England’s Premier League is the global gold standard when it comes to talent in football. The US may have more lucrative sports ventures in its highly-produced NFL and NBA leagues, but no football league holds a candle to England’s club competition, not even Spain’s La Liga and Italy’s Serie A.
In part due to broadcasting rights, England’s Premier League brings in, on average, £2 billion more per year than other major club leagues in Europe. In addition to selling out season tickets for stadiums like Anfield and Emirates Stadium, the average viewership for the league’s 380 matches each season is 12 million.
But when it comes to the world’s most illustrious football league, it’s easy to miss more than a few stats and details. Keep reading below to learn behind-the-scenes facts about the Premier League.
One Billion Bet Per Game
In addition to leading in revenue, the Premier League is one of the most bet-on sports leagues in the world. The Journal of Sports Economics averages £2.7 million per English Premier League match, while other estimates place the average up to one billion pounds per game.
There’s no shortage of in-person or online Premier League betting odds providers for punters looking to wager on their team. The league’s only competition is UEFA’s Champions League, which isn’t far behind in terms of bets placed on certain group stage and finals matches.
Most Penalty Saves: 13 of 63
During his lengthy career in the Premier League, during which time he appeared in 572 matches and played for eight clubs, goalkeeper David James also managed to set the record for the most penalties saved – 13 out of 63.
On the list of most Premier League penalty saves, James has a short lead on others Thomas Sorensen, who has posted 12 saves for 50 penalties. James maintains a three-penalty lead on Mark Schwarzer, Brad Friedel, and Shay Given, all of who have a 10 penalty save total.
Most Goals & Penalties of All Time
Given Alan Shearer’s illustrious reputation as one of the greatest strikers of his generation in the sport of football, it’s no surprise that Shearer leads the Premier League as top goalscorer of all time, with a total of 260.
However, many may not realize he also holds the torch for most penalties scored. Shearer netted a total of 56 penalties throughout his career. Only one missed the goal, and another five were saved by goalkeepers.
Most Headed Goals Scored
Alan Shearer once held the record not only for total goals and penalty goals but also for headed goals. Prior to the rise of Peter Crouch, Shearer held the record with 46 goals.
Crouch surpassed him with a total of 105 headed goals over his long career, which spanned a total of 436 appearances with six clubs. As of 2018, Crouch holds the Guinness World Record for the most headed goals scored in the Premier League. He retired in 2019.
In the history of England’s Premier League, only three players have managed to net a goal against the other team, score an own goal, and assist another goal in the same game. These honors go to Wayne Rooney, who completed the task in a 2012 match against Stoke City; Gareth Bale, who accomplished the same against Liverpool in 2012; and Kevin Davies, who first set the strange record in a 2008 match against Aston Villa.
20 Teams, 7 Winners
Since the Premier League kicked off in 1992, only seven clubs have managed to take home champion titles. Of the 28 titles handed out so far, Manchester United holds the vast majority with 13. Chelsea comes in second with five titles, then Manchester City with four, and Arsenal with three. Blackburn Rovers, Leicester City, and Liverpool have all managed to take one title.
Despite the fact that there are 20 teams competing each season, only four have managed to take home more than one title. Considering the high level of play and the competitive structuring of each club, from management to their academies, this stat doesn’t convey the tooth-and-nail battle that occurs each season in the Premier League.