20 teams compete in the Premier League, each playing 38 fixtures. This is fewer than the 46-game season in the Football League, where there are 24 teams in each division. The teams in the 2008/09 Premier League are:
Arsenal, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Chelsea, Everton, Fulham, Hull City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Newcastle United, Portsmouth, Stoke City, Sunderland, Tottenham Hotspur, West Bromwich Albion, West Ham United, Wigan Athletic
The 2008/09 fixture list was released on Monday 16th June at 10am. It is illegal to reproduce the fixture list without first acquiring a license and displaying it. The season will begin on Saturday 16th August, preceded by the Community Shield on Sunday 10th August, contested between the 2007/08 Premier League champions Manchester United and FA Cup winners Portsmouth at Wembley. The season will finish on Sunday 24th May, followed by the FA Cup Final on Saturday 30th May.
From 2008/09 onwards, Premier League teams may name 7 substitutes in their matchday squad. They will still only be allowed to make a maximum of 3 substitutions.
Before kick-off players must line-up and shake hands.
Games typically kick-off at the following times to suit live TV coverage and fixture congestion of teams playing in Europe:
Saturdays: 12:45 15:00 17:15
Sundays: 13:30 14:00 16:00
Wednesdays: 19:45 20:00
Highlights of Premier League games will be shown on Match of the Day on BBC1 on Saturday nights & Sunday mornings and BBC2 on Sunday nights until 2010. Sky Sports show games on 'Football First' on Saturday evenings, with extended highlights available by pressing the red button (not available for Virgin Media subscribers).
Revenue from TV Rights
Each club receives an equal flat payment of £22.8m as their share of the Premier League's sale of TV rights. Clubs get further money - around £480,000 - each time they're shown live on TV. The guaranteed minimum is £5.6m. 25 Manchester United games were shown live in 2007/08, earning them £12.1m.
The team finishing bottom of the table is rewarded with £720,000 in prize money. This goes up in £0.72m increments, to £14.4m for the champions. Relegated teams now get £11.4m a year in parachute payments for the two seasons that follow.
Hull City will enter at the 2nd Round, along with the other Premier League teams not playing in European cups this season. TV coverage will be on ITV (until 2009) and Sky Sports. Rounds will take place around the following dates:
Round 2 - Wed 27th Aug
Round 3 - Wed 24th Sept
Round 4 - Wed 12th Nov
Quarter Finals - Wed 3rd Dec
Semi Final 1st Legs - Wed 7th Jan
Semi Final 2nd Legs - Wed 21st Jan
Final - Sun 1st March
The winner will enter the following season's UEFA Cup at the Third Qualifying Round.
Hull City will enter at the 3rd Round, along with all other Premier League teams. TV coverage will be on ITV and Setanta. Rounds will take place around the following dates:
Round 3 - Sat 3rd Jan. R3 Replays - Wed 14th Jan
Round 4 - Sat 24th Jan. R4 Replays - Wed 4th Feb
Round 5 - Sat 14th Feb. R5 Replays - Wed 25th Feb
Quarter Finals - Sat 7th March. QF Replays - Wed 18th March
Semi Finals - Sat 18th April (decided after extra time/penalties - no replays)
Final - Sat 16th May (decided after extra time/penalties - no replays)
The winner will enter the following season's UEFA Cup at the Fourth (final) Qualifying Round. If the winner has qualified for the Champions League, the losing finalist will take their place in the UEFA Cup. If both finalists have qualified for the Champions League, the UEFA Cup place shall be given to the team with the highest league position otherwise not qualified for European competition (see below).
European Qualification through Final League Position
The teams finishing in the top 3 positions qualify for the following season's Champions League group stage. The team finishing 4th will enter the Champions League at the Third (final) Qualifying Round. The team finishing 5th will enter the UEFA Cup at the Fourth (final) Qualifying Round. The team finishing 6th will enter the UEFA Cup at the Fourth (final) Qualifying Round in the event that the two FA Cup finalists finish 5th or above in the Premier League. The team finishing 7th will enter the UEFA Cup at the Third Qualifying Round in the event that the two FA Cup finalists and the League Cup winners all finish 5th or above in the Premier League.
The team finishing in the highest position not to qualify for the Champions League or UEFA Cup will take England's place in the Intertoto Cup, providing they have applied to do so. The tournament begins in July, and the 11 teams that win 3 two-legged ties then enter the UEFA Cup at the Second Qualifying Round.
As in the Championship, the bottom 3 teams at the end of the season are relegated to the division below.
All 20 Premier League clubs' reserve teams play in the Barclays Premier Reserve League. This is split into north and south divisions, with the winner of each playing a final against one another. The 11 teams in the northern division in 2008/09 will be:
Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Everton, Hull City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Newcastle United, Sunderland and Wigan Athletic
Matches are often filmed and shown on clubs' own TV channels and Sky Sports News. Hull City Reserves will play home games at North Ferriby United's ground Church Road on Wednesday evenings. Other Premier League reserve teams also use alternative grounds to their first teams.
City's first game will be at home to Everton on Monday 1st September (kick-off 7pm).
Hull City Juniors will play home games at Winterton Rangers' ground West Street. They will defend the Football League Puma Youth Alliance North East Conference and Puma Youth Alliance Cup against other centre of excellence teams. Wigan Athletic are the only other Premier League club not competing in the Premier Academy League.
City's first game is at home to Chesterfield on Saturday 16th August (kick-off 11am).
Hull City's new shirts will adhere to the number and letter font and sleeve badges of the Premier League. Advertising for any tobacco-related product is not allowed.
Rule F.22 states that teams may wear their away strip on no more than 8 occasions, unless required to wear it on more occasions due to a clash with the home team's strip. For example, if Hull City wear their away kit when playing at Newcastle, Sunderland, West Brom, Wigan and Stoke because - in the opinion of the referee - both teams wearing their home kits would result in a clash, they would be able to wear their away kit a further 3 times through choice.
The home club must offer the visiting club 3,000 tickets, or 10% of capacity when stadiums hold less than 30,000 (Bolton, Stoke, West Brom, Wigan, Portsmouth). Hull City must therefore offer around 2,500 tickets to visiting clubs (unless capacity is increased).
The transfer window opens at midnight on the final day of the 2007/08 season, and closes on Monday 1st September 2008 since the 31st August is not a working day. It reopens on 1st January 2009, and will close on Monday 2nd February 2009 since the 31st January is not a working day. Unlike the Football League, loans are not permitted outside of the transfer windows except when permitted by the Premier League in extraordinary circumstances (eg. no available goalkeeper). Loan signings made during the transfer window can be made permanent even after the window has closed. Further details on the transfer windows can be found here.
Clubs may have a maximum of two players on loan at any one time. Clubs can sign a maximum of four players on loan over the course of the season, and only one can be signed from the same club. On-loan players cannot play in either fixture against their transferor club. Players who initially signed on loan before making the transfer permanent cannot play against the transferor club in the same season. Loans that become permanent are excluded from the quota of loan signings a club may make in a season. Loans must be made while the transfer window is open, unless permitted by the Premier League in extraordinary circumstances. Such 'emergency' loans are excluded from the quota of loan signings.
The Select Group (consisting of 19 referees in 2007/08) are paid a £33,000 annual retainer plus match fees, and are allowed to continue with other careers in addition to the several days spent each month on training and development. Match officials will wear black, green and yellow Umbro manufactured kits complete with the logo of the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd sponsors Air Asia. Officials wear headsets to communicate with one another during the match.
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Everything You Need To Know For 2008/09