The game of football was changed forever on this day in soccer history in 1991 when the Founder Members Agreement was signed by all top flight clubs to form the new English Premier League. The move paved the way for the increased revenues and expense seen in the English Premiership over the past decades.
The move came at a time in English football where there were major problems to deal with but quiet high hopes for new highs. The low point was with hooliganism rampant through the country and stadia falling into dis-repair. These two aspects of the game came head to head in the tragedies at Hillsborough and at the European Cup final at Heysel in 1985.
The hopes for the future were largely pinned on England’s run to the semifinal at the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy and a passion to remain one of the top football nations.
The biggest change with the move is that the newly created Premier League had financial independence from the rest of the football leagues which allowed them to sign television contracts and other high dollar branding opportunities.
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After more than a decade the reviews are mixed although generally positive. The English Premier League is one of, if not, the top domestic football leagues in the world. The stadia have greatly improved and the caliber of player has increased.
But critics point out that the game once fueled by the local passionate club supporter has priced itself out of the range of many of the everyday fans with the league and clubs becoming more of a brand than the local team that the local fans can cheer.
1911 – Ted Anderson, English footballer (d. 1979)
1944 – Carlos Alberto, Brazilian football player
1960 – Jan Wouters, Dutch football player and manager
1972 – Jaap Stam, Dutch footballer
1980 – Javier Camuñas, Spanish footballer
1984 – Sotiris Leontiou, Greek footballer
1985 – Neil McGregor, Scottish footballer
1987 – Moussa Dembélé, Belgian footballer