Premier League explained

Chelsea celebrate Premier League title triumph

Find out about the format and history of the Premier League

The Premier League is the top tier of England's football pyramid, with 20 teams battling it out for the honour of being crowned English champions.

Home to some of the most famous clubs, players, managers and stadiums in world football, the Premier League is the most watched league on planet with 900 million homes watching the action in 190 countries.

The league takes place between August and May and involves the teams playing each other home and away across the season, a total of 380 matches.

Three points are awarded for a win, one point for a draw and none for a defeat, with the team with the most points at the end of the season winning the Premier League title. The teams that finish in the bottom three of the league table at the end of the campaign are relegated to the Championship, the second tier of English football.

Those teams are replaced by three clubs promoted from the Championship; the sides that finish in first and second place and the third via the end-of-season play-offs. 

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Manchester United have won the Premier League title 13 times

If any clubs finish with the same number of points, their position in the Premier League table is determined by goal difference, then the number of goals scored. If the teams still cannot be separated, they will be awarded the same position in the table.

Since the League began in 1992, there have been six different winners: Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Blackburn Rovers and Leicester City. Man Utd have had the most success with 13 titles in the 25 seasons so far. 

Manchester United have the Premier League record for the biggest winning margin, when they finished 18 points ahead of second-placed Arsenal in 1999/00. The narrowest winning margin of +8 goal difference came in 2011/12 when Sergio Aguero's goal, deep into stoppage-time on the final day of the season, gave Manchester City the title in the most dramatic of Premier League finishes.

Arsene Wenger's Arsenal are the only side to have gone the entire Premier League campaign unbeaten. That record season was set in 2003/04 when they won the title by 11 points from Chelsea. For more Premier League facts and figures, click here.

There have been three different Premier League champions in the last five years, with Leicester City capping off an incredible sporting story by winning the title in 2015/16.

The unlikely title triumph came a season after the Foxes avoided relegation by only six points.

Chelsea are the defending champions after earning a PL-record 30 wins on the way to title success in 2016/17. 

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Leicester City won the Premier League in the incredible 2015/16 campaign

A total of 49 clubs have played in the Premier League, with Brighton & Hove Albion and Huddersfield Town making that debuts in the competition on Saturday 12 August.

Six clubs are 'ever-present', having been in the Premier League since it formed: Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.

The teams that finish in the top three of the Premier League qualify for the next season's UEFA Champions League group stages, with the fourth-placed team entered into the UCL qualifying round.

A fifth-place Premier League finish will put a team into the UEFA Europa League but the next best-placed teams who have not qualified for Europe will also enter the competition should the winners of the FA Cup and/or League Cup finish in the top four.

Premier League champions

2016/17 Chelsea
2015/16
Leicester City
2014/15 Chelsea
2013/14 Manchester City
2012/13 Manchester United
2011/12 Manchester City
2010/11 Manchester United
2009/10 Chelsea
2008/09 Manchester United
2007/08 Manchester United
2006/07 Manchester United
2005/06 Chelsea
2004/05 Chelsea
2003/04 Arsenal
2002/03 Manchester United
2001/02 Arsenal
2000/01 Manchester United
1999/00 Manchester United
1998/99 Manchester United
1997/98 Arsenal
1996/97 Manchester United
1995/96 Manchester United
1994/95 Blackburn Rovers
1993/94 Manchester United
1992/93 Manchester United

For more Premier League history, click here.