The Premier League is facing up to the biggest challenge it has faced since its inception in 1992 as six of the top teams in the country appear ready to break away and form The Super League with other teams from across Europe.
The 29-year history of the Premier League has been a tale of rising costs, rising money and rising transfer fees. Power has shifted back and forth between a number of sides over the years, but some enduring names continue to rise to the top.
Historically, Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool are seen as the super powers of the English game, while several other contenders have emerged since the turn of the century to challenge their might at the top.
Make sure to also read our comment on what the Super League means for English football.
Blackburn and Leicester have both gate-crashed the established order to win titles during the Premier League era, but one glorious season apiece isn’t enough to full overhaul the reigning order.
The so-called Premier League big six could be about to change the shape of football in a way we have never witnessed before, but who are they? And what do they want?
RadioTimes.com brings you up to speed with the so-called Premier League big six and why they are pushing for a monumental shift in how football operates today.
Who are the big six in the Premier League?
Manchester United: The most successful club in Premier League era history has lost its sheen in recent years, but its influence is unparalleled.
United won the title in 13 of the first 21 Premier League seasons under Sir Alex Ferguson but have failed to top the table since his retirement in 2013.
This season they sit second in the table, short of their rivals Manchester City but high enough to be showing signs of progress.
Liverpool: Pre-Premier League, Liverpool were the top dogs in English football with a mass of top division titles and domestic trophies to boot.
They were back on top last season after finally lifting the title for the first time during the Premier League era. With a blossoming young squad, bold manager and money to burn, the Reds appeared to be rooted in the top spot for years to come.
However, a number of key injuries have seen the Reds tumble this season. They remain a huge super power, but on current form, they’re wobbling.
Arsenal: See ‘Manchester United’. Arsenal were a huge force under Arsene Wenger before his retirement and remain the only side to go a whole season undefeated.
Unlike United, they are yet to emerge from the wilderness under a fresh manager. Mikel Arteta has failed to inspire a major turnaround in the club’s fortunes.
However, their global brand continues to draw in millions of fans around the world across a number of continents and countries.
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Chelsea: The Blues had only won one top division title before Roman Abramovich’s takeover in 2004. That’s fewer than 19 other teams can boast.
However, Russian money has revolutionised the club in west London to become the next most successful team after United during the Premier League era. They now boast six titles in their history, the same number as Manchester City and Sunderland.
Frank Lampard was sacked this season and German coach Thomas Tuchel has enjoyed a successful start to life in west London. He has reached the FA Cup final and Champions League semi-finals.
Manchester City: See ‘Chelsea’. City had won two league titles prior to their Abu Dhabi-backed takeover, and have won four since.
They were always relegation whipping boys in years gone by, but they have firmly established themselves at the top of the English football ladder. The City Football Group also owns an expanding portfolio of franchises around the world including New York City FC and Melbourne City.
Barring a staggering collapse, City will be crowned Premier League champions in May.
Tottenham: Infrastructure-wise, Tottenham are almost unmatched. Their brand new stadium is fit for the finest in world football, their state-of-the-art training facilities are second to none, their trophy cabinet, well, it’s not quite brimming.
Spurs have been the nearly-men for a long while now, having finished runners up in the Premier League and Champions League in recent years. Their only trophy of the last 21 years is a solitary League Cup win in 2008.
Jose Mourinho has been sacked as manager following a mostly dismal campaign and Harry Kane’s future could be in doubt as his career continues on its trophy-less path.
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