This was utterly mysterious to us for years. And it may still be for many Americans. Allow us to explain.

First, here’s an example of something a TV announcer in England might say that you would never hear an American announcer say: that a team is playing their next four games in four different competitions! Specifically, you might hear them say “Manchester City are playing in the Premier League this weekend, the League Cup Final at Wembley next weekend, then the FA Cup quarterfinals, and then they’re at Barcelona in the Champions League.”

Most English football fans would understand what the announcer meant by that, but have American fans ever heard of a team playing in a bunch of competitions at the same time, including two tournaments plus another league in a different country? 바카라

The answer is likely no, so it occurred to us that we should write a guide to the various leagues and “cups” in English football.

When Americans think of English soccer, they usually think of teams like Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester United. Those clubs are in what is now called the Premier League. This used to be called the First Division, but the allure of TV money and marketing power created a “re-branding” back in the early 90s.

A major difference between English football and every sport in America is how they determine the champion. Americans insist on a “regular season” followed by “playoffs.” The English, and pretty much everybody else in the world, do it another way: Everybody in the league plays everybody else in the league, home and away. You get three points if you win and one if you tie. At the end of the season, whoever has the most points wins. (The first tiebreaker is “goal differential.”)

The three levels below the Premier League make up the Football League. Basically it’s the old league system without the top tier, which broke off to call itself Premier. The top level of the Football League is called The Championship, with 24 teams. This is confusing to some Americans, because being “relegated to the Championship” doesn’t sound right, but in fact it’s very, very costly to a club. (Imagine selling tickets for your club’s game against Man U game vs. tickets for game with Petersborough United.)

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