Premiership Winners Online Betting
The Premier League is the highest tier of the English football league "pyramid," and is the primary club competition. The Premier League was formed in 1992, when the top 22 sides resigned en masse from the Football League, in order to negotiate their own TV and media rights deals. The Premier League has since become the world's most lucrative sporting league, with combined revenues approaching £2 billion. The number of competing clubs was reduced to 20 in 1995, due to a FIFA directive as to the number of games played in domestic leagues. A further FIFA request to reduce the number of teams to 18 was resisted and the Premiership continues with 20 teams. 42 teams have competed in the Premiership between its 1992-93 inauguration and the 2008-09 season. Of these, only seven clubs have played in every Premier League season, namely Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United, and Tottenham Hotspur.
Premiership Winners since 1992
Despite the large number of competing sides, there have only ever been 4 Premiership winners. Manchester United
have been by far the most successful Premiership winners. In 16 completed seasons, United have been Premiership winners on no less than 10 occasions, as well as finishing runners-up 3 times. The Red Devils collected the Premiership title in 7 of the first 9 Premier League seasons, completing the League / FA Cup double in 1994 and 1996. In 1998-99, United won an unprecedented treble as Premiership winners, FA Cup winners and Champions' League winners. They also completed the double as Premiership winners and Champions' League winners in the 2007-08 season. Blackburn Rovers
interrupted United's winning run with their sole Premiership success in the 1994-95 season, with Alan Shearer scoring a Premiership record of 34 goals (shared with Andy Cole of Newcastle). Arsenal
, despite being Premiership winners on 3 occasions (1997-98, 2001-02 and 2003-04), can be considered a little unlucky, having also finished runners-up on 5 occasions. Chelsea
are the only other Premiership winners, with back-to-back successes in 2004-05 and 2005-06, filling the runner-up spot on 3 occasions.
Dominance of the "Big 4"
The Premier League has attracted criticism in recent years, due to the dominance of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool. Following Premiership winners Blackburn Rovers in 1994-95, only the first three named clubs have lifted the Premiership trophy. Additionally, Manchester United have occupied a top-three spot in every Premiership season, while Arsenal have only missed the top five in two seasons. Liverpool
, despite never being Premiership winners (their last League title came in 1989-90) have finished fifth or better in every season since 1999. The success of United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool has led to this group of teams being referred to as the "Big 4." The Big 4 occupied the top 4 Premier League positions in 2007-08, 2006-07 and 2005-06, thus gaining Champions' League qualification and its associated financial benefits. This has led to criticism from representatives of the "lesser" Premiership sides, who have complained of the "gulf" developing between themselves and the Big 4 and its possible detriment to interest in the Premier League.
Premiership Betting Markets
The Premiership winners market is inevitably a "4-horse book" revolving around the Big 4 sides, with the remainder at three-figure prices or longer. Looking outside the Big 4 for potential Premiership winners is a waste of time and money. Punters wishing to invest in this market are advised to wait until late on in the season when one or more of the Big 4 can be safely excluded from calculations.
Top 2, Top 3 and Top 4 Finish
Many layers offer this market as an alternative to each-way betting. Similar principles apply as to the Premiership winners market, though prices will obviously be shorter than for the outright win.
Premiership Winners without the Big 4
This market can offer some value for punters, especially in the first half of the season when competition is greatest and the best prices are available. More serious punters may wish to wait until after Christmas, when a shortlist of challengers for 5th place tends to emerge. However, the downside is that prices will inevitably be shorter on such teams.
Top 6 Finish
Similar principles apply as to the "Winners w/o the Big 4" market, insofar as fancy prices can be obtained in the early stages of the season, while later on prices are shorter, but greater the chances of success.
Sides promoted from the Football League Championship tend to struggle in their first Premiership season, possibly due, at least in part, to the disproportionate TV revenue between the divisions. With the exception of 2002, every Premiership season has seen at least one promoted side return from whence they came. As a result, promoted sides inevitably head the Premiership betting relegation market at the start of the season. There is little value in backing these teams and value-seeking punters would do well to look beyond the obvious.
In every season since 2001-02, the top goalscorer has come from one of the Big 4 teams, with the "Golden Boot" winner representing the Premiership winners on 4 occasions. The top scorer market is thus dominated by strikers from the leading sides, again offering little value. Punters are advised keep stakes to a minimum and consider some of the less-fancied contenders.
Premiership Winners - Further Information