A total of 43 clubs have played in the Premier League from its inception in 1992 and the end of the 2008–09 season. Two other clubs (Luton Town and Notts County) were signatories to the original agreement that created the Premier League, but were relegated prior to the inaugural Premier League season and have not subsequently returned to the top flight. For a list of all clubs past and present see List of FA Premier League clubs and an amalgamated table can be found at All-time FA Premier League table. For a list of winners and runners-up of the Premier League since its inception, and top scorers for each season, see English football champions.
Seven clubs have been members of the Premier League for every season since its inception. This group is composed of Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United, and Tottenham Hotspur.
The current Premier League trophy was created by Royal Jewellers Asprey of London. It weighs 4 st (25 kg; 56 lb), and is 76 cm (30 in) tall, 43 cm (17 in) wide and 25 cm (9.8 in) deep. Its main body is solid sterling silver and silver gilt, while its plinth is made of malachite, a semi-precious stone. The plinth has a silver band around its circumference, upon which the names of the title-winning clubs are listed. Malachite's green colour is also representative of the green field of play. The design of the trophy is based on the heraldry of Three Lions that is associated with English football. Two of the lions are found above the handles on either side of the trophy – the third is symbolised by the captain of the title winning team as he raises the trophy, and its gold crown, above his head at the end of the season. The trophy has borne several names on its face since it was first created, when it read "The F.A. Premier League". The one Manchester United lifted in 2006–07 read "The Barclays Premiership". From the 2007–08 season onwards, the trophy has read "Premier League" on one side and "Barclays Premier League" on the other.
Promoted as "The Greatest Show On Earth", the Premier League is the world's most popular and most watched sporting league, followed worldwide by over half a billion people in 202 countries, generally on networks owned and/or controlled by NewsCorp or Setanta Sports, who also own the UK and Ireland match broadcasters. In the United States coverage is shared between Fox Soccer Channel and Setanta Sports North America; NewsCorp sometimes buys pitch-side advertising boards with the Fox Soccer Channel logo replacing that of Sky. In Australia, Fox Sports (Australia), owned by News Ltd, shows the games with a Viewers Choice option for up to five live games and up to nine games live on any given game-week.
The Premier League is particularly popular in Asia, where it is the most widely distributed sports programme. For example, in the People's Republic of China, matches attract television audiences between 100 million and 360 million, more than any other foreign sport. Due to this popularity, the league has held three pre-season tournaments in Asia, the only Premier League affiliated tournaments ever to have been held outside England. In July 2003, the FA Premier League Asia Cup was held in Malaysia, featuring three Premier League clubs, Chelsea, Newcastle United and Birmingham City, and the Malaysia national team. In 2005 the Asia Trophy featured a similar format, held in Thailand and featuring the Thailand national team competing against three English clubs—Everton, Manchester City and Bolton Wanderers, the last of which won the trophy. In 2007, the Barclays Asia Trophy was held in Hong Kong and featured Liverpool, Portsmouth, Fulham and the Hong Kong FA Cup winning team, South China, with Portsmouth winning the competition.
The FA has faced difficulty fighting internet copyright infringement. In an effort to stop the broadcasting of streams of live games on the net they have hired NetResult, a…