Premier League Is 25 Years Old : Facts And Figures Behind The First Quarter-century.

Thirteen players from outside the UK and Ireland, a crowd of 20,699 at Chelsea, defeats for Manchester United and Arsenal, wins for Coventry City and Sheffield United.

The Premier League landscape looks very different to the one on the opening weekend a quarter of a century ago, which also featured Oldham Athletic and Wimbledon.

After 9,746 games and 25,769 goals involving 47 teams across 25 memorable years, BBC Sport crunches the numbers and brings you the story of England’s top-flight in facts and figures.

The sacking game

The Premier League battlefield is littered with managerial casualties yet it was all so very different back in 1992.

There was one sacking during the inaugural season – Chelsea’s Ian Porterfield losing his job 29 games into the 42-game campaign on 15 February 1993.

It didn’t take long for that figure to rise sharply.

Between August 1994 and August 1995 there were 15 managerial changes alone – including eight sackings.

Why the rapid increase?

The Premier League – an unsafe place for managers

  • Managerial changes

After three 42-game campaigns featuring 22 clubs, England’s top flight, already awash with television money, was about to be slimmed down to a 38-game format with 20 teams.

For the only time in Premier League history, four teams – instead of three – were facing relegation in 1994-95.

Casualties of the reshaping included John Deehan, who resigned at struggling Norwich with five matches left, while Alan Smith departed soon after Crystal Palace’s relegation was confirmed. Leicester City and Ipswich Town also lost their Premier League status.

Over the years, the more lucrative the Premier League has become the more knee-jerk reactions have been in boardrooms. The league is a minefield for managers – and not only those at clubs trying to avoid the drop.

Roberto Mancini was sacked as Manchester City manager in May 2013 – a year to the day after winning the Premier League, while Claudio Ranieri was made redundant nine months after steering Leicester City to the 2015-16 title.

Chelsea were even less patient in December 2015 when they sacked Jose Mourinho seven months after winning the league.

Raining goals

No team has scored more than Manchester United on the Premier League stage. Indeed, their tally of 1,856 – 158 more than second-best Arsenal – works out at 7.2% of all 25,769 goals scored in the competition’s history.

But do goals always guarantee success? Not for Blackpool. After netting 55 in 38 games in 2010-11 – as many as Tottenham who finished fifth – Ian Holloway’s side hold the record for being relegated with most goals scored.

The inaugural season of 92-93 saw a record total of 1,222 goals – Sheffield United’s Brian Deane scoring the first of the Premier League era with a header after five minutes against Manchester United at Bramall Lane.

Only three teams have managed 100 or more goals in a single season – Chelsea (103 in 2009-10), Manchester City (102 in 2013-14) and Liverpool (101 in 2013-14).

At the other end of the pitch, Swindon Town, in their only Premier League season in 1993-94, are the only side in 25 years to concede 100 goals.

Seven players have scored 30 or more in a single season – Andy Cole (34 in 1993-94), Alan Shearer (34 & 31 in 1994-95, 1995-96), Kevin Phillips (30 in 1999-00), Thierry Henry (30 in 2003-04), Cristiano Ronaldo (31 in 2007-08), Robin van Persie (30 in 2011-12) and Luis Suarez (31 in 2013-14).

Shearer tops the all-time list with 260 goals for Blackburn and Newcastle, with Wayne Rooney second on 198 for Everton and Manchester United.

Crowded house

Getting a ticket for a Premier League match these days can be a frustrating and futile task. Not so 25 years ago.

A crowd of 12,681 turned up at Coventry’s old Highfield Road on 15 August 1992 to watch the Sky Blues beat Middlesbrough 2-1, while Arsenal and Chelsea both failed to attract 25,000 to their home games on the opening weekend.

Meanwhile, only 3,039 turned up to see Tony Cottee score twice for Everton in a 3-1 win against Wimbledon at Selhurst Park on 26 January 1993 – the lowest attendance in Premier League history.

Fewer than 10 million turned out to watch 462 games in 1992-93, while Chelsea’s average was fewer than 19,000.

In 2016-17, 13.6 million turned up to 380 matches, with a quarter of clubs attracting 50,000-plus average crowds – Manchester United (75,290), Arsenal (59,957), West Ham (56,972), Manchester City (54,019) and Liverpool (53,016).

In the last 25 years, several clubs, including Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool, have extended their grounds, while others have moved to new homes like Arsenal,Manchester City and Southampton.

If you add up the attendance from each of the 9,746 games, the figure comes to more than 313 million. The population of the United States in 2010 was 308 million