and paying their players illegal bonuses.
* ''Middlesbrough'' (1992-93; 1995-1997; 1998-2009) -- one of the "North-East Three" along with Newcastle and Sunderland. Were controversially relegated for failing to fulfil a fixture in 1997, but came back the following year and lasted over a decade, generally finishing mid-table before eventually going down in 2009.
* ''Nottingham Forest'' (1992-1993; 1994-1997; 1998-1999) -- enjoyed huge success under Brian Clough in the [=70s and 80s=], but the start of the Premier League brought relegation, and his retirement. Came back twice after that but, aside from a 3rd place finish in 1995, enjoyed little success, and ended up going down to League One in 2005 (they came back three years later).
* ''Oldham Athletic'' (1992-1994) -- smallish club based in Greater Manchester who nonetheless spent a few years in the top-flight back in the early [=90s=]. They were relegated in 1994 and since 1997 have been in the third tier - the longest period any non top-flight club have been in their division without being promoted or relegated.
* ''Portsmouth'' (2003-2010) -- south coast club, whose fortunes seem to be the opposite of bitter rivals Southampton at any given time. After getting into the Premier League, their fortunes improved year on year... until their playboy millionaire[[note]](and arms dealer)[[/note]] owner pulled the plug on them in 2009, sending them into a financial meltdown that made Bradford and Leeds's declines look ''tame''. They were relegated the following year, relegated to League One in 2012 (thanks to a points deduction) and relegated to League Two the year after that, only avoiding bankruptcy when the supporters' trust purchased the club.
* ''Queens Park Rangers'' (1992-1996, 2011-2013, 2014-2015) -- Yet another central London club, who were regular fixtures in the top-flight until relegation in 1996. After 15 years of varying fortunes they returned to the Premier League in 2011 with rich new owners, and barely survived the 2011/12 season before things went epically wrong the following season and they were relegated. They returned for 2014/15 after beating Derby County in the play-offs, but crashed out of the league after a brutal thrashing from Manchester City. Formerly managed by footballing stalwart Harry Redknapp, the club is facing an uncertain future as they have [[http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/queens-park-rangers/11587937/QPR-may-regret-failing-to-exploit-FFP-loophole.html enough financial debt to potentially prevent them from playing in the Football League]].
* ''Reading'' (2006-2008; 2012-2013) -- Berkshire-based club who were promoted to the top-flight for the first time ever in 2006. Despite a strong debut season, things went wrong the next year and they were relegated. They proved even worse the next time they were promoted, and went straight back down.
* ''Sheffield Wednesday'' (1992-2000) -- one of the two Sheffield clubs, who contest the Steel City derby (at least, when they're in the same division). Had varying fortunes for the first few Premier League seasons before getting relegated after a pretty terrible season in at the turn of the century. Have since been bouncing around between the second and third tiers, though are currently in the Championship and a division above neighbours United for the first time in quite a while.
* ''Sheffield United'' (1992-1994; 2006-2007) -- the other Sheffield club. Suffered last-day relegation from the Premier League on two separate occasions, the second in very controversial circumstances due to West Ham striker Carlos Tevez[[note]](who was at that club under an agreement that saw them merely pay his agent for the right to have him play for them without ever actually signing him, which was illegal at the time)[[/note]] scoring the goal which kept West Ham up at United's expense. Generally enjoyed better fortunes than Wednesday for most of the [=2000s=], though are currently in League One.
* ''Swindon Town'' (1993-1994) -- their only top-flight season to date did not go at ''all'' well, as they were relegated in bottom place after conceding precisely one hundred goals. To add insult to injury, they were then relegated the following year (though like Crystal Palace, this was only due to league reconstruction), and have since spent most of their time bouncing around between the bottom two divisions.
* ''Wigan Athletic'' (2005-2013) -- Lancashire club who spent the better part of a decade surviving against the odds, always managing to pull off last-day escapes. Unfortunately the 2012/13 season proved a step too far, and they were relegated despite winning the FA Cup. They almost reached the FA Cup final again the next year (beating Manchester City in the quarter-finals, no less), but eventual winners Arsenal put them out on penalties in the semi-finals.
* ''Wimbledon'' (1992-2000) -- South London club who were nicknamed "the Crazy Gang," and the only former Premier League club which is no longer in existence. The club itself became Milton Keynes Dons in 2004, while a SpiritualSuccessor club, AFC Wimbledon, was formed in 2002.
* ''Wolverhampton Wanderers'' (2003-2004; 2009-2012) -- hugely successful in the [=1950s=], and relatively common fixtures in the top-flight until the mid [=1980s=]. After their first Premier League campaign ended in immediate relegation they survived for a few years in the [=2000s/2010s=], only to be relegated in 2012, and then relegated ''again'' the following year, although were promoted back to the Championship in 2013/14.

'''NOTE:''' Passions tend to run high among fans of the teams currently and formerly in this league. As a result, unlike most other UsefulNotes pages, standard [[YMMV.HomePage YMMV]] trope rules are fully enforced on this page -- meaning, we don't want to see any!

!!The League provides examples of:
* OneHundredPercentAdorationRating: Liverpool's appointment of manager Jürgen Klopp to succeed Brendan Rodgers was met with near universal approval by both fans and opponents, with legendary Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson admitting that Klopp's appointment worried him for (from Liverpool's point of view) all the right reasons. As of the time of writing, this faith seems to have been justified, with an admittedly injury heavy Liverpool side regaining their team spirit and some of their attacking verve at the time of writing. While this hasn't been matched with many goals as yet, this is largely because the three first choice strikers are all injured - in the case of Danny Ings, for the rest of the season. In the case of Daniel Sturridge, perpetually.
* ZeroPercentApprovalRating: The Premier League has seen more than its fair share of owners and media that get this reception:
** Vincent Tan, as explained quite frequently in this page. It's hard not to feel sympathy for Cardiff fans.
** Tom Hicks and George Gillett, during their ownership of Liverpool, swiftly became two of the most hated men in the city.
** ''The Sun'' newspaper is also universally despised in Liverpool after its coverage of the Hillsborough disaster. To this day, despite several grovelling apologies of somewhat dubious sincerity, they struggle to sell a paper north of the Mersey.
** Mike Ashley is perhaps the most hated owner in the Premier League and, along with Tan and Karl Oyston of Blackpool, as one of the most hated owners in all of England. In fact, an organization of Newcastle fans has even [[http://ashleyout.com/ launched a website aiming to remove Ashley as Newcastle's owner!]]
* AesopAmnesia: The primary reason why QPR got relegated in the 2014/2015 season. They went down in 2012/2013 due to a squad filled with overpaid players who were either too old or [[TheyJustDidntCare too apathetic]]. The club squeezed back into the top flight a year later... only to sign players such as Rio Ferdinand (a defender who is ''36 years old'') and Mauricio Isla (a loanee who is hated by QPR fans for his poor work ethic).
* AlwaysSomeoneBetter: Almost every side has a "bogey team" that they just can't beat. The most spectacular example? Portsmouth have not beaten Chelsea in any competition ''since 1960''.
** Chelsea have never beaten Newcastle at St James' Park in a League Game when José Mourinho, a candidate for best manager in football, was manager of the Blues. This was very pivotal in the 2014/15 campaign, as Newcastle defeated Chelsea 2-1 in St. James' Park to end what many Chelsea fans had hoped would be an unbeaten season.
** Crystal Palace have become this to Liverpool in recent years, ever since they pulled back three goals in ten minutes to force a draw with a Liverpool side then considered favourites for the title. As a result, Liverpool lost their nerve and their title challenge failed. Ever since, Palace have either drawn with them or beaten them, sometimes by fairly humiliating score lines, with Liverpool suffering from a kind of psychological trauma.
* {{Badass}}: Each club has had at least one player who was considered a 'hard man', a physical player who had no shame in yelling at others or getting physical or getting plenty of red cards. This practice has been in decline with the controversy surrounding tough tackling lately but examples include:
** Wimbledon's Vinnie Jones is the best known example, who even released a video called ''Soccer's Hard Men'' which got him fined and banned by the FA for a while, and now plays tough characters in films. He also was booked after 3 seconds in one game and earned 12 red cards in his career. Perhaps best known for a photo of him, [[http://www.vinniejones.co.uk/images/football/vj_pg_big.jpg er, taking the measure]] of poor Paul Gascoigne.
** Manchester United had Roy Keane.
** Arsenal had Martin Keown.
** Chelsea had Dennis Wise.
** Everton had Duncan Ferguson.
** Liverpool had Jamie Carragher.
* BadassBeard: Some players, but [[http://img.bleacherreport.net/img/slides/photos/003/844/481/hi-res-ad6019c3d36e86ac677e39769c2a76d8_crop_north.jpg?w=630&h=420&q=75 Mile Jedinak especially]].
* BerserkButton: The Hillsborough disaster, and mockery thereof, for Liverpool fans (in fact, it's one of the few things that can [[EnemyMine unite Liverpool and Everton fans]]). Just ask Kelvin [=MacKenzie=]...
** Heysel is also something Liverpool fans don't like hearing or talking about about, only in this case it's because it was the opposition fans being killed, during hooliganism's heyday in the '80's. This resulted in English teams being banned from European competition, which is also something of a Berserk Button to Everton fans, as they would have been England's representative at the European Cup the following season.
** In a similar vein, the Munich Air Disaster is this to Manchester United fans; in ''every'' match with Liverpool, fans are reminded ''not'' to bring either Munich or Hillsborough up. Either side listening to this request is rare, as bringing up one will invariably bring up the other in retaliation, and things snowball from there.
** In fact, making fun of any of these, regardless of who you support, is a very bad idea in general...
* BigGame: Matches between rivals, title contenders or a match that could either seal relegation or the title.
* BigDamnHeroes: Every team has its tales of last minute heroics against the odds. However it's no coincidence that the most successful teams have players who seem to ''always'' score a goal JustInTime to salvage a result.
** Steven Gerrard made his career on this trope, having scored the goal against Olympiakos that kept them in the Champions League in 2005 and later in the season kickstarted their famous comeback against AC Milan in the Champions League Final and then scored the goal that took the FA Cup Final against West Ham to Extra Time (they eventually won on penalties) in 2006. These are just three of the most notable instances - he did it all the time.
* BookEnds: The first Premier League in the 1992-93 season was won by Manchester United and was their first under Sir Alex Ferguson, with Bryan Robson and Steve Bruce collecting the trophy together - Robson being club captain but missing a large portion of the season due to injury or younger players forcing him out of the team, and Bruce captaining the side in the games Robson didn't play. The 2012-13 season was again won by United, with Robson and Bruce bringing the trophy out for the current United side to collect in Ferguson's final championship win before his retirement at the end of the season.
* BoringButPractical: Overly defensive football ("bus-parking"). No one enjoys watching it except the team that wins (and even then, [[BaseBreaker it divides many of the fans of said team]]). Chelsea manager José Mourinho often gets the most criticism for this, as his usual game plan is to sit back and wait for an opportunity to counter-attack, but his team won the 2014/15 league by a wide margin with that strategy. It failed the following season, largely thanks to players under-performing. Needless to say, gloating ensued from just about every other team in the league.
* BreakTheHaughty: Pretty much everything that happened to José Mourinho in the first few months of the 2015-2016 season, culminating in him being sacked in December 2015 and his own players turning against him after his treatment of the popular [[HospitalHottie (and attractive)]] team doctor Eva Carneiro.
* BribeBackfire: Arsenal's George Graham, credited with returning them to glory in the late 80s, was discovered to have taken bribes to sign players; the fact those players didn't do well at all just makes it worse. He was fined and banned from the game for a year.
** Legendary Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar was found to have been involved with match-fixing scandals, that was rather messy too. Ironically he was actually declared to be innocent of the allegations in question, although the judge noted that this was due to the lack of any decisive proof that he was guilty. However, Grobbelaar then tried to sue several major tabloids for their reporting on the case -- not only did he fail miserably in this, the tabloids in question proceeded to drag his name through the mud by digging up every little bit of dirt on him that they could, and utterly destroyed what little reputation he had left.
* ButtMonkey:
** Crystal Palace. They've has five separate spells in the Premier League, and were instantly relegated in each of the first four. As of the 2013/14 season, they've managed to avoid relegation for the first time and this has died off. And now that they've gained a reputation of being a midtable team that has a tendency to challenge and sometimes beat the Top 6 in games (usually Liverpool, who seem to be somewhat traumatised following one particularly dramatic reversal that effectively destroyed their title challenge), this status shows no signs of resurgence.
** Wigan Athletic may be considered one. In most seasons they were usually one of the league leaders in terms of goals conceded. And that's not even mentioning how they always seem to suffer some of the most one-sided and embarrassing losses; their 9-1 defeat against Tottenham ties the record for the most goals conceded in a Premier League match. Also notable is an 8-0 defeat against Chelsea.
** As far as managers are concerned, Avram Grant. In his three seasons in Premier League management, he took Chelsea to within a game of winning three honours and lost them all, then finished in bottom place with Portsmouth, then finished in bottom place ''again'' with West Ham. In fact, since the Champions League final with Chelsea, Grant had managed to spend a grand total of ''one week'' outside the bottom three. On top of all that, he was involved in a brothel-related scandal during his time at Portsmouth, and when he moved to West Ham the club's chief executive, [[Series/TheApprentice Karren Brady]] constantly attacked him in press, saying that she never wanted him at the club largely due to the scandal in question.
*** David Moyes and Louis van Gaal in their tenures at Manchester United as well. It's a daunting task, succeeding Sir Alex. Moyes held up somewhat well at first, but then the losses to teams they should have beaten came, and Moyes was sacked about 2/3 of the way through the 2013/14 season. Van Gaal was hired in the summer of 2014, and he brought Manchester United back into the mix, but he lost out of both the Capital One Cup and FA Cup due to playing stars out of position, as well as making the traditionally exciting Utd into what is widely agreed to be the most boring team in the division, to the derision of their (and everyone else's) fans, and they have yet to achieve the real contender status they had under SAF.
** Swindon Town - the one year they lasted in the Premiership is only notable because they conceded a whopping 100 goals. [[CaptainObvious No points for guessing where they ended up.]] For an encore, the year after that they became the first club to be relegated from the Premiership and then Division One/the Championship in successive years, and in 2006 they became the first former Premier League club to be relegated to the Football League's bottom division.
** Tottenham are a team that perennially try to finish in a Champions League spot every season, but always seem to miss out for one reason or another. Not helped by the fact that they always sell their best players to world class clubs, then use that money to purchase newer players who always underachieve, usually resulting in them getting absolutely shit-stomped by everyone in the Top 4.
*** Unless it's Arsenal. Those matches are always close, regardless of table position.
** Arsenal, after their 2003/04 Invincibles' campaign (and subsequent FA Cup in 2005), went on a nine-year trophy drought (ended with an FA Cup in 2014), and an ongoing Premier League title drought in which they finished 4th 7 times of 10 (3rd the other three), always seemed to get knocked out of the Champions League in the Round of 16, and never spent significant money on any players (though in fairness, they were paying off their new stadium at the time). Shows signs of going away, after Arsenal purchased Mesut Ozil, Petr Cech, and Alexis Sanchez, and those purchases translated into two FA Cups, two Community Shields, and finally challenging for the title in 2015/16.
** Liverpool were this from 2009-10 when they dropped out of the Champions League places, then out of the European places entirely. The 2013-2014 season, however, comprised a massive HesBack moment, and they very nearly won the title. They regained this status somewhat in the 2014/2015 season, having lost their OneManArmy striker Luis Suárez to Barcelona, his near equally prolific strike partner Daniel Sturridge to injury and their replacements failed to succeed - [[EpicFail Liverpool's strikers scored fewer goals between them than Everton's defence.]] This meant that they lost a total of approximately sixty goals that they'd had the previous season. Despite this, they still managed to string together a brilliant run in the middle of the season, challenging for the Champions League, but ultimately failing to qualify, facing a humiliating 6-1 thrashing from ''Stoke'' on the final day of the season. 2015/16 has been a mixed bag, with Brendan Rodgers surviving until October, before being replaced by charismatic German Jurgen Klopp, who set something of a revival going, leading to successive thrashings of Chelsea (3-1), Manchester City (4-1) and Southampton (6-1), before hitting something of a downturn in form.
** Following Alex Ferguson's departure, Manchester United have become this in epic fashion, finishing in seventh place, to mass gloating from the blue half of Manchester and the red half of Merseyside. United fans took to invoking WeWinBecauseYouDidnt over Liverpool's own failure to win the league that year. But it didn't end there. With Hull City finishing runner-up to Arsenal in the FA Cup final that year, Man U were ineligible for any European competition the following season. They then proceeded to lose out of the Capital One Cup and the FA Cup, and are currently assured 4th, though they will probably not come higher than that.
** Newcastle United post-Pardew. The fans had been crying for Pardew to be sacked after Pardew brought them to the Europa League for the first time in history, but failed to repeat the feat. At the end of 2014, Pardew left Newcastle for his old club Crystal Palace, who had barely escaped relegation the year prior and handily escaped it shortly after Pardew took on. Immediately after Pardew left, Newcastle lost every game until the final day of the season. People were poking at the fans, saying [[GoneHorriblyRight they had gotten what they wanted]] and openly hoping they would be relegated for their trouble, but Newcastle survived by winning the crucial final match.
** Derby County: In the 2007/08 season, they only won one match, gained eleven points, and became the first team in the Premier League's history to be relegated in March. They also went on a 32-match run without winning a game.
* CheatersNeverProsper: Inverted, every year there will always be one player diving in the penalty area or a referee making a stupid IdiotBall decision. Cue the calls for video refereeing yet nothing is ever really done to change anything.
** However, it is difficult for cheaters to not prosper in the Premier League since all teams have cheated to some extent at some point.
** And in recent years, the Premier League now reviews red cards if they are appealed against, using video evidence, and enforces bans on players who should have been red carded during a match.
* CriticalResearchFailure: Crosses over with WhatAnIdiot and EpicFail for Graeme Souness back when he managed Southampton in 1996. He received a call supposedly from George Weah, who convinced him to sign someone called Ali Dia, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyI-OfT7zYM this became one of the most infamous transfers in history.]]
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: The league's formative years saw vast amounts of rather shady money change rather shady hands. We'd rather not name names here, but Tom Bower's book ''Broken Dreams: Vanity, Greed, and the Souring of British Football'' has most of the details.
* CurbStompBattle: Rare, but they happen, like Manchester United vs Ipswich (9-0) and Tottenham vs Wigan (9-1). In fact, Chelsea are starting to become accomplished curbstompers, with four of games either side of the [[TheWorldCup 2010 summer break]] ending like this, against Stoke (7-0), Wigan (8-0), West Brom the following season (6-0), and Wigan again (6-0 again).
** On August 28, 2011, the teams of Manchester achieved back to back curbstomps against Northern London sides, with Manchester City crushing Tottenham 5-1 and Manchester United embarassing Arsenal in an 8-2 shitstomping.
** And when the two Manchester teams met on October 23rd, City hammered United 6-1.
** On December 23, 2012, Chelsea hammered Aston Villa 8-0...which set a new record as Aston Villa's heaviest ever loss.
** Manchester City, throughout the 2013/14 season. They beat Norwich 7-0, Tottenham 6-0, Fulham 5-0, Tottenham 5-1 again, Newcastle 4-0, Manchester United 4-1, and West Ham United 6-0 (Capital One Cup), with several matches left to play.
** 8 February 2014, Arsenal at Liverpool. Liverpool scored four times in the first 20 minutes, then later in the second half. Arsenal finally got a penalty at the 70th minute, but by then it was too little, too late. Final score, 5-1. Perhaps the date being 08/02 might have been the first clue that something bad was about to happen.
** Liverpool made this a habit in the 2013/2014 season, flattening Arsenal 5-1, [[ButtMonkey Tottenham]] twice (4-0 at Anfield, 5-0 at White Hart Lane), Everton 4-0, Norwich 5-1 (though this one might as well have been [[OneManArmy Luis Suarez]] 4, Norwich 1) and Manchester United 3-0.
** Poor Arsenal, yet again. 22 March 2014, against Chelsea, in Arsene Wenger's 1000th game, thrashed 6-0. They went down to 10 men in the 18th minute (when it was already 2-0) after Kieran Gibbs was wrongly sent off in place of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after a blatant handball in the penalty area.
** Liverpool were on the receiving end of this in the final game of the 2014/15 season (and the final game of [[TheCaptain Steven Gerrard's]] Liverpool career) from ''Stoke'' of all people, being hammered 6-1, their worst defeat since ''1963''.
* DeadpanSnarker: By getting Blackpool promoted into the Premier League, Ian Holloway can be added here.
** Chelsea manager José Mourinho surely counts here as well.
** As does Sir Alex Ferguson, to an extent. Not as much as the other two.
* {{Determinator}}: Whether you like him or not, you cannot deny that John Terry does not give up under any circumstances. Case in point, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdjA5kreGSc a moment from the World Cup]].
** Manchester United's Roy Keane.
** Liverpool's Steven Gerrard, a man renowned for not giving up even when it is patently obvious that he can barely walk.
*** Ditto Liverpool's centre-back of the same era, Jamie Carragher.
* DiabolusExMachina: On the last day of the 05/06 season. Arsenal needed a win in their last game at Highbury to ensure Champions League qualification for the next season at the expense of fierce local rivals Tottenham, who were one point ahead and needed to win as well. On the morning of the game Tottenham come down big with a mass bout of food poisoning. Attempts to get the game postponed were unsuccessful, leading some to sourly speculate that the friendship between the Premier League chief and Arsenal chairman David Dein may have had something to do with it. In the event, Arsenal cruised to a 4-2 victory; Tottenham lost and failed to qualify. The latter's fans have never forgotten this. [[http://cdn.bleacherreport.net/images_root/article/media_slots/photos/001/101/199/wenger-2_original.jpg?1380805691 Cue tons of jokes about Wenger being Tottenham's chef the night before.]]
** The conclusion of the 2011/12 unfolded in similar fashion: with Arsenal in third place, only 1 point above 4th placed Tottenham and 5th placed Newcastle, Arsenal required a win to guarantee Champions league football. The team in fourth place would ordinarily have qualified for the CL also, but this time needed to wait upon the result of the Champions League final between 6th placed Chelsea and Bayern Munich - if Chelsea won the final, they would automatically qualify for next season's competition at the expense of the 4th placed league team. The final result: Arsenal came up against a West Brom team whose regular keeper had been replaced at the last minute by the back-up Marton Fulop, who failed at Spurs in the past and was loaned out many times. Fulop had an absolute nightmare, handing Arsenal three easy goals and the win. Arsenal secured third place and guaranteed Champions League football. Chelsea won the Champions League a week later, barring Tottenham from the competition altogether.
* DracoInLeatherPants: Chelsea manager Mourinho surely counts. The man has courted controversy his whole career, including poking the opposition's assistant coach in the eye. This is rationalized as him being a character and being both a DeadpanSnarker and handsome means he has a lot of females on his side. Noticeably different compared to his time in Italy and Spain where his antics are harshly criticized by the press.
** Even among other teams' supporters, he garners a lot of criticism, but the general attitude is a lot more toned down than it is in Spain and Italy. In Portugal, however, he's hailed as a hero, considering he took a Porto side and won the [[UsefulNotes/UEFAChampionsLeague Champions League]] with them.
* DidntSeeThatComing: Christmas 2015 featured a number of surprises around English football, such as Chelsea's worst start to a title defense in Division One history (15th), Manchester United out of the Champions League and into the Europa League, and of all teams, ''Leicester City'' top of the table on the back of Jamie Vardy's goal-per-game streak and Riyad Mahrez's brilliant play, bearing in mind they only narrowly escaped relegation the year before.
* DrillSergeantNasty: Sir Alex Ferguson, whose habit of shouting at players from a range of inches has earned the nickname "the hairdryer treatment".
** The reaction to a number of players with the arrival of Paolo di Canio to Sunderland.
* DudeNotFunny: The ''entire league's'' reaction to Charles Itandje's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPAfFML8aq8 antics at a Hillsborough memorial]]. [[invoked]]
* EnsembleDarkhorse:
** Definitely Steffen Freund during his time playing for Spurs. While his stats were nothing to write home about, Freund's dedication to the club and work ethic won over fans. To this day, you'll hear Spurs fans chanting "I love Steffen Freund, Steffen Freund loves me..."
** Ole Gunnar Solksjær is still beloved by Manchester United fans, years after his retirement mostly because of his heroics in the 1999 Champions League final.
** To some extent, Manchester City's Stevan Jovetic.
** Jack Wilshere for Arsenal. Many English fans especially love to keep an eye on him, as he is developing into a centerpiece for the English national team. However, he sees somewhat sporadic starting playing time, usually coming on as a sub. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wz-EaTwqNII But]] [[https://gfycat.com/DelectableWelllitBronco when]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSjoeMXOrrU he]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RoLnks4umc scores...]] (last clip, start at 0:36)
* EpicFail:
** Massimo Taibi's entire Manchester United career; he played in three Premier League matches. The first was a victory over Liverpool where he was named the man of the match. However, his second featured an incident where he allowed a shot by Matt Le Tissier to squeeze through his legs, allowing Southampton to snatch a 1-1 draw. The third and final match was a 5-0 defeat by Chelsea, which still stands as United's worst-ever Premier League result -- and bear in mind that this was during the 1999-2000 season, in which they won the Premier League by what remains the biggest margin in English football history. Taibi never played again for United after the Chelsea match.
** Derby County's 2007/08 season, in which they earned a grand total of one win and 11 points from 38 games. Sunderland had two seasons that were almost as bad, getting just 19 points in the 2002/03 season and then somehow doing even worse in the 2005/06 season and getting 15 points. (Portsmouth also finished on 19 points in the 2009/10 season, but their record looked worse than it actually was due to a points deduction for their financial problems)
** Paolo Di Canio's tenure in charge of Sunderland looks like it became this, sacked after less than 6 months in charge. The day he was appointed the vice chairman (former Labour MP David Miliband) resigned due to Di Canio's alleged fascist sympathies. A famous win over local rivals Newcastle seemed to help, but Sunderland then failed to win their remaining games and narrowly avoided relegation. Rumours of numerous fallings-out with high profile players resulted in several being sold. Despite many replacements being brought in, the team didn't appear to gel or get along with him at all, they didn't win any of their first 5 games, he was fined for complaining about the officials after losing to Arsenal, and received abuse from fans. Players have allegedly revolted, the team are bottom with just one point. Makes you wonder why they even bought him in to begin with? ItGotBetter though, see MiracleRally.
** Newcastle's fortunes after Pardew left for Palace. Loss after loss after loss, right up to the final day. They only managed to escape relegation by defeating West Ham on their own ground in the final game, though they needn't have worried, as Hull City failed to capitalize against Manchester United and went down in their place.
* EveryYearTheyFizzleOut: The clubs that try to break into the top four each year, namely Manchester City and Tottenham, as well as Aston Villa. Liverpool could also be counted since every year could be the year they finally return to the pinnacle of League Football since 1990 but sadly never succeed.
** Averted in the 2009/10 season as in a close fought battle for 4th place between Tottenham, Manchester City, Aston Villa and Liverpool it was Tottenham who finished 4th. Liverpool slumped down to 7th thanks to poor form.
** Every single year the Liverpool fans seem to mark it as being "their year." They are, to this date, always wrong.
*** Though in 2002, 2009 and 2014, they came within a hairsbreadth of the title.
** While "every year" would be an exaggeration, Everton fans have done the same; 2013 has so far been a particularly painful example, after a fantastic season they suffered several [[CurbStompBattle epic curbstompings]] from lesser renowned teams.
** Arsenal have been stuck in this since the 05/06 season, they usually start brightly or make a challenge for the title only for something to happen such as Eduardo's broken leg or the 2011 League Cup defeat which takes the wind out of their sails and causes them to collapse. This is not helped by Wenger himself, who has constantly touted the squad as having [[BlatantLies great mental strength]], [[BerserkButton blaming everyone but the players when things go wrong]], [[MoneyDearBoy refusing to invest in experienced players]] to assist what is arguably a talented young side and lately claiming that that finishing in 2nd place for the next 20 years is akin to winning titles. Although it is true that dozens of other clubs would love to be in their position, the constant squandering of great opportunities and an arrogant manager has caused several Arsenal fans to demand his sacking or at least admit that he needs to change.
*** Funnily enough, inverted in the 2012/13 season. After a rough start (3 wins, 2 draws, 4 losses in their first ten league games, with most of the draws and losses being to teams they should have beaten handily) and a shaky mid-to-late season, Arsenal found themselves four points behind Tottenham for the fourth Champions League spot. They played Tottenham at White Hart Lane, and lost, widening the gap to seven points. Following that match, and following a victory against Bayern Munich in the Champion's League Quarter Finals (they lost on aggregate), Arsenal came roaring back to go 7W-2D-0L in their last nine League games, beating out Tottenham and almost beating out Chelsea for third place as well.
* ExecutiveMeddling:
** As mentioned under Cardiff City. The Vincent Tan era has been nothing but this. It essentially got them relegated as well; Malky Mackay appeared to be keeping them out of relegation, until Tan decided to [[ShootTheShaggyDog sack him]]. Cardiff wound up imploding, finishing dead last. The only consolation was [[DamnedByFaintPraise conceding less goals than Fulham!]]
** Newcastle United is also a victim of this. This is largely due to its owner, Mike Ashley, running the club like his business Sports Direct, meaning only cheap (and mostly unqualified) players will come in while successful players get sold. This, along with Crystal Palace's early struggles in the 2014/2015 campaign, led to Alan Pardew walking out on the Magpies.
* ForWantOfANail: Bolton winger Chung-Yong Lee's season-ending injury in the 2011-12 preseason, along with other injuries to the squad including Stuart Holden and Fabrice Muamba, has apparently led to Bolton being relegated, Manchester City winning the 2011-12 title at the last second, and Queens Park Rangers avoiding relegation and signing Ji-Sung Park in the off-season.
* GeorgeJetsonJobSecurity: Sadly, this is the case with most Premier League clubs aside from Arsenal and Manchester United, who to date have had just three managers each since the formation of the Premier League. Chelsea in particular burned their way through ''seven'' managers in five-and-a-half years between Jose Mourinho's two spells at the club.
* GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff: All of the top Premier League clubs have worldwide fans and followings, but a particular one of note is Manchester United, who have a massive fanbase in Southeast Asia.
** Those relatively few Americans who watch the game are mostly split between Arsenal and Liverpool (though there are also sizable Chelsea, Manchester City, and Manchester United followings). Liverpool because they're American owned, and the team everyone knows who isn't Manchester United. Arsenal for... some reason no one's really sure about. (Well, actually, they're American-owned too.)
* GrumpyOldMan: The managers usually; Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsène Wenger spring to mind.
** The above two are also examples of a LongRunner. Ferguson was in charge of Manchester United from 1986 until retiring in 2013, leaving Wenger as the next longest-tenured manager with his current club, having managed Arsenal since 1996.
* HesBack:
** Any team who wins promotion back to the league after previously being relegated.
** This also applies to any players coming back after long spells of injury or suspension. The most high profile may be Eric Cantona, who was suspended from football for eight months, with his return to the Manchester United squad actually being hyped up in the press as if it was an event.
** Kenny Dalglish returned to the Liverpool manager's chair in January 2011, almost exactly twenty years after he left it. Unfortunately the following season ended up being Liverpool's worst-ever Premier League season, and his second spell was cut short in May 2012.
** Paul Scholes retired from the Manchester United team at the end of the 2010/11 season, taking a coaching job at the club. However, with United scuffling thanks to a rash of injuries in the midfield, Scholes was coaxed out of retirement to anchor the center again, and the [[FanNickname Ginger Ninja]] didn't miss a step. Although Man City took the 2012 crown, United took the title the following year, with improbable [[LongRunner long-running vets]] Scholes (in his final season) and Ryan Giggs still showing they could keep up with players nearly half their age.
** Thierry Henry also returned briefly to Arsenal to maintain match fitness ahead of the new [[UsefulNotes/MajorLeagueSoccer MLS]] season, while coming on as a substitute in all of his appearances he still scored three times, showing he had lost none of the class he had during his first spell. Sol Campbell and Jens Lehmann had also returned briefly in prior seasons to some acclaim.
-->'''Commentator''': He may be cast in bronze, but he's still capable of producing truly golden moments!
** The reaction when former long-serving members of the league Norwich and Southampton came back up after 6- and 7-year exoduses respectively.
** José Mourinho returning as Chelsea manager.
** Lukas Podolski for Arsenal and Theo Walcott went out early in the 2013/14 season to injury. Walcott was handed his first start since his injury against West Ham United on Boxing Day, and Podolski was subbed in about halfway through the second half. Arsenal were down 1-0 68 minutes in, and then Walcott put in a goal to tie it up, then another one to take the lead. Then Podolski scored to seal the comeback victory for Arsenal.
** Liverpool spent several seasons outside the Champions League places, but during the 2013-14 season, they handed out [[CurbStompBattle curbstompings]] like sweets at Halloween, brutally crushing rivals Arsenal, Manchester United, Everton and Tottenham Hotspur with stylish attacking football spearheaded by 'the SAS' (Suárez and Sturridge) in an ultimately doomed attempt to claim the title, finishing in second place.
* IncompetenceInc: Sadly common among some lower-to-mid-table clubs:
** The aforementioned financial meltdown Leeds United had in the mid-2000s, fueled by both an unfulfilled expansion of Elland Road and an average payroll increase of 175% in the 5 years before they went bust, exacerbated by their chairman Peter Ridsdale taking out loans collateralized with Champions League money. [[ShootTheShaggyDog And then...]]
** Bradford's "six weeks of madness" where they signed 3 guys to guaranteed wages of 40k/week...[[WhatAnIdiot when their gate receipts couldn't supplement the wage bill!]]
** Blackburn Rovers from November 2011 until the present, when they were purchased by Indian poultry outfit Venky's.
** Portsmouth's collapse - from being owned (and possibly used as a money-laundering outfit) by Russian oligarch Alexandre Gaydamak, to being jerked around by Middle Eastern hucksters.
** Sheffield United's board in 2006-07 solely blamed the Carlos Tevez "scandal" for sending them down, despite not spending a penny on the squad and actually strip-mining the squad.
** Southampton in the early 2000s - their chairman knew nothing about football, and in fact preferred rugby.
** Oh god, Queens Park Rangers from the 2012/2013 season onwards. Despite being owned by successful airline mogul Tony Fernandes, the club blew most of its money on players who are either on the verge of retirement or [[MoneyDearBoy are just playing for the money.]] While QPR came back immediately after being relegated, the club continued to buy old or apathetic players instead of investing in youth. After being relegated ''again'' in the 2014/2015 season, the club's ''professional status'' as well as plans to build a new stadium and training facility are in jeopardy due to losses exceeding £60 million (and a debt reaching as high as ''£177 million'').
** Liverpool is one of the more dramatic examples, simply because they're one of the twenty richest football clubs on the planet and one of the richest sports franchises on the planet. Under Hicks and Gillette, however, they were nearly plunged in bankruptcy and had to be pried away from those in charge by court order, before being sold off to the much more competent (and, it has to be said, much more popular) Fenway Sports Group, run by John W. Henry.
* LicensedGame: The popularity of football in Europe means there are several video games, most notably ''VideoGame/FootballManager'' and the FIFA games. Of course not all games have permission to use likenesses or logos, but you can still play the leagues.
** The ''VideoGame/FootballManager'' game concept is considered FunForSome in the United States subsequently; the [[UsefulNotes/AmericanFootball NFL]] equivalent "Head Coach" was treated as a laughing stock by the videogame media and was eventually reduced to a minigame within [[VideoGame/MaddenNFL Madden]].
* LongRunner:
** First started in the 1992-93 season, and in its current format of 20 teams since 1995-96. Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur have remained in the league since its inception.
** Ryan Giggs is the longest serving player in the history of the league, having made his début for Manchester United in 1990 and remained a first-team regular until his retirement in 2014. After retirement, he immediately became United's assistant coach, so he's ''still'' involved with both United and the Premier League despite no longer being an active player.
** Sir Alex Ferguson is the longest serving manager in league history, first taking charge of Manchester United in 1986 until his retirement in 2013. The longest serving active manager is Arsène Wenger, who took charge of Arsenal in 1996 and is also the second longest serving manager in the history of the league.
* MiracleRally: Teams have been known to overturn two-goal deficits to grab draws or even victories. Manchester United overturned a three-goal deficit to win 5-3 against Tottenham in 2001, and in Februrary 2011, Newcastle pulled back from ''four goals down'' with thirty minutes to go, to draw 4-4 against Arsenal. One week after the result at St James' Park, West Ham came back from 3 down against West Bromwich Albion. At the end of the season in question, West Brom came from 3 down to draw with Newcastle.
** Arsenal beating Chelsea 5-3 at Stamford Bridge counts. Losing at half time 2-1 they scored twice early on in the second half to make it 3-2. Only for Chelsea to equalize thanks to a stunning Mata goal with 10 minutes to go. Only for van Persie to pop up to score twice inside 5 minutes to result in a second miracle rally! Considering most people had written Arsenal off due to a weakened team and after that 8-2 defeat to Man Utd, it was a sign that they had managed to develop a side capable of pushing for a top spot in the table. Highlights included that Mata goal, Terry falling over and gifting van Persie his second and Walcott falling over surrounded by 4 Chelsea players, then getting up and running through them to score.
*** Chelsea lost a 3 goal lead home to Manchester United in a 3-3 draw in February 2012, aided by David De Gea's save preserving Man U's rally.
** Wolves 4-3 Leicester in 2003-04, and Leicester - with 10 men - rallying from 3-1 down to draw 4-4 at a Spurs side who lost a 3-0 lead to 10-man Manchester City in that season's FA cup. The season ended with Wolves and Leicester down and Spurs were at 14th.
** Liverpool lost a 3-0 lead at Crystal Palace in 2013-14, which all but ended their title challenge and left them with enduring psychological trauma that turned Crystal Palace into their [[AlwaysSomeoneBetter 'bogey team']].
** See WhoNeedsOvertime.
** Quite possibly the most literal and remarkable example of this trope. Sunderland in 2013/14 were bottom, 7 points from safety with 6 games to go. Gus Poyet commented that he needed a [[InvokedTrope miracle]] in order to survive. Well, there then followed a 2-2 draw with Man City, and then wins against Man Utd and Chelsea (at Stamford Bridge!). [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome End result, 13 points scored in those 6 games!]] As a result, Sunderland stayed up, becoming only the second club to survive the 'Curse of Christmas'. Fittingly, the last team that lost against them during this streak was West Bromwich Albion, the only other team to survive having been bottom at Christmas. Poyet later remarked that he had "found his miracle."
** An example that's already starting to be considered even better than the above, Leicester City began the month of April 7 points away from safety with 8 games to be played. They won 7 and drew 1 of them, roaring back to take 15th in the table and ensure survival for the next season.
* NeverMyFault: Jose Mourinho, full stop. Brought to light at the beginning of the 2015/16 campaign, the first two games of which saw Chelsea earn a single point of a possible six. After the first game, in which Chelsea drew Swansea 2-2, Mourinho criticized team physio Eva Carneiro and banned her from the bench for going out to assist Eden Hazard, whom it appeared had been injured, and thus wasting precious time to get a game-winner (in short, he criticized her for doing her job). After the second game, in which Manchester City went to town on Chelsea, he placed all the blame on John Terry (though this isn't completely baseless, since Terry'd had a nightmare game). Gotten to the point where people are starting to talk about "Jose Mourinho's Wheel of Excuses."
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Any time a player puts in an own goal. Bonus points if it costs them a win.
** Affected Manchester United particularly badly in the 2014/15 season. Hosting 3rd-placed Arsenal in the penultimate game of the season, and the final game at Old Trafford that year, they needed a win to still be in a position to compete for 3rd place and automatic qualification to the group stage of the Champions League. All looked well, with United going up a goal at the 30th minute, but close to the end of the game, Theo Walcott attempted an Arsenal cross and United defender Blackett cleared it into his own net by mistake. The game ended 1-1, and Manchester United finished the season in 4th a week later.
** And then there was Joey Barton, who, as noted below, nearly cost QPR their status as a Premier League club by getting sent off against Manchester City in the final game of the 2011/12 campaign. QPR stayed up despite losing 2-3 that game, due to Bolton drawing Stoke City.
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: A rather bizarre example on the last day of the 2011-12 season, when QPR's Joey Barton got sent off in the match against Manchester City. Rather than just leaving the pitch gracefully, Barton chose to start a brawl, culminating in over five minutes of injury time which ultimately gave City the time they needed to score the two goals that won them the title. This nearly doubled up as a NiceJobBreakingItHero from QPR's perspective, as the result would have caused them to be relegated if not for Bolton failing to beat Stoke on the same day.
* OneManArmy: Regularly features players who can tear apart entire teams on their own. Examples include:
** Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry, for Arsenal.
** Steven Gerrard, Michael Owen, Fernando Torres, Luis Suarez and most recently, Philippe Coutinho, for Liverpool.
** Wayne Rooney first for Everton, then for Manchester United.
** David Silva, Yaya Touré and Sergio Aguero for Manchester City.
** Tottenham used to have Gareth Bale. Now they have Harry 'Hurricane' Kane.
** The 2014-2015 season saw Chelsea getting a OneManArmy in the form of Diego Costa.
** Callum Wilson looked set to be this for Bournemouth until [[WhatCouldHaveBeen he suffered a leg injury that put him out for most of the season]].
** Jamie Vardy's incredible goal scoring form, making him the third most prolific goal scorer in Europe, ahead of the likes of Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo, has made him this for Leicester City.
* OpposingSportsTeam: Every club has rivals. Arsenal have Tottenham, Manchester United have Manchester City (and Liverpool), Liverpool have Everton (and Manchester United), etc. Expect those matches to be pretty tense and hot. The Everton-Liverpool tie has produced the most red cards in the League.
* OralFixation: If he wasn't down in the pitch screaming about something, Sir Alex Ferguson could mostly be seen up in Old Trafford's plush manager's chair, chewing away at gum.
* [[AuthorAppeal Owner Appeal]]: Cardiff City's nickname is the Bluebirds, and their traditional kit colors are blue. Their new owner's favorite colour is red. So he changed the kit for the 2013/14 season. (He also changed the crest to include a large Welsh dragon, and relegate the bluebird to a small icon; he figured dragons would go over better in east Asia, where he was trying to push merchandise, and make Cardiff the team for all of Wales.) [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks The fans weren't happy.]] The fan revolt was so strong that Tan relented and brought back the blue kits midseason in 2014/15. Announcing it one day before a scheduled match. Which drew the largest crowd the club had seen in two years. He followed up by switching the places of the bluebird and dragon on the crest the following off season. AndThereWasMuchRejoicing. (The team still wear all red away kits, though, so the owner appeal hasn't gone away completely, but the present set-up actually seems to be a good compromise for both Tan and the Cardiff fans.)
* PyrrhicVictory: Wigan won the FA Cup in 2013, only to become the first team in history win the FA Cup and be relegated from the Premier League in the same year.
* RankInflation: The Premiership was formerly known as the First Division.
** [[JustifiedTrope Justified]], because it wasn't the FA that named the league such. The top teams broke away on their own and formed the Premier League, which was then brought into the FA... who then later renamed the ''Second'' division the Championship, and the third and fourth divisions "League 1" and "League 2." It is also worth pointing out, the divisions are still technically referred to as the First Division, Second, Third, etc., but are more well-known by their full titles.
* RealSongThemeTune: TV coverage of live match days open with "Written In The Stars" by Tinie Tempah in the UK and Ireland. Abroad, they open with "Fire" by Kasabian.
* RunningGag: Arsène Wenger and his coat. Everything from [[http://footballburp.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Arsene-Wengers-coat-gets-bigger-every-day.jpg how long it is]] to [[http://www.whoateallthepies.tv/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/arsen.gif his lack of pockets]], but especially [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeM28xfDw9I his trouble with the zippers.]] Puma and Wenger nodded to it with [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEc-Z29mgGI a video based entirely around Wenger's new zipper]], [[http://img.bleacherreport.net/img/images/photos/003/040/335/c97657c50cc2270f030c3ce157bb16fb_crop_exact.png?w=1500&h=1500&q=85 and his new coat comes with a much larger zipper]]. [[EpicFail Too bad]] [[http://blog.foxsoccer.com/post/107127625662/arsene-wenger-still-cant-manage-coat-zippers he still has trouble getting it to work]].
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: John Terry retired from international football in 2012 when the FA opted to charge him for using racially offensive language against Anton Ferdinand, even though he had been cleared in a court of law.
** Alan Pardew. Newcastle fans calling for his sacking and Newcastle's owner not giving him money to splash on players that he needed to mount a Europa League challenge finally led him to just leave and join Crystal Palace as their manager. Newcastle barely avoided relegation after he left, whereas Crystal Palace finished midtable after avoiding relegation the year before.
* ShootTheShaggyDog: Between 1998 and 2002, Leeds United were regarded as having one of the finest young teams in the country, and being the club most likely to break Manchester United and Arsenal's stranglehold on the title. They ended up winning ''nothing'' despite runs to the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup and Champions League, got into more debt than any club before or since (barring Manchester United and Portsmouth), got relegated in 2004, and then came within a hair's breadth of being expelled from the Football League altogether in 2007 after being relegated again and starting the new season with a fifteen point deduction. They eventually got back into the Championship in 2010, only to fall back into financial trouble four years later. Tellingly, the only person even remotely interested in buying them when that happened was maverick Italian owner Massimo Cellino (a ''convicted criminal''), suggesting that the club's reputation is too badly damaged for them ever to return to their "big club" status. The real kicker was that the key members of their 1998-2002 squad ended up winning trophies at their deadly rivals, Manchester United and Liverpool.
** To a lesser extent, Newcastle United, whose big-spending and good league finishes also failed to translate into any actual honours (apart from an Intertoto Cup win in 2006... and that's stretching it, to say the least).
* SpinOff: Basically what the Premier League is when the teams broke away. A common rumor during the early 2000s which has sprung up was that Europe's biggest clubs would break away to form a European Super League, which has died down a lot and never really got further than rumours. How it would have worked if it had happened is unknown. Lately comments from managers have arisen again about forming a league due to wanting the best teams to play the best, and also due to money.
* TeamSpirit: Averted when one player has a falling out with his team or manager and tells all in a tabloid. The fallout can be immense. At the time of writing, the most recent spectacular example is of John Terry and Wayne Bridge, former Chelsea team-mates still playing together in the England team. It emerged that Terry had had an affair with Bridge's ex-girlfriend. Terry was demoted from England captain, while Bridge declined to play for England at all...
** Hell, ''the entire league'' with the exception of one team supported Bridge after this came out. The one team that didn't, was Chelsea - the side John Terry is captain of.
*** It should probably be said that the details of what exactly happened are not really clear. Bridge's ex-girlfriend has since denied any such affair, while the press are adamant that it did happen.
*** Caused some additional interest as Chelsea were supposed to play Manchester City shortly after the affair was leaked. This caused people to wonder if Bridge would offer the customary handshake to Terry once the teams came out onto the pitch; he moved his hand out of the way instead. Nobody disputed this decision.
** Other examples include David Beckham getting a boot thrown at his face by Alex Ferguson after a falling out in 2003. He needed stitches above his eye.
** Although neither example is as spectacular as an [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFLeTm46CqQ incident]] at a Newcastle-Aston Villa match in 2005, in which Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer, in the same Newcastle side, actually started throwing punches at each other. Predictably, both got sent off. Perhaps the craziest sight in this punch-up was seeing Gareth Barry, an ''Aston Villa player'', rushing to the fight, trying to help break it up (he actually pulled Bowyer away from the scrap, and got him to calm down).
* TemptingFate: The aforementioned "I'd love it if we beat them" interview, which led to Manchester United beating Newcastle in the final standings.
** José Mourinho has a reputation for saying polarizing things in his post-match interviews, or frankly, any of his interviews. At one point in the 2013-14 season, he called Arsène Wenger a "specialist in failure," much to the anger of the Arsenal fans. As the season progressed, Chelsea were still in the running for the Premier League and the UsefulNotes/UEFAChampionsLeague, but were knocked out of the latter by eventual runners-up Atlético Madrid, and only came third in the league. To add insult to injury, Arsenal won the FA Cup at the end of the year and then the ensuing Community Shield to open the 2014/15 year, meaning Wenger had won more that year than Mourinho.
** After beating Manchester City 3-2 in April 2014, Liverpool went top of the table. Steven Gerrard, immediately after the match, got his players in a huddle and told them "this does not slip!" and "every game is like a Champion's League final!" Two weeks later, Liverpool faced a Chelsea side who were in the middle of a Champions League semi-final, missing their two best players from injuries sustained in the first leg of that semi-final (one of their centre-backs was making his Premier League debut!) and had all but dropped out of the title race after losing to Sunderland a week earlier. Just before half-time, Gerrard slipped over, and Chelsea's striker ran unimpeded into the Liverpool area to put his side ahead. Liverpool spent the rest of the match trying to break down the Chelsea defence, and in stoppage time one of their players gave the ball away cheaply, allowing two Chelsea attackers to advance on the Liverpool goalkeeper and score again. Liverpool then drew 3-3 at Crystal Palace to all but lose their grip on the title, in a match very much like their CL final victory in 2005!
* TheyJustDidntCare:
** One of QPR's biggest problems in the 2012/2013 season was that many players showed little, if any, effort in their performances. Portuguese defender Jose Bosingwa became especially notorious for having this attitude, as seen when he ''was caught laughing'' [[http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2316098/Joey-Barton-hits-Jose-Bosingwa-laughing-QPR-relegation-angers-fans-club.html after a 0-0 draw to Reading got his team relegated.]]
*** Unfortunately for QPR in 2014/2015, [[http://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/may/10/qpr-chris-ramsey-joey-barton-bad-eggs-relegation-premier-league-58m-fine-championship-ffp history repeated itself...]]
* TokenMinority: Before the 90s foreign players were rare in the English game. Now, not so much...
** Some people argued that Ji-Sung Park's inclusion in the Manchester United squad was principally to placate the club's massive Asian fanbase, and to keep them interested. Considering that Shinji Kagawa, who some say "replaced" Park as the token East Asian player in 2012, petered out after a couple of seasons and went back to Dortmund, it's safe to say that Park had enough talent to justify his longevity in the team.
** Due to the richest teams simply buying up the best players from around the world rather than training up local talent (one of the factors which damaged the England national football team), FA rules now dictate a minimum number of native English players that each team has to employ, making them something of a [[InvertedTrope Token Majority]].
** During the 2014/15 season, the lack of ethnic-minority managers in the Premier League (and the Football League in general) has come under scrutiny[[note]]As of November 2014, some 25% of Football League players are non-white but only three of the 92 Football League clubs have non-white managers[[/note]], with calls for an introduction of the [[UsefulNotes/NationalFootballLeague NFL's]] "Rooney Rule", which would require clubs to interview a Token Minority candidate whenever they hire a new manager ([[GeorgeJetsonJobSecurity which can be fairly often]]). Whether this will have any impact, or is even necessary to address the balance, is subject to intense debate.
* TookALevelInBadass: 2015-2016 season features many club undergoing this trope. Some of the most notable are:
** Leicester City. Dead last in the 2014-2015 Christmas, ''top of the league'' in the 2015-2016 Christmas.
** Crystal Palace. Last year at Christmas, they were 17th and on the brink of relegation. Then Alan Pardew jumped ship from Newcastle and ensuring their survival to the next season. With the help of the signing of Yohan Cabaye, they were now tied for Tottenham and Manchester United for a ''Champions League'' spot.
** Watford. Lase season they were at Championship. Given their record that they're always relegated during their spells in the Premier League, it seems that their fate is sealed when they signed ''thirteen'' new players during the summer transfer list. However, they were now seventh, just ''one'' point away from the Champions League spot mentioned above.
** Bournemouth. Sure, they were in the bottom half of the table, but beating Chelsea ''and'' Manchester United consecutively in their first ever season in the first division of the English football system is a huge achievement for a small team like them.
** West Ham. While in comparison to last year's Christmas, they were below than last year. However, they have beaten Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, ''and'' Manchester City this season; with they also succeed to draw Manchester United at Old Trafford.
* WeWillMeetAgain: Every club plays each other twice a season, once at home and once away. This trope also extends to the fact that every year, one club claims they will be able to breach the 'big four' and secure a Champions League place. They tend to fail quite easily.
** Chelsea and Liverpool met in five consecutive Champions' League tournaments.
** Everton did it in 2005 - then Liverpool won the Champions' League!
*** Everton ''then failed to even get past the qualifying stages''[[note]]They were drawn against Villarreal, who reached the semi-final and only missed out the final on a missed penalty.[[/note]]
** Tottenham in 2009-10.
** Manchester City in 2010-11.
* WeWinBecauseYouDidnt:
** Naturally this comes into play, especially late in the season for teams vying for the Top 4 spots. The Arsenal fans take it one step further, having their own [[http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~mikepitt/totteringham.html celebration]] when there is literally no chance of Tottenham Hotspur finishing ahead of them in the table, no matter where in the table it might be.
** Recent years have seen another Arsenal celebration pop up. Known as 'Invincibles Day', it occurs on the day the last unbeaten side in the league loses, therefore ensuring no team will emulate Arsenal's unbeaten season of 2003/04.
** In the 2013-14 season, defending champions Manchester United suffered a collapse that left them struggling to even get into the European qualification places, never mind challenge for the title. As the season came down to Manchester City vs. Liverpool (United's most hated rivals), it appeared most United fans were rooting for City, purely because Liverpool have the second highest number of league titles after United, and United fans were hoping that they wouldn't have to see Liverpool close the gap.
** In short, British football fans specialise in ''schadenfreude''.
* WhatTheHellHero: Kevin Keegan's "I'd love it if we beat them" rant during the 1995/96 season. Newcastle looked all but secure at the top of the table with a few games left. Manchester United won the league.
** And Rafa Benítez's "facts" rant in 2008/09.
** Eric Cantona jumped into the crowd to ''try to karate kick a Crystal Palace fan''.
** Craig Bellamy once whacked a team-mate with a golf club.
*** [[CrossesTheLineTwice Then, a few days later, celebrated scoring against Barcelona in the Champions League with a golf swing.]]
** Joey Barton has done too much to list.
** Steven Gerrard once hit a DJ for (allegedly) not playing his choice of music.
** The amount of players who have been caught cheating on their wives, including Ryan Giggs, John Terry, Wayne Rooney, and Peter Crouch.
** John Terry being accused of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand - it cost Terry the England captaincy for the second time in his career, because the police charged him over the incident and the trial was adjourned until after the 2012 European Championships; then there's Luis Suarez being accused of doing the same thing to Patrice Evra. Bizarrely, Suarez ''admitted'' to calling Evra a racist name, but is convinced [[NeverMyFault that he did nothing wrong]]. Both incidents occurred within weeks of one another.
*** This trope also appeared to extend to Liverpool themselves, suffering criticism for defending Suarez despite him admitting what he did. When the two teams met again Suarez refused Evra's offer to shake his hand ''despite'' saying he would before the game! Evra himself also appeared to try and wind up Suarez after the game. Dalgish's comments after the game resulted in both of them having to apologize the day after, which appears to have finally settled the issue.
*** This has notably turned into a case of NeverLiveItDown for [[ArchNemesis Everton FC]]; to this day Everton supporters seem to boo the loudest towards Luis Suárez and commonly chant "Luis Suarez, we know what you are!" Seems to be a mix between this trope and simple rivalry.
** Luis Suárez again, after ''biting'' the arm of Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during a match between the teams. Amazingly this was in fact the '''second''' time he'd bitten an opposition player, the first occurring during his Ajax days, though that time he actually drew blood.
*** Jermaine Defoe biting Javier Mascherano.
** Roman Abramovich is now getting this from a few people for sacking the man who delivered Chelsea the Champions League on the back of four straight defeats. Di Matteo was in charge a mere 8 months.
** Chelsea winger Eden Hazard initially got this for [[ItMakesSenseInContext an altercation with a ballboy]] during a match against Swansea. However, the ballboy lost virtually all sympathy when further information came to light. (He was the 17-year-old son of a Swansea director (the average ballboy is aged 12 or under), and had boasted on Twitter about intending to waste time during the match.)
** Kevin Mirallas earned this reaction from almost the entire Everton fanbase, as well as several pundits, when Everton were awarded a penalty against West Bromwich Albion and when Leighton Baines - Everton's usual penalty taker - stepped up, Mirallas took the ball and insisted on taking the penalty himself, despite his team mates trying to talk him out of it. [[EpicFail He missed.]] Roberto Martinez responded by taking him off at half time.
* WhoNeedsOvertime: Injury time, and occasionally a team will score a goal to salvage a win or a point. Manchester United seem to do this often, so much that it's now got a reputation as Fergie Time. Arsenal are running them close though.
** [[{{Irony}} Ironically]] came [[HoistByHisOwnPetard back to bite them]] in the close of the 2011-2012 season:
*** With four matches to go in the season, United were leading the league with their rivals Manchester City five points behind. Then they played Everton and were up 4-2 with ten minutes to go when Everton scored twice to claim a 4-4 draw. This, followed by a City victory when they met United in their next match, allowed City to tie them in points (leading in goal difference) until the final day of the season.
*** On said final day, after 90 minutes, City were down 2-1 to Queen's Park Rangers (who at that time were on the brink of relegation) but had five minutes of stoppage time still to play, while United were leading Sunderland 1-0 and had three minutes of stoppage time. City equalised two minutes into injury time, and mere seconds after the final whistle blew at United's match, City scored ''again'' to win 3-2 and earn their first championship since 1968.