For those unfamiliar, this will serve as a quick breakdown of the layout and structure of club football (soccer) in England (and Wales).
The top tier of English football is called the Premier League (20 teams from England and Wales). Below the EPL are the Championship (24 teams), League One (24 teams), League Two (24 teams), and many more. The Premier League is the most lucrative soccer league in the world. They currently have a TV contract with NBC in the U.S. Seasons typically begin in August and end in May with each team playing each other twice (once each on each other’s home pitch) for a total of 38 games for each team. At the end of each season, the bottom three teams are relegated down to the Championship, while three other teams are promoted up from the Championship for the following season.
FA Cup: The oldest national football competition in the world, it can include any eligible team in the top 10 tiers of English football (in ’17-’18, 763 teams participated). The winner gets an automatic qualification into the Europa League competition for the following season.
FA Community Shield: single match played at a neutral site in August between the FA Cup winner and Premier League champions from the previous season.
EFL Cup: The Football League Cup contested by the 92 teams in the first four tiers of English football listed above. The winner gets an automatic qualification into the Europa League competition for the following season.
The FA Cup and EFL Cup rounds play periodically throughout the season, intertwining with the EPL schedule.
Notes from 2017-2018 season:
EPL Champion – Manchester City
FA Cup Champion – Chelsea
EFL Cup Champion – Manchester City
FA Commuity Shield winner – Arsenal
EPL Promoted teams – Cardiff City, Wolverhampton, Fulham
EPL Relegated teams – West Bromwich Albion, Swansea City, Stoke City
Champions League ’18-’19 Qualifiers – Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham, Liverpool
Europa League ’18-’19 Qualifiers – Chelsea, Arsenal, Burnley
The 2018-2019 Premier League season kicks off August 10, 2018. The preseason odds to win the league are shown here: