January 08, 2015

Notes on Premier League

How it works
  • The season runs from August to May.
  • There are 20 teams, they all play each other twice.
  • You get three points for a win, one point for a draw, no points for a loss.
  • No playoffs:  the team with the most points at the end wins.
  • Four teams are allowed to win:  Man City, Manchester United, Chelsea, and Arsenal.
    • Ok, sometimes Liverpool, but not lately.
    • Defending champion:  Man City
    • Current leaders are Man City and Chelsea (tied w/ 46 pts).
  • The top four teams in Premier League qualify for the opportunity to lose to Madrid or Barcelona in the continental Champion's League.  Fifth place qualifies for Europa League, (as do the winners of the FA Cup and the Capital One Cup - see below).
  • The bottom three clubs get relegated to the Championship League (the UK minor league, not the big-time European Champion's League).
  • All the teams are owner by Russian tycoons, who use them to launder money from drug and weapons deals.  As a result, there is no salary cap, there are no rules, and it is good to be Gareth Bale.


  • The FA Cup, in contradistinction to the Premier League championship, is a knockout tournament open to all clubs in Premier League, plus several lower levels of the English football league system.  This is generally won by Chelsea, Man City, or Arsenal.  Defending champion is Arsenal.
  • During my visit I made the unforgivable mistake of confusing the FA Cup with the Football League Cup, also known as the League Cup, but officially titled The Capital One Cup.  This is more of a minor league championship.  Although Premier League teams are eligible, they treat it as lower priority and tend to play their younger players in these matches, which has led to some entertaining upsets.  After that's all done with, a Premier League team wins.  Defending champion is Manchester City.
  • Premier League clubs do not participate in the FIFA Club World Cup, which reduces the number of times they have to lose to Real Madrid each year.

Who to root for?

I was partial to the Wolverhampton Wanderers during the Mick McCarthy era, but not since the team's arrogant dismissal of him and ensuing double relegation - first to Championship League, then to League One.  Wouldn't it be nice if that could happen to the 49ers?

Louis Van Gaal is the manager of Manchester United.  He is Johan Cruyff's sworn enemy, a man who promotes disciplined, orderly, military football, not the free, creative, beautiful and loving kind advocating by Cruyff.  There is no middle ground, you have to take a side here.  It says here than Van Gaal is bad, and anyone who roots for Manchester United is bad, so don't.

The correct team to root for is Tottenham Hotspur.